Whenever rivals Arkansas and Texas A&M face one another, it has a chance to be the highlight of the NCAAF week. The Southwest Classic will be played on its usual neutral field at AT&T Stadium.
Both teams rank in the AP Top 25, adding more intrigue to an already exciting game. The Aggies (2-1) are ranked No. 23 after downing Miami (Fla.) to make up for their awful loss against Appalachian State. Last week, the Razorbacks(3-0) struggled against Missouri State, a team outside the Power 5 conferences, but stayed at No. 10.
Arkansas: Elite Run Game
With a rough stretch ahead against Texas A&M and Alabama followed by three away games, it was crucial for the Razorbacks to get off to a good start. Arkansas has won its first three games, starting Week 1 ranked 19th, and has worked its way up. Two opening wins against quality opponents lifted the Razorbacks in the rankings.
They beat Cincinnati 31-24 and South Carolina 44-30. Their offense has looked great behind the rushing attack, averaging 243.7 rushing yards per game, 10th-highest in the country. It has been the driving force for the entire team. However, the defense struggled, which came to fruition in their previous game.
Missouri State raced to a 17-0 lead over Arkansas and had a 10-point edge in the fourth quarter before the Razorbacks came back to win. Quarterback KJ Jefferson threw for 385 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another. Raheim Sanders dominated on the ground for 167 rushing yards, 242 total yards and two touchdowns.
Texas A&M: New Starting QB
After a disastrous loss to Appalachian State, head coach Jimbo Fisher decided to shake things up when the Aggies faced the Hurricanes at home. He benched starting quarterback Haynes King after two games for LSU transfer Max Johnson.
The Aggies came out and won a pivotal game for their season against a Miami team that was ranked 13th. The defense carried the Aggies to a 17-9 win, not allowing a single touchdown to the Hurricanes’ offense while forcing the game’s only turnover. It was more of a bend-don’t-break mentality, as Texas A&M did allow 392 yards of total offense.
Johnson did not look impressive, nor did he ruin the game for the Aggies. He only threw 20 passes, completing 50 percent of them for 140 yards and a touchdown. The biggest key is that he didn’t make any mistakes, allowing the defense and run game to help him.
Running back Devon Achane was the clear engine of the offense, rushing for 88 yards on 18 carries. He also played a crucial role in the passing game, tying for a team-high in receptions with four and catching Johnson’s only touchdown.
Arkansas vs Texas A&M Injury Report
Texas A&M had four players miss last week’s game due to suspensions for disciplinary actions, and all are questionable for the upcoming game. Defensive lineman Walter Nolen has not played in the previous two games with a leg injury but is questionable for Saturday.
Outside of defensive back Jalen Catalon, who hurt his shoulder in Week 1 and is out of the season, all of Arkansas’ critical players will be available.
Arkansas vs Texas A&M Head-to-Head
Last season, Arkansas won 20-10, beating Texas A&M for the first time since 2011 and ending a nine-game undefeated stretch against their rivals. They have faced each other 78 times, with the Razorbacks holding the series lead with 42 victories.
Arkansas vs Texas A&M Game Information
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 24
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
- How to watch Texas A&M vs Arkansas?
Texas A&M vs Arkansas Live Stream: ESPN
Arkansas vs Texas A&M Betting Lines
Arkansas vs Texas A&M Prediction
These sides balance out rather well, as Texas A&M features a strong defense that will face a potent offense from Arkansas. The Aggies’ defense kept Miami out of the end zone last week, while their new starting quarterback game-managed a win. The Razorbacks’ offense has looked fantastic, led by their run game, but their defense struggled again.
Arkansas’s offense should be enough to put them over the top against their rival. Even with a suspect defense, Texas A&M’s offense is unlikely to do much to expose the Razorbacks. The Aggies allowed 175 yards on the ground in last week’s win, which is in the Razorbacks’ favor.