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Arkansas vs. Texas A&M

Betting Line: Arkansas -8

10/9/10

 

The Arkansas Razorbacks had almost done it. They almost defeated the reigning BCS Champs a week ago. Sadly for fans of the Razorbacks, the Alabama Crimson Tide were able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat to score a 24-20 over their upstart opponents. Arkansas will seek to get back on the path to a BCS game against rival Texas A&M. The Aggies also enter this game after a heartbreaking loss. They gave Oklahoma State a win on a silver platter. After going up 14-0 in the first quarter they faltered to lose 38-35 on the road. The last meeting between these teams resulted in a 47-19 win for Arkansas. Can the Aggies turn the tables on their foe? Let's check it out.

Arkansas's wunderkind QB Ryan Mallett looked awful against Alabama. That's a very easy thing to do against the Crimson Tide. They can make even a season veteran look like a fool. Mallett tossed 3 INTs while recording just a single TD pass. He has recovered from bad games in the past, so don't expect him to stay in shambles here. This is a kid that had 30 TD passes in 2009. The junior has 10 so far through 4 games and 1,438 yards. WRs Greg Childs, Joe Adams, Jarius Wright are all equally deadly and will make sure he gets off the snide. TE DJ Williams is very capable also.

This offense does much better when they can effectively run the ball which they certainly couldn't do against Alabama. The Razorbacks should have an easier job pounding the rock against a softer defense here.

Much has been said about the Arkansas offense and its potency, but little has been made of the defense. They were very poor in 2009, but this season has been a whole different story. Through 4 games they've recorded a whopping 15 sacks. Opposing offenses are only averaging 299 yards per game. To put things in perspective, the highly regarded Cornhuskers defense is giving up 265 per game against much weaker offenses. The secondary for the Razorbacks is particularly strong. They have ball hawks that know how to read a QB like a book. Texas A&M has their work cut out for them. 

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Senior QB Jerrod Johnson has all the physical skills of a future NFL QB. That's right Arkansas fans, Mallet isn't the only stellar QB that will be playing in this game. Johnson has a cannon for an arm, but he still needs work reading opposing defenses. He passed for an incredible 5 TDs in the Aggies loss to Oklahoma State. The only problem was, he also threw 4 INTs. If he can put back on silly mistake then the Aggies can put points on the board. He will be aided by junior WR Jeff Fuller who has 5 TD catches and 349 yards on 26 receptions this year. This offense has gained at least 500 total yards in 3 of their first 4 games. If they can do that for a fourth time they will probably win this football game

The Aggies defense played well against the Oklahoma State Cowboys despite allowing a lot of points. INTs put them on the field more than they should have been, and they gave their opponent good field position. On the year Texas A&M is allowing only 280 yards per game on average. They gave up a measly 351 total yards to a high octane and high powered Cowboys offense in their last game. The secondary has looked good at times. If this defense can keep pressure on Mallet and if the secondary steps up they could have a chance to pull the upset.

On that note, all the credit in the world goes to Arkansas for their performance against Bama. However, what that does for us here is it creates even more value in what looks to be an inflated line. It's doubtful that Arkansas can get sky high for A&M as they did for Bama. So we have the potential for a letdown here. Outside of Bama, we see wins over LA Monroe, Tenn Tech and a Georgia team that really doesn't look that great this year. Same can be said for A&M. 3 cupcakes and then a loss to Oklahoma State. Remember also, that although Arkansas is listed as the home team on the schedule, this game takes place in Texas.

We are going to take the added value here and back revenge minded Texas A&M +8 in what we feel will be a close game, up for grabs in the end.
 

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