Auburn 10, Arkansas 3 (Final)

Auburn scored just before halftime and made that score stand up to defeat Arkansas before a record crowd of 74,026 at Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Holding calls wiped out the Hogs' two big plays of the day, including a 78-yard touchdown run by Matt Jones for what would have been the tying TD in the fourth quarter.

Both teams wasted an early opportunity. Auburn drove to the Arkansas 16-yard line with its first possession. Arrion Dixon stuffed Carnell Williams for a 5-yard loss, then a scrambling Jason Campbell tried to throw a ball away that fluttered into Tony Bua's hands at the 5-yard line for a pass interception.

Arkansas got its offense on track on its third try, driving to the Auburn 17-yard line. The big play was a go route to Chris Baker for 33 yards. Matt Jones misjudged that pass, under throwing a wide open Baker. The Hogs came up empty when Jones' third-and-7 pass was a bit high for DeCori Birmingham and Chris Balseiro was just wide right on a 35-yard field goal try.

Arkansas drove to the Auburn 36, but failed on a third-and-1 and fourth-and-1, the latter on the "Fridge Package" with Shawn Andrews at blocking back.

Arkansas looked in position to run out the clock after Auburn punted the Hogs back to the 5-yard line with 2:42 left. The Hogs converted one first down, but came up empty when Jones' third-and-5 pass to an open Mark Pierce fell incomplete after it appeared to be tipped.

The Hogs punted the ball back to Auburn with 1:19 left, and the Tigers got it at the Arkansas 41-yard line when Thomas Crowder hit the return man on the ground out of bounds for a 15-yard late hit penalty.

Auburn looked sharp in marching 41 yards in four plays to beat the halftime clock by 29 seconds with Williams covering the final 6 yards on a smash over right tackle. That gave the Tigers a 7-0 halftime lead. Auburn led in total yards at the half, 180 to 154.

On the Hogs' first try of the second half, they rolled to the Auburn 34 before stalling. A holding penalty on a 68-yard Cedric Cobbs gallop kept them from getting deeper. On fourth-and-3, Jones looked to Nutt on the sideline before changing the play and firing deep for Wilson down the sideline. Wilson went above double coverage, but couldn't bring it down.

Arkansas got on the board after stuffing an Auburn fake punt, gaining possession at the Tigers' 42-yard line. A double reverse pass with Ryan Sorahan handing to Jones and then to Cedric Washington lost 14 yards. But Jones found Birmingham over the middle for 25 to erase third-and-22. Jones found Wilson for 23 to the 7-yard line. But, he barely missed Harris on a slant and then Wilson on the same type play to the other side before Balseiro booted a 25-yard field goal to make it 7-3 at 2:14 of the third quarter.

Through three quarters, Arkansas held a slight edge in total yards, 262 to 226.

Auburn kept it for 14 plays on a 62-yard march to open the fourth quarter to answer with John Vaughn's 34-yard field goal. Jason Campbell converted a fourth-and-1 with a sneak at the Auburn 45-yard line. He also completed passes for 13, 11 and 28 yards as the Hogs stacked the line to stop Williams. It was 10-3 at 9:50 of the fourth quarter.

On Arkansas' next try, Jones was just wide on a pass that went off Richard Smith's fingertips on first down. On third-and-8, Jones went the distance on a scramble on what would have been a 78-yard TD. But Wilson was jugdged to have held on the clinching block (a block replays seemed to show as legal), and it set up a third-and-5. Jones erased third-and-5 with a 7-yard strike to Birmingham.

Jones converted a third-and-7 with a scramble and a 13-yard strike to Birmingham. A bomb to Baker in the end zone netted a 15-yard pass interference penalty and a first down at the 21. Jones scooted for 15 more on the next play, but fumbled as he was stretching out for extra. The Tigers had it at their own 8 with 6:21 left.

Arkansas had to use its last timeout because of substitution problems with 5:17 left with Auburn facing a third-and-8 at the Tigers' 10-yard line with the clock stopped after an incompletion. The Tigers went deep and were called for pass interference, but the Hogs declined on the incomplete pass.

The Hogs got it back after a nice catch on a punt by Marvin Jackson on a low and wide punt at the Tigers' 47-yard line with 4:59 left. Jones kept for 9 to open the drive. He was incomplete on a deep out for Smith. Cobbs made the first down with a tough 1-yard run.

On second-and-10, Jones had Carlos Ousley open on a flag, but overthrew the ball. On third down, Auburn came with the blitz. Jones had to scramble for 2. On fourth-and-8, Jones was sacked by Carlos Dansby on another blitz. That gave Auburn only 2:30 to kill with the Hogs out of timeouts. The Tigers didn't quite make it, giving the Hogs the ball back at their own 22 with 13 seconds left.

Arkansas spread the field with three wideouts to the right for what would be its final play. The Tigers had all but three of their defenders near the 50-yard line and Jones tried to sneak past the first wave for what could have been a 20-yard pickup. However, he was tripped, and the clock ran out before the Hogs could get the ball in play again.

Arkansas finished the day with an edge in total offense, gaining 173 on the ground for 341 total yards. Auburn had 278 total, 160 on the ground.

Arkansas lost for the first time after a 4-0 start, and will play host to Florida next week. The Hogs are 1-1 in SEC play. Auburn improved to 4-2, and has a 3-0 start in the SEC.



De'Arrius Howard (26) finds running room in the second quarter.



The Arkansas band came early for the morning game against Auburn.

Photo by Clay Henry


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