Arkansas and Texas A&M… Together Again.
The Arkansas Razorbacks and the Texas A&M Aggies, both former members of the now defunct Southwest Conference, have been playing each other since Theodore Roosevelt was President. Now that the Aggies are set to join the Hogs in the Southeastern Conference starting next season, the rivalry looks to be set in stone for years to come and I, for one, couldn't be more excited about it.
Growing up in the 70's and 80's in Southwest Arkansas, there were only a handful of Razorback games that we actually were able to watch on TV each year and the Aggie game seemed to always be one of them. There were some great games between those two SWC power houses (at the time) back then. Especially in the late 80's with Ken Hatfield's high powered option offenses going up against Jackie Sherrill's ferocious "Wrecking Crew" defenses. Between 1985 and 1991, the Aggies and Hogs combined for 5 SWC titles (Aggies 85-86-87, Hogs 88-89).
The most memorable game, to me, was the 1989 game in College Station. It was the day after Thanksgiving and our only TV was setup in the kitchen so mom could watch the game while she cleaned up the mess from the day before. I sat glued to the TV on a bar stool watching it with her. The Aggies entered the game with a 7-2 mark and still very much alive in the SWC title race, while the Hogs only loss had come to Texas a few weeks earlier. The Hogs built a 17-7 lead in the first quarter, but were held scoreless until the 4th as Texas A&M slowly took control pulling to within 3 at half-time then adding two field goals and a safety in the 2nd half to take the lead. The Hogs would score late in the game to go up 23-22 then turned the Aggies game winning scoring attempt back in the final moments of the game. As the Hogs stopped the Aggies to preserve the win (and win the SWC title), my mother threw her arms up and screamed and we both jumped up and down and acted like crazy people. What a great memory.
Ok, so enough of the flashbacks. Let's look forward to Saturday's game.
#14 Texas A&M vs #18 Arkansas - 11:00 AM @ Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. TV: ESPN.
Texas A&M Off vs Arkansas Def
- Yards Per Game: 482 vs 328.5
- Yards Per Rush: 4.9 vs 3.9
- Yards Per Pass: 8.0 vs 6.1
Arkansas Off vs Texas A&M Def
- Yards Per Game 444.5 vs 339.3
- Yards Per Rush 3.9 vs 1.9
- Yards Per Pass 8.3 vs 6.6
|Offense||Points Per Game||Yards Per Game||Passing Per Game||Rushing Per Game||Per Carry Average||Per Pass Average|
Arkansas is going to be missing at least one starting defensive end and possibly both.
- Junior Defensive End Tenarius Wright is out for 4-6 weeks with a broken arm suffered early in the Bama game. He had surgery this past Sunday. True freshman Trey Flowers is expected to start Saturday in Wright's place. Flowers logged over 30 snaps last week after Wright went down against the Tide.
- Senior Defensive End Jake Bequette is questionable. He didn't play last week due to a hamstring injury suffered against Troy, but did practice some this week.If Bequette can't play, Sophomore Chris Smith will replace him. Smith has played admirably since Bequette went down logging 10 tackles (two for losses), and one sack. This past Saturday, he was on the field for all 59 of Bama's offensive plays.
- Cornerback Isaac Madison is dealing with a knee injury, but is expected to play Saturday.
Tackle D.D. Jones and freshman Lonnie Gosha will probably see some playing time at the defensive ends spot too on Saturday to help give the other guys a breather.
Running Back Broderick Green, who was expected to miss the entire season, is back in uniform and has been practicing. He was on the sidelines Saturday against Alabama.
Texas A&M has their share of injuries, especially on defense, as well.
- Safety Steven Cambell will not play due to a leg injury and is out up to 3 weeks.
- Corberback Coryell Judie, who did not play against OSU, is questionable due to a hamstring injury.
- Defensive lineman Jonathan Mathis is questionable due to a leg injury.
- Receiver Ryan Swope, who suffered a concussion last week, is listed as probable.
- Tight End Michael Lamothe is recovering from a concussion and did not play in Week 4 against Oklahoma State. He remains questionable for Saturday against Arkansas.
Series Fun Facts:
The two teams met for the first time on Oct. 31, 1903.
Both Arkansas and Texas A&M were founding members of the Southwest Conference in 1915. However, the two teams did not actually meet on the football field as conference foes until the 1927 season. From 1934-1991 the two teams played annually.
Arkansas leads the overall series 40-24-3.
Arkansas is 226-99-5 (.692) all-time when ranked in the top 20. The Razorbacks are 13-3 (.813) alltime
when ranked 18th and are 5-3 (.625), including four straight wins, all-time against the No. 14 team
in the country.
Arkansas is 5-4 (.556) against members of the Big 12 since its inception in 1996.
The Aggies will be seeking their first win against a SEC opponent since 1995 (A&M 33, LSU 17 at Kyle Field). A&M has dropped its last six games against SEC foes.
Between 1925 and 1991, the Hogs and Aggies won or shared a combined 28 SWC titles.
My thoughts on the game:
I think Arkansas will score early and often and hold back a late Texas A&M rally to win. The Aggies should make it interesting, but their pass defense is suspect and I expect Arkansas to come out with both guns blazing. I'd like to see more production from the Hogs running game this week, but I'm not holding my breath. Arkansas' inability to run the ball in the second half will give A&M some life and they could make it interesting late, but I don't think they'll be able to keep pace.
My prediction: Arkansas 38 - Texas A&M 24.