The Arkansas Razorbacks (2-4, 0-3) are set to host the 11th ranked Auburn Tigers (5-1, 2-1) for a division matchup this Saturday.
The Razorbacks will look to bounce back from a heartbreaking 24-20 loss at Kentucky last weekend. That will prove to be tough as Auburn is coming off of a week of rest after suffering its only loss of the season at Florida on Oct. 5.
Arkansas head coach Chad Morris has re-opened the quarterback battle between Nick Starkel and Ben Hicks after both received quality play time in the past two contests. Morris said in Monday’s press conference that both quarterbacks will receive first team reps this week.
“Consistency as an offense is what we are looking for,” Morris said. “We’re trying to stay out of this, but this is kind of where we are at right now.”
The Tigers are coming into the matchup having beaten Oregon in week one and looking for their third SEC win of the year. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn credited the Hogs in his weekly press conference.
“(Arkansas is) a hungry team,” Malzahn said, “We expect we are going to get their best and we’ve got to play good football.”
True freshman quarterback Bo Nix leads the Tigers with 1,125 passing yards along with eight passing touchdowns and five interceptions. Sophomore running back JarTavious Whitlow, who has been ruled out for Saturday’s game because of a knee injury, leads the team in rushing with 544 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.
The Hogs have plenty of playmakers themselves. Arkansas running back Rakeem Boyd leads the SEC with 607 rushing yards this season. Razorback linebacker De’Jon Harris and defensive back Kamren Curl both rank top ten in the SEC with 44 tackles.
The Razorbacks have not defeated Auburn at home since 2015, when the Hogs won 56-54 in 4 overtimes.
Arkansas lost at Auburn 34-3 last season in a game where the Tigers only gained 225 total yards, compared to 290 yards gained by the Razorbacks.
The young Razorback offense will have a tough test against an experienced Auburn defense that allows only 18 points per game. Arkansas’ defense is allowing nearly 400 total yards and 27 points per game. Auburn has opened up at a 19.5-point favorite over the Hogs.
The game will kick off at 11 a.m. at Donald W. Reynold Razorback Stadium and will air on the SEC Network.