Auburn defeated Arkansas 38-23 in the first half. Five key plays were made in Auburn's 38-25 victory over Arkansas

Auburn defeated Arkansas 38-23 in the first half. Five key plays were made in Auburn's 38-25 victory ...

Auburns 38-23 victory over Arkansas on Saturday put the Tigers back in the top-25 of the AP and coaches polls.

At the 9:59 mark in the second quarter, the Tigers led 14-3 on a Tank Bigsby one-yard touchdown run. Auburn (5-2, 2-1 SEC) had 135 yards rushing, while the Razorbacks had 232. The Tigers were outgained by nearly 100 yards on the ground. On the second scoring drive of the game, Bigsby ran six times for 29 yards.

Bigsbys 68 yards on 11 carries, as well as Bo Nix 42 yards upon five rushes, paved the way for the passing game. Nix threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns. In the win, Nix completed passes to 10 receivers.

The defense also increased by limiting Razorback quarterback KJ Jefferson to 228 yards on 21-35 passing attempts. Auburn held the Razorbacks scoreless in the fourth quarter. Auburn's triumph was a great thing, but it wasn't easy. After seeing Arkansas turn a 14-3 Auburn advantage into slipping to 0-14 with 12:30 remaining in the third quarter, the Tigers needed grit.

We dont flinch. Nobody panicked. Derick Hall, the edge rusher, said, We just stayed together." Were all we got, and weve got everything we need to be able to go out on the road and win. We all know that adversity is bound to strike at any moment. Being able to stay together and execute, while also playing excellent defense and being defiant in our approach to this game was incredibly important down the stretch.

Marcus Harris recovered Halls strip-sack in the end zone with 7:39 remaining in third quarter. Harris scoring the touchdown gave the Tigers a 21-17 lead, limiting the Razorbacks to just one point.

It was the game play. I think that our sideline we had a lot of energy at the beginning, Nix said. We went down and scored, scored again, and then there at the end of the second quarter kind of lost momentum, so that play after they came down, that game was huge. It put us back in the lead. We got the field back shortened so they didnt lose field position, and then we just got some fire back to us.

Halls sack turned the game. However, the Tigers needed to make several more big plays to secure the victory. Heres a look at some of the key plays in Auburn s sixth consecutive victory over Arkansas.

(12:16 First Quarter): Arkansas 39 (11th and 10 ball on 1st and 10-point). JaVarrius Johnson scored a touchdown pass to Nix, giving Auburn 0-7 lead. On their first possession, the Tigers scored a touchdown, unlike last week against Georgia, when Auburn settled for securing oblique field goal after completing dreadful play. Arkansas was scoring over 30 points per game in Saturdays game against the Tigers. Auburn spent the entire week before the win harping on winning drives.

There were certain things that weve all been working on that came into place today, Harsin said. That doesnt mean we have to stop working on those, and everything is figured out, but I think the focus we put on the field during the game, carried over into this game. In my opinion, that was one of the reasons we were able to win this game.

Auburn 16 (2:21 first quarter): Auburn was up 7-3 with an opportunity to move the chains. Jarquez Hunter took the handoff from Nix and was greeted in the backfield by Jashaud Stewart. Hunter was picked up by the linebacker and slammed him to the turf, knocking the ball out. Arkansas thought it was a fumble. The refs disagreed.

Oscar Chapman punted the pigskin to the Arkansas 49. The Hogs had a good field position, but if the fumble had stood, they wouldve taken over at Auburns 16. Arkansas missed a 53-yard field goal seven plays later.

It was said that they picked up the ball carrier up, and that meant that the game could no longer be a fumble, Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said about the play during his post-game press conference. So, I dont know. Last week, I thought Rocket (Arkansas running back Rocket Sanders) was stopped whenever they pulled the ball out of there. But maybe not. I dont know.

Bigsbys touchdown came on the subsequent possession, aided by a good field position from the missed field goal. Auburn led 14-3 when Hunter's run could've been disastrous if it hadn't been for a fumble.

Auburn 29 (1:23 in the third quarter): 1st and 10 ball; Auburn 31 Halls strip-sack was the game's play, according to Nix. Hes right. Nix also had the prettiest pass, when he connected for 71 yards to Demetris Robertson. Robertson was able to catch the ball in stride for the score when Nix made it simple.

We wanted to make sure we got the right look. They played us how we wanted it to look, so we got the perfect opportunityfirst down coming out, and we took a shot there. D-Rob did a fantastic job of halting the situation, according to Nix. We were behind the defense because they were in a quarters coverage. He made a great adjustment to the ball, and he finished the play. A lot of guys are OK with the catch, but he wanted to go score, which is important, explains Taylor.

After Robertsons touchdown, Auburn went up 28-17.

The 3rd and 6 ball was on Arkansas 30 (12:31 fourth quarter): Nix passes a long pass to Robertson. Robertsons head swung over his head and the ball was inoperable. Good for Arkansas, right? Not so fast, however. The officials called it pass interference. The ball wasnt catchable, but the defensive back grabbed Robertsons jersey on the play. Nix should remind him of that call when he makes a similar point about the Tigers not getting calls. Alas, the drive continued, with an Anders Carlson field goal putting Auburn ahead 31-23.

On Arkansas 23 (2:37 fourth quarter) Nix slammed the door on the Razorback hopes with a 23-yard touchdown run.

That was one of our best plays because we knew exactly what theyd be in so we wouldnt be shocked by the look, and we could just block them up and go, Nix said. I was on one of those RPO-style plays where if I had a throw, I could throw it, but the box cleared for me and I went off running. Coach Harsin was just talking to me to go play and win the game, and thats what I did.

Nubyjas Wilborn is an Auburn beat writer for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @nwilborn19.

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