For most college football games, you can summarize the playmakers in one paragraph because few teams have a diverse offensive scheme. For the game between Auburn and Arkansas, this is simply not the case. Both teams feature multiple playmakers who produce on a weekly basis.
It is rare for two teams with so many offensive weapons to face each other. This is truly a match of two of the most prolific offenses in college football.
Cam Newton: 672 yds rushing, 6.5 yards per carry (YPC), 9 TDs, longest run—71 yards
Michael Dyer: 390 yds rushing, 5.0 YPC, 2 TDs, longest run—27 yards
Onterio McCalebb: 345 yds rushing, 7.3 YPC, 2 TDs, longest run—50 yards
Mario Fannin: 164 yds rushing, 6.1 YPC, 1 TD, longest run—25 yards
Knile Davis: 203 yds rushing, 6.8 YPC, longest run—45 yards
Broderick Green: 192 yds rushing, 3.2 YPC, longest run—23 yards
Ronnie Wingo Jr.: 79 yds rushing, 5.6 YPC, longest run—15 yards
Cam Newton: 1138 yds passing, 10.54 yards per attempt (YPA), 12 TDs, 5 Ints, 180.7 Passer Rating
Barrett Trotter: 40 yds passing, 6.67 YPA, 122.7 Passer Rating
Neil Caudle: 42 yds passing, 42 YPA
Ryan Mallett: 1748 yds passing, 9.93 YPA, 13 TDs, 6 Ints, 170.3 Passer Rating
Brandon Mitchell: 16 yds passing, 5.33 YPA, 70.1 Passer Rating
Tyler Wilson: 6 yds passing, 2 YPA, 1 Int
Mario Fannin: 101 yds receiving, 11.2 yards per catch (YPC), 2 TDs, longest catch—38 yards
Eric Smith: 26 yds receiving, 8.7 YPC
Onterio McCalebb: 23 yds receiving, 23 YPC
Michael Dyer: 9 yds receiving, 9 YPC
Ronnie Wingo Jr.: 166 yds receiving, 11 YPC, 3 TDs, longest catch—43 yards
Knile Davis: 25 yds receiving, 6.3 YPC
Broderick Green: 21 yds receiving, 5.3 YPC
Quindarius Carr: 103 yds receiving, 34.3 YPC, 2 TDs, longest catch—46 yards
Emory Blake: 173 yds receiving, 24.7 YPC, 3 TDs, longest catch—94 yards
Terrell Zachery: 252 yds receiving 14.8 YPC, 1 TD, longest catch—78 yards
Joe Adams: 408 yds receiving, 19.4 ypc, 3 TDs, longest catch—85 yards
Cobi Hamilton: 163 yds receiving, 16.3 YPC, 2 TDs, longest catch—71 yards
Jarius Wright: 247 yds receiving, 19 YPC, longest catch—43 yards,
Darvin Adams: 385 yds receiving, 18.3 YPC, 2 TDs
Philip Lutzenkirchen: 75 yds receiving, 9.4 YPC, 2 TDs
Greg Childs: 363 yds receiving, 13 YPC, 3 TDs
D.J. Williams: 259 yds receiving, 11.8 YPC
No team can shut down either of these offenses. They are fully capable of attacking every inch of the playing field, rushing or passing. They can kick a defense in the teeth with the power game, or finesse them with equal proficiency.
Auburn averages 454 yards of offense and 30 points per game against SEC defenses; they have played the fourth-, fifth- and 11th-ranked defenses in the conference.
Arkansas averages 427 yards and 25.5 points per game against SEC defenses; they have played the first and seventh ranked defenses in the conference.
Auburn averages 23.17 first downs per game, Arkansas averages 20.6. Auburn converts 48.5 percent of their third down attempt whereas Arkansas converts 37.7 percent.
Auburn allows 1.17 sacks per game and Arkansas allows 1.8 sacks per game. Auburn has played the first, eighth and ninth ranked teams in the conference in sacks. Arkansas has played the seventh and 12th ranked teams in the conference in sacks. Auburn has also played the 18th ranked team in sacks out of conference.
Arkansas has yet to play a team this season that was a real sack threat. While this could mean nothing, it could be very significant. Their average opponent ranks 83rd of 120 in the nation in sacks, and their most prolific opponent ranks 44th in the nation in sacks.
Auburn’s average opponent ranks 55th in sacks allowed. Arkansas ranks 55th nationally in sacks allowed. Auburn will be the strongest opponent Arkansas has faced in putting pressure on the passer. Fans should keep an eye on this statistic: It could be very important.
Arkansas’s average opponent this year is ranked 66th in pass defense. Auburn ranks 91st in pass defense. There is little doubt that this will be a significant statistic in this game.
The average opponent for the Razorbacks ranks 57th in scoring defense. The Auburn Tigers rank 46th in scoring defense.
The average Auburn opponent ranks 64th in scoring defense. The Arkansas Razorbacks rank 13th in scoring defense.
The average opponent for the Auburn Tigers ranks 67th in rushing defense. Arkansas ranks number 43th in rushing defense.
Auburn ranks 28th nationally in preventing tackles for a loss. The Arkansas defense ranks 15th nationally in tackles for a loss.
Arkansas ranks 49th nationally in preventing tackles for a loss. The Auburn defense ranks 10th nationally in tackles for a loss.
For most of this season, Arkansas has run quite a few blitz schemes. Statistics and film tell us that blitzes seldom work on Auburn, often turning into a big play for the offense rather than a sack or quarterback hurry for the defense.
Arkansas will likely try to contain Cam Newton in the pocket and play disciplined defense against the run. They will likely lean on their secondary to cover the Auburn receiving corps and attempt to make Auburn pass the football. This is unlikely to work that well. Fans can expect the Auburn rushing and passing attack to have very good success in this game.
The Auburn defensive line will get pressure on Ryan Mallett. He is not mobile, so containment in the pocket is not a concern.
The Auburn defense will likely blitz on several occasions. They have little chance of countering the Arkansas passing game with coverage alone. Arkansas will attempt to counter this with a perimeter rushing attack and screens.
None of this is likely to be particularly successful.
The Auburn pass rush will be the key to this game, disrupting the Arkansas passing game and preventing the conversion of some key third downs. Arkansas will not have enough impact plays they need to counter this disruption.
This will be a fairly high-scoring affair, but not particularly a shootout. Both offenses will produce more than 350 yards of offense in this game, but scoring should be somewhat reduced for Arkansas and about average for Auburn.
This is a little deceptive for one major reason: The Arkansas offense very often scores on big plays.
Arkansas has entered the opponent's red zone only 17 times and scored 15 times. Nine of their scores have been big plays; almost two scores per game have come on long plays from outside the red zone. Of the 22 scores Auburn has allowed this season, 21 were scored on a sustained drive.
Arkansas will have to sustain drives to score in this game, and that will trim some points off their average.
Simulations and statistical analysis point to a score of around 23 points for Arkansas in this game.
In four of 13 scoring drives against them this season, Arkansas has allowed a score on an impact play, an average of one cheap score per game. Auburn has scored on impact plays 11 times this season, an average of nearly two per game.
Simulations and statistical analysis suggest Auburn will score close to their average of 36 points per game.
A logical prediction for this game puts Auburn at 29-36 points and Arkansas at 23-30 points.