Tuberville Calls The Hogs A Dangerous Opponent

Tommy Tuberville says he is impressed with the Arkansas offense, which leads the SEC in scoring.

Auburn, Ala.--Tommy Tuberville's Tigers are off to a 6-0 start and have the challenge this week of facing the high scoring and wide-open attack of the 3-2 Arkansas Razorbacks this Saturday.

"Arkansas has an interesting team to watch," Tuberville says. "They have the number one offense in the league and this will be the best offense that we have faced. It will be a big challenge for our defense. They are a very different type of offense--an offense that is very quarterback oriented."

Arkansas leads the conference in scoring offense (37.8 points per game), passing offense (253.2 yards per game), total offense (459.2 yards per game) and is second in rushing offense (206 yards per game).

Razorback tailback Decori Birmingham is a consistent running back, Tuberville says.

The Razorbacks are led by senior quarterback Matt Jones, who stands 6-6 and weighs in at 237 pounds. Jones, who also plays basketball for the Razorbacks, is one of the more versatile players in the league. He has passed for 1,090 yards and rushed for 313 yards through five games in 2004.

"He's good in and out of the pocket," Tuberville says of Jones. "There's not a rhyme or reason to how you have to play him. You just want to try to be consistent. He's got good running backs that have been running the ball, too. He is the big play guy. They run the option out of all kinds of different formations and they try to put the ball in his hands as much as they can.

"He's a gamer," Tuberville adds. "He's probably the biggest and one of the fastest guys in our league. You look at him and he doesn't look fast, but he covers five yards a stride. He moves down the field about as fast as anyone I've ever seen. You can see on film that defenses have underestimated him over the years, including us, because the angle of pursuit is never right. You never take the right angle (against him) because of his deception."

Tuberville says that the Arkansas defense will offer the Auburn offense a challenge this week because of its aggressiveness and different style of play.

"They have a lot of guys that remind me of our team--5-10 and 5-11 linebackers," he says. "They have a lot of speed and a lot of quickness so it's going to be a different challenge for our offense this week. It's a defense that makes a lot of plays. They have given up some plays, but they make a lot of big plays. They cause turnovers and make things happen."

The Arkansas defense has not played as well this year as it has in the past, allowing 22 points per game, seventh in the conference, and 357.8 yards per game, ninth in the conference.

Houston Nutt's squad enters the game at 1-1 in conference play with its win against Alabama and the loss at Florida two weeks ago.

"They've had a week off to prepare," Tuberville says. "They always bring in some new things after an open date. We are going to have to be very physical on our offensive and defensive lines to play this type of football team."

Kickoff for Saturday's game at Jordan-Hare Stadium is schedule for 2:30 p.m. and will be televised nationally on CBS.


Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories