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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Halftime: Auburn 13, Arkansas 10

Maybe Tony Franklin wasn’t the problem after all. What a brutal first half for Auburn offensively. The Tigers were outgained 244-53 and couldn’t completely capitalize off two interceptions that practically gift-wrapped easy touchdowns.

The quarterback shuffle continues. After Kodi Burns threw a bad pick and left some big plays on the field, Chris Todd went into the game. He ran three plays that gained zero yards. Seems like neither one can get anything going.

Some other thoughts:

  • Up and down half for Neiko Thorpe, who started for the injured Jerraud Powers. He returned a pick 59 yards to set up a field goal but got beat on a deep jump ball to Greg Childs on the next possession that went for 38 yards.
  • Wes Byrum is 2-for-2 on field goals, a positive sign. He hadn’t made one since the Mississippi State game four weeks ago. Let it be noted that he made both with a 15 mph wind at his back. We’ll see what it’s like once he’s going the opposite direction.
  • Pretty play call by Arkansas on 4th-and-goal from the 1. QB Casey Dick sold a fake handoff out of the shotgun and ran pretty much untouched into the end zone. Bold call that paid off and tied the game at 10.
  • Interesting reactions from the crowd for the quarterbacks. Burns plays erratically, throws a costly pick and doesn’t lead the team to any offensive touchdowns and the crowd is mostly forgiving. Todd threw two incompletions on his first two snaps and the crowd booed. Ouch.
  • The Tigers took 20 snaps in the first half; 19 were from the shotgun. Looks like Auburn is committed to running the spread, or at least a form of it.
  • I don’t know why Arkansas’ rushing offense ranked last in the SEC coming in. Michael Smith looked very good in the first half, running for 69 yards.
  • If Auburn loses, it will look back on the two interceptions. The Tigers got the ball at the Arkansas 25 and 19 after the picks. They ran 6 plays that resulted in minus-3 yards. Byrum’s two field goals were all they got to show from it.
Some stats:

Auburn passing
Burns: 2-7, 21 yards, 1 INT
Todd: 0-2, 0 yards

Auburn rushing
Tate: 6 rushes, 25 yards
Burns: 4 rushes, 7 yards

Arkansas passing
Dick: 10-19, 145 yards, 2 INT

Arkansas rushing
Smith 21 carries, 69 yards

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