College Football Game of the Week: No. 7 Texas A&M vs. No. 16 Arkansas
The SEC has an exciting matchup of the unbeaten when No. 7 Texas A&M takes on No. 16 Arkansas at AT&T Stadium this weekend. This SEC West matchup is a classic battle between an elite defense and an explosive offense.
Texas A&M has had its struggles on offense, but the defense has been nothing short of spectacular.
Through three games, the Aggies defense has only allowed a total of 17 points, including one shutout. Preseason All-American DeMarvin Leal leads the way with 2.5 sacks through the first three weeks.
However, the question in play for the Aggies isn’t whether or not the defense will show up, but rather, what they will get from the quarterback position.
Haynes King, the starter at the beginning of the year, suffered a fractured ankle at the beginning of their second game and will miss about two months.
Sophomore Zach Calzada took over for Haynes and struggled to find his footing in his first game, but settled into his first start against New Mexico and threw for 275 yards and three touchdowns.
The bright side for the Aggies is that they have a talented backfield that can take the load off of Calzada.
All-purpose running back Isaiah Spiller has totaled 330 total yards with one touchdown and 6.3 yards per carry while his counterpart, Devon Achane, is averaging 6.8 yards per carry. Expect Texas A&M to give its running backs the ball early and often.
As for the Razorbacks, they have been unsuccessful in all nine tries against the Aggies since they joined the SEC back in 2012, with six of those meetings taking place at AT&T stadium.
However, Arkansas has more momentum than ever and finally has a shot to prove its worth on a national stage.
Arkansas put the country on notice when it dominated Texas for all four quarters two weeks back, but now it has another opportunity to get all eyes watching.
In the Razorbacks’ three contests so far, nobody has been able to figure out their rushing attack as the team is averaging just over 282 yards on the ground per game.
The difficulty for opposing defenses is the many options that Arkansas has presented, as the team has five different players who have over 100 yards rushing on the season.
One of these rushers is sophomore, dual-threat Quarterback, KJ Jefferson.
Jefferson has been a problem for opposing defenses as he has thrown for 632 yards, added 180 more with his feet while racking up six total touchdowns through three games. Jefferson is a headache for opposing defenses and will be a true test for Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies.
Arkansas also has a defense it can boast about, as it held Texas to seven points through three quarters while its offense created enough separation before eventually winning 40-21.
Senior linebacker Bumper Pool has been the heart of the defense, piling up 30 tackles on the season while Sophomore defensive back Jalen Catalon has been a breakout star adding 28 tackles while snagging two interceptions for the Razorbacks.
This game should come down to the wire, as it usually does when these two squads line up.
It may end up being a low-scoring affair, but it will no doubt be an exciting matchup with big plays from both sides.
Both teams have the opportunity to put themselves on the map as both top-20 teams as both squads are trending upward and have a platform with a national spotlight shining on them.
Expect this to finish as a one-score contest with a dramatic finish in Dallas this weekend.
Charlie Knezevic is a third-year student majoring in broadcast journalism, to contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.