Malzahn, No. 11 Auburn return to Arkansas

FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2011, file photo, then-offensive coordinators Chad Morris, left, of Clemson, and Gus Malzahn, right, of Auburn, walk together on the field at Memorial Stadium before an NCAA college football game, in Clemson, S.C. Morris is now the head coach at Arkansas. Malzahn is the head coach at Auburn. The two chat each week _ except when they play each other. (Mark Crammer/The Independent-Mail via AP, File)

No. 11 Auburn (5-1, 2-1 SEC) at Arkansas (2-4, 0-3), Saturday at 12 p.m. EDT (SECN).

Line: Auburn by 18 1/2.

Series record: Auburn leads 16-11-1.

What’s at stake?

The Tigers enter off a bye week following a 24-13 loss to No. 10 Florida. Gus Malzahn returns to his native Arkansas where he is 5-1 as the head coach at Auburn against the Razorbacks. The Tigers have won the past three meetings by a combined 142-26 margin. In two of the past three meetings, Arkansas has failed to score a touchdown.

Key matchup

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix against the Arkansas secondary. The true freshman is 83-of-152 passing for 1,125 yards and eight touchdowns with five interceptions. Consistency is an issue with Nix. In the loss to Florida, Nix was held to just 145 yards passing and threw three interceptions. The week before he was 16 of 21 for a season-high 335 yards and two TDs against Mississippi State. Arkansas is allowing just under 400 yards per game.

Players to watch

Auburn: DE Marlon Davidson has been named the SEC defensive lineman of the week twice this season. Davidson has 3.5 sacks to go along with 5.5 tackles for loss and 24 total tackles. The senior has 45 consecutive starts.

Arkansas: RB Rakeem Boyd leads the SEC in rushing with 617 yards after rushing for a career-high 134 yards and two touchdowns against Kentucky last week. The junior is ranked No. 15 nationally in rushing yards.

Facts & figures

Auburn is 8-0 under Malzahn coming off a bye week. . Arkansas has lost 14 consecutive SEC games and is 4-14 under second-year coach Chad Morris. . Malzahn, a native of Fort Smith, Arkansas, is in his eighth season as the head coach at Auburn and is 58-28. Malzahn was the head coach for one season at Arkansas State before taking the Auburn job. . The Razorbacks rushed for 183 yards last week against Kentucky. . Auburn has allowed fewer than 100 rushing yards in three of its six games this season. . This will be Malzahn’s 99th game as a college head coach.

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