Jim Harris: Is Auburn Game of Bielema’s Razorback Career?


Call it the Arkyana Hog Podcast hosted by Jim Harris.

Louisiana natives, former Razorback football players and current Little Rock residents Mike Shepherd and Rick David give their thoughts and analysis on the Razorbacks, the team’s performance against the Alabama Crimson Tide and take a look at the Auburn game Saturday in Fayetteville.

Some of the highlights you will will catch from this episode:

  • Recruiting and the woes from the Petrino years
  • Recruiting in-state talent
  • The path to bowl eligibility
  • The Auburn game – Is it the game of Bret Bielema’s career as the Razorbacks’ head football coach? (Take poll below)
  • Making in-state talent better

The news from Auburn:

AUBURN, Ala. ― Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said “there’s no doubt it’s difficult” to change quarterbacks during a season, but the Tigers have pushed through it with Sean White showing some moxie as the new starter.

“Sean is a gamer,” said offensive lineman Alex Kozan. “You see that confidence in him on the sidelines and in games.”

Malzahn said Auburn has “gotten through some of the difficult times” after making the switch to White.

White has completed 66.2 percent of his passes — he’s 43-of-65 for 551 yards. Perhaps more importantly, he has only one turnover in three games, something Malzahn has stressed the last few weeks.

“We’ve improved the last few games. This last game was really the first time it really looked like an Auburn offense with rhythm and everything that goes with that. The challenge is to take the next step and each week play better.”

Auburn will try to build on White’s success in a 30-27 win at Kentucky last week when it plays at Arkansas at 11 a.m. Saturday.

“The bottom line is we’ve got to play our best game to go there and win,” Malzahn said. “It’s definitely a tough place to play. They’re a good team.”

Other notes from Malzahn’s weekly press conference…

• Running back Jovon Robinson hasn’t played since the first game. He’s dealt with an injured ankle.

“He’s starting to get healthy. You could see him more and more,” Malzahn said. “It’s also probably a combination of Peyton Barber performing extremely well, too. But you could see him Saturday or you could see him before the season is out.”

• On freshman running back/Wildcat quarterback Kerryon Johnson:

“He’s done a good job for us, and we felt like when we recruited him he was very versatile, he would give us a lot of flexibility,” Malzahn said. “He had the injury in fall camp that kind of set him back a little bit. He’s getting healthier and he’s doing a good job, and he’s protecting the football.”

Malzahn was asked if Johnson could throw it out of the Wildcat formation.

“He could,” he said with a smile. “I wouldn’t tell you, but he definitely could.”

• The forecast says there’s an 90 percent chance of thunderstorms for the game.

“We’ve practiced in the rain a few times this year,” Malzahn said. “We’ll do some things in practice to try and simulate the situation. A lot of the factor is keeping the footballs dry and keeping your hands dry with the towels and everything that goes with that.”

• Malzahn said he expects injured defensive end Montravius Adams and running back Roc Thomas to play Saturday.

Bret Bielema vs Gus Malzahn


Is the Auburn matchup in Fayetteville the most important game of Bret Bielema's career as the Razorbacks' head football coach?

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