The No. 7 Texas A&M and No. 16 Arkansas collide in an undefeated SEC West battle Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Game time is scheduled for 3:30 pm ET on CBS.
Texas A&M (3-0) will keep Zach Calzada at quarterback, who replaced Haynes King (broken leg). The Aggies are winning with a disgusting defense that has allowed just 17 points per game with coach Jimbo Fisher. SN DeMarvin Leal’s preseason All-American leads the way with 2.5 sacks.
Arkansas (3-0) has been an early season favorite, and the Razorbacks have a chance to sweep Texas and Texas A&M. Second-year coach Sam Pittman has created an exciting offense scoring 41 points per game, and quarterback KJ Jefferson leads that diversified running game.
MORE: Inside the Unlikely Arkansas Renaissance Under Sam Pittman | Picks Against Spread for Top 25 Games | Conclusions from week 3
This rivalry dates back to 1903, and it is fitting that this year’s showdown returns at Jerry World. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s game between Aggies and Razorbacks.
Texas A&M Odds vs. Arkansas
- Spread: Texas A&M -5.5
- Below: 47.5
- Money line: Texas A&M -230, Arkansas +184
Three trends to know
– Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2012, and the Aggies have won all nine face-to-face meetings with the Razorbacks since joining the conference. That includes six wins at AT&T Stadium.
– The Razorbacks are 3-0 ATS this season. Arkansas is also 8-3 ATS as an underdog since Pittman took over in 2020.
– The Aggies have 28-1 S / U and 19-10 ATS as favorites under Fisher. Texas A&M is 2-4 ATS in site neutral games since 2018.
Three things to look at
– Calzada’s efficiency. Calzada showed improvement in his second start for the Aggies, finishing with 275 passing yards, three touchdowns and an interception against the state of New Mexico. Calzada’s completion percentage, however, is 51.4% in three games. Texas A&M offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey has to find creative ways to put Arkansas’ secondary to the test, which features safety Jalen Catalon, who has two interceptions and three pass interruptions. The Aggies need to be more efficient in the air, and Calzada needs to offer the threat of the pass to take pressure off leading running back Isaiah Spiller, who is averaging 6.3 yards per carry with a pair of 100-yard games.
– The Arkansas running game. Jefferson leads a strong Arkansas running game that has five players with at least 100 rushing yards. Trelon Smith is the leading running back and averages 5.1 yards per carry. That versatility could allow for success against an Aggies defense that allows 4.1 yards per carry. Jefferson did not play Texas A&M last season.
– Jalen Wydermyer at sewing. Ainias Smith, the main receiver for Texas A&M, finds himself day by day with a leg injury sustained in the victory over the State of New Mexico. That could mean more targets for tight end Jalen Wydermyer, an All-American candidate who had six catches for 92 yards and a pair of TDs in last year’s 42-31 win against the Razorbacks.
Statistics that matter
Sanctions The Razorbacks rank 116th in the FBS with 78.5 penalty yards per game. Those mistakes will be more costly this week and should be a major point of emphasis.
Texas A&M vs Arkansas Prediction
Arkansas has been able to control the games by starting fast, and that is why they are able to pull off this surprise. The Razorbacks have outscored their opponents 24-0 in the first quarter, but the Texas A&M defense has also controlled early games with a 24-10 margin in the first quarter. The Razorbacks need to play up front to put more pressure on Calzada in the passing game, but Texas A&M can resist that by leveling Arkansas up front on both sides. The momentum swings will be huge, but the Aggies take control in the third quarter, but they need a late field goal from Seth Small, which is 4 of 5 from 40 yards or more, to seal the victory.
Final score: Texas A&M 31, Arkansas 28
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.