Common sense: balls are always spiked forward. Why the heck would a spiked ball go flying into the backfield?
And, the official who blew the whistle didn't see the ball come out of Nix's hand. That ref assumed it was a spike even before the ball left Nix's hand.
Ref blew the whistle, knowing it would benefit Auburn. Ref was on other side Nix therefore unable to see the ball coming out of Nix's hand. Ref assumes Nix spiked the ball. Ref saw that he threw the ball backwards. Arkansas' player (#7) was on the ground with the ball at the 39 yard line when the ball stopped moving. If the ref doesn't blow the whistle Arkansas ends up with the ball on the 39 yard line. When you play Auburn at home you're up against the team and the refs. I've seen it happen there too many times to deny it.
Brings back memories. A few years ago Auburn folks were complaining that Petrino was stealing their signals.