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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Running Auburn-Arkansas pre-game blog post

You're looking LIVE at a slowly filling Jordan-Hare Stadium. It's about two and a half hours before kickoff and I'm kind of surprised at how filled the student section is at this point. Seems like folks are eager to get good seats for this one.

As they should be. If you read my game advance today, you'll know why.

It's a gorgeous day out. Perfect for football. I say that every week, but this time it seems like it's true.

Anyway, I'll be posting pertinent updates leading into the game on this blog post, so check back periodically. I'll also be updating things on Twitter, so follow me there. You too can take part in what seems like is the weekly Eltoro Watch. I'll also be tweeting throughout the game with witty repartee (at least I think it is) and information that might not get out there on the TV broadcast.

Here's your usual pre-game minutia:
  • This is the first time in the series that both teams enter the game ranked. Auburn is 7th; Arkansas 12th.
  • Auburn leads 10-8-1 but Arkansas has won three of the last four, including two straight.
  • Arkansas won 44-23 in Fayetteville last year and 25-22 in 2008 in Auburn, the first game after Tommy Tuberville fired offensive coordinator Tony Franklin.
  • Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino was Auburn’s offensive coordinator in 2002, when Gene Chizik was the Tigers’ defensive coordinator.
  • The game features the top two offenses in the SEC (Auburn 483.0 ypg; Arkansas 462.8 ypg).
  • That's not the case in scoring offense. Auburn is is second, averaging 36.7 points per game. Arkansas is eighth at 30.0 ppg. (Ever think an SEC team averaging 30 points a game would be eighth in the league?)
  • Auburn QB Cam Newton? He's good. He leads the SEC in rushing (672 yards), pass efficiency (180.73) and touchdowns accounted for (21).
  • The Razorbacks, who finished last in the SEC in total defense in Petrino's first two years, are third this year and 19th nationally, giving up 302.48 yards per game.
  • Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett has put up video game numbers this year, with 1,748 yards and 13 touchdowns in five games this season.
  • The Razorbacks have thrown for 300 or more yards 14 times since Petrino took over in 2008. Before his arrival, they had done it only 16 times.
  • Auburn has given up more passing yards (1,435) than any team in the SEC.
  • Arkansas has the worst rushing offense in the SEC (108.8 ypg). Auburn has the second best rushing defense, giving up 95.7 yards per game. That number puts the Tigers 14th nationally.
  • Getting this stat out there because it might be challenged today: Auburn has won 60 straight games when scoring 30 or more points, a streak dating back to 1996.
  • Arkansas DE Jake Bequette has four sacks in five games, leading a Razorbacks defense that has the third-most sacks (17) in the SEC. The Tigers have allowed only seven sacks this year, tied for third-fewest in the league.
UPDATE, 12:52 p.m.: Two points of order from the pre-game prayer circle at midfield today. 1) WR DeAngelo Benton has his left foot in a walking boot. Looks like he'll be out today. 2) LB Eltoro Freeman is out there with the team. Looks like he'll dress today.

UPDAET, 1:35 p.m: Here is today's game program cover, featuring a bunch of hard-looking offensive linemen. I think they are extras for a remake of "The Outsiders."
UPDATE, 1:49 p.m.: WR Trovon Reed (knee) is in street clothes. You can pretty well book that medical redshirt. Also, WR/HB Shaun Kitchens is dressed and has a brace on his right knee. We'll see what that means for playing time for him today.

UPDATE, 2:02 p.m.: Freshman Steven Clark announced in pre-game introductions as the starting punter.


Our Family said...

Did you hear about Chizik delivering pizza to the students before the gates opened? Pretty nice.

Andy Bitter said...

As a former pizza delivery guy, I can appreciate that. I hope they tipped him well.

CHB said...

Thanks for the updates Andy.

CHB said...

What is the atmosphere been like around campus today? Did you see Tiger Walk?

Also can you do away with the word verification or maybe make it so that you only have to enter it once per session instead of for every post?

Andy Bitter said...

Did not see Tiger Walk. I get the stadium 2.5 to 3 hours before the game, usually. Seemed like a pretty normal gameday atmosphere.

Not sure what I can do about the word verification thing. That's a blogspot thing. I'll check it out, though.

aubiebattle said...

A few hours ago on twitter our senior safety Zac Etheridge said: "I'm ready! Are you ready? About to prove everybody wrong today we love the challenge in front of us #secondary"

I hope he backs up what he said on the field. It will be interesting to watch and I'll believe it when I see it! WAR EAGLE!!!

CHB said...

A normal game day atmosphere? That is a little surprising considering the stakes.

Andy Bitter said...

Maybe things seems less amped than usual just because it's not a night game.

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