The Texas A&M Aggies will travel to Dallas to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks this coming Saturday. Last year, the Aggies lost to the Razorbacks 10-20, so Jimbo Fisher‘s squad is looking to avenge that loss. Arkansas still has a formidable rushing attack, which will pose a threat to Texas A&M. Max Johnson, and the offense will definitely have to step up in this game, especially if it leads to a shutout. The Aggies’ defense held up last week, but it will be tougher without home-field advantage. Although, they will be going up against a dual-threat quarterback this time around. Here’s a quick preview of A&M’s first SEC matchup against Arkansas in 2022.
Offensive Playcalling Must Be More Dynamic
In the last game against Miami, Fisher and Darrell Dickey were rather conservative with playcalling because it was Johnson’s first start. Against a stout defense like the Razorbacks, Johnson will need to make some more difficult throws to win the game. It will definitely help to have Evan Stewart back following his one-game suspension.
There’s always talk about Ainias Smith and Devon Achane, but more players have to step up. Yulkeith Brown can be used as a deep threat, which will help to open up the middle of the field. The run-pass option can also keep Arkansas’s defense on its heels, and it could also help the offensive line throughout the game.
Honestly, Johnson did not look too bad running the ball against the Hurricanes. Some quarterback-designed runs could catch the Razorbacks off-guard, and it will be a challenge to see how well the wideouts can block; obviously, the receiver screens just weren’t favorable for Texas A&M during the first three games.
Aggies Need To Contain K.J. Jefferson
Jefferson is one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC, and he is the best one that the Aggies will face till next month. While Texas A&M is favored in this game, it should be mentioned that Arkansas is averaging 500 yards per game. The Razorbacks’ offense has an even balance of passing and rushing yards, and Kendal Briles knows how to scheme his players open.
Raheim Sanders leads Arkansas in rushing yards with nearly seven yards per carry. Expect three or four players in the backfield, and Malik Hornsby could come in to confuse the Aggies’ defense on trick plays. Although the Razorbacks lost their best receiving threat in Treylon Burks, the diversity of the offense is still there.
Matt Landers and Jadon Haselwood are Jefferson’s primary targets, and they are dangerous wherever they are on the field. Arkansas also has a great tight end in Trey Knox, so it will be interesting to see how DJ Durkin chooses to defend all the receiving threats. Finally, the depth of the defensive front for Texas A&M will be tested, especially if the Razorbacks decide to run tempo. If they do go fast, Arkansas could jump out to an early lead.
The importance of this matchup between Texas A&M and Arkansas can’t be understood. The Aggies are still competent enough to be at the top of the SEC West, and they can’t start 0-1 in the division. The quarterback’s change and play against Miami could have a change of heart for the team. Nonetheless, it now all comes down to how A&M performs on Saturday night. Let’s see how the Aggies choose to respond to renewed adversity and expectations.