Nutt: They're all big games now
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Auburn ended a three-game losing streak to Tennessee last week. Tigers coach Tommy Tuberville next hopes to end a slide against a team he grew up supporting.
Auburn (3-2, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) has lost its last two against Arkansas (4-0, 1-0) and four of the last five in the series. Tuberville, from Camden, is 2-6 coaching against the Razorbacks.
"It's not another game, because I grew up watching them play, but it all comes down to, when we kick it off, they're just a team in a different-colored jersey that we made a game plan for," Tuberville said as his team prepared for Saturday's game against the seventh-ranked Razorbacks.
Tuberville is 1-3 against Arkansas at Auburn, after compiling a 1-3 record against the Razorbacks while at Ole Miss.
Arkansas' rushing attack dismantled the Auburn defense in each of the last two years -- and this year the Razorbacks are leading the conference with 247.8 yards per game on the ground.
"They've become confident on offense," Tuberville said. "Last year, they were on defense, but now I think they have confidence on both sides of the ball.
"This is not a team where you can say, `OK, we're going to put nine on the line of scrimmage,' because they're dangerous throwing the ball," Tuberville said.
Arkansas gained 426 yards on the ground against the Tigers last year, embarrassing an Auburn defense that remembers a long afternoon.
"We've got to take it real personal," Auburn linebacker Karlos Dansby said.
"When somebody runs for 400-plus against you, you can't help but be motivated," Auburn linebacker DeMarco McNeil said. "If we give up 400 this game, I'll be highly surprised. I think we're a better defense than we were last year."
In defeating then-No. 7 Tennessee 28-21 last week, Auburn held the Volunteers to four yards on 16 carries -- 184 yards below the Volunteers' average. The Tigers have been second-best against the run so far in the SEC, giving up fewer than 75 yards per game.
"You've got to take care of things," Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said, whose rushing game is led by Cedric Cobbs' league-leading 140.5 yards per game. "If you don't, it's a lost-yardage play, then you've got to get out of your game plan and start throwing. That isn't the game you want to be in with those guys.
"Everybody should do your job, block who you're supposed to block and let a good back run," Nutt said.
After road victories at Texas and Alabama, Arkansas is now ranked higher than at any point since 1989; Auburn has won four straight against top 10 teams when it enters the game unranked.
"We've been in big games. Texas and Alabama were not small games," Nutt said. "They understand that part of it. They know they're going to be in a big-time fight."
Auburn's Carnell Williams rushed for 185 yards against the Volunteers, his best performance ever against an SEC team. In the past three games, quarterback Jason Campbell has thrown for 550 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions and the Tigers have averaged 40.5 points per game.
"They have three backs capable of going the whole game and a very athletic quarterback," Nutt said. "When you've got a team playing with intensity like they have, things are going to happen."
Arkansas, Auburn and LSU tied for the SEC West title last year and the Razorbacks represented the division in the SEC title game because it beat both sets of Tigers. Auburn was the preseason pick to win the West this year.
"We're going up there with one goal, and that's to win the SEC," Dansby said. "They've been standing in our way for the longest."
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
- Baylor WRs take a starring role
- Dynamic duo