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Bruce James calls the Hogs

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Saturday’s game
Arkansas (2-3, 0-2 in SEC) vs. Auburn (4-1, 2-0 in SEC)
Site: Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville
Time: 6 p.m.
Radio/TV: The ARSN network will broadcast the game on radio affiliates. No TV coverage.

What James says: Auburn is sort of the mystery team because of their schedule, which hasn’t been difficult outside of them losing to a good Georgia Tech team, and all the games have been at home. They have a new quarterback, Brandon Cox, who hasn’t played on the road. Probably the most unusual thing about Auburn is that they haven’t run the football well. They’re going to start a new running back, Brad Lester, who’s had nagging injuries but has played well off the bench.

The key matchup: As far as defense, Auburn has a tremendous secondary and linebackers. I look for them to play eight or nine men near the line of scrimmage, use a lot of run blitzes and try to stop Arkansas’s running attack before it gets started. It will be Arkansas’s ability to run the football against Auburn’s ability to stop it. I don’t think Arkansas’s passing attack against Auburn’s linebacker play and very good secondary is conducive to throwing the ball, but they’ll have to pick up first downs with the passing game.

The pick: Auburn 24-21. This is a game Arkansas has to have to turn this season around. I had thought for several weeks that Arkansas would win, but I saw things in the Louisiana-Monroe game (last Saturday) that led me to change my mind.

Watch former Arkansas All-American defensive end Bruce James along with David Bazzel and host Steve Sullivan on KATV, Channel 7’s “SportsWeek” Sundays at 10:30 p.m.

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