FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — It wasn’t always the prettiest game, but coach Gus Malzahn and Auburn football got the job done Saturday night against Arkansas.
Auburn rebounded from an upset loss last weekend to LSU with a 52-20 win at Arkansas, sending the Tigers into a much-needed bye week on a positive note. Auburn’s first-team defense kept Arkansas out of the end zone, and the offense ended its streak of weak second halves with 28 points in the third quarter.
Malzahn will now hit the bye week with a 6-2 record and a brutal November ahead — Texas A&M, Georgia and Alabama all face the Tigers next month.
SEC Country will have live coverage of Malzahn’s postgame news conference. Follow along and refresh the page for updates. Here is what he said after the win:
- “We’ll get to go back home and heal up. We need to do that.”
- On Auburn’s offense: “We had some explosive plays. We had some tempo. Our quarterback kept the ball a few times, too. … It was good to get [Kamryn] Pettway back out there.”
- On Pettway: “I can’t say he’s 100 percent, but he’s getting close. It kind of looked like that time last year when he was running well.”
- “Our defense did a great job. That quarterback is a very big man.”
- On Ryan Davis’ trick play: “That was a play we’ve been working on for a while. … They set it up with that reverse earlier.”
- On keeping the foot on the gas in second half: “That’s exactly what we talked about.”
- “They played some zero coverage. I thought Chip [Lindsey] and his offensive staff did a great job of keeping them off balance and taking what was given to them.”
- On Jarrett Stidham: “He got us in tempo. … Him keeping it a couple of times on the edge to the boundary helped us kind of bounce some of those later in the games. It kept them honest.”
- “We were a little beat-up coming into this one. We’re going to get to heal up. That’s our main priority next week.”
- On Darius James: “The X-ray was negative. It’ll be good to get him a week off.”
- Malzahn said LG Mike Horton could’ve played Saturday.
- “We were balanced. We threw for 284 and rushed for 385. I think the really big thing was to get the tempo going.”
- On Auburn’s pass rush: “It was real important. … He’s a really big guy. To put the pressure on him and knock the ball out, that was big.”
- On self-scouting: “That’s one of the key things you do. You get to catch your breath and evaluate. That really helps. You can see some deficiencies and see some strengths. … We’ve been good after bye weeks recently.”
- On LG Marquel Harrell: “I was real proud of him, making his first start. … We have a lot of confidence in them.”
- On playing the young guys late: “It’s huge. … To be able to give Malik Willis those game reps, too, I think it was important. … It’s great that those freshmen aren’t playing like freshmen.”
- On the three-and-outs right after Auburn’s first-half turnovers: “That was one of the real keys to the game.”
- “In off weeks, you have to focus on yourself. … This week will be more about us, getting healthy.”