Ben Hicks returned as Arkansas starting quarterback but was unproductive in the first half allowing Auburn to jump to a comfortable early lead and then turn the game into a blowout behind some big passing plays in the second half. The 51-10 loss was Arkansas most lopsided of the season.
Auburn struck quickly in this game. Trying to throw the ball on the opening series of the game Hicks was stripped of the ball by Marlon Davidson at the Arkansas 22 yard line. It took the Tigers just three plays to cover the short distance to the goal line with quarterback Bo Nix scoring on a four-yard run for a 7-0 lead.
Arkansas then went three and out and this time Auburn needed just three plays to score, going 63 yards, the big play a 52 yard run by Cam Martin. Shaun Shivers made it 14-0 on a six-yard run.
On Auburn’s third possession the Hogs defense finally stepped up. On 4th and one from the Arkansas 41, Joe Foucha dropped Joey Gatewood for a two-yard loss. But the offense once again went three and out and this time, after an Arkansas punt, Auburn moved 55 yards before settling on a 44 yard Anders Carlson field goal for a 17-0 lead.
Arkansas finally recorded a first down on its fourth possession of the game but the drive quickly ended when a fake punt/pass by Sam Loy on 4th down was intercepted by Chandler Wooten at the Hogs’ 37.
Arkansas dodged a bullet when its defense forced another field goal attempt which went wide and the score remained 17-0. The Razorbacks managed a couple of first downs after that, the first on a 4th down quarterback sneak with Cheyenne O’Grady taking the snap. Hicks found Tyson Morris for another first down at the Auburn 47. But the drive bogged down at that point and Loy punted the ball to Auburn 10 where once again the Hogs defense stepped up forcing the Tigers into yet another punt, this one from the 15.
At that point the Razorbacks mounted their first promising drive of the game going from their own 37 to the Auburn 26. But on 4th and six head coach Chad Morris ran the clock down to :03 before bringing Conner Limpert on to attempt a 44 yard field goal which was wide right.
Arkansas’ defense continued to frustrate Auburn out of the halftime break forcing yet another three and out. The Hogs responded with their longest drive of the game, 77 yards in 16 plays but once again red zone issues popped up. Hick overthrew an open O’Grady in the endzone on 3rd and seven from the 12 and Limpert finally put his team on the scoreboard with a 28 yard field goal as Auburn’s lead dropped to 17-3.
It would not stay that way for long. Nix got his passing arm untracked hitting Seth Williams who was wide open for a 48 yard touchdown and a 24-3 lead.
Hicks was the intercepted on the first play of Arkansas next possession and the Hogs defense was right back on the field. Nix stuck again, this time on a 28 yard touchdown pass to Anthony Schwartz. In 22 seconds of clock time Auburn’s lead had jumped from 17-9 to 31-9.
The Razorbacks next drive ended on a failed 4th down conversion attempt but Arkansas got the ball back after Sosa Agim recovered a Nix fumble at the Auburn 41. Arkansas took full advantage of the turnover. Hicks hit O’Grady on with a 45 yard touchdown pass and Auburn’s lead was 30-10.
But while Arkansas continued to contain Auburn’s running game the Hogs had no answer for Nix throwing the ball. He connected on another touchdown pass, this one a 15 yarder to Williams, capping a penalty aided drive for a 37-10 lead with just under 12 minutes left in the game.
After a three and out by Arkansas Auburn switched quarterbacks with the same result. Joey Gatewood hit Jay Jay Wilson for 17 yard touchdown strike and the score zoomed to 44-10. As the scoreboard clicked down Arkansas lifeless defense allowed a final touchdown on a 32 yard touchdown run by Harold Joiner for the 51-10 final score.