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Halftime: Late Texas A&M TD Keeps Game Close, Arkansas Up 14-13

A defensive touchdown in the second quarter puts Texas A&M down by one at halftime.

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. 

Jimbo Fisher elected to start junior Max Johnson following his success in the Aggies’ 17-9 victory over Miami. Albiet a slow first quarter, Johnson rebounded to begin the second quarter. 

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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