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Sunday, October 22, 2017

A "Hog Roast" in Fayetteville

artwork provided by @AURobUSA

 I was  little apprehensive about this game with Arkansas in Fayetteville after what I saw in Baton Rouge and I was reminded throughout this week that Arkansas could beat an Auburn team who gave up a 20 point lead to LSU. Auburn was a 17 point favorite by kickoff and came away with a 52-20 decisive win. 

As a long time Auburn fan since my college days, I have learned to accept the good with the bad and this game gave me hope for the remainder of the season.

Here are the highlights of the game and with commentary from Rod and Stan from the Auburn Network. As usual, I turned down the volume of the SEC Network broadcast and streamed the Auburn Network while I watched this game.

1) Auburn finished the game with 629 total yards with 284 yards passing and 345 yards rushing. Auburn moved the ball well and the offensive play calling was much better and more balanced than the prior week. Jarrett Stidham was 19 for 28 with 218 yards and 49 yards rushing with 1 TD. I did feel that Jarrett Stidham was checking off at the line despite claims that he was not in the LSU game. It was pointed out by Stan White and a good friend that Arkansas was not providing help from the safety position on the pass coverage.

 Auburn was able to take advantage of the Arkansas defensive backfield by hitting Darius Slayton on a 62 yard pass in the third quarter on a pass from Ryan Davis. Darius Slayton finished the game with 4 catches for 146 yards and Ryan Davis had 8 catches for 63 yards. Of course, Ryan Davis is Auburn's third string QB and he does throw the ball well.

2) Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway were both able to play in this game and you could see the difference. Kamryn Pettway rushed for 90 yards on 11 carries which did include 3 TDs. He did seem to have that extra step in this game and appears to be on the road to a full recovery from the "plantar fasciitis". Kerryon Johnson rushed for 63 yards on 21 carries and had 1 TD. I still think that he made the first down in the early part of the game. The replay showed that his knee was never down.

3) The Auburn offensive line played well and Jarrett Stidham had time to make his throws and the line opened up some good holes for Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway. 

4) The Auburn defense had 6 sacks and forced 4 fumbles with 3 going to Auburn. The defensive line harassed the Arkansas QB all night long. Jeff Holland seemed to be in the Arkansas backfield on every play and forced two of the fumbles.

5) I continue to be impressed with the QB play of Malik Willis. He entered the game in the 4th quarter and ran the ball two times for 62 yards and threw a TD pass to Devan  Barrett for 4 yards. I see visions of Nick Marshall when he is on the field.

6) Auburn continued to put up points in the second half. They started the second half with a convincing 75 yard drive and went on to score 35 points to put this game away.

Auburn will now have a much needed week off to prepare for the game with the Texas Aggies in College Station. I expect Auburn to be focused and healthy. 

For once, I expect Auburn to be able to play both Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway in the backfield. I consider this game to be the beginning of "Amen Corner" this season. We should remember that Kellen Mond, the freshman QB at Texas A and M was once committed to Baylor. He was recruited by Auburn and the Aggies. 

Have a great week and War Eagle!

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