No. 11 Auburn routs Arkansas 51-10

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Bo Nix was itching to get back on the field after struggling in a loss to Florida in his last start for No. 11 Auburn.

The problem was the wait took two weeks as the Tigers had a bye following the 24-13 loss.

Nix didn’t waste much time moving on, throwing three touchdown passes including two in the span of 22 seconds in the third quarter as the Tigers routed Arkansas 51-10 Saturday. The true freshman also ran for a touchdown as the Tigers completely dominated this Southeastern Conference contest.

“It’s fun being out on the field with guys like Sal (Canella), Eli (Stove) and Will (Hastings), guys that can get open if they are over there covering the other two (Seth Williams and Anthony Swartz),” Nix said. “Everybody is just starting to come along.”

Nix hit Seth Williams down the right sideline on a 48-yard pass with 4:19 left in the third quarter, then after an Auburn interception, Nix connected with Anthony Schwartz on a 15-yard scoring strike to give the Tigers (6-1, 3-1 SEC) some breathing room after Arkansas had closed to within 17-3

“It was really important,” Nix said of the third quarter surge. “We didn’t finish off the first half very well. We moved the ball, we just couldn’t score. The second half we came out and threw the ball around and it was very good.”

Nix finished the day completing 12-of-17 passes for 176 yards and touchdown strikes of 48, 28 and 15 yards including a pair to Williams.

Auburn, now 9-0 under coach Gus Malzahn coming off a bye week, scored two touchdowns on its first six offensive snaps to take a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. On the third play of the game, Auburn defensive end Marlon Davidson stripped Arkansas quarterback Ben Hicks of the ball and the Tigers quickly capitalized with Nix scoring on a keeper from the 4.

Davidson dominated the Arkansas offensive line the entire afternoon, finishing with 3 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks.

The Tigers needed just three plays again after a short Arkansas punt as Kam Martin dashed 52 yards on first down, then Shaun Shivers bounced around the left side on a 9-yard scoring run and a 14-0 lead with 10:48 still left in the first quarter.

After the opening fireworks, the Tigers went quiet offensively. Auburn’s defense still made plenty of noise. Auburn held the Razorbacks (2-5, 0-4) without a first down until 43 seconds remained in the first quarter. Arkansas finally put together a lengthy drive toward the end of the first half, but Connor Limpert’s 44-yard field goal attempt at the end of the half hooked wide right.

“I thought Bo did an outstanding job in the second half,” Malzahn said. “I think he was 8-for-8 or 7-for-7. He did a good job throwing the football. That was nice to see. In the second half he really looked comfortable. I think when he hit that one to Seth, I think it opened everything up and he played really good after that.”

Arkansas finally got on the scoreboard in the third quarter on a drive aided by two major penalties. Limbert’s 28-yard field goal pulled the Razorbacks within 17-3. It also seemed to wake the Tigers up. Auburn answered swiftly, handing Arkansas its 15th consecutive SEC loss.

Nix was 12-of-17 passing for 176 yards for the Tigers, and Williams caught four passes for 90 yards.

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