Auburn has an opportunity to get its first SEC win of the 2012 season on Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Tigers are currently as high as a 10.5-point favorite to beat Arkansas. There is a good chance it won't even be that close.
What is the best cure for an offense that is struggling to find any sort of identity? Play against the worst defense in the conference, of course.
Yes, Auburn's offense has been bad at times. Really bad. It is ranked in the cellar of the conference in most of the offensive categories. As bad as Auburn's offense has been, Arkansas' defense has been worse.
Arkansas is 1st SEC team in 5 years to allow 30+ pts in 4 straight Sept. games. Ole Miss did this in '07 & went 0-8 in SEC.
— Jon Solomon (@jonsol) September 29, 2012
Those numbers should be a welcome sight to the Auburn offense, which is ranked 113th nationally and last in the SEC in total offense. Auburn has averaged 297.75 yards per game offensively thus far.
Auburn quarterback Kiehl Frazier, who has shown spurts of improvement recently, will have his best game of the year against the team he grew up rooting for.
Arkansas has given up an average of 349.4 yards per game through the air. Like the Auburn defense, Arkansas only has one interception on the year.
Speaking of turnovers, there is a worse team in the country in turnover margin than Auburn. There are four worse to be exact. One of those teams is the Razorbacks, who rank last in the country in the category. It has turned the ball over 15 times on the season (seven fumbles and eight interceptions). 10 of those turnovers have come in the last three games.
The Auburn defense is coming into this game with a lot of confidence after holding then second-ranked LSU to only one offensive touchdown in Week 4. One of the brightest spots in the game was the play of the Auburn secondary.
If the secondary can continue that type of play against Arkansas' high-powered passing attack, the Auburn defense will be able to shut down the Arkansas offense for the first time in its last four tries.
Aside from Arkansas' play on the field, John L. Smith's team is on shaky ground off the field as well. The players and coaches are saying the right things...
Alfred Davis asked what he likes about team right now: "That nobody has hung up their shoes.” ... He says nobody has quit despite struggles.
— Robbie Neiswanger (@NWARobbie) October 1, 2012
...but their body language in the last few games have said something completely different. Against Alabama, Rutgers and Texas A&M it appears Arkansas gave up.
Once Auburn gets ahead on Saturday, it should be able to keep the Razorbacks' confidence down where it has been since its loss to ULM in Week 2.
That is the opposite of Auburn's confidence level. The Tigers think they can hang with anyone in the country after LSU got more than it bargained for in Week 4.
Auburn gets the Razorbacks at home in the second game of a two-game road trip for the Hogs. Last week, Arkansas fell 58-10 to Texas A&M in College Station. The last thing that the Razorbacks need is to go on the road to another hostile SEC environment.
Auburn will be rested and ready to get an SEC win under its belt for 2012 this weekend. The good news for Auburn is that it will not even have to break a sweat to get it.