AUBURN, Ala. — Arkansas players walked onto the Jordan-Hare Stadium field a couple hours before their game against Auburn and — as is the norm — huddled up at midfield.
Auburn players took exception.
The Tigers always form a prayer circle around their midfield logo and didn’t take kindly to the visiting team standing on it. Auburn players seemed to try to force their way into Arkansas’ huddle and things escalated before the scuffle was broken up.
“We take pride in our AU, man,” said Auburn linebacker Deshaun Davis. “Even in our locker room, no one steps on the AU. … We feel the same way about it on the field.
“We felt disrespected. That juiced us up before the game.”
No. 21 Auburn crushed 17th-ranked Arkansas 56-3 on that same field Saturday evening.
Arkansas senior defensive tackle Taiwan Johnson — one of only two Razorbacks players made available to reporters following the rout — explained what happened before the game from his perspective.
“Every pregame we have a little captain’s walk where we talk in the middle of the field, and I guess Auburn didn’t really like it,” Johnson said. “We tried to defuse the situation, but it escalated, so we just got out of the way.”