Auburn drove 80 yards on three plays on its first possession, and Arkansas turned the ball over on downs at the Auburn 34. Senior quarterback Matt Jones suffered a pulled groin on the first offensive play of the game for the Razorbacks.
"I didn't see it coming," said senior defensive end Jeb Huckeba. "I saw the reverse coming so I was chasing back the other way. There were two guys in front of it and another guy to pass it. Then all of a sudden they had a guy wide open. It was a good play call and it hurt us scoring that quick and that easy."
Courtney Taylor catches a first quarter TD pass for the Tigers/
Arkansas' first offensive play after the Auburn touchdown was an 18-yard pass from Jones to freshman receiver Marcus Monk, but it was a play that affected the Hogs for the rest of the game.
"I don't know what happened," Jones said. "I just threw that first pass to Monk and I felt it pop."
Nutt said that Jones' injury was extremely costly to the Arkansas offense all game. "It hurts on the very first play of the game when your quarterback--the guy you depend on so much--gets hurt," Nutt said. "It takes away about half or three quarters of your offense when he can't move.
"There are things that he wanted to do and probably could have done," he added. "He pulled his groin on the first play of the game and we wrapped him up and he tried to go, but you have to change (the offense) because he can't move. He can't run radars, he can't run the options and you turn into a dropback passing team and that's tough."
From there, the rout was on. The Auburn offense scored four touchdowns and a field goal on its first five possessions as the Tigers raced to a 30-0 second quarter lead.
Down 24-0 on the Razorbacks' first play of the second quarter, Matt Jones broke free into the Auburn secondary for a 54-yard run down to the Auburn 26. "That's six if I ain't hurt," the Arkansas native said.
Jones was run down by Auburn cornerback Carlos Rogers on the play. On a similar play two years ago in Jordan-Hare, Jones was able to outrun Rogers for a 70-yard touchdown.
"He would have scored," Nutt said of the play. "He would have scored if he had been healthy. He couldn't run the way he normally does."
Arkansas turned the ball over on downs once again to end the drive.
Jones finished the day completing 12 of 27 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball four times for 54 yards and was sacked by Stanley McClover once for nine yards. Despite Jones' rough afternoon, the senior moved into a tie for first place with former Mississippi State player John Bond for all-time rushing yards in the SEC by a quarterback with 2,280 yards.