Thursday, October 14, 2010
Arkansas Preview--Reverse the Curse
I love pulled pork...but I digress.
I've read a lot about curses this week and about how Arkansas has been the albatross around our necks ever since joining the conference. Rob will tell you below its the hardest SEC game on the schedule to get up for emotionally this side of Vanderbilt.
We have been a punching bag for the hogs for too long. For every good memory we have (Kenny Irons running wild in 05) we have several bad ones (Matt Jones running wild in...well almost every year we played him).
My personal favorite of kicks in the gut was 2006. Arkansas had a true freshman QB and we had a defense that had absolutely stonewalled everybody. Guz ran us to death with McFadden/Jones. But the stage was set when Mustain (who no one has ever seen again) hit Monk with a dying quail of a pass that wound up for a long touchdown. In typical Tuberville fashion, the BBQ bunch had no idea what to do when they got down a couple scores. We finished 11-2 in the worst great season any Auburn team has ever had.
So how's this for an idea: Reverse the curse, if there is one. I am also a huge baseball fan. The Red Sox did it in 2004 after years of being hit by the Yankee bus. Their motto- "why not us?"
We have 3 offensive starters from Arkansas, including the best running back recruit in the country. I guarantee you Mr. Dyer will be jacked up. How about letting him run behind Mr. Ziemba? My guess is he will be equally stoked to stick it to his former state.
Will the Hogs give us our biggest challenge of the year? I am just not sure. They played Bama off their feet at home, but escaped Georgia's worst team in 20 years late in that game. They also had to stave off the Texas Aggies last week. The Texas Aggies are woeful.
One thing for sure: we have to get pressure from the front four. Fairley will have to be A game Fairley for our defense to have a shot. Rotate those freshmen phemons on the d-line, pin our ears back and go get Mallett. Make him hurt, like we did with every other QB we've faced at home this year. Do that and I guarantee mistakes from Mallett will come.
I think we'll get our points. Chris Todd was terrible last year and we scored 20 points in the third quarter. Cam will lead us on long drives that will wear down the Hog defense (I hope).
Another key to this game is special teams. We have to have Arkansas starting drives inside their own 30. Kickoff coverage must be better (Get well Mr Sanders. We need you.) I like having Clark in there to hang high punts. Averaging 5-8 yards more on those high ones would be huge.
It is time to reverse the curse. End the trend. And say "Why not us?"
Pulled Pork: 27