Nutt Impressed By 'University of Auburn' Offense

Arkansas Coach Houston Nutt discusses Auburn's improvement and the duo of Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams.

Fayetteville, Ark.-–For much of the last three seasons, teams have tried to stop the Auburn running game without giving much thought to the Tigers doing damage through the air. With the emergence of senior quarterback Jason Campbell and Auburn's air attack, Arkansas Coach Houston Nutt said that's not true any more.

"We're going into another tough, tough hostile environment playing the University of Auburn," Nutt said. "They, of course, have a great football team. They are 6-0 and look extremely fast on defense.

"On offense, with those two backs Cadillac and Ronnie Brown, they look like they're playing their best football, especially quarterback Jason Campbell. He's really executing and doing a great job for them.

"It looks like to me that he's not forcing anything," Nutt added. "He's very comfortable. You don't see him throwing as many hots or checking. He's executing and playing the game and handing off to two great backs. To me that's given him a lot of confidence. He's much different this year. I think he's done a great job of executing their offense and moving the football."

Campbell prepares to hand off against Arkansas last season in Auburn's 10-3 victory over the Hogs.

While Campbell will get a great deal of attention from the Hogs this week because of their suspect pass defense (eighth in the SEC at 198 yards per game), the main focus for Arkansas this week will again be on stopping the run. Giving up 159 yards vs. the run so far this season, the Hogs will try to slow an Auburn team averaging 198 yards per game on the ground.

Nutt said that both Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown bring different qualities to the table that make them tough to defense.

"Cadillac has more speed," Nutt said. "Both of them are extremely physical. I think they're very, very similar in that aspect of it. Ronnie Brown has good hands, as does Cadillac. They're very similar in a lot of ways. I just think the difference is that Cadillac is probably a step or two faster."

First in the SEC in passing efficiency and third in the league with 10 touchdown passes, Campbell has been very good in his first year under the tutelage of Coach Al Borges. Despite his play and Auburn's offensive prowess this season, the senior could play second fiddle this weekend to Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones in the quarterback talk. Nutt said the 6-6 Jones brings a different dimension to the table than anybody else in the league and is the key for the Hogs.

"I think the biggest thing that Matt gives us or when somebody is trying to defend us is his ability to run and throw," Nutt said. "When things do break down, the one thing that drives a defensive coordinator nuts is when they have everyone covered and things break down, he's able to escape. That's always been a very tough mental situation for somebody trying to defend Matt."

Coach Houston Nutt with his senior quarterback Matt Jones.

Since Arkansas joined the SEC in 1992, Auburn has a record of 60-20-2 in home games, but the Tigers are just 3-2-1 against the Hogs in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Nutt said that just because the Tigers are on a roll doesn't mean his team won't play well this Saturday, but the task is a large one playing on the road in this league.

"Anybody can beat anybody on any given Saturday," Nutt said. "It's a mindset and a mind game. The one that has their team the most ready and are so focused and ready to go, it makes a lot of difference on the outcome of the game. There's a lot of teams in that Top 20 that wouldn't want to play in the SEC. You go to Georgia, you go to Alabama or you go to LSU, Florida, I'm partial but it's one of the toughest if not the toughest league in America."


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