The Aggies and Hogs are set to square off for another addition of the Southwest Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. In the most recent matchup between A&M and Arkansas Sam Pittman and the Razorbacks took a 20-10 victory. A&M had won the previous 9 matchups dating back to 2012.
Keys to Victory for Arkansas:
If Arkansas can establish the run game against a banged up front seven of the Aggies then they should have some great offensive success. Raheim “Rocket” Sanders has already produced 440 rushing yards in 3 games. Sanders is averaging an impressive 6.7 yards per carry as well. The season is still very young but these types of numbers should merit some Heisman talks.
Quarterback KJ Jefferson is also off to a great start to the year. He’s thrown for 770 yards and 6 td’s with a 176.3 Rating. Jefferson’s ability to finish drives in the red zone against a stout A&M defense could ultimately be the difference in the ballgame.
The las key for Arkansas is improved secondary play. The Hogs rank dead last in passing yards allowed per game at 353 ypg. They can certainly improve this number this week as they are playing an A&M offensive that isn’t the most explosive.
Keys to Victory for Texas A&M
Texas A&M has had a stout defense all year, especially in the red zone, allowing 8.67 points per game. With that said they’ll again have to stiffen up in the red zone. Quarterback Jefferson is especially a threat in the red zone with both his ability to pass and run.
The Ags will have to prioritize stopping the run game of Arkansas. Rocket Sanders and KJ Jefferson are both threats to score anytime they have the ball in their hands. The Aggies will be without linebacker Andre White this week also (Coach Jimbo Fisher announced this in his weekly press conference).
Texas A&M will have to produce some explosive plays in the pass game, something they’ve struggled to do in the last 2 games. With Evan Stewart and Chris Marshall back from suspension the downfield threat returns. This should help quarterback Max Johnson’s efficiency and could help getting star Ainias Smith favorable matchups.
Predictions for the Game
Every year these two meet in Dallas for the Southwest Classic the game is a thriller. I fully anticipate this one to be as well, I believe it will be a one score game pretty much the entirety of the contest. My final prediction is that the Aggies get a late score to take the lead and then get a stop to hold onto the lead, 27-24 Texas A&M over Arkansas.