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Pittman Wants Loud,  Rowdy Crowd for Morning Kickoff, But May Need Defense

Sam Pittman has been drumming up the Arkansas crowd and hopefully a way to slow down Auburn

When Sam Pittman got on the Zoom press conference Wednesday he immediately apologized for being slightly late.

"I was getting my pep rally speech for Saturday ready for the kids," he said. "I'm running a little behind."

The theme for Saturday's kickoff at 11 a.m. in a game you can watch on CBS and Fubo has been being a big crowd that shows up early, has a good time and is loud.

"I’m saying 11 a.m. ... that’s the best time you can get up and tailgate," Pittman said this week. "You can tailgate great at 5:30, 6 in the morning and be ready for that game. Some of us have been there.

"I’ve felt pretty darn good about 10 o’clock in the morning before in my life. I imagine college kids can do it, too."

He's talked about that almost as much as he has unranked Auburn that's coming to town for the homecoming game and not getting a whole lot of respect.

Now that COULD be dangerous.

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The Tigers are 4-2 this year and their only two losses were to No. 1 Georgia and No. 10 Penn State.

It's that game in Happy Valley that should get Razorback fans' attention. It was one of those white-out things they do there and it's an off-the-charts electric atmosphere at night.

Auburn still kept it within one score (28-20) and were outscored by four in the first and final quarters. That'll do it every time.

The key thing is they've played good teams in front of a loud and hostile crowd on the road and still managed to keep it close.

Folks seem to be forgetting that.

Pittman hasn't.

Auburn Defensive Players Hogs Need to Watch

"Being on the road in general prepares you to go back on the road," Tigers coach Bryan Harsin said this week. "We’re going to play in those kind of environments every single week, whether we’re at home or away."

Both teams are 4-2 and we find out this week what's been real and what's been hyped through the first half of the season.

The Razorbacks may have caught Texas and Texas A&M still trying to figure out a lot of things on both sides of the ball.

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Neither have looked as bad as they did losing to the Hogs.

But was it Arkansas or those teams still sorting things out.

The Hogs will have to get the offense going early, then run the ball to kill Auburn's interest. That was the plan that worked against the Longhorns and Aggies.

Auburn Offensive Players Hogs Will Have to Stop 

Pittman, in firing up the fraternities this week, has said he thinks a loud and rowdy crowd is worth 10 points for the Hogs.

Somehow you get the feeling it better be if they're going to come away with a win in this one.

Arkansas has beaten Auburn just once in the last eight seasons. Before that they had been pretty even with the Tigers since joining the SEC in 1992, which started with a 24-24 tie that first year, then it was a 10-10 split.

The biggest question for the Hogs is the defense coming into this one. In losses to Georgia and Ole Miss the group everyone was so high about through four games fell apart.

Pittman put it squarely on the players this week, whether anybody else noticed or not.

"We (the coaches) have to help them, but they also have to get that relentless effort like we did early in the season," he said earlier this week. "Things need fixed."

The Tigers will come in with a running game aided by Bo Nix at quarterback and it's a good bet the coach has no idea what play is going to unfold after the ball is snapped.

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"They do a lot of zone read with Nix and let him be a runner as well," Pittman said. "They have a lot of little inside fly sweeps. Not a huge get-the-ball-outside team unless they’re doing it with somebody other than the backs you know. A lot of naked off of their zone scheme.

"It looked to me a little bit to be very similar to what we were doing at Georgia when I was there those four years."

Don't take Auburn lightly.

And don't assume anything will be easy.

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