AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Jason Campbell was so focused on this game
that he couldn't sleep the night before.
Then he turned in the kind of performance that could give
defensive coordinators nightmares, throwing for a career-high 297
yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 4 Auburn to a 38-20 rout of
Arkansas on Saturday.
With Campbell completing 17 of 19 passes -- all in the first
three quarters -- the Tigers (7-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) won
their ninth straight game and lived up to their highest ranking in
Imagine if he'd actually slept Friday night.
"All night, I couldn't go to sleep," said Campbell, who was
11-of-12 for 210 yards in the first half. "I was just thinking
about the game. It was just one of those days one day you'll look
back on and be proud of."
The Tigers continue to forge a memorable season as well, scoring
on their first five possessions for a 30-0 lead against a team that
had given them fits in recent years. Twice in the past three
meetings, an unranked Razorback team blew Auburn out.
Not this time.
"Offensively, we just dominated in the first half," coach
Tommy Tuberville said. "It was almost a perfect game for us."
And that was too much for Arkansas (3-3, 1-2), which all but
fell out of contention in the SEC West.
"When your opponent scores on five consecutive possessions, it
makes for a long, long day," Razorbacks coach Houston Nutt said.
"It crushes your confidence."
The Razorbacks couldn't muster any consistent offense and
quarterback Matt Jones spent much of the game under pressure. The
league's total offense leader hurt his groin on the first play of
the game, but he was still able to scamper for 54 yards the one
time he got free.
"It changed the game," said Jones, who didn't gain any yards
on his other three carries. "On the long run, that is six (points)
if I am not hurt. I just didn't throw very well."
It was still the most points anybody had scored against Auburn
Ronnie Brown rushed for 101 yards for the Tigers, while Carnell
Williams gained 71. Both ran for short touchdowns.
But it was Campbell who continued to drive the offense, making
Arkansas pay dearly for loading up against the run and setting an
Auburn record for completion percentage in a game. His highest
total in his first 33 starts was 270 yards against Alabama last
year, and he topped that in the third quarter before the offense
went to the run to protect its lead.
"The main thing we say every week is we want to beat teams to
the punch," Campbell said. "We want to get off to a fast start."
The Razorbacks got a late touchdown set up by an interception
against backup quarterback Brandon Cox.
The Tigers had said all week they wouldn't let Jones beat them,
running or passing. The 54-yard burst briefly made him the SEC's
top career rushing quarterback, but even that didn't hold up.
Jones got sacked for a 9-yard loss on the next drive, pushing
him back into a tie with John Bond of Mississippi State at 2,280
yards. Jones was 12-of-27 passing for 189 yards with two TDs.
The Tigers outgained Arkansas 522-337.
"After we took them out of their game, it was pretty much all
downhill for them," defensive end Stanley McClover said.
Campbell was nearly perfect in the first half. He hit Devin
Aromashodu for a 67-yard score after a reverse flea-flicker on the
game's third play, and hit Courtney Taylor for a 30-yard score
later in the first quarter.
"That was a play everyone's been talking about all week,"
Campbell said of the trick play. "Everyone on the team wanted to
run it. It hardly ever works in practice."
Aromashodu had four catches for a career-high 102 yards.
Jones threw nine consecutive incompletions after starting out
4-of-4, but then threatened to bring Arkansas back into the game.
He hit Chris Baker for a 19-yard touchdown late in the half to make
it 30-7 and found Steven Harris for a 61-yarder on the opening
drive of the third quarter.
Campbell put it away with a 19-yard TD pass to Ben Obomanu, his
John Vaughn missed an extra point for Auburn in the first half,
ending the team's SEC record streak of 209 straight.
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