Auburn Football

Grading the Auburn Tigers 65-43 Win Over Arkansas

AUBURN, AL - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Cam Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates with the crowd after the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Jordan-Hare Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  The Tigers beat the Razorbacks 65-43.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Nathan DealCorrespondent IOctober 17, 2010

Cam Newton scored 24 points and had 10 assists, and Auburn's basketball team beat Arkansas 65-43.

Wait.... what? That wasn't a basketball game?

It sure felt like one.

Rather than a basketball game, it was the highest-scoring non-overtime game in the history of SEC Football. And it was one where the No. 7 Auburn Tigers came out on top, 65-43.

I hand out grades for offense, defense, coaching, special teams and officiating. How bad will the officials grade be? Here's a clue.... it's an F.

 

Offense: A+

Wow..... just a great performance. A total of 470 yards, 330 on the ground. Scores on 10 of their 12 possessions, seven of them touchdowns. Cam Newton went a very efficient 10-of-14 for 140 yards and a touchdown, and also rushed for 188 yards and three more scores.

There were NO turnovers for Auburn, even though Mario Fannin came close to having one at the goal-line. Clark only had to punt twice. It wasn't the Cam show, either, as all three Auburn running backs (Dyer, McCalebb, Fannin) all found the end zone on running plays.... not Newton.

If not for a dumb delay of game penalty after a huge kickoff return and two three-and-outs, this might have gone down as the greatest day for an Auburn offense.... ever. Period.

 

Defense: B-

It comes as no surprise that Arkansas rolled up yards. I expected it. The defense actually played well when Ryan Mallett was in, but when he was injured, the backup Wilson had the game of his life. Until the fourth quarter.

How ironic is it that after getting gashed most of the afternoon, the defense actually won the game? They forced three straight turnovers to blow a wild game wide open. That's why they get a B-. Because as odd as it is, if not for those turnovers, the outcome is very much in doubt.

Don't worry... Auburn doesn't have to play an air-raid like Arkansas again this year.

 

Special Teams: A+

220 kickoff return yards. On field goals, 3-of3. No big returns allowed, and just about every kickoff return by Arkansas resulted in the return-man becoming BBQ for the likes of Detruce McNeal, Eric Smith and Craig Sanders. Man, how far special teams have come in a year. The special teams had a literally perfect game for Auburn.

 

Coaching: A

Chizik's team was ready to play. Malzahn and Grimes coached good games, and Roof's defense stepped up in crunch-time.

 

Officiating: F-

The worst officials ever. They didn't have a clue what they were doing. They tried to give the game to Arkansas, until they incorrectly ruled a Mario Fannin run a touchdown.

There were crappy calls like Auburn's pass interference in the end zone where Demond Washington didn't lay a hand on him. The SEC must seriously suspend these refs. They were worse than the refs who screwed Georgia against LSU and Arkansas against Florida last year.

 

Overall: A

It's a win over the 12th-ranked team in the country. By 22 points. It's a great win for the program and possibly the best win for Chizik as a head coach. The defense needs to fix up.... good thing LSU is next. Auburn is 7-0 and will be in the top five of the first BCS standings. I would call this game a good effort. War Eagle!

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