Controversial call lifts No. 13 Auburn to 30-28 win over Arkansas
Did Bo Nix actually fumble when he moved the soccer ball?
Arkansas fans no doubt believe he did it. But the reigning team didn't, and Anders Carlson kicked a deciding field goal seven seconds from time to give Auburn a 30:28 win over the Razorbacks.
Nix tried to bring the ball down to third place by 28 seconds, and Auburn followed by one. But he fiddled with the push button before sharpening the ball. And when he did, he seemed to be tipping the ball backwards. Or at least not forward. Arkansas took the ball back.
The game was originally referred to as intentional grounding because Nix fumbled the snapshot. It was checked as it was evident that Nix did not throw the ball forward. But somehow officials decided that the reputation of deliberate grounding - and a forward pass - should stand, and Carlson then came to score a 39-yard field goal for victory.
The SEC defended the call on Saturday night, saying that Arkansas did not recover the ball soon enough after the spike.
Game explanation at: 30pm in the fourth quarter of the Arkansas-Auburn game. pic.twitter.com/L1UQRlFx2M
- SEC Officiating (@SECOfficiating) October 11, 2020
Arkansas is playing well again
Arkansas is not the weakling many of us thought were on the SEC. The Razorbacks played tough Georgia for a week to open the season and beat Mississippi State in Week 2. Their performance against Auburn showed that the Hogs are not far behind their competitors in the SEC West.
The team's performances in the first three weeks of the season are a great endorsement from coach Sam Pittman and graduate transfer QB Feleipe Franks. Franks was 21 of 29, overtaking 302 yards and four touchdowns against the Tigers.
Saturday's game was the first for ex-Arkansas coach Chad Morris against his old side. Morris was fired during the 2019 season and is now Auburn's offensive coordinator.
Auburn quarterback Bo Nix could have reversed the ball against Arkansas. (AP Photo / Butch Dill)
How Safe Can Auburn Be?
Yes, Auburn is 2-1 now, but the Tigers are not looking too good so far. Auburn didn't win Kentucky in Week 1 and was easily beaten by Georgia in Week 2.
The offensive line was a problem for the Tigers. While Auburn raced nearly 260 yards against the Razorbacks, Nix didn't have much time to throw this season. Better pass protection is key for Auburn.
The Tigers, however, have three seemingly winnable games on the agenda. Auburn will play South Carolina, Ole Miss and LSU for the next three weeks. LSU lost to Missouri on Saturday in a game that was moved to Columbia because of the Hurricane Delta.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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