ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas A&M cannot afford to wonder what might have been with a better offensive performance against Auburn last week, as the Aggies face Arkansas on Saturday in Arlington, Texas, knowing a difficult late-season schedule looms. The Aggies scored just three points in the first three quarters of a 28-20 home loss last week, rushing for just 56 yards and struggling to find a rhythm offensively before scoring 10 points in the final six minutes to cut into an 18-point deficit.
TV: Noon ET, ESPN. LINE: Texas A&M -23
"We don't have a bad football team," Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher told reporters after the game. "We've just got to get them to play better, and that's my job." While the Aggies still have meetings with three top-five teams remaining on the schedule (No. 2 Alabama, at No. 3 Georgia and at No. 5 LSU), the Razorbacks (who also face Alabama and LSU later this season) are reeling after a stunning 31-24 home defeat to San Jose State in which junior quarterback Nick Starkel was intercepted five times. Arkansas rushed for only 131 yards on 32 carries and its defense gave up 17 points on the final three possessions of the first half. "This performance is completely unacceptable," Arkansas coach Chad Morris told reporters postgame. "You get what you deserve in life. We didn't deserve to win this football game."
ABOUT ARKANSAS (2-2, 0-1 SEC)
Starkel did engineer a late rally with two fourth-quarter touchdowns, finishing 28-of-50 passing for 356 yards and three scores and connecting with freshman receiver Trey Knox on eight passes for 83 yards. Junior running back Rakeem Boyd rushed for 95 yards on 18 carries, but the Razorbacks scored just seven points on three trips to the red zone. Arkansas had no answer defensively, allowing 503 yards of total offense (402 yards passing) while freshman defensive back LaDarrius Bishop was a rare bright spot with eight solo tackles.
ABOUT TEXAS A&M (2-2, 0-1)
Junior quarterback Kellen Mond completed 31-of-49 passes for 335 yards and two touchdowns – 146 yards and both scores coming in the fourth quarter. Junior receiver Jhamon Ausbon became the 18th player in school history to record 100 receptions with eight catches for 111 yards, but Mond was the leading rusher with just 26 yards and was sacked three times. The Aggies allowed touchdowns on two of the game's first three drives, then gave up scores on the opening possession in each of the final two quarters.
1. The Razorbacks have passed for more than 300 yards in three consecutive games for the first time since 2011.
2. Texas A&M P Braden Mann, the reigning Ray Guy Award winner for best punter in the nation, averaged 56 yards on six punts against Auburn.
3. The Aggies have won the past seven meetings against Arkansas, recording seven-point victories in 2017 and 2018.
PREDICTION: Texas A&M 44, Arkansas 27