Tommy Tuberville said he liked the way his Tigers dealt with being down 10-6 at halftime against a fired up Arkansas football team.
"They played very intense I thought," Tuberville said of the Razorbacks. "But, you can can only stay four or five feet off the ground for so long. Keeping your poise is what you have to do on the road. Our guys learned a big, big lesson tonight by doing just that."
Auburn took control of the game with four second half touchdowns on drives of 85, 24, 80 and 82 yards to take a 34-17 victory. The Tigers rushed for 233 yards to 148 vs. Arkansas, which entered the game averaging 286 yards on the ground, which was third nationally.
Tuberville checks out the gameplan for the Razorbacks.
The Razorbacks put on an all out blitz on the Tigers trying to rattle Auburn QB Brandon Cox and the offense. They had some success in the first half, forcing a pair of interceptions by Cox. However, in the second half Cox got to throw to wide open receivers with plenty of time to do it because his offensive line took control of the game.
They did a good job," Tuberville said of the Arkansas defense. "They put on a lot of pressure. They were going try to make him throw it up. You can't block them all. They were bringing them from every side--corners, safeties.
"They had a good game plan. They were going to force us to make some mistakes and they did. The second half we were almost flawless on offense. It was about as perfect a second half on offense as I have seen."
Auburn had five second half possessions. They scored four TDs and ran out the clock with the subs in the game on the fifth one.
"That was an offensive line game all the way," Tuberville said. "We knocked them off the ball in the second half. I think we had the kept the ball about a quarter more than they did. When you do that you have a chance to have pretty good success."
Auburn enjoyed a 13:50 advantage in time of possession.
Tuberville said his team stepped up to the challenge when Arkansas defensive coordinator Reggie Herring commented that the Tigers had played a "Merry Christmas" schedule, implying that the Razorbacks had faced tougher teams.
A grinning Tuberville said, "Reggie is a friend of ours. I think that was just kind of a friendly jab. I think that kind of worked to their advantage a bit. They counted this as their Super Bowl. Their back was against the ball. They had to play well. They had to win the game.
"They were at home, the first time in this stadium in almost a month and a half," Tuberville added. "We caught their best shot and we were able to knock it off and win. You have a pretty good football team when you can keep your poise like we did. We never got frustrated."
"They have got some pretty good players, but we pretty much controlled the third and fourth quarters," said Tuberville, who added, "It was a team effort."