Publish date:

KJ Jefferson's Legs 'Alarming' to Texas A&M Going Into Saturday's Matchup

The Aggies have a healthy dose of respect for the Hogs' quarterback and they know they are facing a team that's on a roll.

Monday's press conferences with Sam Pittman and Jimbo Fisher was a dual display of respect ahead of Saturday's game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Neither was giving the other any bulletin board material.

This is the first really big test for either team. In August, few really expected this game would be between two ranked teams.

Arkansas' biggest struggle was the first three quarters of the opener against Rice. Texas A&M had a close call against Colorado in Week 2.

The Aggies were expected to be 3-0 headed into the SEC opener for both schools. The Razorbacks are a little surprising to be 3-0 and really dominated three straight opponents, including Texas.

""The team we're playing right now is an experienced team," Fisher said. "They don't have a young team. This group has a lot of fourth-, fifth-, sixth-year guys on their team and they're probably playing as well as anybody in the country."

Mainly they've noticed Hogs quarterback KJ Jefferson, who showed in the first couple of weeks he could run. Last week in a 45-10 win over Georgia Southern he had big numbers passing (13-of-23 for 366 yards and 3 touchdowns).

"He's got a lot of Cam Newton about him," Aggies safety Leon O'Neal said. "I think he's a big-time leader on that team. We have to be able to stop him on everything we do."

That passing yardage last Saturday included a 91-yard scoring strike to Treylon Burks, who ran about 94 yards after taking a little swing pass from Jefferson while still in the backfield. Take that away from the passing numbers and you have 275 yards passing.

Arkansas' biggest weapon is going to be the running game and Jefferson appears to be what A&M has noticed above a lot of other things.

Recommended Articles

"Just because you hit him doesn't mean he goes down," Fisher said.

"You see that running at you and you're like 'OK, I need to be ready for that,'" O'Neal said. "That's alarming."

READ MORE: What Sam Pittman said about matchup with Texas A&M

The Hogs got respect from the Aggies in the press conferences Monday, which really isn't surprising these days.

"Arkansas is a growing brand right now in football," O'Neal said. "They're doing a lot of good things. They're bringing that physical brand of football back.

"The mentality is, we have a job to do, and they're in the way."

Now they've got to prove against an opponent that is on a nine-game winning streak in this series that at times has resembled the Hogs TRYING to let them keep winning.

Arkansas has shown they have figured out how to win this season.

But the biggest tests are in front of them with four straight currently ranked opponents (Auburn is 23rd in the coaches' poll), including three straight away from Razorback Stadium.

It starts against an A&M team that is saying they aren't looking past the Hogs.

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.