Tigers Defeat 7th-Ranked Arkansas, 10-3
October 11, 2003
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Carnell Williams ran for 150 yards and a touchdown on 35 carries and Auburn shut down the Southeastern Conference's top rushing attack in the Tigers' 10-3 victory over No. 7 Arkansas on Saturday.
Arkansas (4-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) had been averaging 247.8 yards on the ground -- behind Cedric Cobbs' 140.5-yard average -- but Williams' stole the attention as Auburn (4-2, 3-0) remained in contention to win the SEC West.
He opened the game with a 44-yard run and had 124 yards by halftime for the Tigers .
In addition to having the game's only touchdown, Williams' 1-yard plunge on fourth-and-1 kept a drive alive at the Tigers 45 just after Arkansas had narrowed the score to 7-3. Seven plays later, John Vaughn kicked a 34-yard field goal to put Auburn up 10-3 with 9:50 left in the game.
In the same drive, Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell hit Jeris McIntyre for 13 yards on third-and-8 and threw to Silas Daniels for 29 yards on second-and-16.
A pair of holding penalties on receiver George Wilson wiped out a pair of long Arkansas runs -- a 68-yarder by Cobbs in the third quarter and a 78-yarder by Matt Jones that would have tied the game a minute after Vaughn's field goal.
The Razorbacks still managed to drive deep after the penalty on Jones' run, but Jones fumbled when Auburn linebacker Travis Williams slapped at the ball. Junior Rosegreen recovered at the 9.
Auburn failed to gain a first down and Arkansas started a drive from the Auburn 47, but linebacker Karlos Dansby sacked Jones on a fourth-and-8 from the Auburn 35 with 2:30 left.
With Auburn defenders deep when the Razorbacks got the ball back with 13 seconds left, Jones ran right for a few. With no timeouts left, the game ended before Arkansas could run another play.
Williams, who had 185 yards in Auburn's 28-21 victory over Tennessee last week, often carried for 5 or more yards on first down, giving the Tigers more options on second and third.
Williams' 6-yard touchdown run off right tackle ended a first half that included both teams mixing a few splashes of expertise into a general sloppiness.
The Auburn touchdown, which gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead, ended a 41-yard drive set up by a personal foul penalty against Tom Crowder, who hit punt returner Tre Smith out of bounds.
Campbell hit Jeris McIntyre on a slant from the left side, gaining 20, after the Tigers' started their drive with 1:19 left in the second quarter. Williams ran 16 yards to the Arkansas 5 and after a loss of a yard and a timeout, he ran behind a two-tight end setup for the score.
Auburn's first drive died after the Tigers reached the Arkansas 16. Williams carried 44 yards on the Tigers' first play, but Arkansas forced Auburn's first interception in four games later in the drive.
On third-and-15 from the 21, Jeb Huckaba, dragging Campbell by the back of his shoulder pads, pressured Campbell to throw wildly. Tony Bua, as if waiting on a punt, intercepted easily at the Razorback 6.
Arkansas missed its best chance to score in the first half after Jones underthrew a wide-open Chris Baker. Baker made the catch for a 33-yard gain, but having to wait on the ball gave Rosegreen a chance to catch up and stop Baker at the Auburn 20.
Cobbs lost four yards and then picked up seven before Jones overthrew Decori Birmingham on third down and Chris Balseiro pushed a 35-yard field goal to the left.
In the second period, Arkansas drove to the Auburn 36 but was unable to pick up four inches in two tries. De'Arrius Howard lost a half-yard on third down and on his next try lunged and fell backward on the pile, well short of a first down.
Cobbs was held to fewer than 100 yards for the first time this season.