Both Auburn and Arkansas are coming into this week’s game with little to no momentum after devastating defeats.
Auburn got its heartbroken after a time-expiring field goal put the Tigers' SEC West dreams on hold. Arkansas was a different story, as the Razorbacks got throttled by North Texas, 44-17 and tossed six interceptions in that game.
Auburn is hoping to get back on track, while Arkansas looks to get some type of spark from its team.
Here are some players to watch and keys to victory for each team:
Players to watch:
Darius Slayton (Auburn):
This matchup has all the makings of one where multiple Tiger receivers will have an impact, but Slayton has the potential to have the biggest of them all.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
Last season, Slayton torched the Arkansas defense for a career-high, 146-yard performance. The combination of past success, mixed with Arkansas’ inability to successfully defend has Slayton poised for another dominant performance.
Deshaun Davis (Auburn):
The senior linebacker is coming off a career game against LSU where he had 13 tackles, four tackles for loss and one sack. Davis is currently leading the Tigers in total tackles and tackles for loss among a stacked front seven. The Razorbacks have not had a huge amount of success running the football and based off Davis’ performances this season, it looks like it will be a long day for Arkansas’ running backs.
The Auburn secondary has been under scrutiny this season after being flagged multiple times for pass interference and the amount of big plays it has given up.
Auburn’s secondary has been solid overall in its coverage, only allowing quarterbacks to complete 47.9 percent of passes and a negative touchdown-to-interception ratio, but have had trouble giving up big plays through the air. The defensive backfield is 82nd in the nation for average yards per attempt and 86th in total yards allowed.
Auburn looks to have a more consistent showing against Arkansas and if struggles continue against the Razorbacks, it does not spell well for the Tigers moving forward.
Ty Storey (Arkansas)
Arkansas named Storey the starter on Monday after every other Razorback quarterback threw an interception against North Texas for a team total of six interceptions. Storey is the lone quarterback on the roster that has a positive touchdown-to-interception ratio and is the closest resemblance to a solid quarterback on the team. The junior is catching Auburn at the wrong time as the secondary will be looking to prove the critics wrong.
De’Jon Harris (Arkansas)
Harris to Arkansas is what Deshaun Davis is to Auburn. Harris is the undisputed leader among the defense. Harris led the Razorbacks in total tackles, tackles for loss and sacks last season. The Bednarik Watch List recipient will have to take much of the defensive load for Arkansas on Saturday if they want to stand any chance against Auburn.
Armon Watts (Arkansas)
With Auburn still deciding on a permanent offensive line unit, this is perfect time for current SEC sack leader Armon Watts to take advantage. Watts has been effective at getting into the opponent’s backfield this season to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks and running backs with three sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss on the season thus far.
Malzahn discussed moving pieces around on the offensive line and with a possible new unit still meshing, Watts could give Stidham fits on Saturday.
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman