Razorbacks Take Hold of SEC West

Arkansas' 27-10 thumping of Auburn gives them a game lead and the tie-breaker over the Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--Arkansas' 27-10 victory over Auburn was a big win in the grand scheme of things for Razorbacks and makes them the only team in the West without a conference loss.

"It's huge," says head coach Houston Nutt, whose team improved to 4-1 and 3-0 in the SEC. "I told our guys, ‘You won't know how big it is until on down the line.' To go on the road and win a game like this against a team with the caliber of Auburn, I am really proud of them.

"It's your goal every year to be SEC West Champions. We have a real chance now."

Nutt was also on the proverbial hot seat before the season started and opened the 2006 campaign with a 50-14 loss to Southern Cal. They have now rebounded to win the last four games, three of those in the SEC.

The Razorbacks got it done against Auburn behind the big, veteran offensive line and on the legs of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones.

McFadden had 28 carries for 145 yards. Jones, who rushed for 104 yards on 13 carries, gives the credit to the O-line.

"The offensive line made some great blocks and opened up holes for us so we were able to run the ball," he says. "That was our goal and that is what we did.

"It wasn't easy out there today," Jones adds. "The linemen did a great job so I have to give credit to them for making those blocks and giving us opportunities to score. We still had to make moves and take hits, but it was mostly the linemen who made it happen for us."

Mitch Mustain wasn't asked to do much against Auburn, but he ran the game plan to perfection and didn't make any big mistakes.

Facing an Auburn defense that loves to blitz with a true freshman quarterback under center, McFadden says that he knew that if his team was going to win then it would be up to the running game to score points.

"It's just a great feeling to come down here and beat the No. 2 team in the nation in Auburn," he notes. "This week we knew that in order to win the game we would have to run the ball and score touchdowns off the run. If we couldn't do that we wouldn't have been able to win the game. That is what we do--we run the ball and today we did it well and were able to win."

Sam Olajubutu, who played his high school ball at nearby LaGrange, Ga., but was not offered a scholarship by Auburn, says it was a total team victory. He had seven tackles and a sack as the Razorbacks held Auburn to just 213 yards offense.

"Overall we played very well today," Olajubutu notes. "It was one of those games today where both the offense and defense came together. The offense ran the ball very well and the defense was able to stop Auburn's running game. We knew if we could do this we would have a chance to be successful."

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