The No. 17 Arkansas Razorbacks are looking to bounce back from two tough losses when they take on the Auburn Tigers on Saturday in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
“(We’re) excited to get back home for homecoming and play a really good Auburn team,” Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman said in his Monday press conference.
Saturday’s matchup will be the first in Pittman’s short Arkansas career in which the Hogs are favored to win in a Southeastern Conference game, as they enter as 4.5-point favorites.
Despite being favored, the Hogs need not take Auburn lightly.
The Tigers are led offensively by quarterback Bo Nix, who has thrown for 1,196 yards and six touchdowns so far this season. Running backs Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter have combined for 913 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground this season for Auburn.
“They got a really good offense,” senior Arkansas linebacker Grant Morgan said in a press conference Tuesday. “They’re able to put up a lot of points, which they’ve shown in their other games.”
The Razorbacks are coming off a heartbreaker in which they put up a staggering 676 yards of total offense only to fall 52-51 on the road at Ole Miss.
“(KJ Jefferson) can run it, throw it, can do it all,” Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin said in his weekly press conference. “They play physical up front and can run the football. That’s the identity of that team.”
Auburn's defense will present a much tougher task than Ole Miss did last week. The Tigers are talented all over the field, but specifically along the defensive front and in their linebacking corps.
Linebackers Chandler Wooten and Zakoby McClain cover a lot of ground and have combined for 81 tackles for the Tigers at the halfway point of the season. The defensive front creates a lot of pressure and is led by defensive end Eku Leota who has racked up four sacks this season.
“Defensively, to me, they’re back to where Auburn has been, dominating on the defensive line,” Pittman said.
Saturday marks the 30th time the two teams have met on the football field, with Auburn holding an 18-11-1 all-time lead over the Razorbacks and having won the last five.
Saturday’s game is set for an 11 a.m. kickoff in Fayetteville and will be televised on CBS.