Auburn vs Arkansas

Demetris Robertson caught two passes for 81 yards Saturday, including a 71-yard touchdown in the third quarter. [TODD VAN EMST/AUBURN ATHLETICS]

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Perhaps no game this season featured as many rapid ups and downs for Auburn football, but credit to coach Bryan Harsin and the Tigers: They came away Saturday with their second SEC road win in as many tries, a 38-23 triumph at Arkansas.

Offense — A-: There were moments when the inability to establish the run was especially concerning. Arkansas is a team you run against. Auburn couldn't. The offensive line's run blocking is a real problem. But when Bo Nix plays like that, it doesn't matter.

Defense — C+: The clutch factor was off the charts, but Auburn was lucky to get away with just 10 points allowed in the first half. Every Arkansas drive of the half reached Auburn territory, and that trend continued with a touchdown to start the second half. But three of the game's biggest plays were Colby Wooden's sack, Derick Hall's strip sack on the next play (recovered by Marcus Harris for a touchdown) and the fourth-and-3 stop on the next series.

Special teams — B: Anders Carlson made his field goals. The Razorbacks didn't make theirs. Demetris Robertson called for another fair catch inside the 10. That's a nitpick. Not a ton of big special teams plays in this game.

Coaching — B-: Derek Mason's in-game adjustments were big again and led to the game-swinging defensive touchdown. But then he went back to conservative play-calling, especially on third downs. Harsin's timeout late in the first half was counting on Auburn getting the ball back to add to a 14-3 lead, but the Tigers couldn't stop a third-and-15. Faith in the defense: Good. Execution: Bad.

Overall— B+: There were moments when Auburn was in full panic mode. But the Tigers responded when it looked bad. Almost every game has been decided by a series of high-leverage plays, and Auburn has been on the winning side of those plays more times than not.

Bennett Durando

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