Saturday, October 7, 2006

arkansas at auburn live blog - first quarter

more in recognition of the knowledge that I'll get absolutely no work done during the Auburn-Arkansas game (though the recent interview transcribing is pretty much caught up) than any kind of pseudo-literary pursuit, I've decided to try a running blog on today's Auburn-Arkansas game (I'm running late - no time for the usual pre-game comments when you turn on the television right before kickoff).

Auburn got off to a nice start: good runback of the kickoff, an eleven-yard run by Kenny Irons, a ten-yard pass play to Rod Smith before a unbelievably ugly gimmick play (a tossback to Tre Smith in hopes of a pass back to Brandon Cox open in the left flat loses twelve) kills all momentum so Auburn punts (an unusually weak punt by Kody Bliss who misjudges his lag inside the 20).

in Arkansas' first series Auburn defended the run well (McFadden primarily) but gave up a large gain on a screen pass and another across the middle. then a misdirection run to the left by Jones goes for a big gain and Arkansas has the ball inside Auburn's 20.

commercial break for an Arkansas timeout (thankfully).

it's telling, at least somewhat, that this game is overshadowed in pre-game hype by Florida-LSU and Tennessee-Georgia when Auburn and Arkansas are the last two undefeated in the conference teams in the West division (meaning that it's likely that the winner of this game will go to the SEC Championship game).
and I can only assume that even after Auburn's close call on the road against South Carolina a week ago Thursday (was Auburn's staff severely outcoached by Spurrier? maybe. the flexible, forgiving defense certainly didn't work against SC quarterback Syvelle Newton) the experts don't take Arkansas very seriously (I have no idea what the point spread is on this game), after all, USC blew them out for the second year in a row and Arkansas beat Vanderbilt by only two points and Alabama (in overtime) by just one.

Arkansas hits a 34-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.

kickoff for a touchback and two runs gain nothing, incomplete pass on third down and Auburn's set to punt again. not looking good.

44-yard punt by Kody Bliss for a fair catch at Arkansas' 36 (not a bad punt obviously - a 44-yard pickup in field position - but I'm guessing there's some wind in the stadium today as that one looked like in hung up a bit (no carry)).

this is harder than it looks, by the way.

my beloved is back from the drug store and is now updating her iPod (three weeks behind) and keeping an eye on the laundry we started before the game, which is one of the reasons I was running a little behind. didn't eat (or haven't eaten) but I did manage to unload the dishwasher.

eight-yard gain on a pass across the middle by true freshman Mitch Mustain (looks like Arkansas, like South Carolina, might be another team that you'd want to play really early this season (maybe one game earlier than Auburn's playing these guys) as both offenses (SC and Arkansas) look like they can do some damage.

gamebreak shows that Iowa is up by two touchdowns early over Purdue.

overthrown pass by Mustain for his first incomplete of the game. third and six.

Auburn blitzes. Mustain throws off his back foot. Auburn's db falls down (looks like he might've been pulled down by Monk, Arkansas' wide receiver) and Monk reins in Mustain's floater and waltzes into the end zone for a 10-0 Arkansas lead.
50 yards, by the way.
CBS' commentator calls the play "a gift from heaven" for Arkansas, and points out that this is the largest deficit that Auburn has faced this year.

Auburn called for holding on the runback.
and I know that coming back to win should be the primary concern right now, but I can't help thinking that after the South Carolina game and USC's early season domination of Arkansas (50-14), Auburn will be hard pressed to hang onto a #2 ranking after this game even if they do win.

Auburn fumbles, but recovers, on first down. second and 12.
pass to Courtney Taylor crossing to the middle for a ten-yard gain.
Brad Lester runs off tackle right for the first down.

gamebreak shows that Wake Forest leads Clemson. go Demon Deacons.

very nice, determined run left (through a pretty clogged line) for 19 yards by Lester gets the crowd back into the game.

over the top pass to Rod Smith to the left corner for another Auburn first down.

after a tough no-gain run to the middle, Arkansas' db Richardson and Auburn's Rod Smith trade headslaps and offsetting unnecessary roughness penalties.

pass for first down. another run up the middle for little or no gain.
ugly bootleg screen to Courtney Taylor to the left loses three so the quarter ends with Auburn facing third and long (15?) from the Arkansas 25.

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