Many SEC teams came away from Saturday’s games with a boost in momentum. Ole Miss, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi State all came away with impressive victories on Saturday. However, for Arkansas and Auburn, the weekend was a frustrating experience to say the least. Let’s take a look at what we learned from teams from around the SEC this weekend.
The first item of business that we learned on Saturday is that Auburn’s defense can keep them in just about any game. Auburn’s area of concern is on the offensive side of the ball. Jarrett Stidham only passed for 79 yards this weekend, and he was brought in to bring some life to an Auburn passing game that struggled last season. To make matters worse for the Tigers, the offense was only able to rack up 117 total yards of offense. Auburn must find an offense or the seat will continue to get warmer for Auburn coach Gus Malzahn.
Perhaps the ugliest wakeup call occurred in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Saturday. The Horned Frogs proved to be rude guests and defeated the Razorbacks 28-7 on Saturday afternoon. An area of concern for Hog fans is that the offensive line cannot get a push when in the red zone; this is not a new problem for the Razorbacks. Bret Bielema is a power running type of coach and for the running game to be ineffective at the goal line is not something Bielema wants to be dealing with in year five.
Both Auburn and Arkansas should be concerned about performances like this past weekend carrying over. With Arkansas, it seems that the past few games against Power 5 conference opponents have been a nightmare. Bielema is now 10-22 in the SEC and the natives are starting to get restless in Arkansas. The Arkansas Razorbacks used the slogan “Long on Integrity” a few years ago in dismissing Bobby Petrino, now another sentence can be added to that statement. Long on Integrity, short on victories.
With the Auburn Tigers, the offense has to start passing the ball more effectively and force defenses to cover the pass. Stidham was brought in to throw the ball and thus far the experiment has not worked how Malzahn would like it to. Auburn will have to figure things out quickly with conference play just around the corner. The Auburn defense will keep the Tigers in any game, but the offense must score point. The seats are getting warm in Auburn and Fayetteville, football fans. As to whether either school will buy out Bielema or Malzahn remains to be seen. Two games down and 10 to go; it’s a long season. Enjoy it, football fans.