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Photo by Lia Musgrave, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

Learned, Loved, Loathed: Texas A&M 42, Arkansas 31

November 1, 2020
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Kellen Mond was exceptional, Ainias Smith and Devon Achane were explosive, and the pass rush was effective.

There was much to learn and love in eighth-ranked Texas A&M’s 42-31 Southeastern Conference football victory over Arkansas on Saturday.

And by searching hard enough, a few things to loathe could also be found.

What we learned

Isaiah Spiller does not have to rush for 100 yards for A&M to win: Don’t misunderstand. Spiller had a strong game with 82 rushing yards, and the Aggies running game was again productive. A&M accumulated 182 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. However, they showed Spiller doesn’t have to carry such a big burden for A&M to prevail. Spiller had exceeded 100 rushing yards in each of the Aggies’ previous three victories. Arkansas defensive coordinator Barry Odom obviously devised a game plan to key on Spiller. The Aggies seemed to exploit that preoccupation and attacked the Razorbacks in other ways.

Lia Musgrave, TexAgs
Mond connected with Jones five times on Saturday night.

Hezekiah Jones can boost the receiving corps: Injuries had kept Jones sidelined since 2018, but Jones returned to the lineup and showed he could be a significant contributor. Jones caught five passes for 47 yards. Three of his catches resulted in first downs. Two of those came on third down. He demonstrated reliable hands and the ability to find soft spots in Arkansas’ zone defense.

Devon Achane can run with power: The emerging freshmen’s uncommon speed is well known. Achane showed he could run through tacklers as well as run by them. Late in the third quarter, Achane flashed his speed when he burst through a hole over the right side at the 30-yard line. Ten yards downfield, he shrugged off tackle attempts by Arkansas safety Simeon Blair and cornerback Hudson Clark. He sidestepped a diving tackle attempt by cornerback Montaric Brown at the 11 and completed the touchdown run.

What I loved

Offensive line play: The Maroon Goons did not allow a sack for the fourth straight game. They routinely picked up blitzes and gave quarterback Kellen Mond ample time to find receivers. They also paved the way for A&M to average 5.1 yards per rush. Once an area of concern, the offensive line has become a position of strength.

Kellen Mond’s accuracy: Mond capitalized on the clean pockets to complete 21 of 26 passes for a  career-high 80.8 completion percentage. Mond was especially sharp on third down. He completed 5 of 7 attempts on third down, with all the completions resulting in first downs.

The pass rush: The Aggies sacked Arkansas quarterback Feleipe Franks four times for 18 yards in losses. Buddy Johnson, Tyree Johnson, Bobby Brown and Micheal Clemons were credited with sacks. The Aggies have posted 10 sacks in the past two games and now are second in the SEC with 14.

What I loathed

Neither player appeared to intentionally be attacking the opponent’s head. A 15-yard penalty should suffice. A disqualification is too extreme.

The targeting penalty: Early in the third quarter, freshman safety Antonio Johnson was called for targeting though video replays seemed to indicate he used his right shoulder to make contact with Arkansas tight end Hudson Henry. Johnson was disqualified and will be ineligible to play in the first half against South Carolina next week. Arkansas safety Jalen Catalon was also flagged for targeting and ejected late in the second quarter. Neither player appeared to intentionally be attacking the opponent’s head. A 15-yard penalty should suffice. A disqualification is too extreme.

Penalties: The Aggies were penalized nine times for 100 yards. A&M had three holding penalties on offense. The defense was flagged for pass interference three times. The Aggies are the most penalized team in the Southeastern Conference.

Rankings: The No. 8 Aggies may only move up one spot in the national polls despite owning a victory over No. 10 Florida, which also figures to move up. A&M is being penalized for losing at Alabama. Meanwhile, Notre Dame, Georgia and Cincinnati are ranked ahead of the Aggies despite not having any overly impressive wins. In fact, Georgia also lost to Alabama, and their only victory over a team with a winning record was against 4-2 Auburn. But Georgia was ranked three spots ahead of A&M going into the weekend.

Discussion from...

Learned, Loved, Loathed: Texas A&M 42, Arkansas 31

9,004 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 6 mo ago by Reno Hightower
fieldtrailer
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AG
Nothing about Jalen Wydermyer?
ABATTBQ87
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AG
Neither player appeared to intentionally be attacking the opponent's head. A 15-yard penalty should suffice. A disqualification is too extreme.

I agree, there should be ejections for malicious hits only
SABUILDERAG
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Loathed - not taking advantage of an opportunity to get playing time for more young players, specifically at OL, WR, QB, and LB
CapCityAg89
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AG
ABATTBQ87 said:

Neither player appeared to intentionally be attacking the opponent's head. A 15-yard penalty should suffice. A disqualification is too extreme.

I agree, there should be ejections for malicious hits only

Disagree on Catalon. He led with the crown and launched. That's dangerous to the guy that gets hit and maybe more to the guy that hits. It needs to be out of football and the ejection has done a good job of doing that. I was surprised the call on Johnson didn't get overturned. Clearly incidental.
Shadow of CuervoAg
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No loathing of the Ag's performance in the 4th Quarter?????? The Ags completely relaxed and took their foot off the gas in the 4th Quarter. As quick a tempo as the Piggies were moving at with their offense they could've climbed back into the game (UCLA game should teach everyone that a big lead is never safe).

Play at 100% to 0:00.
Do not post opposing views or you too, like me, will become a shadow of your former self.
Reno Hightower
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Loathed SEC officiating. Those holding calls are legal blocks if made by Alabama.
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