In 2016, 10th-ranked Texas A&M knocked 17th-ranked Arkansas down in a 45-24 rout. Heading into Saturday, that’s the last time that both the Aggies and Razorbacks were ranked in their annual tilt at JerryWorld. This is and has been a rarity in their series, which dates all the way back to 1910. Only nine times have they met up as ranked teams. 2011 is the only other time in the 21st century it occurred, as the 18th-ranked Hogs beat the 14th-ranked Aggies in what was the second game of the Southwest Classic series. This year could prove very interesting, as the seventh-ranked Aggies and 16th-ranked Razorbacks tango in a meeting of unbeatens on CBS.
How to watch Arkansas vs. Texas A&M
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Watch Online: CBSSports.com
Spread: Texas A&M -5.5 | Arkansas +5.5
Moneyline: Texas A&M -220 | Arkansas +180
Texas A&M has held an edge over Arkansas since they moved to the SEC. The Aggies haven’t suffered a loss to their old Southwest rival since the move, having won each of the last nine meetings. Last year’s of course took place in College Station, while the others went down where the game will be played come Saturday.
This year, Arkansas hasn’t been a pushover. They bulldozed the Texas Longhorns in Fayetteville, and have achieved victories over Rice and Georgia Southern. They’ve scored at least 38 points in each game, and have dropped 40+ in their last two.
A&M, meanwhile, has been up and down while maintaining their 3-0 record. After opening up shop with a 41-10 win, they scored just 10 in their win on the road against Colorado. They then returned to College Station and won 34-0 over New Mexico.
Defensively, both teams have been showing strengths. The Aggies have the top-ranked scoring defense in the country, allowing just 5.7 points per game through the first three contests. The Razorbacks rank fifth in the SEC in that category (16.0 PPG/a) and tied for 27th overall with Purdue. Each also ranks inside the Top 10 in Yards Per Play allowed. The Aggies sit tied for second in the nation with Syracuse and top the SEC at 3.6. The Hogs, on the other hand, stand tied for eighth with an even 4.0.
What will be interesting about this game is if the Razorbacks offensive line is stout enough. They could well be absent tackle Dalton Wagner and center Ricky Stromberg, who received co-SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors. Sam Pittman has said he’s unsure if he’s going to play, and thus far there’s been no update to that situation. That could present itself to be a problem against an Aggie front that includes the great Demarvin Leal, among others. KJ Jefferson has shown to be a huge threat on his feet thus far, but they would be asking a lot of him without two of their starting linemen.
Additionally, the statuses of Trelon Smith and Treylon Burks remain question marks as well heading into the game on Saturday.
Outside of QB, health hasn’t been an issue for A&M. They remain with Jalen Wydermyer and Isaiah Spiller handling the load on offense. Ainias Smith, Chase Lane, and Devon Achane also present a litany of problems for defenses to deal with too. Zach Calzada has been stout through his first two games after being thrust in there following Haynes King’s injury.
Arkansas has gotten off to a red-hot start this year. There’s no doubt though that the Aggies pose their biggest threat yet. It’s going to be challenging for them to keep up with the Ags, especially if their O-Line situation presents itself to be a problem. I don’t know that I expect a rout here or even a shootout. The total for this game is just about right given where each team is at. That being said, I’m leaning A&M with my pick here. I won’t be surprised either way, as this should be a very fun one in the DFW.