No. 13 Auburn survives Arkansas on late field goal
AUBURN, Ala. - All Anders Carlson needed was a second chance Saturday. The junior kicker missed a 34-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter, but his teammates picked him up and gave him another chance with less than 20 seconds to win it. He delivered.
Carlson drilled a 39-yard field goal, his third made field goal of the game, to propel No. 13 Auburn to a 30-28 victory over Arkansas on a wet, rainy day in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
It took all three phases for Auburn in the final sequence. Following the missed kick, the defense responded with a three-and-out to give the Tigers the ball back. On offense, it was Tank Bigsby who took over on the final drive. The freshman running back caught a pass for nine yards and then had back-to-back runs for 17 yards to set up the game-winning field goal.
Bigsby finished with 146 yards rushing, 16 yards receiving and added 106 yards on kick returns. He ran for 106 yards in the first half, becoming the first Auburn running back to reach 100 yards in the first half of an SEC game since Kerryon Johnson against Ole Miss in 2017.
In what was a sloppy start for both sides due to the weather, Auburn scored first with a blocked punt for a touchdown. Senior defensive back Jordyn Peters broke through the right side and blocked the punt, and Barton Lester was right there to fall on it in the end zone.
For Peters, it was the fourth punt block in his career. It was Auburn's first blocked punt for a touchdown since 2018 against Alabama State - Peters blocked that one as well.
The Tigers kept the foot on the gas, adding a field goal late in the first quarter to make it 10-0.
On their opening drive of the second quarter, it was vintage Auburn football as the offense ran the ball 10 straight times and marched 80 yards down the field for a touchdown. Bigsby started the drive with runs of 13 and 17 yards. Fellow running back D.J. Williams picked up 11 yards and then converted a 3rd-and-2 with a five-yard run. And quarterback Bo Nix capped the drive with a 15-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 17-0.
As a team, Auburn rushed for 215 yards in the first half.
After Arkansas battled back in the second half to cut the lead to two, the Tigers mounted another impressive touchdown drive. This time it was Nix and wide receiver Anthony Schwartz who took over. The two connected five times for 56 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown catch from Schwartz on 3rd-and-10 where he weaved through the defense to the end zone.
Schwartz finished with a team-high 10 receptions and 100 yards receiving, both career highs.