Tre Mason's big game helps Auburn beat Hogs, go to 8-1

 
Auburn
 
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
F
 (8) Auburn Tigers
7
7
14
7
35
 Arkansas Razorbacks
0
3
7
7
17
Arkansas
 
 
 Quick Stats
AU
Ark
 First Downs
18
25
 Rushing Yards
233
222
 Passing Yards
133
124
 Total Yards
366
346
 Total Plays
55
74
 Fumbles-Lost
1-0
3-2
 Penalties-Yards
7-66
4-51
 Interceptions-Yards
1-0
0-0
 3rd Down Conversions
6-11
9-16
 4th Down Conversions
0-0
1-2
 Field Goals
0-0
1-1
 Time of Possession
25:46
34:14

 Stat Leaders
 Passing
C-Att
Yds
TD
Int
 AU - Marshall
7-8
118
1
0
 Ark - Allen
10-22
112
1
0
 Rushing
Car
Yds
TD
Long
 AU - Mason
32
168
4
20
 Ark - Williams
15
104
0
26
 Receiving
Rec
Yds
TD
Long
 AU - Coates
3
102
1
88
 Ark - Hatcher
4
50
1
20

 AUHD
 Video Game Highlights: Auburn at Arkansas
 Video Post-Game: Head Coach Gus Malzahn
 Video Verizon Locker Room Report
 Video Post-Game: RB Tre Mason
   
 
 2013 Schedule
08/31
W
 31-24 vs. Washington State
09/07
W
 38-9 vs. Arkansas State
09/14
W
 24-20 vs. Mississippi State
09/21
L
 35-21 at (6) LSU
10/05
W
 30-22 vs. (24) Ole Miss
10/12
W
 62-3 vs. Western Carolina
10/19
W
 45-41 at (7) Texas A&M
10/26
W
 45-10 vs. Florida Atlantic
11/02
W
 35-17 at Arkansas
11/09
-
 at Tennessee
11/16
-
 vs. Georgia
11/30
-
 vs. Alabama
   
By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com
 
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Arkansas tried to play keep-away from Tre Mason. Oh, how the Razorbacks tried, dominating time of possession and the number of plays and first downs and just about everything.
 
Except Auburn.
 
The Tigers made the most of their limited first-half opportunities and went on to beat Arkansas 35-17 Saturday night at Razorback Stadium behind Mason's 168 yards and four touchdowns on a workhorse 32 carries.
 
Auburn threw it nine times. Nine. That did not matter, nor the degree of Nick Marshall's injured shoulder. He completed 7-of-8 passes, including a long-in-the-air 88-yard touchdown pass to Sammie Coates that gave the Tigers a 28-3 lead midway through the third quarter.
 
The Tigers led 14-3 at the half and stretched the advantage to 28-10 after three. The rest was for accounting purposes, like how Auburn improved to 8-1 overall and 4-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Arkansas fell to 3-6 overall and 0-5 in the league.
The resurgent Tigers will try to keep their hot season going next Saturday at Tennessee.
 
The game was foreshadowed by comments from Arkansas coach Bret Bielema about Auburn's fast-paced offense and later about what he said was an incomplete video exchange. Auburn's Gus Malzahn did not allow himself to be drawn into it leading up to the game, or even when it was over.
 
In the end, Malzahn's run game overwhelmed Bielema's self-appointed "normal American football."
 
Mason instead grabbed the spotlight, even as Malzahn, an Arkansas high school coaching legend, won for the first time in four tries on the opposing sideline at Razorback Stadium. Auburn's coaching and administrative staff has plenty of ties to this state. Malzahn shrugged it off after the game, saying he didn't have time to meet with his long-time friends.
 
"I can come back in the offseason," he reasoned.
And, "To be completely honest, it's just about getting your eighth win. You separate that."
 
The players thought differently.
 
"We had to make a statement for the coaches with our play," Mason said.
 
Mason did, scoring, largely untouched, on runs of 9, 4, 5 and 12 yards.
 
"Tre is establishing himself as one of the top running backs in our league. He's a tough guy. He's durable," Malzahn said.
 
Mason had to make the most of his opportunities, at least in the first half. At one point, Arkansas had run 46 plays to Auburn's 15. At one point, Arkansas led time of possession 21:42 to 5:37.
 
The Tigers overcame all of that by turning Mason loose, and turning Marshall's injured shoulder loose for that huge 88-yard touchdown pass to Coates.
 
"Nick is one tough customer," Malzahn said. "We didn't really know if he was going to play. We felt like he had a chance on Thursday, but we really didn't know for sure he would start until we got out there and saw him throw pregame. He's a tough guy and his toughness carries over to our team, especially our offense."
 
Auburn led 14-3 at the half. But how? The Tigers barely had the ball. Arkansas had more yards and dominated time of possession. But the Razorbacks were undone by two turnovers, a failed on-sides kick attempt and a 17-play drive that died when two final tries from the 1 came up short when unsung JaViere Mitchell stop it cold both times.
 
The first half-stat sheet saw Arkansas with 46 plays and Auburn with just 22, seven of those coming in the final minute of the second quarter when Auburn was running out the clock. Auburn had only eight yards passing.
 
The big scoreboard said that didn't matter so much. Auburn took advantage of one of Arkansas' turnovers with a two-play, 29-yard drive that ended with a 9-yard Mason TD run. The Tigers did it again when they recovered an Arkansas' on-sides kick try. The Tigers needed to go only 38 yards, in six plays, to score on a 4-yard Mason run.
 
Marshall was only 2-of-3 passing for 8 yards passing.
 
He wowed Arkansas early in the third quarter, though, unleashing a long ball that turned into an 88-yard touchdown pass to Sammie Coates, the third longest pass-and-catch in school history. That came after Mason's third touchdown, a 5-yard sprint up the middle, on Auburn's first second-half drive.
 
Those two plays made it Auburn 28-3.
 
Arkansas answered with a long kickoff return that set up a Brandon Allen 13-yard touchdown pass to Keon Hatcher to make it 28-10. And then, on the first play of the fourth quarter, cut Auburn's lead to 28-17 on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Razorbacks cut it to 28-17 on the first play of the fourth quarter, but Mason finished off them off with his final touchdown run.