Have a great season Brandon and good luck with the pigs. Some info:
QB Brandon Allen spent the summer at the Chris Weinke QB camp and early reports are very favorable in his maturation. He is making good decisions and a lot quicker on his reads. Scrimmages indicate very few turnovers and only two bad snap exchanges have been reported. The offensive line looks good with two transfers helping out and there is competition for starting positions. Allen is 100% healthy this year, which may be key in this matchup, as LY he was injured most of the season when he suffered a shoulder injury in a showboating dive in the end zone against So Miss early in the season.
CB Tevin Mitchell is an NFL caliber corner and is coming in offseason shoulder surgery. He wore a green jersey (no contact) for the first weeks of camp, but now is released for full contact. He has been injury prone and in his absence the hogs got torched on the go route. Although the secondary is still not the best, having him healthy is huge.
Ben Herbert (strength and conditioning coach) is maybe one of the best in the biz. The beefy Whiskey approach is in motion and the team is fit as a fiddle. I do not expect for them to be gassed in this opener and furthermore expect for the hogs to be able to run the ball on all the best. Herbert has 'em running the boston mtn hills of the Ozarks and there is little fat to be found.
CFB preseason ratings have Auburn #2 and spread differential playing this opener at home is about a 30 pt difference. QB Marshall is expected to play, how much is uncertain - but will not start, fwiw. Loss of Tre Mason and Jay Prosch will be difficult to replace in the wing bone formation, imo. This line has gone down considerable since open.
There were a lot of factors that contributed to Arkansas' poor season LY, a good deal of injuries heads that list. However, despite excuse making, the hogs remain winless in SEC affairs under Brett Bulemia. The staff is working overtime to at least be more competitive this year and the mood on the hill is hungry. Fan base isn't quite sure of the power run game in SEC play, as the defenses are a little more inclined than in Big Ten play.
Bottom Line: Sports writers are already placing the tigers in a BCS playoff scenario before first snap and Arkansas is once again at the bottom of the pack. The hogs will play a live dog role in this one, and give all. There is nobody on deck (Nichols state) and both coaches and players are looking to test their meddle in this matchup.