Deep in the heart of College Station: Razorbacks fall to Texas A&M
No one expected it, even with Texas A&M’s better ranking in the AP polls. Arkansas was ticked off as a loss for the Aggies in every prediction posted. The predictions were wrong. The Aggies defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks at AT&T Stadium with a score of 45-24, and the country was watching. Did some of the magic of the Star at Frisco rub off of the Aggies in the house that Jerry Jones built? Doubtful. The Aggies did this all on their own. If you looked in a dictionary to find the definition of what good, competitive football is supposed to look like, this would be among the videos that could be used to describe it. The Aggies and the Razorbacks put on one heck of a show!
Here’s how we can break down the theatrics of Saturday night: Five turnovers, countless big plays (including seven that broke for over 40 yards), injuries on both sides of the ball, and shows of physical strength and endurance that could rival that last battle in “Game of Thrones.” THIS was a football game. Here are some takeaways from the game:
- The Aggie defense is the TRUTH. Even when the Aggies were offensively strong, the defense could be counted on to be subpar. Through the Manziel era and after, the defensive line has always been a sore subject for the Aggie faithful. Well, not Saturday night. John Chavis has corrected what could easily be described as Texas A&M’s fatal flaw – their defense. Kevin Sumlin brought in a coordinator that has clearly started turning their defense around. They proved that this game. Myles Garrett is a wall when he’s healthy, which is questionable after Saturday’s game, and when combined with Daeshon Hall, the Aggie defense has found the proverbial “golden ticket” against offenses from opposing teams. The defense made two goal line stands, limited the Razorbacks to field goals in several critical drives, and in the third quarter with a tie score forced the Razorbacks to turn over on downs four times. That, in itself, is impressive and shows the defense has improved by leaps and bounds.
- Kevin Sumlin is safe. Due to some of the holes that have appeared with the Aggies post-Johnny Football, there were questions on whether Texas A&M would hand Kevin Sumlin his hat after this season if things did not improve. We are four weeks into the season, and I can safely say Kevin Sumlin is off of the hot seat. If you look at the rest of the season, the Aggies look to be in a good position to win the SEC West. LSU is not as much of a threat as they were at the beginning of the season, and all things considered, the only real challenge to the Aggies is the Crimson Tide of Alabama. If Trevor Knight can be consistent as quarterback and the defense can continue to show the improvement they have shown in the past couple of games, the Aggies look to be in a great position for success this season. That’s great news for Sumlin and better news for College Station. After him being pursued by the NFL when the Eagles were searching for a head coach, the last thing Texas A&M wants is to be on a head coaching quest. At this point, I think they’re good.
- All roads lead to Alabama. This Saturday, the Aggies will play the Gamecocks of South Carolina, which should be an easy win for the Aggies as South Carolina comes off of a 17-10 loss to Kentucky. Oh, did I mention the Aggies are currently undefeated? From there, they face Tennessee, which should be a relatively good game. The Vols and the Aggies are both undefeated with tough play behind them, ranking back to back in several rankings. The Vols could give the Aggies a run for their money, but any betting man would be looking forward to the Alabama game on Oct. 22. The Aggies will face the Crimson Tide away and fresh off a bye week. Alabama has a not-so-secret weapon in Bo Scarborough, and he is everything that has been said about him – strong, big and lethal on the field. This will ultimately show what the Aggies are made of, and it will be worth every second to watch.
So for now, the Aggies will prepare for South Carolina as a warm up to two pretty pivotal games that will show exactly what the current Aggies team is made of. If Texas A&M can continue to play strategic and fresh as they have in the first four games, they could be the dark horse that everyone overlooked.