Mistake-Prone Tigers Fall in Fayetteville

Auburn suffered its first SEC loss of the season going down 38-14 against the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Fayetteville, Ark.--Three intercepted passes, 11 penalties and a hot Arkansas quarterback were too much for Auburn to overcome Saturday night as the host Razorbacks took a 38-14 SEC football victory over Coach Gene Chizik's Tigers.

Those three factors along with Auburn's inability to pass the football were a big problem for the visitors who had a good night running the football. The Tigers rushed the ball 52 times for 291 yards, but struggled to turn that strong effort into enough points.

"We did all of the classic things you can't do to win games on the road," Chizik said. "Offensively, we turned the ball over three times. Certainly, against a good offensive team on the road, that isn't going to get you any wins.

"Anytime we had any positive momentum going it seemed like we had some sort of penalty or what-not and our margin for error is very slim," Chizik said.

One of the problems was a passing attack plagued by dropped balls from the would-be receivers. At least a half-dozen catchable passes fell incomplete and one bounced off DeAngelo Benton's for an interception that set up points for the Razorbacks.

Auburn's top two receivers, Emory Blake and Trovon Reed, were unavailable to play due to injuries and nobody stepped up and performed well in their absence. For the game four Tigers combined to throw 25 passes. Only nine were completed for 104 yards.

Arkansas star Tyler Wilson, who passed for 510 yards a week earlier, was held to 262 yards in the air, but he didn't throw an interception and completed 24-36 passes, including 18 in a row in the first half as he rallied his team from 7-0 and 14-7 deficits to lead 21-14 at halftime.

"I think we got in a good rhythm and pace offensively," Wilson said. "We were up-tempo and when you are able to do that you are able to get in a rhythm."

Getting into a rhythm was a problem for the Tigers after the first quarter. The Tigers racked up 168 yards in the first period to take 14-7 lead, but did not score the rest of the night. For the game Auburn finished with 395 yards to 438 for the Razorbacks, but Arkansas was able to win comfortably because it made fewer mistakes.

Chizik said the defense giving up a 92-yard run in the third quarter was a factor in the loss, but noted the guys on that side of the football did some good things, too. "Most of the night our defense hung in there and played tough," the coach said. He said he liked the intensity he saw from the defenders until the finish that left Auburn 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the SEC. Arkansas improved to 5-1 in overall and 1-1 in the SEC.

"We got off to a little rock start, but defensively we played real well in the second half, shut them out and created turnovers," Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino said. "We have been waiting on those turnovers to come. It's a good win for us and now we'll get a week off and get ready for the next one."

Auburn won the toss and deferred. The Tigers' defense then forced a three-and-out to open the action. The Razorbacks matched that on Auburn's first possession.

The Razorbacks got the first scoring opportunity thanks to a kicking game miscue by the Tigers. Stephen Clark's 11-yard punt that sailed out of bounds at the Auburn 37 set up a 34-yard field goal attempt by Zac Hocker, whose kicked bounced off the left upright and was no good.

After that break, the Tigers offense didn't take long to get on the scoreboard. Auburn overcame a holding call against Reese Dismukes on the first play with a third down and 12 conversion pass from Barrett Trotter to Quindarius Carr.

On the next play Dyer took a handoff and raced 55 yards at right tackle for the longest touchdown run of his college career. With the PAT kick by Cody Parkey the Tigers led 7-0 with 9:56 left in the first quarter.

Arkansas immediately responded, driving 71 yards on eight plays with running back Broderick Green scoring from six yards out at left guard on first and goal play. That tied the score at 7-7 with 6:53 left in the opening quarter.

The Auburn defense produced the first turnover as Corey Lemonier sacked Wilson and Jeffrey Whitaker recovered the football at the Arkansas 47.

Using the ground attack the Tigers scored in eight plays. Freshman quarterback Kiehl Frazier, who grew up a short drive from Reynolds-Razorback Stadium, scored from seven yards out on a second and goal run to put the Tigers up 14-7 with two seconds left in the opening quarter.

Demetruce McNeal (12) and Eltoro Freeman (21) make a tackle for the Tigers.

As they did the first time, the Razorbacks matched Auburn's score with a drive to tie the game. On a third down and goal to go play at the three, Wilson scrambled before throwing a pass to goal line that was originally ruled a touchdown. On a replay review the ball was spotted just outside the goal line.

On the next play Wilson kept the ball at right guard and got across the goal line to tie the game at 14-14 with 9:36 left in the half. The Arkansas drive covered 80 yards in 13 plays as the Razorbacks kept the football for five minutes and 26 seconds.

After the kickoff the Tigers hurt themselves with a first down holding call on Benton and they couldn't overcome the penalty and punted.

Arkansas took over at its 35 and Wilson picked apart the Tigers with his passing to take a 21-14 lead. The Razorbacks took nine plays to score with Jarius Wright beating man coverage in the end zone vs. T'Sharvan Bell with 4:23 left in the half. Wilson's touch pass was right on target for the TD.

The Razorbacks came close to their second turnover when Daren Bates caused a fumble, but the ball bounced back to quarterback Wilson at the Arkansas 20-yard line with 57 seconds left.

The Tigers got the football back and tried to score with their hurry-up offense, but a holding call on Brandon Mosley plus a lack of time ended the possession just inside Arkansas territory.

At intermission the home team held a 294 to 212 edge in total yardage on 44 plays to 36 for the Tigers. Wilson did most of the damage by completing 20-25 passes for 228 yards.

Auburn gained 167 first half rushing yards with Dyer leading the way with 78 on seven runs. McCalebb gained 65 yards on eight runs. Auburn's problem offensive at halftime was the passing attack with just 45 yards on six completions with 14 attempts.

The Razorbacks scored the only points of the third quarter on a 92-yard by Joe Adams, the wide receiver who lined up like a tailback. On the first play after an Auburn punt he took a pitch at left end and was untouched on his way to the end zone as he raced down the sideline. That put the home team up 28-14 with 7:43 left in the period.

Auburn moved the ball into Arkansas territory three times in the period. Two ended on punts and the third was an intercepted pass on a ball thrown by Frazier right into the waiting arms of a defender.

Another interception led to three more points for the Razorbacks. Benton, running a route over the middle, missed a nicely thrown pass from Trotter that bounced off his hands into the air for a pick.

Arkansas had great field position, but couldn't move the ball and settled for a 36-yard field goal by Hocker with 12:10 left in the fourth quarter to make the score 31-14. That was more than enough points on a night when the Tigers didn't have the passing game it needed to make a comeback against a defense that regained its confidence after a slow start.

The final touchdown came after Frazier was intercepted again. The Razorbacks moved 16 yards and scored on a third and 12 screen pass play to Dennis Johnson with 5:50 left on a perfectly executed call to beat Auburn's blitz.

Dyer led the Tigers with 112 rushing yards on 21 carries and Onterio McCalebb added 91 yards on 13 carries. He also caught three passes for 28 yards.

Kiehl Frazier runs the football for Auburn.

Frazier gained 54 yards on 13 runs and fellow freshman Tre Mason ran the ball three times for 30 yards and had a long run called back by a penalty.

Freshman Jermaine Whitehead lead the Tigers in tackles with four solos and four assists. Eltoro freeman and Daren Bates each had four solos and three assists.

The Tigers return to action with a home game next Saturday vs. Florida. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CDT.

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