Final thoughts on Texas A&M football vs. Arkansas
This game is even more pivotal for Texas A&M football now than it was 24 hours ago. Now that we know that Max Johnson will, barring some miracle, be the starter for the rest of the season, this game and this Arkansas secondary come as a veritable gift for the new Aggie signal caller. I would like to see Petrino scheme things up for Johnson such that he can get in a rhythm here that will hopefully carry over into the biggest game of the season against Alabama next week.
The linebackers will be extremely key for Texas A&M football in this contest; luckily, this is probably the best linebacking corps the Aggies have had since Jefferson has been behind center for the Hogs. A senior Edgerrin Cooper and the intelligent freshman Taurean York will have their hands full against the running game for the Hogs, but I think they are well equipped to handle whatever Dan Enos throws their way. The real test for the defense will be their ability to deal with the deep passing game for Arkansas—a dimension we saw the Razorbacks open up in their close loss to LSU.
That loss to LSU, though, also seems to be a strike against Arkansas when I’m looking at this specific game. The fact of the matter is that it is extremely hard to punch that far above your weight (though I am in no wise high on the Tigers this season, I do still believe they are substantially better than Arkansas) for two weeks in a row. The Hogs were way up for that game down in Baton Rouge, and I think this week, especially if the Aggies can get it started early, will be a big emotional letdown for that squad.
The more I’ve thought about this game, the more confident I’ve been that the Hogs will have trouble scoring. I still think the Aggies can get to 30 points at least with Johnson under center, but unless the Razorbacks can really unload it in the deep passing game consistently—a prospect on which I’m not bullish, given the bounce back this defense has shown—I don’t see them getting more than about 13 points. With that said, that’ll be my prediction: 30-13. If this trend keeps up, I’ll have it as a shutout by Friday!