Arkansas should have confidence, muscle to handle Auburn

Updated: October 9, 2003, 2:11 AM ET

LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas has won six straight at home, but two road victories in September catapulted a team unranked at season's dawn into the national spotlight.

The seventh-ranked Razorbacks showed great poise and offensive balance in wins at Texas and Alabama. Those games made Arkansas the surprise team of college football's first full month.

Now, after a week off following a 34-31 double overtime win at Alabama, the Razorbacks (4-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) have eight straight weeks to prove they belong in the top 10.

Unranked Auburn (3-2, 2-0) is first up and the Tigers are trying to reclaim the thunder they lost by starting the season 0-2. Tommy Tuberville's team struck back strong last week with a 28-21 victory over then-No. 7 Tennessee.

Auburn gave up just 4 yards rushing when the Volunteers tried to use quarterback Casey Clausen as their only weapon. He threw 47 passes and two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Matt Jones and Ryan Sorahan will throw the ball, but nowhere close to 47 times. It's unlikely Arkansas will abandon the SEC's top running game, which comes in averaging 247.8 yards per game.

Senior Cedric Cobbs leads the league with 140.5 per game and he's coming off career highs of 36 carries and 198 yards at Alabama.

In that game, Cobbs bounced back from a fumble at the Alabama 13, the first by a Razorback running back in 609 carries. At that time, he had 21 carries for 134 yards.

After not taking a carry for two series, Cobbs had eight for 40 yards on Arkansas' game-tying drive in the final minute. He finished the second overtime by pounded the inside of Alabama's defense for 18 yards on five carries.

Thanks to an offensive line that has four seniors and junior All-American Shawn Andrews, Cobbs never had a carry for negative yardage.

ARKANSAS 27, AUBURN 24

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In a 44-41 victory over Louisiana-Monroe, Arkansas State (3-3) showed some offensive muscle that had been missing since scoring 63 points on Tennessee-Martin on Sept. 6.

On the other hand, the Indians gave up at least 38 points for the third straight game. That doesn't bode well heading to Mississippi to face a Rebels offense led by record-setting quarterback Eli Manning.

Manning has completed 62 percent of his passes and he's averaging 318.2 yards per game with 11 touchdowns in five games.

Nobody else in the Sun Belt Conference has matched Arkansas State's three victories so far this season. However, the Indians won't be celebrating a fourth this weekend. They are 1-18-2 against Ole Miss.

The one victory? Arkansas State evened the series at 1-1 with a 10-0 victory back in 1915.

OLE MISS 49, ARKANSAS STATE 17

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Last week's record was 4-3. The season record is 25-17, a .595 winning percentage.

Other predictions involving college teams in Arkansas:

ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF 34, TEXAS SOUTHERN 28

DELTA STATE 21, ARKANSAS TECH 17

VALDOSTA STATE 35, ARKANSAS-MONTICELLO 21

HARDING 28, WEST GEORGIA 14

HENDERSON STATE 28, WEST ALABAMA 17

NORTH ALABAMA 31, OUACHITA BAPTIST 17

SOUTHERN ARKANSAS 35, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 24

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index