Arkansas Beats No. 17 Auburn 42-17; Hogs Impro
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Arkansas Razorbacks exploded for 21 fourth-quarter points to upset 17th-ranked Auburn 42-17 Saturday afternoon at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
“This is a great win for our team,” Razorback head coach Houston Nutt said. “We have improved so much on offense, defense and special teams. This is not the same team that people saw in August.”
The Hogs held a slim 21-17 advantage at the end of the third quarter after Auburn’s Carnell Williams rambled 55 yards for touchdown.
The Tigers appeared to be driving towards another score early in the fourth quarter when Cory G. Harris recovered a fumble and returned it 46 yards to the Auburn 30.
Although the Hogs failed to capitalize on the miscue, the Arkansas defense took the momentum and held the Tigers out of the endzone.
The Arkansas offense had drives of 68 and 72 yards for touchdown’s in the fourth quarter and Jermaine Petty’s 88-yard interception return for a touchdown capped the scoring.
Arkansas tallied 297 yards of total offense, 148 rushing and 149 passing. The Hogs did not commit a turnover in the game, while scoring 14 points off Auburn miscues.
Auburn had 492 yards of offense in the game, but turned the ball over three times and committed 11 penalties.
The Razorbacks held a 21-10 lead at halftime led by sophomore Richard Smith’s two touchdown grabs.
Auburn took a 3-0 lead on a 36-yard field goal by Damon Duval on the game’s first possession. The Hogs answered with a pair of scoring drives to take a 14-3 lead.
Cedric Cobbs put the Razorbacks on the board with a five-yard touchdown run to cap a 14 play, 64-yard drive in the first quarter.
Midway through the second quarter, the Hogs struck again. On third down from the 21, quarterback Matt Jones hit Smith in stride in the endzone to give Arkansas 14-3 lead.
Auburn narrowed the gap with a 12-play, 80-yard march that culminated with a Tim Carter touchdown which made it a 14-10 game.
Auburn forced the Hogs to punt on the ensuing possession with 30 seconds left in the half and looked to score again. But, quarterback Daniel Cobb was picked-off by Tony Bua who returned the interception to the Tigers’ 16 yard line with eight seconds left in the half.
Clark hooked up with Smith this time on a 16-yard fade to put the Hogs up 21-10 at halftime.
The Razorbacks stand at 4-3 overall and 2-3 in the Southeastern Conference, while Auburn dropped to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the SEC.
Arkansas returns to action next Saturday against the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford, Miss. The game will be televised by ESPN 2 and is slated for a 6 p.m. kickoff.
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