AUBURN, Ala. — The Razorbacks never stood a chance.
Auburn came out of the tunnel with a different type of energy Saturday night and remained electric until the game’s final seconds. After scoring on its first three drives, Auburn rattled the Razorbacks 56-3, steamrolling the Hogs in nearly every category.
Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee’s offense looked improved and executed with ease. The defensive line continued dominating at the point of attack. Even the special teams units didn’t make mistakes. The win over a ranked Arkansas team was easily Auburn’s best all-around performance of the year. That’s one way to build momentum during the second half of the season.
Auburn’s stock will soar. Here’s why:
- Auburn’s freshmen receivers have wasted no time introducing themselves. Eli Stove continued that trend in the opening minutes of Saturday’s game. Stove broke for a 78-yard run, scoring his first touchdown and recording the third-longest run ever by an Auburn freshman. It was the first time since 2003 Auburn scored on its first play of the game and it set the tempo for the rest of the evening. Stove made big plays later in the game, including a key tackle on a kickoff.
— Skye Underwood (@SkyeUnderwood) October 22, 2016
- There aren’t enough adjectives to describe Kamryn Pettway. The sophomore running back solidified his fourth straight 100-yard game in the first half, adding his fifth score of the season in the first quarter. Whether he was gaining 2 or 10 yards (his long for the night was a gain of 27), Pettway is running mercilessly. Pettway added another score as the third quarter was winding down with former Heisman winner Bo Jackson nodding approvingly on the sideline.
- Auburn’s defensive line was incredible again (that’s nothing new), but the backup line was stronger than it has been in recent games, too. Sophomore Jeff Holland recorded his first career sack and sophomore Byron Cowart had his first tackle for loss during the first half. Even senior Devaroe Lawrence, who hasn’t seen the field much this season, almost recorded a safety four minutes into the fourth quarter.
- Auburn’s secondary played well overall, but allowed some uncharacteristic passes against the Razorbacks and missed some opportunities in the first half. Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen, who was heavily pressured throughout the evening and at one point left the game with a right knee injury, found ways to deliver the ball to receivers Keon Hatcher and Drew Morgan on a couple longer throws. After the first-half stock dip, redshirt freshman Javaris Davis nabbed his second interception of the year in the second half.
- Kerryon Johnson’s stock stays the same. After suffering an ankle injury during the Tigers’ victory against Mississippi State, Johnson rehabbed during the bye week and was on the sideline ready to go. Auburn, however, didn’t need Johnson, who was allowed more time to heal as the Tigers bulldozed Arkansas.