1. Dominate field position
The crazy part about Auburn’s 34-3 drubbing of Arkansas is they only managed 225 yards of total offense and had five less minutes of possession. How did they do it? Forcing turnovers, setting up short fields with good special teams play and even scoring a touchdown off a kick return.
Auburn’s first touchdown was set up by a 48-yard punt return to the Arkansas 27-yard line. They then got three points off an Arkansas fumble in their own territory. The second touchdown for the Tigers came after a blocked punt gave them the ball on the Arkansas 9-yard line. Their response to Arkansas’ only points of the day was to return the ensuing kickoff 96 yards to the house.
Auburn’s only long touchdown drive came when the game was out of reach.
A&M has a massive asset as a punter. Braden Mann was crucial in keeping the Aggies in the Clemson game with his ability to flip the field with his huge leg. He also set the record for punting average in a game against Alabama (60.8 yards per punt). When the Aggies aren’t scoring, he’ll be making Arkansas go the length of the field to put up points.
This could be a game the Aggies get on the board from a special teams touchdown as well. The Razorbacks clearly have trouble with this aspect of the game — they also gave up a 90-yard punt return touchdown on one of the sneakiest plays of all time.
The Aggies should be able to make things easier on their offense with short fields. Hopefully that turns into a big win for the boys in Maroon and White.