Photo by Andrew Cagle, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

Post-Game Review: Texas A&M 45, Arkansas 33

September 28, 2013

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Despite a discouraging defensive showing and a so-so performance from quarterback Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M posted a hard-fought 45-33 Southeastern Conference football victory over Arkansas on Saturday night.

Manziel threw two touchdown passes to Mike Evans, Ben Malena rushed for two touchdowns, Trey Williams ran for another and Deshazor Everett returned an interception for a score as the Aggies (4-1, 1-1 SEC) held off the upset-minded Razorbacks.

Here’s a look at some of the game’s highlights and lowlights:

Rising: Josh Lambo brought some stability to A&M’s place-kicking, where PATs weren’t just an extra point — they were an adventure. Lambo was six-for-six on extra points and converted a 39-yard field goal.

TexAgs The Aggie defense struggled but made key plays late in the second half and allowed the offense to take the victory. {"Module":"photo","Alignment":"right","Size":"large","Caption":"The Aggie defense struggled but made key plays late in the second half and allowed the offense to take the victory.","MediaItemID":35883}
Falling: Texas A&M’s defense had a few bright moments — especially Everett’s interception return for a touchdown early in the third quarter and a tackle for loss by Julien Obioha early in the fourth. But overall, the Aggies' defense was ineffective.

A&M allowed Arkansas 484 yards of total offense — the Razorbacks’ second-highest total of the season. Arkansas rushed for 202 yards and QB Brandon Allen passed for 282, the highest output of his career.

Best hit: Arkansas’ junior linebacker Martrell Spaight didn’t start, but he put an abrupt end to a kickoff return by Williams. Early in the third quarter Williams brought a kickoff out of the end zone and reached the 20-yard line, cutting away from Arkansas’ Brooks Ellis, when Spaight delivered a jarring blow that stopped Williams cold and sent the Razorback Stadium crowd into a frenzy.

Best hands: Evans keeps proving that he’s the premier receiver in America. On the first play of the game he got behind the Arkansas defense, made a nice adjustment on a slightly underthrown ball and hauled in a 49-yard reception in front of Arkansas cornerback Tevin Mitchel. That was the first reception of a six-catch, 116-yard effort for Evan, which included touchdown catches of nine and seven yards.

Turning point: Though the Aggies held a 45-33 lead midway through the fourth quarter, the margin did not feel safe. Arkansas moved up and down the field against the A&M defense most of the game and was again threatening at the A&M 17-yard line. But on fourth-and-10, Allen’s pass into the end zone for Eric Hawkins and knocked away by Otis Jacobs to finally put the Razorbacks away.

Standing 'O': The Aggies' running game took over in the second half and allowed A&M to stave off an Arkansas rally. Clinging to a four-point lead during a steady rain midway through the third quarter, the Aggies called nine consecutive runs to Williams and Tra Cason in a 68-yard drive that Williams capped with a 17-yard touchdown run.

Then, in the fourth quarter the Aggies called seven straight runs in a seven-play drive for Malena’s one-yard touchdown plunge. The Aggies rushed for 151 yards in the second half.
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