What we learned from Arkansas’ 28-21 loss to Texas A&M
It’s been a tough three weeks for the Arkansas football team.
The Razorbacks entered Saturday’s action coming off consecutive losses and couldn’t avoid another troubling defeat, falling to Texas A&M 28-21 in Arlington, Texas. Arkansas is now in a 1-3 hole, and must try and bounce back against Tennessee next week.
Arkansas saw an eight-point lead disappear in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s contest, and couldn’t get the job done in overtime.
Here’s what we learned about Arkansas from Saturday’s loss:
It’s going to be a tough stretch for the Razorbacks
At times on Saturday, it looked like Arkansas had a chance to turn its season around. The offense was rolling, the defense had stalled a high-powered Texas A&M attack and the Razorbacks were up on the No. 14 team in the nation. But Arkansas’ play wasn’t consistent. Saturday would have been a huge win for the Razorbacks, as they now have eight games to collect five wins in order to become bowl eligible. Arkansas is going to have to play consistently good football going forward in order to pick up six wins on the year. The remaining schedule includes Tennessee, No. 12 Alabama, Auburn, UT-Martin, No. 3 Ole Miss, No. 8 LSU, Mississippi State and No. 25 Missouri. It’s not going to be easy, but the Razorbacks showed a glimpse of what this team could be, so anything is possible.
Penalties continue to plague Arkansas
The Razorbacks entered Saturday’s contest ranked No. 85 in the nation in penalties. Through the first three games the team averaged 6.7 penalties per game for an average of 65.3 yards. Those averages will go up after Saturday. Arkansas collected 11 penalties against Texas A&M, which cost them 93 yards. The biggest penalty came with a little over four minutes left on the clock when the Razorbacks were looking to convert on a fourth-and-3 opportunity on the Aggies’ 35-yard line. Offensive lineman Denver Kirkland was flagged for a false start that moved Arkansas back five yards, forcing the team to punt. Texas A&M responded by driving the ball 85 yards down the field for the tying score.
Drew Morgan can play
Injuries have decimated Arkansas’ wide receivers this season. Senior Keon Hatcher (foot), junior Cody Hollister (foot) and sophomore Jared Cornelius (arm) are all out with injuries, leaving the Razorbacks with a group of inexperienced pass-catchers. In the trios’ absence, junior Drew Morgan has stepped up in a major way. Morgan collected eight catches for 155 yards and a touchdown on Saturday, and currently sits as Arkansas’ leading receiver even though he entered action against the Aggies with just 10 receptions. The Razorbacks will need this type of production from Morgan if they want to turn their season around.
Drew Morgan isn't going to lose his starting WR job for Arkansas ever, regardless of who comes back.
— Kurt Voigt (@Kurt_Voigt_AP) September 27, 2015