AUBURN, Ala. — The start of Auburn’s second-half of the season won’t be easy. No. 17 Arkansas has momentum from a 34-30 win over Ole Miss last week. It will be Auburn’s first matchup as a ranked team in more than a year.
While coach Gus Malzahn and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee — both from Arkansas, have played and coached for the Hogs — downplayed the importance of this game earlier this week. The significance will be obvious Saturday evening.
Here are five Friday predictions:
1. Will the bye week be an issue for Auburn?
Sean White and the offense will get off to a slow start, but the defense once again will help Auburn get settled and refocused, guiding the Tigers to a big second quarter, a bigger second half and another home win.
2. Will Kerryon Johnson play?
The sophomore back will make limited appearances in the second quarter. If that goes well, he’ll see more time in the second half. If Kamryn Pettway comes out running over defenders, the coaching staff won’t rush back Johnson. They’ll let him be completely healthy for upcoming key games against Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama.
3. Does Xavier Dampeer start at center?
No. Austin Golson will with Darius James again at left tackle.
4. How many times does Auburn get to Austin Allen?
5. Who will win?