Jim Harris: Razorbacks' Sack Attack, Takeaways Hold Auburn Tigers Down

by Jim Harris  on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 4:03 pm  

Arkansas defensive end Trey Flowers had 3.5 sacks and two quarterback hurries in the Razorbacks' 24-7 victory against Auburn. (Photo by Mark Wagner)

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

Arkansas more than doubled its season total in sacks and takeaways in one Saturday afternoon at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., and ended four weeks of frustration.

The Razorbacks, in rolling to a 24-7 win over Auburn, the first for the Hogs in Southeastern Conference play this season, sacked Tigers quarterbacks eight times for 80 yards in losses, continually derailing promising Auburn drives. The Hogs (2-4, 1-2) intercepted three passes and recovered two fumbles Saturday after managing just one fumble recovery and one pick in the first five games.

At times, the Razorbacks’ defensive front took away everything the woeful Tigers tried offensively.

“Guys got after it. Great finishing … We challenged those guys. We knew we had to get pressure on them. They responded,” defensive coordinator Paul Haynes said of his Razorback front line.

Passing proved to be the only consistent way Auburn could move the football against the Hogs, but even the aerial game would run into trouble when the Tigers fell well behind the 10-yard chain due to sacks.

Sophomore defensive end Trey Flowers, a product of Huntsville, Ala., returned to his home state and blew up the Tigers with 3.5 sacks, and Arkansas ran its season total to 15 after just seven in the first five games.

“I guess you could say I had a chip on my shoulder. Coming back here and knowing that Auburn ain’t give me a scholarship, so I just had a chip on my shoulder. Somebody’s gotta pay. So I just made plays,” said Flowers, who chose Arkansas over Georgia Tech with little or no attention from the top powers in his native state.

“Oh yeah,” he insisted whether he really had Auburn’s snub on his mind. “I’ve been thinking about it all season. I said before the season, ‘If you don’t offer me, you better not play me.’ I went out there and made sure they knew they missed an opportunity.”

Hog junior end Chris Smith roared through a hold by the Auburn right tackle that wasn’t called and still got to Tigers quarterback Clint Moseley while the game was still in doubt in the fourth quarter. Smith also shared on one of Flowers’ sacks. Junior tackle Robert Thomas had a sack, as did senior linebacker Terrell Williams, who had his best game as a Razorback with 12 total tackles.

And when the Hogs didn’t drop the quarterback, they put on enough pressure to rush Kiehl Frazier and his second-half replacement, Clint Moseley, into interceptions.

When Auburn threatened to cut into Arkansas’ 24-7 lead late in the game, the Junction City duo of tackle Byran Jones and safety Alan Turner combined for one of the Hogs’ five takeaways — Jones put the heat on Moseley and hit him just as the quarterback delivered the ball, and Turner was waiting in the end zone for the overthrow.

Frazier, the Shiloh Christian product, started out the game hot — Arkansas throughout the day conceded the short flat passes to Auburn receivers in order to protect against deep throws — and completed his first four  passes and 6 of 7. But he ended the half just 3 of 7 and didn’t take a second-half snap.

 

 

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