No. 11 Auburn dominates second half in victory at Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The frustration for Razorback Nation grows even more.

Freshman quarterback Bo Nix threw for 176 yards and three touchdowns and added another on the ground to lead the No. 11 Auburn Tigers (6-1, 3-1) to a 51-10 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks (2-5, 0-5) Saturday in Fayetteville. Arkansas dropped its 15th-straight Southeastern Conference game.

“I thought our guys played extremely hard,” said Arkansas Head Coach Chad Morris. “I thought our youth showed at times. We are going to keep giving the effort and get back to work.”

Arkansas offense again struggled. Senior quarterback Ben Hicks earned his third start of the season. He finished 19-of-39 for 182 yards and one touchdown. The Hogs gained just 224 total yards, 52 of those on the ground.

“I thought I played okay, made some good throws,” said Hicks. “Obviously, the way we started was not good for us. A turnover on the third play, three-and-outs put our defense in tough spots. You have to tip your caps to Auburn’s defense.”

Auburn started the scoring fast. After recovering a Hicks fumble on the fist possession of the game deep in Arkansas territory, Nix led the Tigers on a quick drive. He rushed for a four-yard touchdown run for an early 7-0 lead. After a punt on the next Hogs’ series, Auburn did not waste ay time. It took three plays to drive 63 yards. Sophomore Shaun Shivers scored on a six-yard run for a 14-0 advantage. Arkansas’ defense held the rest of the half, giving up just a late first quarter 51-yard field goal. Auburn took at 17-0 lead into halftime.

Arkansas’ offense looked motivated early in the second half. Hicks led the Hogs on a 16-play, 77-yard drive eating up more than seven minutes. But the Hogs settled for a Connor Limpert 48-yard field goal cut the lead to 17-3.

Auburn responded immediately after giving up a score. Nix led the Tigers on back-to-back touchdown drives. He hit a wide-open Seth Williams at the end zone line for a 48-yard touchdown pass. He then connected to Anthony Schwartz on a 28-yard touchdown pass for a quick 31-3 lead.

Arkansas cut the lead to 31-10 after a 45-yard touchdown pass from Hicks to Cheyenne O’Grady. That was as close as the Hogs would get. Auburn tacked on three more touchdowns.

“Toward the end of the game, we have to continue to fight,” said sophomore linebacker Bumper Pool of the effort. “A key emphasis for us is to never quit.”

Rakeem Boyd led the Hogs rushing attack with only 47 yards on eight carries. O’Grady caught seven passes for 75 yards.

Life in the SEC does not get any easier for Arkansas. The Hogs will travel to Tuscaloosa to play the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. on the SEC Network.

“I’m not going to tell you it’s easy, no part of it is easy,” said Morris. “There’s no quit in us. They are a very good program. They are very talented offensively and defensively. We have to go back to work and play better.”

Kickoff is at 6 p.m. on the SEC Network.