War Eagle! 65-43.
In a game with no defense it was the defense that put it away, setting up 28 points in just five minutes of the fourth quarter. This game shattered conference scoring records. In the final analysis the offense built the pace, special teams contributed mightily with a punt block and two huge returns. The defense held late. This is as complete a game as we’re going to get, this season. It was a delirious affair.
In the pregame, praying for the heathen Razorbacks.
And from here, the Twitter feed takes over. Post-game thoughts, as needed, are included in the bold:
Not a cloud in the sky, BEAUTIFUL day in the loveliest village.
Announcing starters. When Ryan Mallet’s name was called, we helpfully pointed out he’d be second string at Michigan.
My 14,000th tweet! Thanks so much for reading them!
Arkansas goes just north of nowhere to start the game. Auburn begins at their own 29.
Auburn picks up a big first down across midfield but there’s a suspicion of holding. Auburn punts. (You saw this happen twice.)
Looks like a nice crowd from Arkansas came down the pig trail.
Arkansas strikes first, 0-7.
The student body throws the opposing team’s football over the lip of the stadium after kicks. Hope Arkansas can fetch them.
Demond Washington is due a huge return. (He then brought the ball out to midfield.)
Cam Newton loves pork barbecue.
TOUCHDOWN AUBURN! Cam Newton trucks Arkansas for the score. 7-7. (Seriously, who wants to hit that guy at this point?)
The play before Kodi Burns put down a serious block on the edge.
The Auburn secondary came to play. This could get scary. (I should have said they came to hit. Because they were making physical plays when they got to the ball carrier. But being there is key.)
@supurmario27 down the line. Bobby Petrino is thinking about a new job.
@wesbyrum pushes a 43-yard field goal through and Auburn takes a 10-7 lead.
Demetruce McNeal is a special team all his own.
The fans are of the belief that the officials are bovine specialists.
Arkansas drives the length of the field, big time drive, to retake the lead 10-14. Mallet got hit solid a few times. (Did you notice how slow he was getting up over the course of the drive? I think his problems were cumulative.)
Cam Newton is going as himself for Halloween. You can too! The bookstore now has signs announcing No. 2 jerseys for sale.
TOUCHDOWN AUBURN! @SupurMario27 scores. Maybe. Pending review.
Ryan Mallet is out. Don’t see him on the sideline, but he had been slow to get up on the previous drive. (And it was a long time before anything definitive filtered through the stadium.)
Auburn sells out and comes up with a game changing blocked punt.(Huge.)
Cam Newton rides scooters over defenders.
TOUCHDOWN AUBURN! McCalebb around the right side.@wesbyrum’s kick makes it 24-14.
Don’t know what they’re talking about on the sideline, but it better be about emphatically putting Arkansas away. (Turns out, that was not the case. Not yet anyway. You forget, sometimes, that the other team has a say in this too.)
Nick Fairley haunts quarterbacks’ dreams. (Really. The man’s terrifying.)
Arkansas’ back up quarterback drops a ball into a receiver’s waiting hands. 24-21. Nice little move on his part.
Nice screen to @supurmario27, negated by penalty. (Stop me if you’ve heard that one before.)
@wesbyrum sends us to the half with a 26-yard field goal and a 27-21 Tiger lead. (This all could have been exhausting, but in retrospect, it was really as if the game hadn’t even started yet.)
Shame Mallet has a bruised brain. Get well soon, razorback.
Cam Newton on a 28-yard jog as the Tigers get set to break this game open. (He doesn’t run fast. The earth just rotates more quickly when he is in motion.)
Arkansas’ defense holds, on comes
@wesbyrum to kick a 28-yarder, making it 30-21. (Be honest, who thought he might break the scoring record in this game.)
Do you think Urban Meyer now wishes he kept Cam Newton around?
Somehow the most penalized team in the conference is benefitting from the close calls. (Granted, this was written in the heat of the moment. We know better now.)
I’d like to see the Auburn DBs get off a few more blocks. (I’d also like a pony.)
Arkansas throws a TD (quarterback controversy!) and the score is now 30-28. (Right about here you’re wondering who this Wilson guy is. And you were right to do so. It is not too early to worry about him for next year.)
Onterrio McCalebb! 99 yards on the kickoff return. (I think that was Washington’s return, but I’ll take it.)
Delay of game? I thought Steve Ensminger had left the state. (Sorry, someone must be picked on when you start a drive at the opposing goal line and immediately penalize yourself. Of course it can’t be Coaches Malzahn or Chizik’s fault, and Cam Newton is blameless unto the football gods. Ensminger gets the nod. He’ll be back in town next weekend. He’s coaching tight ends at LSU now.)
Cam over top. TOUCHDOWN AUBURN! Someone in the athletic department is now compiling Heisman footage. 37-28.
Fear the backup. (I do. Really, this guy is frightening.)
OK, the defense is now giving them up small and big. Time to go back to the drawing board. 37-35.
Auburn needs some new block shedding drills. (I take it back. I don’t want that pony.)
Razorbacks are just itching for a fight.
Arkansas re-takes the lead to start the 4th quarter, quieting Jordan-Hare like only the Razorbacks can. (Seriously, if you’ve ever wondered how spooky it would be to hear 87,000-plus get deathly quiet, come visit anytime Arkansas is in town. They have a way of doing that, with or without Fred Talley.)
Two point conversion is good 43-37.
The Mallet brain bruise is a ruse. Wilson is Mallet. Petrino is a Falcon. Nutt coaches Arkansas and Ole Miss. Take the blue pill. (It made sense because nothing makes sense.)
Auburn’s first drive of the 4th quarter begins with Newton flinging one out to Darvin Adams near midfield.
TOUCHDOWN AUBURN! Cam Newton to Emory Blake, 44-43. (Fine throw. Cam’s two best efforts of the day were on this drive.)
Last team with the ball in this game wins.
Wilson, Arkansas’ backup quarterback, has 271 yards and four touchdowns.
Cam Newton has 186 yards rushing. @supurmario27 has 60, Onterrio McCalebb has 29
Arkansas fumbled! @z_etheridge4 picks it up and sprints for the score. TOUCHDOWN AUBURN! 50-43, review pending. (I turned around right here, just to be sure the Barn wasn’t burning again. It had become bizarre enough to consider.)
TOUCHDOWN AUBURN! I-40 is a trail of misery, Hog fans. 51-43.
Whoa livin’ on a prayer. How apropos.
Eric Smith, tough as a Northport steak! (I’d been wondering why he wasn’t in the game more, but now I can see he was just stoking up the hate.)
Wilson’s pass is intercepted by Josh Bynes who returns it to the Hog 7. Place goes nuts. (Does Auburn have seismographs on campus? Did they register this?)
TOUCHDOWN AUBURN. Cam Newton on the run pass option keeps and puts this one away. 58-43.
Now if the defense keeps it together against LSU next week …
Josh Bynes with a niiiice interception. @Ren_ called it before the play, too!
TOUCHDOWN AUBURN! North Little Rock’s Michael Dyer breaks free and scores. 65-43. The SEC TREMBLES.
There’s a helicopter overhead. Someone’s trustees are here to recruit. Petrino.
Bo Jackson is on the sideline. Is he here for an anointing?
Auburn takes over on downs. An unusual statement in a game with 1,020 yards and 108 points. We need consistent defense. (My mythical pony can probably contribute a few reps.)
7-0, hammering a one-loss, 12th ranked Arkansas that gave Bama all they wanted.
If you thought that was crazy, Les Miles brings his psycho roadshow into Jordan-Hare next week. (This one won the Most Retweeted award for the day.)
Can Cam Newton play defense? How about basketball? Barbee salivates.
The student body takes up the Heisman chant.
To Toomer’s, to watch the celebration:
And inside the drug store, for overpriced lemonade:
Kenny graduated from Auburn at the turn of the century. He worked in newsrooms across the region and then earned a master’s degree at UAB. He met and married a Yankee, who declared her Auburn allegiance at her first home game. She’s now on the faculty at Auburn. He’s finishing his PhD at Alabama and teaches at Samford University. See him online at www.kennysmith.org and @kennysmith.