When Arkansas is on defense vs. Texas A&M football
The Arkansas defense has had a similarly rough go of things so far this season. Their first two opponents were extremely poor, but against two opponents with a pulse, the Razorbacks defensive unit has been exposed. Consider the two following charts from Pick Six Previews:
If you can’t be bothered to locate the Hogs on these lists (which I wouldn’t blame you for), Arkansas ranks, on an opponent-adjusted basis, 66th out of 69 Power 5 teams in pass defense and 42nd out of 69 teams in rushing defense. The opponent-adjustment piece is key here, as Arkansas is 20th in FBS in raw YPC allowed (2.83 on average), but the fact of the matter is that Kent State, Western Carolina, and BYU are very bad rushing teams. BYU exceeded their average against the Hogs, notching 2.48 YPC as compared to their 2.22 season-long average, as did LSU, who recorded 6.52 YPC compared to their 5.36 season-long average. Texas A&M football will have a chance to break a few long runs against the Hogs, in other words, though I expect the Razorbacks to dedicate a lot of personnel to stopping the rushing game and making Johnson beat them with his arm.
The good news on that front is that the Hogs have an extremely weak pass defense—both by raw and opponent-adjusted metrics. The Razorbacks find themselves as the 109th-ranked pass defense by YPA allowed out of 133 teams. Every team they have faced has exceeded their season-long YPA average when playing this Arkansas secondary. Max Johnson is a guy you need to play within himself in order for him to be successful, but I think the ability of the Aggie receivers will give him plenty of chances to push the ball downfield and be successful overall on the day.