Say what you will about Gus Malzahn, but you have to respect him for having the guts to go for the gusto. Auburn was up 10-3 faced with 4th and one from the 2-yard line in the first quarter. The decision was to play “put them away football.” Unfortunately, they ran into a major problem straight up the middle a pile of Razorbacks staked so high Kerryon Johnson could not leap over the mound instead he was met sky high trying to go over the top and knocked backward. They did not score it was their first unsuccessful trip inside the RED ZONE against SEC opponents, converting on all 17 previous trips this season. However, they were successful in setting the tone or mindset if you will for the rest of the game. Last week at LSU he was criticized for being too conservative in the second half which contributed to the loss. This week he might be criticized for pouring it on 52-20.
Blame Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway for being healthy when they are it is an Auburn fans delight and a defensive nightmare. Pettway the bull and Johnson the stylish slasher will cut you up. Perhaps the best one-two knock out punch in college football. Pettway averaged 8.2 yards a carry and scored three touchdowns. Johnson contributed one.
The Tigers went in for the halftime break leading 17-6 and came out uncaged scoring 28 unanswered points in the third quarter. The first score came on a surgical 10 play, 75-yard drive. The second touchdown only took 4 plays for 70 yards. The third was a blast 1 play for 62 yards. That one came on some razzle-dazzle, a buck sweep reverse pass by wide receiver Ryan Davis to Darius Slayton. It worked perfectly he was wide open the only thing that stood between him, and the end zone was green grass.
Arkansas came back with some fireworks an electrifying 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Devion Warren. It was an impressive effort. Unfortunately, it was an exchange of points. At the end of the third quarter, the score was 45-13, and Auburn had put together 11 first downs to go along with those 28 points and averaged 10 yards a clip.
QB Jarrett Stidham delivered another steady performance throwing for 218 yards connecting on 19-28 passes with one error for an interception. The Auburn Tigers finished the game with 629 total yards of offense to the Razorbacks 334 total yards. They double Arkansas in just about every category. The defense had six sacks and eight tackles for losses totaling 36 yards.
Love him or hate him Coach Malzahn admitted his error of being too conservative last week. This week it appears he has learned from his errors. The two horses seem to be healthy it should set the stage for an interesting finish. One is left to wonder had they won that one against LSU?