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Staff Predictions: Hogs-Tigers

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 08 Arkansas at Mississippi State Photo by Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Graham: Rested and healthy is the theme this week. Earlier in the week, Coach Pittman declared total health for all questionable Razorbacks coming off the bye week. Additionally, the Arkansas offensive performance at BYU inspires confidence for a stretch run during the back half of the schedule, and it all starts this week. Winning on The Plains is hardly an easy task, regardless of the circumstances, and it will take a gritty effort from the Razorbacks to escape with a win.

Success through the remainder of the season depends largely on the offense’s performance. The improved health of several key defenders should bolster a struggling unit, hopefully sparking a few stops tomorrow. However, a lagging Arkansas offense will be the nail in the coffin, not just tomorrow but for the remainder of the season.

The Rocket Sanders-led rushing attack has proved its consistency this season. Additionally, KJ threw the ball with confidence during his last outing, adding a vital asset to Kendall Brile’s arsenal. I hope to see a mixed attack tomorrow that allows KJ to build his confidence while utilizing the run game to wear down the Auburn defense. Auburn’s young quarterback Robby Ashford can provide enough sparks for the Tiger offense to switch the game’s momentum tomorrow. Therefore, KJ and the Arkansas offense must stay a step ahead for all four quarters.

The offense will take another leap forward tomorrow while the defense secures a couple of momentum-swinging turnovers. Hogs dominate tomorrow.

FINAL: Hogs 38, Auburn 23

Porter: This is a critical game for Arkansas. Much like last year at this time the Razorbacks were looking for a bounce back but this time around instead of UAPB is it a team they haven’t beat since on the road since 2012 when they won 24-7. Things are starting to spiral from the inside out in Auburn with the coach on the hot seat and multiple players leaving for the transfer portal. Both teams are coming off a bye and Arkansas will be ready to hit the ground running and take a page from Ole Miss success and have multiple 100 yard rushers. If they can contain Tank to 150 yards and 2 touchdowns The Razorbacks will be rolling both through the air and ground and bring home the first win over Auburn in a decade.

FINAL: Arkansas 27 Auburn 17

Connor: On paper, Arkansas has the advantage over Auburn in every aspect of Saturday’s game except home-field advantage. Auburn’s football team is in disarray right now as Bryan Harsin’s seat gets hotter and hotter by the minute. That being said, Arkansas has played down to their competition a couple oftimes this season, which leaves me cautiously optimistic for Saturday.

Offensively, I expect the Hogs to pick up right where they left off in Provo two weeks ago. KJ Jefferson and Rocket Sanders should have no trouble continuing to build on their monster seasons against the worst rushing defense in the SEC.

Defensively, you can’t really ask for a better matchup. Auburnranks dead last in the SEC in passing yards and is second-to-last in points per game this season. The Arkansas defense should have no trouble bringing pressure to stop Auburn’s run game and forcing Robby Ashford to beat them through the air.

FINAL: Hogs 38 – Auburn 21

Jacob: The Hogs are poised to once again go on a winning streak to close the season. Arkansas needs two wins to get out of the regular season and make a bowl game. That’s the honest goal right now due to injuries and defensive deficiencies that no one saw coming.

Offensively, Arkansas should be able to run the ball well against Auburn. After giving up three 100-yard rushers against Ole Miss two weeks ago, the Hogs have their eye on running the ball early and often. Rocket Sanders is one of the best in not only the Southeastern Conference and all of college football. With a 130-yard performance this week, Sanders will exceed 1,000 yards rushing. If so, he will be the first running back since Rakeem Boyd in 2019 to hit the mark.

What should we expect defensively? Robbie Ashford is the quarterback and is very dangerous with his legs. If Arkansas’ defense breaks down on certain plays he can make a man miss and off to the races he’ll go. Tank Bigsby is a man amongst boys and will probably get his but can the Hogs contain him?

There’s plenty of questions to go around but this could be a game for Arkansas’ defense to get their swag back that they lost during the Missouri State game.

FINAL: Hogs 38, Auburn 13