Auburn, Arkansas fight to avoid last place in competitive SEC West

Auburn (5-4, 2-4 SEC) at Arkansas (3-6, 1-5), 3 p.m. ET (SEC Network)

Line: Arkansas by 2 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Auburn leads 19-12-1.


Auburn and Arkansas are two of three teams fighting to stay out of the SEC West cellar. The Tigers have beaten the teams they were expected to beat this season, but fallen to all the ones against whom they were underdogs. Arkansas had fallen to just about everyone until beating Florida last week. Auburn needs just one more win to ensure a .500 season and bowl eligibility, while Arkansas can afford no more losses at all on either front.


Auburn's Peyton Thorne and Jarquez Hunter are the No. 2 quarterback-running back rushing duo in the SEC. The best, LSU’s Jayden Daniels and Logan Diggs, led the Tigers to 509 yards and a win over Arkansas in September. Arkansas has only allowed a high of 414 yards since. Although the Razorbacks have lost four of five games since the LSU game, all four losses came by one possession. If Arkansas limits Thorne and Hunter, the Razorbacks likely keep their hopes for a bowl appearance alive.


Auburn: Thorne. When he has thrown for 105 yards or more, the Tigers haven’t lost. Sounds easy enough, but he’s failed to hit that mark five times. Auburn’s quarterback will gain yards on the ground, as he has every week, but if those aren’t opening up passing options, the Tigers are going to struggle to score.

Arkansas: Raheim Sanders. The man known as Rocket was a preseason All-American, but a knee injury had limited him to less than 100 yards over just three healthy games until the Gators visited Fayetteville. Sanders didn’t find the end zone, but his 103 yards on 18 carries offered a flashback to 2022, when he ran for more than 1,300 yards.


Auburn had won six straight games in the series before Arkansas' 14-point victory last year ensured the Razorbacks a bowl appearance. The last time Arkansas beat Auburn in Fayetteville was in 2015. … Arkansas kicker Cam Little was named a Groza Award semifinalist on Tuesday. He is 16 of 18 on field-goal attempts with two makes longer than 50 yards. … Arkansas defensive coordinator Travis Williams, in his first season with the Razorbacks, played linebacker at Auburn from 2001-05 and was an assistant with the Tigers from 2009 to 2011 and 2014 to 2020. … Arkansas played against Auburn coach Hugh Freeze last year when he coached Liberty. The Flames won, 21-19.


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