Arkansas (2-4, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) had been blasted by a combined score of 110-10 in its first two league games.
The Tigers (1-4, 0-3) were left at the bottom of the SEC West after a second-half quarterback change failed to provide much of a spark to an offense that committed five turnovers.
Tyler Wilson completed 20 of 27 passes for 216 yards. The Razorbacks scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull away before Auburn scored again in the final minutes.
Auburn coach Gene Chizik replaced struggling starter Kiehl Frazier with Clint Moseley in the second half, seeking a spark for a sputtering offense. Moseley threw a pair of interceptions in the end zone during the fourth.
Auburn was shut down by the nation's 116th-rated defense until late in the third quarter. Then Moseley found a wide open Emory Blake, who stretched it across the goal line for a 21-yard touchdown with 33 seconds left to make it 10-7.
The Razorbacks then pushed it back to a two-score margin with some trickery. Receiver and former backup quarterback Brandon Mitchell fired a 26-yard touchdown on a reverse pass to Javontee Herndon with 13:30 left.
Johnson then ran for his second 2-yard touchdown midway through the fourth. That was too much for Auburn to overcome.
Frazier was 9-of-14 passing for 118 yards with an interception late in the first half with Auburn driving.
Moseley completed 13 of 21 passes for 163 yards with the two picks. They were sacked four times apiece by a defense that had collected seven sacks in the first five games combined.
Johnson had 17 carries for 76 yards for Arkansas as both offenses often plodded along. Arkansas outgained Auburn 372-321 in total yards but held the Tigers to 40 yards on 32 rushes, thanks largely to the sacks.
Blake did catch 10 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown for an offense missing suspended starting receiver Quan Bray. He also lost a fumble.
Arkansas receiver Cobi Hamilton was mostly held in check, with five catches for 72 yards, all in the first half, after racking up 465 yards in the last two games.
The Razorbacks bullied an Auburn offense struggling nearly as badly as their defense.
The Tigers had the ball in Arkansas territory five times without scoring before finally getting points on No. 6, and both quarterbacks were swallowed up for big losses to stall drives.
The Razorbacks took a 10-0 lead into halftime despite two missed field goals, a big turnaround for a team that had been outscored 65-20 in the first half of its last three games. Auburn also missed a long attempt.
At first, it seemed like more of the same for Arkansas. The Razorbacks cruised down the field on their opening drive and had first-and-goal from the 6. Then Zach Hocker bounced a 25-yard field goal off the right post.
The Razorbacks had to settle for a Hocker field goal in the second quarter after taking over at the Auburn 29 following Blake's fumble. They rediscovered the end zone late, though.