By Dylan Larck
The Arkansas Razorbacks had a 3-7 season in 2020, and Auburn was able to barely escape the Razorbacks last year after a controversial call saved the day for the Tigers.
Arkansas could be a team to watch out for as they aren’t the most talented team in the SEC, but they could be a team that will cause some issues for some squads in the league.
The success of this offense is built on how well KJ Jefferson plays in his first season as the starter. Jefferson made one start last season in their 50-48 loss to Missouri, where Jefferson threw for 274 yards and three touchdowns. He looked good against Missouri, but will he be able to rekindle that same magic against better opponents?
The running back depth is one of the worst in the SEC as most of their backs have not seen quality time on the field. Although, starter Trelon Smith is one of the most underrated running backs in the SEC, after running for 710 yards and five touchdowns last season.
The receiving core for the Razorbacks is highlighted by Treylon Burks, who is one of the top wide receivers in college football. This offseason, Arkansas lost Mike Woods to the transfer portal, which leaves their receiver room dependent on Burks.
Arkansas hosts one of the best linebacker cores in the country with Grant Morgan and Bumper Pool, who were second and fourth in the SEC in tackles last season. On the defensive line, they lost their best defensive tackle Jonathan Marshall, and will need to improve from last year, where they ranked 12th in rushing defense in the SEC.
In the secondary, Arkansas ranked ninth in the SEC in passing defense. Last season, the Razorbacks had a lot of playmakers in that secondary, catching the second most interceptions in the SEC last season. Jalen Catalon, finished fifth in tackles in the SEC and led Arkansas in interceptions.
MAKE OR BREAK FACTORS:
For Auburn to win at Arkansas, it has to start with the offense. The Razorbacks only lost one starter and were weak at stopping the run. Auburn will need to utilize Tank as much as possible, because this secondary tends to cause a lot of turnovers and Bo Nix’s weakness is away games.
Defensively, Auburn has to worry about Trelon Smith and Treylon Burks because they are the two biggest playmakers on Arkansas. They will need to shut down the run and get pressure on their young quarterback KJ Jefferson.