Arkansas at Auburn
Saturday, 3 pm PT - CBS
CRIS Opener: Auburn -8 O/U 55
CRIS Current: Auburn -10 O/U 55.5
As discussed in the Sportsmemo Blog on Tuesday, Auburn's offense has shown a small uptick in productivity since offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee took over play calling duties. Head coach Gus Malzahn on the switch: "I thought he's done an outstanding job," Malzahn said. "I think since that change you can see a difference in our offense with our tempo and just overall moving the football. That's real encouraging moving forward." I'm not going to get carried away by strong offensive showings against UL-Monroe and Mississippi State but it's reasonable to think the Tigers can have continued success this weekend against Arkansas who in three SEC games has allowed 503.7 ypg at 8.39 per clip. Perhaps an even more important stat in those three contests is that the Razorbacks allowed 53% third down conversions. Auburn's tempo is predicated on picking up 4-5 yards on first down and moving the chains which they should be able to do on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Arkansas has proven capable of moving the football. They picked up a lot of garbage yardage by playing from behind against Texas A&M and Alabama but last week posted 200+ on the ground and through the air in their 34-30 upset win over Ole Miss. What really stands out though is Arkansas' game scores against comparable or better competition. Contests against TCU, Texas A&M, Alabama, and Ole Miss produced point totals of 79, 69, 79, and 64.
Auburn's schedule really hasn't been conducive for overs. Clemson and LSU boast top-tier stops units while Arkansas State, UL-Monroe, and Mississippi State all have below average offenses. Texas A&M grades out as above average offensively and below average defensively in the SEC. The Aggies beat Auburn 29-16 but the pace of that game (166 plays) and combined yardage (877 yards) show they should have reached at least the high 50's if not for poor play in the red zone. I expect Saturday's game to produce a similar offensive output as we play over the total.