Both Texas A&M and Arkansas enter Saturday afternoon’s matchup with a 2-2 record.
The SEC West foes’ records may look identical on paper, but the number is far from the truth. Arkansas prepares to host the No. 23 ranked Aggies after failing to lead for a single minute against Ole Miss and San Jose State.
Texas A&M, on the other hand, enter Saturday’s match having lost to No. 1 ranked Clemson (24-10) and No. 7 Auburn (28-20). One has lost to two top-10 teams having to face one of the most difficult schedules in college football with LSU, Alabama and Georgia still remaining on its schedule, while the other barely defeated Portland State and struggled heavily in its loss to San Jose State.
Despite owning the same record, the discrepancy between the two teams is clear. Chad Morris, Arkansas’ head coach, identifies this and knows the Razorbacks need to bring their top effort to push the Aggies’ under .500.
Texas A&M’s Self-Inflicted Mistakes
Despite the record, the Aggies are a good football team.
Kellen Mond leads Texas A&M under center with their air-raid offense, throwing for 1,213 yards and nine touchdowns through nine games. Jhamon Ausbon and Quartney Davis lead the way among the receivers hauling in 25 and 16 catches, respectively, to go with two touchdowns apiece. Ausbon also leads the team with 364 yards receiving, averaging 14.6 yards per catch. As good as the offense is, the defense could arguably be better allowing 4.5 yards per play.
Six different players have tallied a sack for Texas A&M, while Roney Elam and Myles Jones have each forced two turnovers of their own with two interceptions. So why has Texas A&M failed to walk away with wins against Clemson and Auburn despite these numbers?
Penalties and mistakes.
In highly anticipated matchups with top-10 teams, every play matters and every mistake is magnified. Texas A&M outgained Auburn by 90 yards and still lost by eight points. They racked up 139 yards in penalties against the Tigers, leading to its second defeat of the season. Head coach Jimbo Fisher knows his team left a lot of opportunities out on the field.
By the Odds
Arkansas has failed to cover the line in both past losses, failing to cover as the 6-point underdog against Ole Miss and then losing outright to San Jose State after entering as a 20.5-point favorite. Things may be different for bettors of the Hogs-Aggies match, as Texas A&M rolls around as a 23.5 point favorite, while the under is set at 59.5.
It’s a risky bet, hoping the likes of Mond, Ausbon and company catch fire and score a lot of points on the Razorback defense. The game is set to kick off at noon ET at AT&T Stadium.