AUBURN, Ala. — Ugly. Embarrassing. Pitiful. Pathetic.
There are any number of adjectives you could use to describe Arkansas’ performance in its 56-3 loss to Auburn inside Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday night, and not one is positive.
The Razorbacks were shellacked by a clearly superior — but oddly lower-ranked — team.
We’ll have plenty more coverage of the game on SEC Country, but for now, here’s a quick look at what happened and how it happened:
Auburn freshman receiver Eli Stove took a jet sweep 78 yards for a touchdown on the Tigers’ first play from scrimmage. That was the turning point because Arkansas was never — repeat never — in the game after that happened.
After a 34-30 win over Ole Miss last week, it seemed like maybe — just maybe — Arkansas’ offensive line had turned a corner. The Hogs up front had their best game of the season and we all wondered if it was just an aberration or if they were really better.
It was an aberration.
Auburn has a deep and talented defensive front, but there still is no excuse for the beating Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen took — again — or the paltry 25 rushing yards (0.8 per carry) the Razorbacks recorded Saturday.
How will Arkansas spend its bye week? The Hogs finally get a week off after a pretty brutal three-week stretch, and then come back the next two weeks with home games against Florida and LSU.
There are those who will say that Auburn had a bye last week and that contributed to Saturday’s result. To that, I say poppycock. Ole Miss also was coming off a bye week when it visited Arkansas last week, and the Hogs — who played Alabama the week before — managed to show up for that game and win.
Still, if any team could use a week off, it’s Arkansas. And there is a whole, whole lot for the Hogs to figure out.
Before Saturday, the worst rushing defensive performance in Arkansas history had come in 1953, when the Hogs allowed 505 rushing yards in a loss to Rice.
Auburn rushed for 543 Saturday night, shattering that record.
Here’s a look at Arkansas’ worst defensive performances against the run since 2000, per College Football Reference’s “School Game Finder” tool:
- Oct. 22, 2016, at Auburn, allowed 543 rushing yards
- Oct. 1, 2011, vs. Texas A&M, allowed 381 rushing yards
- Sept. 24, 2016, vs. Texas A&M, allowed 366 rushing yards
- Oct. 19, 2013, at Alabama, allowed 352 rushing yards
- Oct. 16, 2010, at Auburn, allowed 330 rushing yards
- Sept. 20, 2008, vs. Alabama, allowed 328 rushing yards
- Nov. 21, 2009, vs. Mississippi State, allowed 327 rushing yards
- Jan. 1, 2008, vs. Missouri, allowed 323 rushing yards
- Aug. 30, 2014, at Auburn, allowed 302 rushing yards
What it means
Arkansas probably won’t be ranked next week. If that happens, the Hogs will be unranked for the first time since the week of their win at TCU.
(That win over the Horned Frogs, by the way, doesn’t look nearly as impressive now as it did then. TCU lost 34-10 at West Virginia on Saturday and now is 4-3 on the season.)
Arkansas falls to 5-3 on the season and 1-3 in SEC play. It now looks like the Hogs will finish — at best — fourth in the SEC West, and that’s with Florida and LSU still on the schedule.