It was a wild Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium, but Auburn found a way to stretch their winning streak against Arkansas to five in a row. Anders Carlson nailed a game-winning 39 yard field goal with 7 seconds left to lift the Tigers to a 30-28 victory. Carlson missed a 34 yard field goal which would have given Auburn the lead with just under 3 minutes to play. After that Carlson miss, the Auburn defense stood tall stuffing three straight Arkansas run plays to get the ball back to the offense. After a Christian Tutt punt return and an illegal formation penalty against the Razorbacks, Auburn started with great field position at the Arkansas 45 on their game-winning drive. Auburn drove to the 19 yard line where Bi Nix was poised to spike it to set up the Carlson field goal attempt. However, Nix fumbled the snap, scooped the ball back up, and then spiked it. After a lengthy review, the officials determined Nix did indeed spike the ball forward for an incomplete pass instead of backwards for a fumble. Carlson then provided the game-winner.
The game started in a driving rainstorm with the threat of lightning around the stadium. Thankfully, lightning was never sighted close enough to the stadium to cause a delay. Both offenses started slow with the first five drives ending with punts. The Razorbacks third punt of the afternoon turned disastrous when Jordyn Peters crashed through the line to block the punt in the end zone. Back up linebacker Barton Lester fell on the ball for his first career touchdown. That score seemed to ignite the Auburn offense as they scored on both of their next two drives. At the end of the first quarter, Auburn seemed in complete control with a 17-0 lead. Auburn rushed for 86 yards on only 10 carries in the first quarter.
Arkansas finally got going in the second quarter. After gaining only 46 yards in the entirety of the first quarter, the Razorbacks had a 65 and a 75 yard touchdown drive in the second quarter. After the first TD, Arkansas bobbled the snap and was unable to get the PAT attempt off. The Hogs then went for two after their second touchdown to cut the Auburn lead to three. The Tigers stopped that two point attempt to preserve their five point lead and then added a field goal with 38 seconds left in the half to go into the locker room up 20-12. Tank Bigsby eclipsed the century mark in the first half with 106 yards on 11 carries.
Arkansas continued their momentum in the second half. The Razorbacks scored on their first three second half drives to take a 28-27 lead in the fourth quarter. However, Auburn was able to battle to the end and pull out an important SEC win.
Auburn gained 446 yards compared to Arkansas' 437 total yards. The Tiger did the majority of their damage on the ground, especially in the first half. Auburn finished with 259 rushing yards while averaging 6.3 yards a carry. Bigsby highlighted the effort on the ground with 20 carries for 146 yards, both career highs. Bigsby also added 106 kick return yards and 16 receiving yards to finish with 268 all-purpose yards. DJ Williams also had an impressive day on the ground taking 8 carries for 71 yards. Bo Nix scored the Tigers lone rushing touchdown. Nix finished the game 17 of 28 for 187 yards and a touchdown. Anthony Schwartz was Auburn's leading receiver with 10 catches for 100 yards and the lone receiving touchdown. Arkansas did most of their damage through the air. Feleipe Franks finished 22 of 30 for 318 yards and 4 TDs. Auburn was able to keep Franks under pressure most of the afternoon and sacked him three times. Owen Pappoe, Zykevious Walker, and Colby Wooden recorded the sacks. It was the first career sack for both Walker and Wooden. Zakoby McClain led Auburn with a career high 13 tackles. Both teams converted 6 of 15 third down opportunities. Auburn will next be in action when they travel to South Carolina next Saturday for an 11 a.m. kickoff.