TEXAS A&M VS. ARKANSAS
Aggies look to keep rolling against Arkansas after bounce-back performance versus Miami
The Aggies showed a lot of grit last Saturday as they followed up a monumental loss with a big-time win over the 13th-ranked Miami Hurricanes. One of Head Coach Jimbo Fisher’s core values is grit. It's written in the weight room, in the tunnels at Kyle Field as the players run out. The messaging paid off as the Maroon and White bounced back in a big way after the loss to Appalachian State. Defense and special teams stepped up in a 17-9 victory, as well as a new quarterback at the helm for the Aggies, Max Johnson.
The Aggies allowed almost 400 total yards but kept the Hurricanes out of the end zone, only allowing 3 field goals. They seemed to adopt the bend don't break mentality, and they might have needed to as they were severely shorthanded. Lacking nearly a half dozen defenders, as well as losing 2 key starters early in the ballgame. Safety Demani Richardson and corner Brian George were both ejected due to targeting penalties. Regardless of the circumstances, A&M rallied around the 107,000 gathered at Kyle to bounce back and possibly right the ship heading into SEC play.
Offensively, things were better, but far from where they need to be if they intend to be competitive in the SEC. The Ags’ mustered 17 points and 264 total yards all led by new starting QB, Max Johnson. Johnson, who took over for Haynes King, went 10-20 and threw for 140 yards and a touchdown. He and the offense weren't spectacular by any means, but he seemed to have something that was missing for the Ags’. He plays with a level of confidence and decisiveness I would argue Texas A&M hasn't seen at the QB position since Trevor Knight. He made smart decisions, took care of the football and ran the offense with confidence and composure. Texas A&M’s season was riding on this game and Max Johnson's performance, and he delivered. However, Jimbo Fisher and the Aggie fan base hope to see more from him in the coming weeks, as the Ags' are entering the toughest stretch of the season.
#9 Arkansas awaits the Aggies in Arlington, Texas. Then a trip to Starkville to take on Mississippi State, then the much-anticipated matchup against #2 Alabama in Tuscaloosa. That is what awaits Jimbo Fisher and his Aggies over the next three weeks, so the offense needs to figure things out fast. Just like the team, we’ll only focus on the upcoming game with Arkansas as A&M looks to avenge the beatdown they received from the Hogs last season. Arkansas is vulnerable, with one of the worst passing defenses in the nation but one of the more impressive offenses in the SEC. I see this one possibly turning into a shootout if the Maroon and White can get the passing game firing on all cylinders. Every game for the Aggies from here on out is a must-win to keep their playoff chances alive, and I see them keeping things going. Texas A&M wins a slugfest 38-35 to improve to 3-1.