The Auburn Tigers are finally relevant again. I bet no one would have thought that before this season that such a phrase would be uttered by week 10 of the regular season. With a new coach in place, the Tigers are looking like a completely new team and there is a new winning culture in Auburn.
On the other side of the field, a new head coach has been put into place for the Arkansas Razorbacks as well. Bret Bielema is the new leader of the team and he is struggling a bit in his first year in the SEC. The Razorbacks began the season 3-0 and then reeled off five straight, the last four have been against ranked opponents.
Auburn might not be considered a national title contender as of right now, but the Tigers have a good shot at making a BCS bowl game. Nick Marshall has been solid at quarterback this season, passing for 1,148 yards and six touchdowns with just four interceptions. While this offense is based primarily on the run, Marshall has done what he can to make sure the pass game doesn’t suffer. Although he suffered an injury in week nine that forced Jeremy Johnson, who has six touchdown passes in limited time this year, into the game, Marshall will likely be back in the upcoming weeks. Sammie Coates has been the star wide out, catching 21 passes for 536 yards and four scores on the year — imagine if he was targeted more. Tre Mason leads all rushers with 753 yards and nine scores.
Arkansas has been solid on the ground, just like the Tigers, this season. With one of the worst passing attacks in the nation, the Razorbacks haven’t put too much trust in Brandon Allen to lead the team as he has just 955 yards and eight touchdowns on the season to go along with a mere 45 percent completion rate. It seems like this team bases all of its offense on the run as the rushing attack ranks 29th in the nation. Alex Collins leads all running backs with 797 yards and four scores on the ground while Jonathan Williams leads the team in yards per carry with 6.1 on 100 attempts with 612 yards and four touchdowns.
Defensively, the Razorbacks are not very impressive on offense, ranking 87th in the country in points allowed per game while allowing a 69th-ranked 410.7 yards per game. Auburn hasn’t been much better this season, allowing the 24th-least amount of points per game, but ranking 89th in the nation in yards allowed per game.
Auburn will travel to Arkansas to take on the Razorbacks at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 2.
PREDICTION: Auburn 30, Arkansas 33