ARLINGTON - - Texas A&M linebacker Edgerrin Cooper told reporters earlier this offseason that he loved hog hunting in the middle of nowhere Texas. He reiterated that he’d be hunting Razorbacks at AT&T Stadium on Saturday evening.
So far, it's been a tale of two quarters between the two SEC West contenders.
No. 10 Arkansas currently holds a 14-13 over No. 23 Texas A&M in the Southwest Classic thanks to two touchdown passes from KJ Jefferson, and defensive takeaway from the Aggies. The Razorbacks outgained the Aggies 281-152
Jefferson picked up a 26-yard gain on first down that would set up a 32-yard touchdown pass to Ketron Jackson Jr. in the first quarter. On the ensuing drive, Jefferson would unload a 56-yard pass to Warren Thompson, extending the lead to 14.
Jefferson, who entered Saturday with a 70.5 completion rating, went 8-of-13 passing for 126 yards. He averaged 6.4 yards per run on 11 rush attempts. Rahiem Sanders totaled 41 yards on 10 carries.
A 63-yard run from Devon Achane would put the Aggies inside Razorbacks' territory. On a thrid-and-5, the former LSU starter found freshman Evan Stewart for a 10-yard score.
The touchdown marked the first for Stewart at A&M. Last week, Stewart, along with three other freshmen, were suspended after violating teams rules.
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Jefferson's lone mistake came in the red zone during the second quarter. Trying to score on a QB keeper, the ball would be knocked loose by A&M's Tyreek Chappell. Electing to lateral the ball to Demani Richardson, the Aggies would trim the lead to one with a 97-yard score.
Penalties hampered the Aggies’ early production. An illegal shift on the team’s opening drive negated a 5-yard run from Achane that would have picked up a first down. Another illegal shift took away a second conversion on a 9-yard pass to running back Earnest Crownover.
Johnson finished the first half 6-of-11 passing for 51 yards and the score. Achane totaled 89 yards off eight carries.
The Aggies will receive the ball to begin the second half.
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