SEC Country team prediction: Auburn looks to bounce back with win at Arkansas
AUBURN, Ala. — The Auburn-Arkansas game in Jordan-Hare Stadium last season one of the strangest of the year.
That’s the one where the Razorbacks invaded Auburn’s prayer circle after initially taking the field, and it resulted in a bit of a scuffle. After that, Auburn throttled Arkansas with a 56-3 win.
There should be a little less feistiness between the two programs this weekend, but Auburn will be looking to gain some momentum after a devastating loss in Baton Rouge. The Tigers are a little beat up on both sides of the ball, but should have enough in them to hand the Hogs yet another SEC defeat.
As always, our SEC Country staff has spent the week speaking with coach Gus Malzahn and players on the Auburn campus.
Now it’s time to make the game predictions:
Justin Ferguson: Auburn 41, Arkansas 14
Even after the loss to LSU, there’s plenty of reason to believe Auburn could pick up where it left off in the three-game SEC winning streak before last weekend. Arkansas is a beat-up team that has yet to win against a Power 5 foe. Auburn doesn’t have any glaring major weaknesses, but it doesn’t have any real strengths. Auburn should be able to move the ball in a balanced fashion without fears of a meltdown like it had in Baton Rouge. Defensively, the injury bug has bitten hard, but struggling Arkansas shouldn’t score much on this unit.
Lauren Shute: Auburn 41, Arkansas 10
Auburn desperately needs to get through this trip to Fayetteville with a win, and then crawl toward its bye week. The Tigers are falling apart in terms of injuries, but the approaching off week couldn’t be coming at a better time. Arkansas is also terrible, which will help Gus Malzahn’s team gain some much-needed momentum. Don’t expect Auburn to do anything too fancy, either. This is also a good opportunity to get Malik Willis and other young players some road experience if Auburn can solidify, and more importantly hold on to, a big lead.
Benjamin Wolk: Auburn 45, Arkansas 6
Second verse, same as the first. OK, maybe the drubbing won’t be quite to the extreme of the 56-3 beatdown a season ago, but I don’t expect it to be too far off. Devastating losses can make a team do one of two things — build or fall apart — as Stephen Roberts said. If this Auburn team has the character I think it does, then I don’t anticipate the Tigers will have any problem rebounding from the LSU defeat. Nobody will want to face this angry Auburn team for the rest of the season, especially a less-talented Arkansas squad.
Zac Blackerby: Auburn 31, Arkansas 13
Auburn bounces back after a bad loss at LSU. Malzahn has had no issue beating bad teams, and Arkansas is a bad team. Expect the play calling to be back and the players to be ready to make a statement. Also, be ready for everyone to say, “Well, it’s just Arkansas.” Tigers need some positive momentum heading into the bye week.