Arkansas (5-2) vs Auburn (4-2)
Arkansas has shown a recent knack for knocking off ranked opponents and even more so on the road. The 17th-ranked Razorbacks will try to continue that trend when they visit No. 21 Auburn for an SEC West matchup on Saturday (Enter Games of the Week Contests).
The Razorbacks have won four of their last six overall matchups with ranked opponents and three straight on the road. The Tigers are the third consecutive ranked opponent for Arkansas, which rebounded from a 49-30 loss to top-ranked Alabama with a 34-30 win over Ole Miss last week. Auburn hopes to pick up where they left off prior to a bye last week, when they’ve won three straight games. That stretch included triumphs over SEC West rivals LSU and Mississippi State. The Razorbacks have won three of their last five meetings with Auburn, including a 54-46 four-overtime thriller last year at Arkansas.
The Razorbacks possess the SEC’s leading rusher in Rawleigh Williams III, who rolled up 180 yards and added a receiving touchdown against Ole Miss. Austin Allen also leads the conference in passing yards (1,861) and scoring passes (18), and is the only player in the nation with multiple touchdown tosses in seven games this season. Wide receiver Jared Cornelius’ last 15 offensive touches have resulted in either a first down or a touchdown. The Razorbacks have put up mediocre defensive numbers and have struggled to stop top-flight offenses, allowing 41.3 points per game in conference play.
The Tigers’ youthful offense steadily has improved as the season has progressed, as sophomore quarterback Sean White has thrown six touchdown passes and just one interception since an uneven performance in a season-opening loss to Clemson. The sophomore tandem of Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway provides a solid one-two punch in the backfield, with each averaging over five yards per carry. Auburn’s improved defense has held six of its last seven opponents under 20 points dating to last season and has been especially tough on third down, holding opponents to a 31.5 percent conversion rate to rank 21st in the nation. The Tigers have gone three games without allowing a rushing touchdown for the first time since 2008.