A&M / Arkansas SEC West contest preview

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, September 26th, 2014


Arkansas (3-1) vs #6 Texas A&M (4-0)
Saturday Sept 27, 2:30 PM
AT&T Stadium, Arlington Texas
Line:  Aggies -9 / 71.5
First meeting:  1903
Series record:  Arkansas   41-26-3

By Jake Stockton
With one conference victory already notched under their belts, the Texas A&M Aggies are looking to shock the nation and come out on top of the formidable SEC West. After losing Johnny Manziel, no one gave this team any credit to contend for anything, but Kevin Sumlin has put together one of the most talented teams in the nation.
Bret Bielema is in his second season as the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks and he’s just one win away from surpassing his win total from a season ago. The relatively new man behind the headset is looking to lead Arkansas back to relevancy in the SEC and take it to Texas A&M with a big road win.
Texas A&M has featured one of the most explosive and exciting offenses in the entire nation this season behind sophomore quarterback and Johnny Football replacement, Kenny Hill. The young quarterback leads the fourth-best passing offense in the nation with 1,359 yards and 13 touchdowns with just a lone interception which came last week. Hill has also rushed for 106 yards, but no touchdowns on the ground.
The Aggies have seven players with over 100 yards receiving, led by Malcome Kennedy and his 30 catches for 334 yards and a touchdown. Josh Reynolds leads the team in touchdown receptions with four as he is also second on the team with 247 yards and third with 12 catches. Texas A&M’s rushing offense isn’t half bad, either, as the Aggies have six players with over 100 yards rushing. Trey Williamsleads the run game with 208 yards and four touchdowns on nine carries.
Arkansas might not have the overall explosion on offense that Texas A&M has, but it excels in the run game — far more than the Aggies do. Ranking eighth in all of college football in terms of rushing yards per game, Arkansas has relied heavily on the dynamic duo of Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams. Collins leads the way with 490 yards and five touchdowns on 7.9 yards per rush while Williams has a solid 391 yards and seven touchdowns of his own on an impressive 8.1 yards per touch.
The pass game, however, has not been nearly as impressive as Brandon Allen hasn’t been taking the necessary steps forward which he needed to do prior to the season. Allen has completed 61 percent of his passes for 552 yards and eight touchdowns with just one pick. Only one of his receivers has stood out as Keon Hatcher has been the only notable target, catching 10 passes for 196 yards and two scores.
Defensively, the Razorbacks haven’t exactly been the cream of the crop this season. Arkansas ranks 56th in points allowed per contest while also ranking in the middle of the pack in yards allowed, giving up 373.3 per game, most of which have come through the air. Texas A&M needed to improve on defense after a lackluster 2013 campaign — and they have thus far. The Aggies rank eighth in the entire country in points allowed per game as well as giving up just 349.5 yards per contest. Both numbers have improved dramatically from last season.
Arkansas will travel to Texas A&M to take on the Aggies at 3:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Sept. 27. The game will be broadcasted on CBS.
Prediction: Arkansas 17, Texas A&M 34


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