Jefferson, Sanders lead Arkansas past Auburn, 41-27

Oct 29, 2022, 12:45 AM | Updated: 2:17 pm

Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson (1) throws a pass against Auburn during the first half of an NCAA...

Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson (1) throws a pass against Auburn during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

(AP Photo/Butch Dill)

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — KJ Jefferson ran for two touchdowns and passed for a third and Raheim Sanders rushed for 171 yards to lead Arkansas to a 41-27 victory over Auburn on Saturday in a battle to escape the bottom of the Southeastern Conference Western Division.

The Razorbacks (5-3, 2-3 SEC) snapped a six-game losing streak versus the Tigers (3-5, 1-4), who have dropped four games in a row.

“To come in here (and win) means everything,” Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said. “It means a lot. Now we’ve beaten every West team since I’ve been here except ‘Bama.”

The two teams came into the day tied with Texas A&M for last in the SEC West. But Auburn couldn’t stop Jefferson and Sanders or produce scores on offense when the game was still in doubt.

Much of Jordan-Hare Stadium had emptied before the Tigers’ final two touchdowns that served to make the final score more respectable.

Sanders set up the decisive touchdown with a 76-yard scamper down the left sideline late in the third quarter. Rashod Dubinion then scored the first of his two late touchdowns.

Jefferson completed 16 of 24 passes for 234 yards and stiff-armed safety Zion Puckett to the ground on his way to a 13-yard touchdown run.

“That was a big, big play in the game,” Pittman said. “He’s taken over the leadership of the team more and more each week and he had a heck of a game.”

Matt Landers caught four passes for 115 yards.

Auburn’s Robby Ashford was 24-of-33 passing for 285 yards and a touchdown, while rushing 19 times for 87 yards. Tailback Tank Bigsby was mostly contained aside from a 41-yard touchdown run.

Things snowballed for the Tigers after their opening drive of the third quarter ended with a sack and Isaiah Nichols’ blocked field goal, while down just 17-13.

Auburn coach Bryan Harsin, whose job security has been a hot topic all season, was left with another loss.

“I would hope no one’s happy about losing a game, simple as that,” Harsin said. “You put a lot of time and effort into preparing yourself. If it’s not painful when you lose, then you’ve got the wrong people.”

He said the only way to turn things around is in preparation and hard work. “Losing can be contagious and that’s scary,” Harsin said.

Arkansas outscored Auburn 14-0 in the third quarter, only the second time the Razorbacks have won that quarter.

“That’s kind of all we were talking about in the locker room, emphasizing the third quarter,” Razorbacks linebacker Bumper Pool said. “If we win the third quarter, we win the game.”


Arkansas: It was a needed win for a team once ranked in the Top 10, which has rebounded from a three-game skid with two victories. Jefferson and Sanders continue to be a formidable 1-2 punch.

Auburn: Has lost eight of the last nine games against SEC teams, falling to two games below .500 for the first time in a decade. It just adds to the woes for the embattled Harsin, whose fate has been in limbo pending Auburn’s hiring of an athletic director.


Arkansas had 216 of its 286 rushing yards in the second half. “I think we wore them down,” Pittman said. The Tigers have allowed 1,026 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground the past three games.


Auburn’s public address announcer announced freshman quarterback Holden Geriner as the starter in the pre-game lineups. Ashford played the entire game.


Arkansas hosts Liberty on Saturday.

Auburn visits Mississippi State on Saturday night.


More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://bit.ly/3pqZVaF

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Jefferson, Sanders lead Arkansas past Auburn, 41-27