Rapid Reaction: Aggies explode late in win over Razorbacks
It was a tale of two halves, but that’s not the first time you’ve heard that this season. Through the first 30 minutes, both Arkansas and Texas A&M looked as though they could be a legitimate threat for Alabama in the SEC West.
In the end, the Aggies used a goal-line stand to spark a 21-0 run on their way to a 45-24 victory at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
What it means: The Aggies are legit. After rolling through their first three games, they look as though they can challenge Alabama and make the SEC West race interesting. For the Razorbacks, meanwhile, there is still work to be done. Although Arkansas showed it can hang with a top 10 team, Saturday night proved there are still areas it needs to improve. The Razorbacks’ biggest struggles came on defense as the unit allowed the Aggies to run wild and finish the night with 591 yards of total offense.
What I liked: Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight looked like Johnny Manziel behind center. The Oklahoma transfer thrashed Arkansas’ defense throughout the night, getting it done not only with his arm (225 yards, 2 TD), but his legs as well (157 rushing yards, 2 TD).
What I didn’t like: Arkansas’ decision to go for it on 4th-and-goal at the end of the third quarter. Any time you’re playing a top 10 team which has had your number in recent years, you have to take advantage of scoring opportunities. Arkansas could’ve taken a 20-17 lead with a field goal, but instead the wheels came off afterwards and Texas A&M went on to score 21 unanswered points. Aside from the decision to go for it, Dan Enos’ play call was questionable. Running a jet sweep in that situation is dangerous, because if a defensive line gets any penetration it can blow up the whole play.
Who’s the man: Trevor Knight. What a performance. He helped the Aggies’ offense move the chains, and he made it look effortless in the process. His two long touchdown runs (42 and 48 yards) showcased just how dangerous he can be, and they put every SEC defensive coordinator on notice. Texas A&M brought him in to make big plays in big games — that’s exactly what he did on Saturday.
On the other side, Allen at times looked like one of the best signal-callers in the SEC. In all, he threw for 371 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also showed he has guts when he came back after hurting his chest in the first half and peeling himself off the turf after crunching hits. Even in defeat, the fact that the quarterback returned to finish the game shows that he possesses the necessary leadership qualities to lead a program.
Key plays: Knight gave the Aggies a huge boost before halftime when he ran for a 48-yard touchdown which, after a made extra point by Daniel LaCamera, tied the game 17-17 with 13 seconds remaining in the first half. It was Texas A&M’s goal-line stand that sparked a massive run that ultimately put the game out of reach.
What’s next: Texas A&M will continue SEC play at South Carolina next weekend. The Gamecocks will enter the game with a 2-2 mark after falling to Kentucky 17-10 earlier on Saturday.
The Razorbacks will host the Alcorn State Braves in a non-conference tilt at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock at 12 p.m. ET on SEC Network. Alcorn State will enter Little Rock with a 1-2 record. They lost to Grambling State 43-18 on Saturday.