Friday, October 9, 2009

Preview: Auburn at Arkansas

Auburn takes on Arkansas in what was probably the death knell in Tommy Tuberville's tenure as head football coach last season. At this game in last year's season, I felt that this was the only game Auburn could still win (beside the game against UT-Martin), and Auburn failed to do that, dropping a heart-breaking loss to the Razorbacks 25-22. Both teams failed to live up to the expectations on them, and Arkansas was able to pull out a win, despite finishing the season at 5-7, 2-6 SEC. Auburn, meanwhile, ended the season with an identical record, ultimately resulting in Tuberville's firing (or did he quit? I really don't remember, but Tommy's mommy certainly does).

2009 has brought forth two radically different teams. Arkansas, starring ex-Wolverine Ryan Mallett at QB, has lost some tough games, especially the one against Alabama that some people thought they had a chance to be in. Arkansas was in the game against Georgia but couldn't outlast a resilient Georgia offense. Auburn also has exceeded expectations, matching both their offensive scoring output and wins from last season. Gene Chizik has Auburn firing on all cylinders, and this week's game will be another test where a win could have people talking differently about the Tigers.

This is going to be a tough game for both teams. For one, Arkansas does not have a defense. Just ask Tommy Tuberville, who predicts a three touchdown win for the Tigers, saying "Arkansas can't stop a cold." Little does Tommy know that you can't stop a cold, only treat the symptoms (take this interactive quiz to learn more...King Football--helping heal your body as well as your mind).

Second, Auburn does not have a great defense. The team has played well for parts of every game, but they'll need to put together two great halves of defense to keep the Hogs out of the endzone.

I'm not worried about either team's offense as this is the highlight for both teams.

In the end, I think Auburn's defense will step up and make the difference in this game. Without a good game from the defense, Auburn may not have a chance, and I think Auburn knows this. They'll show up for the game and Auburn will take home win 6 for the season. Prediction: Auburn 48, Arkansas 38.

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