Texas A&M Football Three Keys: Arkansas

Three-keys-Texas A&M

This week’s sole matchup between SEC West rivals sees Texas A&M take on Arkansas in Dallas.

By Steve Wright

The Hogs are trying to stay perfect while the Aggies are still looking to rebuild their season after the numbing loss to Appalachian State in Week 2. Here are the three keys to a Texas A&M victory:

Run And Contol Clock

Arkansas is winning using the formula that the Aggies can’t quite find. They are ranked No. 10 in the country in rushing, grinding the ball on the ground for a touch under 250 yards per game. That allows Arkansas to control the clock and dictate tempo thanks to an offensive line playing as well as any in the country.

KJ Jefferson is a real problem at the quarterback position as a dual-threat, and he and lead running back Raheim Sanders have combined for six touchdowns on the ground through three games. If the Aggies can’t find their own running game – Devon Achane has to be better – then controlling the clock will remain an issue.

Air It Out

While the Aggies want to run and control the tempo, sometimes you must go with what will win you the game. The Hogs have the worst passing defense in the country and have given up more than 325 yards in each of its three games. Given that their run defense is ranked No. 7 nationally, it would seem like passing is the best way to win.

However, one thing to be aware of is the Arkansas pass rush. They lead that country in sacks, and Max Johnson isn’t the most elusive passer you will ever see in the pocket.

Third Down Conversions

Many offensive issues would be solved if the Aggies could be better on third down. Against Miami – the one game that Johnson has started – Texas A&M was just 4-of-12 on third down. Some of this is due to missed assignments with the blocking scheme, some with a lack of receiver separation, and some with rust on the quarterback’s part. Getting that number up over 40 percent has to be a goal on Saturday.

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