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Auburn barely survives Arkansas, but fans want off the roller coaster

Auburn barely survives Arkansas, but fans want off the roller coaster

Doug Segrest, Special to the Advertiser
Published 6:24 p.m. MT Oct. 10, 2020

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AUBURN, Ala. — Open up the talk-show lines. Stay tuned for message board drama.

The red flags are up. The meltdown is real.

Auburn got physical Saturday, opening a big lead against resurgent Arkansas. But the Razorbacks shook off a 17-point, first-half deficit to force Auburn to the precipice.

It took a a 38-yard Anders Carlson field goal with 7 seconds left for the 13th-ranked Tigers to escape with a 30-28 victory.

Yeah, we know. It was upset Saturday. Florida fell. LSU tumbled.

But a not-so-funny thing happened on the way to an Auburn rout. This outcome wouldn’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t happen. Until it did.

To Gus Malzahn, against his home state team, to a program with a first-year coach just a week removed from ending a 20-game SEC losing skid. Yeah, we know, 2020 has been a year like no other.

But, seriously?

It will take a while to unwrap this one. Needing to re-establish a physical presence after getting manhandled by No. 3 Georgia a week ago, Auburn did just that from the start.

Freshman Tank Bigsby turned in a breakout performance, hitting the century mark before intermission.

And in less conventional fashion, Auburn’s running game found success with 300-pound tight end J.J. Pegues out of the wildcat. He got Auburn into an early rhythm with an 11-yard carry.

Suddenly, Auburn’s beleaguered offensive line was gashing holes that Bigsby began exploiting. But like a rainbow on a soggy day, the good times proved fleeting.

WEEK 6: Winners and losers include Texas A&M, LSU

SHOCKER:No. 3 Florida falls to No. 22 Texas A&M

LETDOWN: No. 16 LSU loses to winless Missouri

The 17-point lead, established just 25 minutes

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