Saturday will be a sold-out matchup between Auburn and Arkansas inside Razorback Stadium. The Hogs are 4-2 with a manageable schedule to reach 8-9 wins before the season’s end. The Razorback offense came to life last week in Oxford as quarterback KJ Jefferson established his downfield throwing ability, mobility, and grit. He is quickly becoming an all-around quarterback. However, the defense seemed to be lost compared to previous performances against Texas and Texas A&M. Lane Kiffin did mention after the game that the Rebels began preparing for Barry Odom’s 3-2-6 defensive style immediately following their loss to the Razorbacks in 2020. A whole year is a long time to prepare for any gridiron matchup, so let’s hope the Hogs get back on track against the Tigers and don’t repeat some of the defensive fatigue we saw during the second half of last season.
Last year, the Razorback defense began the season on fire with dominating performances over Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Tennessee. However, the back half of last season saw the offense pick up the pace while the defense faded. Last week’s shootout against Ole Miss may raise some worry about the Razorback defense as we enter the second half of this season. However, I think last week’s shootout resulted from Ole Miss’ high-powered offense and the emergence of a Razorback legend in KJ Jefferson.
This year, the Hogs have some much-needed depth to help as we enter the second half. Tre Williams and John Ridgeway have been fantastic on the Razorback defensive line to assist veteran linebackers Grant Morgan and Bumper Pool. Additionally, the secondary has performed well outside of the Ole Miss game (I saw a few dropped interceptions that could have turned the tide against the Rebels last week). All in all, I think the Arkansas defense is still in good shape and will get back on track this weekend. If the defensive front can pressure Auburn quarterback Bo Nix, it will be a long day for the Tigers. I believe the Hogs will be physical in stopping the run on Saturday and force Nix to make plays through the air.
We are in for an exciting second half of the season, Hog fans! Woo Pig!