FIVE KEYS TO TODAY’S GAME

FIVE KEYS TO TODAY’S GAME


1. No Extra Possessions


Arkansas has been efficient on offense, avoiding turnovers in three wins. Staying away from those mistakes will be critical once again. Giving Texas A&M’s explosive offense extra help won’t be a winning formula.


2. Put Pressure on Hill


South Carolina didn’t get much pressure on Kenny Hill and the QB threw for 511 yards. Arkansas must find a way to harass Hill. If given time to pick out open receivers, Hill and the Aggies will have a big day.


3. Limit Big Plays


Texas A&M is averaging a touchdown every 10.5 plays. The quick-strike offense expects similar success today. But defensive coordinator Robb Smith said it’s critical the Hogs must make the Aggies work for everything.


4. Third-Down Success


Arkansas has done a great job of sustaining drives because of third-down success (55 percent). The Aggies are even better (60 percent). Don’t be surprised if the team that wins on third down wins today’s game.


5. Control A&M Front


Texas A&M’s defensive front has improved and will test the Hogs. The offensive line, which wasn’t satisfied by its NIU performance, must impose its will in the run game and protect QB Brandon Allen on passing downs.


TODAY’S KEY MATCHUP


Texas A&M LT Cedric Ogbuehi (6-5, 305, Sr.)


Key Statistics: Team-leading 34 straight starts


Texas A&M has had left tackles selected in the first round of the NFL Draft the past two seasons and Ogbuehi should be the next in line. The physical and athletic offensive lineman, who played guard and right tackle earlier in his career, turned down the chance to enter the 2014 NFL Draft to return for his senior season. He is the anchor of a Texas A&M offensive line that has helped the Aggies average 612.5 yards a game. Ogbuehi will face his biggest test in Arkansas DE Trey Flowers today.


Arkansas DE Trey Flowers (6-3, 270, Sr.)


Key Statistics: 22 tackles, 4 TFLs, sack


Like Ogbuehi, Flowers turned down the 2014 NFL Draft to return to Arkansas for his senior season. His biggest strength is in run defense and Flowers enjoyed his best performance of the season during the 52-14 win against NIU. Arkansas’ defensive leader finished with 9 tackles, 2 tackles for losses, one sack and a forced fumble, earning SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors. He’ll try to follow up the strong performance with another big outing against Ogbuehi and the Texas A&M offense.


EDGE: Texas A&M LT Cedric Ogbuehi


POSITION MATCHUPS


Quarterbacks


UA’s Brandon Allen has accounted for 10 touchdowns (8 passing, 2 rushing) in four games; Texas A&M’s Kenny Hill has thrown for 1,359 yards with 13 TDs, INT.


Edge: Texas A&M


Running Backs


Alex Collins (490 yards) and Jonathan Williams (391) rank 1st and 4th in the SEC in rushing; Trey Williams leads Texas A&M’s balanced rushing attack with 208 yards.


Edge: Arkansas


Receivers


UA’s Keon Hatcher has a team-high 10 catches for 196 yards, 2 TDs; Texas A&M has six receivers who have caught 12 or more passes. Malcome Kennedy has 30 catches.


Edge: Texas A&M


O-Line


UA’s offensive line is the heaviest in football, averaging 328.4 pounds among its starters; Texas A&M’s starting offensive line has combined for 101 career starts.


Edge: Arkansas


D-Line


UA defensive tackle Darius Philon scored the defense’s first touchdown in 12 games last week; A&M freshman Myles Garrett has 5 ½ of the team’s SEC-leading 17 sacks.


Edge: Even


Linebackers


UA’s Brooks Ellis was knocked out of the NIU game, but should be available for today’s game; Texas A&M senior Justin Bass is second on the team in tackles 23.


Edge: Arkansas


Secondary


UA safeties Alan Turner and Rohan Gaines have combined for 37 tackles; Texas A&M safeties Howard Matthews and Armani Watts have combined for 47 stops.


Edge: Texas A&M


OVERALL: Texas A&M 42, Arkansas 38


— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau