FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — No. 17 Arkansas and No. 10 Texas A&M meet Saturday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in what has become a hugely important SEC West showdown.
The Razorbacks have lost four straight games to the Aggies. The last two seasons were overtimes losses.
Ben Baby, who covers Texas A&M for the Dallas Morning News, joined SEC Country’s Borderline Erotic Podcast this week to help preview the game.
What follows is a cut-down version of that conversation.
Q: What has transfer quarterback Trevor Knight brought to this team?
Things you’re gonna hear from everyone are always gonna be about the leadership and the maturity that he brings. And there is something to that considering that they’ve had a bunch of young guys in at quarterback, three young starters after the Manziel era. And you had the Manziel era, and I don’t think anyone’s gonna tell you that Johnny was the most mature individual that A&M’s had. I think there is that difference that you have there, but the big question was, how is he gonna run this offense? You kinda saw what he did at Oklahoma, and at this point, he is what he is. A guy who is known for making good plays every now and then, but also known for making really bad decisions.
He did only throw 50 percent (against Auburn) but that was the best that he’s looked so far. He was pressured 13 times and only sacked once. Didn’t throw a pick. Made some plays with his feet. He did exactly what A&M’s been asking him to do, which is not necessarily to win games, but don’t lose them.
Has Texas A&M been more committed to running the ball this season under new offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone?
Based on what (head coach Kevin) Sumlin’s said so far, it sounds like they are huddling a little more and varying tempo a little bit. Mazzone is known to switch the run and pass up more than other coordinators, especially Jake Spavital. At the beginning of the year, Sumlin said the two things they had to be able to do are run the ball and stop the run, two things they were not good at last year. Both of those things have improved drastically.
Considering Arkansas’ unsettled offensive line situation, is this the type of game in which All-American defensive end Myles Garrett could really excel?
He could. And the guy that people don’t talk about at all is Daeshon Hall on the other side. Daeshon doesn’t have the same numbers, he’s not nearly as good as Myles, but he’s good. He had led the team in hurries last week and he’s done that most of the season. He always ends up with a couple tackles-for-loss. Those two are guys you have to watch. Each coach has said, you know, Myles is good, but Daeshon’s another guy you can’t sleep on. If Arkansas has line problems, A&M will expose that.