Wednesday, October 8, 2003
Arkansas should have confidence, muscle to handle Auburn
LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas has won six straight at home, but
two road victories in September catapulted a team unranked at
season's dawn into the national spotlight.
The seventh-ranked Razorbacks showed great poise and offensive
balance in wins at Texas and Alabama. Those games made Arkansas the
surprise team of college football's first full month.
Now, after a week off following a 34-31 double overtime win at
Alabama, the Razorbacks (4-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) have
eight straight weeks to prove they belong in the top 10.
Unranked Auburn (3-2, 2-0) is first up and the Tigers are trying
to reclaim the thunder they lost by starting the season 0-2. Tommy
Tuberville's team struck back strong last week with a 28-21 victory
over then-No. 7 Tennessee.
Auburn gave up just 4 yards rushing when the Volunteers tried to
use quarterback Casey Clausen as their only weapon. He threw 47
passes and two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Matt Jones and Ryan Sorahan will throw the ball, but nowhere
close to 47 times. It's unlikely Arkansas will abandon the SEC's
top running game, which comes in averaging 247.8 yards per game.
Senior Cedric Cobbs leads the league with 140.5 per game and
he's coming off career highs of 36 carries and 198 yards at
In that game, Cobbs bounced back from a fumble at the Alabama
13, the first by a Razorback running back in 609 carries. At that
time, he had 21 carries for 134 yards.
After not taking a carry for two series, Cobbs had eight for 40
yards on Arkansas' game-tying drive in the final minute. He
finished the second overtime by pounded the inside of Alabama's
defense for 18 yards on five carries.
Thanks to an offensive line that has four seniors and junior
All-American Shawn Andrews, Cobbs never had a carry for negative
ARKANSAS 27, AUBURN 24
In a 44-41 victory over Louisiana-Monroe, Arkansas State (3-3)
showed some offensive muscle that had been missing since scoring 63
points on Tennessee-Martin on Sept. 6.
On the other hand, the Indians gave up at least 38 points for
the third straight game. That doesn't bode well heading to
Mississippi to face a Rebels offense led by record-setting
quarterback Eli Manning.
Manning has completed 62 percent of his passes and he's
averaging 318.2 yards per game with 11 touchdowns in five games.
Nobody else in the Sun Belt Conference has matched Arkansas
State's three victories so far this season. However, the Indians
won't be celebrating a fourth this weekend. They are 1-18-2 against
The one victory? Arkansas State evened the series at 1-1 with a
10-0 victory back in 1915.
OLE MISS 49, ARKANSAS STATE 17
Last week's record was 4-3. The season record is 25-17, a .595
Other predictions involving college teams in Arkansas:
ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF 34, TEXAS SOUTHERN 28
DELTA STATE 21, ARKANSAS TECH 17
VALDOSTA STATE 35, ARKANSAS-MONTICELLO 21
HARDING 28, WEST GEORGIA 14
HENDERSON STATE 28, WEST ALABAMA 17
NORTH ALABAMA 31, OUACHITA BAPTIST 17
SOUTHERN ARKANSAS 35, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 24