GIMME FIVE — KEYS TO TODAY’S GAME

GIMME FIVE — KEYS TO TODAY’S GAME


1. Johnny Sideline


There’s one place Johnny Manziel can’t hurt a defense: On the sideline. So Arkansas’ run-oriented offense can be the defense’s best friend tonight. The Hogs need long, successful drives to limit Manziel and a dynamic offense’s opportunities.


2. Passing Game Success


No one expects Arkansas to throw for 300 yards without Brandon Allen. But the Razorbacks must be effective through the air to beat Texas A&M. The good news: QB AJ Derby should have every weapon available with the receiving corps healthy.


3. Win Up Front


Arkansas’ offensive front must do a better job after struggling at Rutgers. The defensive line must continue its strong start as it faces a big test with Manziel’s scrambling abilities. The Razorbacks have to control the line of scrimmage to win.


4. No Careless Penalties


Penalties were a problem for Arkansas’ defense, which gave away yards with careless mistakes and personal fouls. Texas A&M is capable of moving the ball on its own (602.2 yards a game). The last thing Arkansas needs is to help with penalties.


5. Don’t Dig A Hole


The Hogs haven’t shown much quick-strike potential with AJ Derby under center. Texas A&M has, scoring first in 16 of 17 games under coach Kevin Sumlin. Falling behind by a TD may not be a killer, but a double-digit deficit could cripple Arkansas.


TODAY’S KEY MATCHUP


Arkansas S Eric Bennett (6-0, 200, Sr.)


Key Statistics: 24 tackles, 3 pass break ups in 4 games


Bennett, who is ranked second on the team in tackles, is Arkansas’ most experienced and valuable player in the back seven. There’s no doubt the safety and the rest of the Arkansas defense faces their toughest challenge tonight. Bennett will be key in run support as the Razorbacks try to keep Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel from hurting them with his scrambling skills. But Bennett also must be sharp in pass coverage because of Manziel’s ability to carve up a secondary with his arm.


Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel (6-1, 200, So.)


Key Statistics: 1,226 passing yards, 12 TDs, 4 INTs in 4 games


Manziel has been controversial off the field, but remains a magician on Saturdays. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner takes aim at Arkansas and plans to lead the Aggies to a road win. College football’s most dangerous dual threat (307 passing and 63.8 rushing yards a game) stung Arkansas in 2012 by setting an SEC record for total offense (557 yards) during a 58-10 rout. He has eclipsed that mark two more times since (576 vs. Louisiana Tech in 2012, 562 vs. Alabama two weeks ago).


EDGE: Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel


THE NUMBERS


Arkansas Individual Stats


Passing C-A-I Pct.Yds. TD Yds./G


Brandon Allen 26-44-1 59.1 388 5 139.3


Rushing Att. Yds Avg. TD Yds./G


Alex Collins 86 481 5.6 2 120.2


Jonathan Williams 63 418 6.6 3 104.5


Kiero Small 18 53 2.9 0 13.2


Nate Holmes 5 22 4.4 0 7.3


Receiving Rec. Yds. Avg. TD Yds./G


Javontee Herndon 12 200 16.7 4 50.0


Hunter Henry 8 125 15.6 1 31.2


Kiero Small 7 57 8.1 1 14.2


Julian Horton 6 57 9.5 0 14.2


Punt Returns No. Yds. Avg. TD


Javontee Herndon 5 36 7.2 0


Kick Returns No. Yds. Avg. TD


Eric Hawkins 4 90 22.5 0


Field Goals M-A Pct. 40+ Long


Zach Hocker 5-5 100.0 3-3 53


Tackles Solo Assist Total TFL


Jarrett Lake 8 22 30 0.5


Eric Bennett 11 13 24 0.0


Alan Turner 8 16 24 0.0


Braylon Mitchell 9 15 24 0.5


Interceptions No. Yds. Avg. TD


Tevin Mitchel 1 26 26.0 1


Texas A&M Individual Stats


Passing C-A-I Pct.Yds. TD Yds./G


Johnny Manziel 77-110-4 70.0 1,228 12 307.0


Rushing Att. Yds Avg. TD Yds./G


Ben Malena 45 263 5.8 5 65.8


Johnny Manziel 39 255 6.5 3 63.8


Tra Carson 32 165 5.2 4 41.2


Brandon Williams 17 68 4.0 0 22.7


Receiving Rec. Yds. Avg. TD Yds./G


Mike Evans 22 575 26.1 3 143.8


Malcome Kennedy 19 218 11.5 4 54.5


Derel Walker 12 183 15.2 0 45.8


Sabian Holmes 10 121 12.1 1 30.2


Punt Returns No. Yds. Avg. TD


De’Vante Harris 5 57 11.4 0


Kick Returns No. Yds. Avg. TD


LaQuvionte Gonzalez 8 164 20.5 0


Field Goals M-A Pct. 40+ Long


Taylor Bertolet 2-3 66.7 1-1 44


Tackles Solo Assist Total TFL


Howard Matthews 18 13 31 0.0


Clay Honeycutt 14 15 29 0.0


Deshazor Everett 4 20 24 2.0


Tramain Jacobs 16 7 23 1.0


Interceptions No. Yds. Avg. TD


Nate Askew 1 30 30.0 1


OFFENSE


Passing Yds (NCAA Rank)


Arkansas 151.5 (112th)


Texas A&M 391.0 (5th)


Rushing


Arkansas 246.0 (23rd)


Texas A&M 211.2 (42nd)


Total


Arkansas 397.5 (70th)


Texas A&M 602.2 (5th)


DEFENSE


Passing Yds (NCAA Rank)


Arkansas 197.2 (45th)


Texas A&M 257.0 (87th)


Rushing


Arkansas 92.5 (13th)


Texas A&M 218.3 (105th)


Total


Arkansas 289.8 (17th)


Texas A&M 475.3 (110th)


POSITION MATCHUPS


Quarterbacks


UA has prepared AJ Derby for his second start and the QB must show improvement in the passing attack tonight; TAMU QB Johnny Manziel accounted for 562 yards (464 passing, 98 rushing) in the 49-42 loss to Alabama two weeks ago.


Edge: Texas A&M


Running Backs


UA backs Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins had their 100-yard rushing streaks snapped at Rutgers, combining for 88 yards in the loss; TAMU RB Ben Malena leads the Aggies with 65.8 rushing yards a game. Manziel is second with 63.8 yards.


Edge: Arkansas


Receivers


UA is at full strength with Keon Hatcher (4 catches, 45 yards at Rutgers) and D’Arthur Cowan back from injuries; TAMUs Mike Evans, Malcome Kennedy and Derel Walker have 53 catches, 42 of which have been TDs or first downs.


Edge: Texas A&M


O-Line


UA’s line struggled in run blocking at Rutgers. The group has allowed 3 sacks in four games, which is the 11th-lowest total in the NCAA; TAMU’s "Maroon Goons" are led by Jake Matthews, who moved from RT to LT and will start his 37th straight.


Edge: Texas A&M


D-Line


UA DE Chris Smith remains tied for the NCAA lead in sacks (5 ½), while DT Darius Philon recorded the first two of his career at Rutgers; DE Tyrone Taylor and DT Alonzo Williams have accounted for the TAMU line’s only two sacks in four games.


Edge: Arkansas


Linebackers


UA’s Jarrett Lake is tied for third in the SEC in tackles, averaging10 a game. MLB Otha Peters will play a bigger role tonight; TAMU’s Nate Askew, a former WR, will make his first start at LB. Freshman Darian Claiborne earned his first start last week.


Edge: Arkansas


Secondary


CB Tevin Mitchel’s 26-yard INT return was UA’s first defensive TD since 2011. But Mitchel has had penalty problems (4 personal fouls in 4 games); TAMU’s Deshazor Everett moved from CB to S last week. The Aggies are allowing 257 passing yards.


Edge: Even


OVERALL: Texas A&M 42, Arkansas 28