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Arkansas Vs. Auburn: Way More Than 50 Cool Comparison Stats For The Big Game

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Arkansas Vs. Auburn: Way More Than 50 Cool Comparison Stats For The Big Game
Courtesy of Hog Database

Any basic understanding of Arkansas Razorbacks Football starts with the Hog Database Research Wizard where you will find that Arkansas and Auburn have played 19 games since their first one in 1984, and Auburn leads the series 10-8-1 with six of those games being decided by three points or fewer.  Nine (47%) have been decided by seven points or fewer. 

Arkansas has won the last two outings since Bobby Petrino took the head-coaching job.  (25-22, 44-23)

The two teams have never faced one another when both have been ranked.  Hog Database Research Wizard Filter 2491  Arkansas is ranked No. 12 in the A.P Top 25 and No. 13 in the USA Today Poll. 

 

The Razorbacks were ranked in 1998 and 2003 and split the games with the Tigers.  On the other hand, the Tigers have been ranked 13 times when playing the Hogs and won seven of those times.  Ranking has not mattered in this series.  Hog Database Research Filter 2493 

 

Being on television does not matter either.  14 games have been televised with both teams winning 7 of them.  Hog Database Research Filter 2494

 

Typically, three points have proven to be the home team’s advantage in college football over many games.  If it were a cushion, you might as well sit on the metal bleachers.  Nine of the 19 games have been played at Jordan-Hare Stadium and the series is tied 4-4-1 at Auburn’s house.  Arkansas has won three of the last four at Jordan-Hare stadium.  Hog Database Research Filter 2495  

 

Even with a tie making this series even, the Tigers and Hogs have never played an overtime game. Hog Database Research Filter 2496  

 

Arkansas owns the two highest point totals scored in this series from 44 in 2009 and 42 in 2001.   Auburn scored 38 points in 2004 and 34 points in 2005 for its highest point totals.  The highest combined score was 63 points in 2009 and the lowest was 13 (Auburn won 10-3) in 2003.   (Derived from the information above.)

 

When Arkansas leads at the half, the Razorbacks are 7-2-1 against the Tigers.  Hog Database Research Wizard Filter 2498 

 

When the Hogs lead after three quarters, they are 7-1 against Auburn not having lost since 1994 in that circumstance.  Hog Database Research Wizard Filter 2499

 

Jeff Sagarin ranks Auburn No. 17 with a strength of schedule ranking of 74th and Arkansas No. 24 while the Hogs’ SoS shot up from 102nd last week to 66th this week.  For the purposes of BCS calculations Sagarin would contribute a No. 9 ranking for Auburn while ranking Arkansas 39th.  Removing BCS mandated consideration of excluding points, Arkansas ranks No. 15 in Sagarin’s Predictor with an 83.24 value and Auburn ranks No. 25 with an 81.44 value.  The difference between the two values estimates that Arkansas is under a two-point favorite. Jeff Sagarin, USA Today, October 10, 2010

 

The Las Vegas line is Auburn –3.5 as of this writing.  VegasInsider.com

 

Performance Standards of BCS Champions defines BCS Champions by regularly published statistical categories.  Certainly not all BCS Champions play the same way, and some variability in styles is a given, but averages establish common ground among them.  Sorted with the highest average BCS Champion Rank to the lowest, the areas where BCS Champions excel and provides some proof of the old adage “defense wins championships.”  Data from the 2000 through 2009 BCS Champions are the subject of the post.

 

The table below is sorted based upon the BCS Champion Rank in the center with Arkansas' and Auburn’s respective ranks in 2010 through last Saturday according to NCAA.org football statistics.   Sandwiched between the BCS composite champion figures in the center and the respective teams’ numbers on the outsides of the table are the differences between the average BCS Champion standard and each team.  Negative numbers in the “Rank Diff.” columns mean that the team is worse than the composite BCS Champion and the “Value Diff.” column indicates the actual number of the difference. 

......................AR......AR.......Rnk.......Val......BCS ....BCS....Rnk....Val....Aub.....Aub

.....................Rnk.....Val.......Diff........Diff......Rnk.....Val.......Diff.....Diff.....Rnk......Val.

Scoring Defense

13

15

-8

1.3

5

14

-41

 8

46

21.3

Scoring Defense

Pass Efficiency Def.

21

108

-15

13

6

95

-64

34

70

129

Pass Efficiency Def.

Total Defense

19

302

-12

25

7.4

278

-33

57

40

335

Total Defense

Scoring Offense

50

30

-36

-8

14

38

-4.3

-1

18

37

Scoring Offense

Rushing Defense

43

135

-29

39

14

96

-0.3

-.1

14

96

Rushing Defense

Passing Efficiency

10

166

4.5

17

15

149

13

31

2

180

Passing Efficiency

Turnover Margin

80

-0.4

-64

-1.4

16

1

-37

-.8

53

0.2

Turnover Margin

Pass Defense

19

168

4.8

-14

24

182

-67

57

91

239

Pass Defense

Total Offense

19

462

5.4

31

24

431

14.4

52

10

483

Total Offense

Rushing Offense

96

108

-71

-91

25

199

17

77

8

276

Rushing Offense

Net Punting

51

37

-23

0

28

37

-63

-3

91

34

Net Punting

Punt Returns

27

11.4

2.8

-1.2

30

13

-38

-5

68

7.7

Punt Returns

Sacks Allowed **

55

1.8

-22

0.3

33

1.5

5

-.3

28

1.2

Sacks Allowed **

Sacks **

4

3.4

31

0.9

35

2.5

-1.4

0

36

2.5

Sacks **

Kickoff Returns

109

19

-62

-3.2

47

21.7

-12

.4

59

22.1

Kickoff Returns

Passing Offense

3

354

45

122

48

232

-22

-25

69

207

Passing Offense

Tackles for Loss **

15

7.6

39

1.4

54

6.2

44

1.8

10

8

Tackles for Loss **

Numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number to accommodate format.  The original chart and related post may be found here,  Arkansas v. BCS Champs v. Auburn .

** Stats are only available for 2005-2009. 

Of the categories where BCS Champions rank the highest, four are defensive categories, scoring defense, pass efficiency defense, total defense, scoring offense, and rushing defense. In the three most important categories Auburn currently ranks five times higher than the composite champion in scoring defense, ten times higher in pass efficiency defense, and four-and-a-half times higher in total defense.  On down the line, Auburn ranks 91 in pass defense, giving up 239 yards per game.

 

For 14 of the last 15 games, Arkansas’ defense has held opponents under a net of 24 points by offsetting points allowed with defensive scores.  This year Georgia averaged 30.5 points per game before playing the Hogs and scored 24.  Alabama averaged 44.67 points per game before scoring 24 points as well.  Texas A&M averaged 39.5 points per game before scratching out 17 points last week.  Arkansas does show some weakness in rushing defense but more than offsets it with a pass defense performing better than the composite BCS Champion. 

 

In a stunning turn for a Gus Malzahn offense, the Tigers rank 67th in the NCAA in pass offense.  Generally, we like Gus in Arkansas and wish him well everywhere else.  Heck, we even have his own playbook, Amazon.com, The Hurry-Up, No-Huddle: An Offensive Philosophy .   Auburn fans should check it out sometime.  It would be remiss to fail to remind Tiger fans that before last year’s game, Auburn averaged 41.4 points per game in scoring offense and managed 23 with a brilliant twenty-point third quarter.  However, this year Arkansas’ defense has given up few long plays and has generally improved.  

Arkansas and Auburn do have a common opponent in Louisiana Monroe. Auburn beat ULM 52-3 while the Hogs beat ULM 31-7.  Arkansas players played as if everyone on the team woke up in the morning with cricks in their necks and had headaches by game time.  For Arkansas, Georgia and Alabama were in the following weeks, and Coach Petrino was determined to work on Arkansas’ meager running game while showing nothing of his offense.  However, the Louisiana Monroe game for Arkansas was on many fans’ minds this past week after Texas A&M.  The Hogs played about the same way, except that the runners ground out 173 positive yards compared to 111 against Louisiana Monroe.  Both games were nothing more than preparation for the important conference games to come.

Occasionally Michael Dyer grabs headlines at Auburn having rushed for 390 yards in his first six games.  However, of Auburn’s 2,898 total yards for the season, Cam Newton has his stamp on 1,810 of them or 62.5% of them.  Then too, Ryan Mallett has accounted for 1,710 yards of Arkansas’ 2,314 yards on offense.  This is one of those deceptive stats since someone has to catch the ball to created a passing yard, and it sorely fails to take “yards after catch” into consideration.  For Auburn, Onterio McCalebb has 345 yards while Mario Fannin adds another 164.  Arkansas’ Knile Davis adds 203 yards rushing and Broderick Green has toughed out 192. 

14 Second Game Summary -- Arkansas v. Auburn

Each team has 12 scorers with Cam Newton leading the way for Auburn with 54 points while true freshman Zach Hocker, who kicked a field goal of 52 yards in high school, leads the Hogs with 34 points.  Not surprisingly kicker Wes Bynum is second at Auburn with 52 points.  Any guesses as to whom Arkansas’ second leading scorer is and what scorer has scored the fewest points? 

Both teams have exactly 17 players who have logged 10 tackles or more.  Zac Etheridge leads Auburn with 38 while Jerry Franklin has 37 as a linebacker for Arkansas.

Arkansas is due for a break-out game.  The Hog offense has had flashes of the ability to move the ball quickly for a score against Georgia and Alabama but nothing has been a sustained effort for even three quarters yet.  With the Razorbacks plainly working on their running game last week, both the players and fans felt like there was a damper on the offense.  This week Arkansas has every incentive to pass as much as possible against the Tiger defense, and the players ought to be excited about it.  Auburn’s defense could be much better against the pass, and everyone knows that the Hogs throw the ball.  What is better is that even Coach Petrino calls this a big game.  He loves big games and his teams all the way back to Louisville show up for big games.  Even when Willy Robinson’s defenses did were giving up numerous big plays, his defensive schemes have shut down offenses like Auburn’s for two years.  While Malzahn is more than intelligent enough to draw up plays which will break for some yards, the trick will be to string those together for more than one drive.  Bobby Petrino knows that defense wins championships.  Arkansas may not put up 44 this time around but it will not need to do so as Auburn finds the same fate of scoring fewer than 24 points as everyone else has.  The Razorbacks should score in the low thirties. 

The net result will be to create a three-way tie for second in the SEC West with everyone’s sites on LSU and hope for the best BCS ranking when the music stops.  Oh, by the way, Arkansas running back Ronnie Wingo, Jr. scores the second most points for the Razorbacks. The last scorer is the Team having logged a safety this year.  Arkansas will throw the ball, right?  :) 

 

SharpTusk is a Featured writer on Hog Database 

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