ARLINGTON, Texas — Following a difficult loss to Auburn last week, No. 23 Texas A&M came back on top with a 31-27 win in the Southwest Classic rivalry game against Arkansas.
The A&M offense found momentum early on in the matchup, earning a single touchdown in the first quarter, with two more to follow in the second.
After the offense struggled against Auburn, the Aggies put up a total of 340 offense yards against Arkansas.
“Offensively started out extremely well, moving the football up and down the field,” A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Kellen [Mond] was really sharp. [We’re] still too inconsistent in how we played — there is competitiveness here. We just have to play better and play more intelligently in key situations. And that’s us, the coaches, to put them in better positions.”
For the first points on the board, true freshman Ainias Smith ran nine yards into the endzone after a pass from A&M junior quarterback Kellen Mond.
Junior wide receiver Quartney Davis added two touchdowns in the second and fourth quarter, leading the Razorbacks by one point, 28-27.
After two missed field goals the previous week, A&M’s winning points were earned by a 50-yard field goal by sophomore Seth Small, allowing him his 12th consecutive game with a successful field goal attempt.
“I’m just trying to do my job like the rest of the team” Small said, “Just like any other kicker, have short term memory. Forget about last week, it’s about the next kick.”
The A&M defense had a few mishaps, allowing a total of 395 yards and 27 points for Arkansas, letting them take the lead in the beginning of the third quarter.
“Defensively just never got ready,” Fisher said. “[Arkansas] ran the football honestly and did a really good job.”
Despite the Razorbacks’ final stat line, Fisher said he was pleased with some of the defense’s plays in the game.
“They got a big turnover in the end zone,” Fisher said. “Got an interception in the end zone, which was huge in the game. And they got big fourth-down stop at the end, which was very critical.”
Most notably, junior linebacker Buddy Johnson earned his first quarterback sack of the season resulting in a 10-yard loss for the Razorbacks.
Additionally, Keldrick Carper made his first start of the season and led the Aggies with a career-high 10 tackles.
“Our biggest goal is to get off the field and get the offense back the ball and they can do something big for us,” Johnson said. “Just being locked into our assignments.”
With the win, A&M earned its eighth straight victory in the series against Arkansas.
The Aggies will have their first bye week of the season next week and will face off against No. 2 Alabama Saturday, October 12th at Kyle Field.