Arkansas native Tommy Tuberville and his No. 4 Auburn University football team have been making statements every weekend of this college football season.
Now regarded as the SEC's best team, the homestanding and unbeaten Tigers scored on their first five possessions and made another big-time one Saturday against an old nemesis.
Senior quarterback Jason Campbell threw for 210 of his career-high 297 yards and two of his three touchdowns in the first two quarters as Auburn rolled up a 30-point lead in the opening half and ending up downing the University of Arkansas 38-20 at Jordan Hare Stadium.
"They have a good football club and we had a bad day out there today," said UA head coach Houston Nutt, who had been 6-3 against Tuberville going into the day.
Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones, obviously not full speed due to a pulled groin early in the game, still managed to pass for 185 yards, but it held his rushing yardage was held to just 54 yards.
"When your main guy goes down, that's tough," Nutt said. "...He thought he could play through it, but it takes away about half of your offensive game when he loses his speed."
Razorback freshman wideout Marcus Monk, making his first start, had 5 catches for 87 yards.
Campbell was extremely accurate, going 17-for-19 on the day, including 11 of 12 in the opening half.
" Auburn's offense is very, very good right now," Nutt said.
The Tigers (7-0, 4-0) wasted little time in scoring as they took the first possession of the game 80 yards to paydirt. A flea flicker ended with Campbell tossing a 67-yard touchdown pass to Devin Aromashoudu.
The reverse part of the flea flicker sucked in Arkansas' safeties and Armomashoudu got behind the secondary and that coupled with John Vaughn's PAT put the home team up 7-0 just 70 seconds into the game.
Arkansas (3-3, 1-2) took its first possession 49 yards with quarterback Matt Jones completing a trio of passes to Monk, but the drive stalled.
Auburn's second possession ended with Vaughn's 27-yard field goal that pushed the lead to 10-0.
It became 17-0 when Campbell hit Courtney Taylor with a 30-yard scoring toss with three minutes left in the first quarter.
Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown, Auburn's two outstanding backs, then got in on the scoring act in the second quarter.
Brown struck first with a 1-yard scoring dash at the 11:01 mark and then Williams broke the plane on a 2-yard run with four minutes left before intermission.
Vaughn made the first PAT, but missed one for the first time in 55 attempts after the second second-quarter touchdown to leave the score 30-0.
"They may have shown a couple of different formations, but we feel we have to improve and get better because they were too wide open," Nutt said.
Arkansas avoided the first half shutout when Jones hit Chris Baker on a 19-yard TD pass with exactly one minute left before halftime and Chris Balseiro knocked through the extra point to cut the deficit to 30-7.
The 9-play drive accounted for 80 yards of the 205 the Razorbacks had in the first half.
Campbell was 11-of-12 passing in the first half for 210 yards and the two touchdowns as Auburn torched the Arkansas' defense for 323 first-half yards.
Arkansas moved to within 30-14 early in the second half when Jones connected with Steven Harris on a 61-yard touchdown pass to cap a 5-play, 73-yard drive.
Balseiro's PAT cut it to 30-14 with 12:59 left in the third quarter.
Auburn looked headed for another touchdown, but Lerinezo Robinson forced a fumble from wideout Anthony Mix that fellow junior safety Vickiel Vaughn recovered at the Razorback 12.
Razorback sophomore tailback Dedrick Poole had 7 carries for 45 yards before injuring his hamstring a few plays after the fumble.
"I felt like we were really going to make a run right there," Nutt said. "He is a natural cutback runner and as fast as they pursue, he was perfect for that. But then I'll be dog gone if he didn't pop a hamstring."
Campbell then put the game away with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Ben Obomanu and the same pair hooked up for the 2-point conversion to make it 38-14 with three minutes left in the third quarter.
Vaughn's interception of Tiger back-up Brandon Cox and 40-yard return to the Auburn 20 set up the final points, a 4-yard pass from Razorback back-up Robert Johnson to fullback Brandon Kennedy that made it 38-20 with three minutes left in the game.
One of the few bright spots for the Razorbacks was the punting of true freshman back-up Jeremy Davis, who had the final three boots for his team and averaged 44 yards a kick.
The schedule doesn't get much easier for Arkansas, who will host No. 8 Georgia next Saturday night.
Matt Jones rolls out against Auburn.
Marcus Monk caught five passes against Auburn.
Dedrick Poole made some nice runs before pulling a hamstring at Auburn.
Vickiel Vaughn set up the Hogs' last score with a pass interception.
Photos by Tom Ewart
Auburn 38, Arkansas 20
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