Tigers bounce back with three score performance from healthy Pettway

Published 10:34 pm Saturday, October 21, 2017

By Kurt Voigt | The Associated Press

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Kamryn Pettway rushed for 90 yards and three touchdowns and No. 21 Auburn bounced back from a loss to LSU with a 52-20 victory over Arkansas on Saturday night.

The rushing yards are the most for Pettway since he gained 128 in a win last month over Mercer, and the Tigers (6-2, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) rushed for 345 yards overall. They outgained the Razorbacks 629-334 and have outscored their SEC West counterpart 108-23 over the last two seasons.

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Jarrett Stidham completed 19 of 28 passes for 218 yards and rushed for a touchdown for Auburn.

Arkansas freshman Cole Kelley, making his second straight start in place of the injured Austin Allen, finished 14-of-25 passing for 138 yards.

The Razorbacks have lost seven of their last nine games dating to last season and are 27-31 overall under fifth-year coach Bret Bielema, 10-26 in the SEC.

Running back Kerryon Johnson entered the game as the national leader in rushing touchdowns with 13.

The junior added to his total with a two-yard score in the first half and finished with 63 yards rushing on 21 carries, and he and Pettway combined for 153 yards rushing on the night — a welcomed sign for a Tigers team that must win out if it hopes to keep its remote chances at a berth in the College Football Playoff alive.

The Razorbacks have scored 29 points in their last two games without Allen, their worst two-week stretch in back-to-back losses since scoring a combined seven points in losses to South Carolina and Alabama in 2013.

Arkansas finished 3-9 that season in Bielema’s first year at the school, and it enters its final five games unsure when Allen will be able to return from the injury he suffered to his throwing shoulder in a defeat at South Carolina two weeks ago.

Arkansas has given up more than 40 points in four straight SEC games this year, 16 times overall during Bielema’s five seasons. The Razorbacks switched to a 3-4 look in the offseason with hopes of improving a defense that allowed an average of 6.75 yards per play a year ago. However, they’re now giving up an average of 34.4 points per game for the season.

Auburn is off next week before playing its third straight road game when it visits Texas A&M on Nov. 4.

The Razorbacks travel to Mississippi next week.