Arkansas vs. Auburn: Game Grades and Analysis for Razorbacks and Tigers

Brian JonesContributor IAugust 30, 2014

Auburn running back Cameron Artis-Payne (44) carries the ball for a first down against Arkansas during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

Arkansas and Auburn did battle at Jordan-Hare Stadium, and both offenses were able to put on a show in the first half. But the Tigers were able to use their depth and talent to overpower the Razorbacks in the second half and come away with an important conference win 45-21 (the final box score can be found on

Both teams will have a lot of things they will need to work on as they move forward in the 2014 season. But both teams also showed they have the firepower to compete with any team they face in their division. Here are some grades to hand out for the Razorbacks and the Tigers.

Arkansas Game Grades
Positional UnitFirst Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass OffenseBC
Run OffenseAC
Pass DefenseCC
Run DefenseBD
Special TeamsCD
Bleacher Report

Pass Offense: Arkansas’ passing attack was not able to blow past the Auburn secondary. Brandon Allen started off strong, throwing two touchdown passes in the first half, but he was not able to get anything going in the second half. AJ Derby led the Razorbacks with four receptions for 40 yards and one touchdown.

Run Offense: The three-headed monster of Jonathan Williams, Alex Collins and Korliss Marshall got things going in the first half, but was shut down in second half. The Razorbacks rushed for only 153 yards per game after rushing for 208 yards per game last year. Collins was the leading rusher with 68 yards on 10 carries.

Pass Defense: It was not a good first half for the secondary as it let Jeremy Johnson throw for 243 yards and two touchdowns. But it was able to pick it up in the second half because Nick Marshall only threw for 50 yards. Alan Turner was the top player in the secondary, tallying 10 tackles in the loss.

Run Defense: It was a difficult afternoon for the Razorbacks in terms of stopping Auburn's rushing attack. The Tigers rushed for 302 yards, and the majority of the yards came in the second half. The front seven looked worn down, and the lightning delay did not help.

Special Teams: Even with Marshall and D.J. Dean, Arkansas was not able to make any impact plays on special teams. Kicker John Henderson was a non-factor, and the coverage units were solid but could have played better. Sam Irwin-Hill averaged 43 yards per punt, which was the only highlight.

Coaching: Bret Bielema did a good job getting his players ready in the first half as they were able to run and throw all over the Tigers. But he did not make the proper adjustments, which was why the Razorbacks were blown out in the second half.


Auburn Game Grades
Positional UnitFirst Half GradeFinal Grade
Pass OffenseAB
Run OffenseBA+
Pass DefenseC+B+
Run DefenseC-A-
Special TeamsBB
Bleacher Report


Pass Offense: Johnson lit up the Razorbacks in the first half. He made good decisions and looked poised in the pocket. Marshall only threw for 50 yards, but he was 4-of-6, and his yards came in the second half when Auburn took over the game with the running attack. 

Run Offense: And speaking of the run offense, Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant ran all over the Razorbacks. Artis-Payne tallied 177 yards on 26 carries and one touchdown, while Grant rushed for 87 yards on 10 carries and one touchdown. Marshall got in the mix with a rushing touchdown as well.

Pass Defense: The Tigers' pass defense was on point as it limited Allen to only 175 yards. But the play of the game came when Jermaine Whitehead returned a 33-yard interception for a touchdown. He also added seven tackles in the win as did Jonathon Mincy.

Run Defense: The Tigers' front seven did a strong job containing Arkansas' rushing attack. With the efforts of Cassanova McKinzy and Montravius Adams, the Tigers did not let Williams, Collins or Marshall run wild in the second half. The Razorbacks did get most of their rushing yards in the first half, but the Auburn's defense was able to make adjustments afterward.

Special Teams: Daniel Carlson did miss a field-goal attempt, but he was able to nail a 45-yarder in the second half, racking up six extra points. Grant had a kick return for 32 yards, and both kick- and punt-coverage teams never let the Razorbacks go for any explosive plays.

Coaching: Gus Malzahn never had a hard time getting his playmakers in the right position to make plays on offense. The defense was unstable in the first half, but defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson tightened things up in the second half, which led to the defense pitching a shutout in the third and fourth quarters.