No. 10 Arkansas seeks a second straight 4-0 begin for the primary time for the reason that late Eighties when it battles No. 23 Texas A&M in Southeastern Convention play on Saturday night time at Arlington, Texas.
The Razorbacks (3-0, 1-0 SEC) haven’t received their first 4 contests in successive years since 1988-89 when Ken Hatfield was head coach. They’ll look to perform it in opposition to Texas A&M, a squad they misplaced to 9 straight instances previous to final 12 months’s 20-10 win at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
The Aggies (2-1, 0-0) beat Miami (Fla.) 17-9 final week however are nonetheless smarting from a 17-14 house loss to Appalachian State the earlier week.
Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher promoted LSU switch Max Johnson to beginning quarterback for the Miami contest and was completely happy to notch a victory.
“Effectively, yeah, you needed to win this recreation,” Fisher advised reporters. “It was a tricky recreation coming off a tricky loss. It doesn’t get any simpler. It’s a shot we wanted. We didn’t want one other shot the opposite method. We’ve received to maintain getting higher and simply go noticed wooden and see what Arkansas is like. We play an excellent Arkansas staff and play them very nicely.”
Texas A&M is averaging simply 20.7 factors per recreation however is tied for ninth nationally in scoring protection (8.7).
Arkansas is rather more potent at 37.7 factors per recreation nevertheless it permits a median of 27 factors. The Razorbacks rank final within the nation amongst 131 FBS groups in passing protection (353 yards allowed per recreation).
However Arkansas leads the nation in sacks (17) and ranks seventh in speeding protection (68.3 yards allowed per recreation).
Razorbacks linebacker Drew Sanders, a switch from Alabama, has been very good and is tied for second nationally with 5 sacks.
“It’s enjoyable taking part in on this protection,” Sanders stated. “We now have loads of methods to get after a staff and particularly have an effect on the quarterback. Simply how (defensive coordinator Barry) Odom is scheming up all the things, it’s enjoyable to play in and gives loads of alternatives.”
The Razorbacks will look to confuse Johnson, who was 10-of-20 passing for 140 yards and one landing in opposition to Miami.
Haynes King was the starter for the Aggies’ first two video games however the loss to Appalachian State prompted the swap to Johnson.
“I believe simply being prepared always was sort of my mindset,” stated Johnson, who handed for 27 touchdowns as a sophomore at LSU final season. “I’ve been by the scenario a number of instances at LSU, whether or not it was beginning or not taking part in at first after which getting my probability. I got here able to work each day, and being round these guys makes it enjoyable.”
The Arkansas offense is led by quarterback Ok.J. Jefferson (770 passing yards, six touchdowns, one interception) and operating again Raheim “Rocket” Sanders (440 speeding yards).
Raheim Sanders ranks third nationally in speeding yards per recreation (146.7) and is the primary Razorbacks runner to open the season with three straight 100-yard speeding performances since Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams each did so in 2013.
Although Sanders rushed for 167 yards and Jefferson handed for a career-high 385 final Saturday, Arkansas needed to overcome a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit to put up a 38-27 victory over FCS program Missouri State.
“There have been a number of totally different instances within the recreation the place it didn’t seem like we had been going to win,” Razorbacks coach Sam Pittman stated. “Our youngsters simply saved preventing and clawing and to come back out with an 11-point win, that claims so much concerning the tradition of our program and of our youngsters.”
Fisher stated that the 4 gamers who had been suspended for the Miami recreation as a consequence of a staff guidelines violation have been reinstated. Receiver Evan Stewart (10 receptions for 105 yards) is one of the best of the bunch. The others are receiver Chris Marshall and defensive backs Denver Harris and Smoke Bouie.
–Area Stage Media