Skip to main content

Match-Up Finally Falls in Hogs' Favor

If a team could be created to foil A&M it would be Arkansas, but that doesn't mean a guaranteed win
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Football is a game determined by match-ups, which Arkansas found out this past Saturday aren't always favorable.

However, the shoe is on the other foot this week. On Saturday against No. 20 Texas A&M it will be the Razorbacks who are the bad match-up. 

There may not be a running back room in the country as deep as Arkansas with Raheim "Rocket" Sanders, AJ Green, Rashod Dubinion and what is expected to be a returning Dominique Johnson. 

Raheim Sanders-Missouri State

Factor in the damage KJ Jefferson and Malik Hornsby can cause, pair it with how poor Texas A&M is against the run, and it becomes hard to picture Jimbo Fisher sleeping peacefully this week even with full doses of Tylenol PM and Benedryl.

For most teams Arkansas faces this year, coaches can find solace in knowing there are yards to be made against the Razorback secondary even if Myles Slusher manages to return. 

However, A&M isn't most teams. 

There is no Jason Shelley or Ben Bryant in the locker room at Texas A&M. There's not even a Spencer Rattler. 

Regardless of who Fisher decides to run out at quarterback in Arlington, it will take the game of a lifetime to turn the current iteration of the Aggies offense into a passing juggernaut. 

Texas A&M has a paltry 237 yards passing this season against Division I teams. Normally a team puts up such poor passing numbers because it's strong in the running game, but that's pretty embarrassing also.

The Aggies have accounted for 207 yards rushing against Division I opponents. 

For those who aren't strong in math, that's 444 yards of total offense against non-FCS opponents.

A mere 222 yards per game.

If the offense is rolling and puts together a couple of 80 yard drives, that only leaves 62 yards of offense left to break the 14 point threshold. 

To provide a comparison, Arkansas bested the Aggies' total offense the last two games in a single contest against College Football Playoff qualifier Cincinnati. That's 223 yards passing, just 14 yards shy of A&M's two-game total, and 224 yards rushing, 17 yards more than the Aggies two-game total.

Dwight McGlothern-Cincinnati

Arkansas Razorbacks receiver Matt Landers breaks free against Cincinnati.

That leaves 457 yards against South Carolina unaccounted for. 

If A&M is able to keep up its average of 17 points per game against Division I teams and the defense holds Arkansas two touchdowns below is average, Fisher's team still loses, 24-17.

Nothing falls in the Aggies' favor. 

It will take a shootout to beat Arkansas. The Jimbo Fisher 1998 offense can only best be described as a double-barrel shotgun with no extra shells.

Consider Arkansas just faced one of the greatest offensive geniuses to ever pace a sideline in Bobby Petrino, the simplicity of the A&M offense will feel like being in Spanish III and going back to look at chapter two of the Spanish I textbook.

Teams have to be great against the run to beat Arkansas. Stopping the run is the achilles heel of Texas A&M.

Giving up 180 yards rushing is a given against the Aggies' defense, and that's against teams not nearly as strong at rushing as Arkansas. 

There has been no combination of in-game intelligence and sheer power and determination like Ricky Stromberg lined up across from the A&M front to this point.

Ricky Stromberg

Teams have to put up absurd passing numbers, mostly through deep shots, to have a chance to take down the Razorbacks.

Either Max Johnson or Haynes King has to stretch the Arkansas secondary with deep passes. 

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Johnson is a short pass player in this offense and King has only shown the ability to throw the ball 35 yards through the air and that's a rare occasion. 

"We’ve got to fix that problem," Pittman said. "Everybody in the building’s aware of it and how we do that is going to be a combination of who’s on the field and the opponent whether we feel like we can cover them man to man or not.

"If we can’t cover them in zone coverage then we definitely have to put pressure on the quarterback, because that’s something that we’re good at."

Just as a reminder, as bad as Arkansas is in the secondary, the Hogs are equally as great at bringing pressure, which is not a good sign regardless of which quarterback starts.

Can Texas A&M win? 

Of course. This is the SEC where any team other than Missouri can win on any given day.

It's just a terrible match-up for the Aggies this season. 

That means a lot will have to go right and even more will need to be overcome for it to happen.

One thing is for sure. Arkansas won't be overlooking Texas A&M after last weekend.

Arkansas divider

HOGS FEED:

SAM PITTMAN AND EVERYONE ELSE KNOWS WHAT HOGS HAVE TO FIX, AND SOON

SEC ROUNDUP: AUBURN COACH COULD BE LEADING CANDIDATE OUT WEST

SEC SHORTS TRIES TO SOLVE MURDER OF AUBURN TIGERS

THERE IS MUCH THE CURRENT STAFF CAN LEARN, STEAL FROM BOBBY PETRINO

SANDERS AVOIDS RUNNING INTO THE RAZORBACK RECORDS BOOKS SATURDAY AND THAT'S A GOOD THING

DESPITE EARLY STRUGGLES, HOGS FIND WAY TO MAKE IT 'SPECIAL' IN THE END

HOGS PLAY ROLE OF ORIGINAL APOLLO CREED, AVOID ROCKY II

SEC ROUND-UP: NEGATIVES KEEP COMING IN AUBURN, GAMECOCKS FORGET TACKLING IS PART OF FOOTBALL, AND MUCH MORE

A GOOD PUNCH IN THE MOUTH SHOULD MAKE HOGS FEEL BETTER SATURDAY

HOGS' SAM PITTMAN WOULD LIKE TO MAKE WIDE RECEIVER BY COMMITTEE A LITTLE LARGER

HAS HOGS COACH SAM PITTMAN'S PLAN FOR DOMINIQUE JOHNSON WORKED LIKE HE WANTED?

TEXAS HAS LOT TO LEARN FROM ALABAMA, ARKANSAS BEFORE ENTERING SEC

Arkansas divider

Return to allHogs home page.

• Want to join in on the discussion? Click here to become a member of the allHOGS message board community today!

• Follow allHOGS on Twitter and Facebook.

• View and subscribe to the allHogs YouTube Channel