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Aggies Defense Bends Too Far In Loss To Razorbacks

Arkansas bullied Texas A&M to a 20-10 final, beating its old SWC rival for the first time since it joined the SEC in 2012.

No. 16 Arkansas defeated  No. 7 Texas A&M on Saturday 20-10 in the 78th Southwest Classic at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

With the win, Arkansas ended A&M’s nine-game win streak in the overall series. 

The only way to describe the Aggies' performance in this game is using the old "woodshed" adage because what the Razorbacks did to A&M on Saturday was nothing short of a 'whooping.'

READ MORE: Texas A&M's Struggles Show SEC Play Could Be Challenging

It might not be reflected in just a 10-point loss, but the game never really felt that close with an Aggies offense that really never found their feet.

The game raised questions on the defensive side of the ball that might not have been present before. A&M is used to its defense helping it win games, and that just didn't happen on Saturday.

The Aggies allowed their first passing touchdown of the season on the 85-yard touchdown pass from Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson to wide receiver Treylon Burks in the first quarter. it was also the fourth-longest passing touchdown in an FBS game at AT&T Stadium.

Passing game defensive failures were a theme for the Aggies all day, as Arkansas was 9 of 19 for 246 yards and 12.9 yards per attempt for second-most yards per completion in AT&T Stadium history.

A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher blamed a slow start that set the tone of the game. 

"I thought the game, we got started off to a slow start," Fisher said. "Like I say, you never win a game in the first quarter, but you can put yourself behind the 8-ball, and that's exactly what we did early in the game.

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"Defensively, we had too many big plays. We gave up a 300-yard half. They had 300 yards in the first half. And we didn't tackle well. They hit the big plays. I think they only had seven plays but 212 yards. Hit one 85-yarder for a touchdown. And had three scoring drives and got up 17-0 there."

The Aggies didn't give up a ton of points, but it seems the Razorbacks' offense was able to extend drives to steal any momentum the A&M offense was able to gain. 

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"And then we punt and that's where I say we've got to -- defensively, even though we didn't give up a point defensively, we did a really good job in the second half, but we still gave up drives. And when we had them pinned back, second and 10, third and 10, we got them inside the 20, 25-yard line two or three times, we could have won some field position battles," Fisher said.

It wasn't just one aspect of the defense that failed the Aggies on Saturday, uninspired play was apparent on all parts of the defense, as the Razorbacks gained 443 total yards on the day, with 246 yards passing and 197 yards rushing.

"We've got to get better," Fisher said. "We have got to make sure we coach better, put them in better position to make plays. Try to do the things. Figure out what they can and cannot do and get them to do it, and we're all in it together. Got to play better and got to coach together."

The Aggies next face Mississippi State on Oct. 2 at Kyle Field in College Station.

CONTINUE READING: Southwest Classic Game Log: No. 16 Razorbacks Beat No. 7 Aggies, 20-10.

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