Arkansas vs. Texas A&M: Quick notes and quotes
story by Gary Brown, president of College Sports Matchups (CSM is a content partner with The City Wire)
Arkansas will face Texas A&M in the Southwest Classic in Arlington this weekend. It will be the second straight season the Razorbacks have faced the Aggies at Dallas Cowboy Stadium. Last year the Hogs won the game 47-19.
Arkansas Quick Facts
• Arkansas leads the all-time series with Texas A&M 39-24-3. The teams met every year from 1934 through 1991 in the Southwest Conference.
• D.J. Williams is the national leader in career receptions (117) for all tight ends playing. The closest player to him is Notre Dame’s Kyle Rudolph with 85 catches.
• Joe Adams has made a catch in every game he has played as a Razorback. His 26 game streak is the longest in the SEC.
• Arkansas leads the SEC in sacks averaging 3.75 per game.
• Anthony Leon has been a force for the Razorback defense in disrupting plays in the backfield. He has 6.5 tackles for a loss.
• Quarterback Ryan Mallett has thrown a touchdown pass in 16 of his 17 games wearing an Arkansas uniform.
Texas A&M Quick Facts
• Texas A&M is 6th in the nation in total offense averaging 509.8 yards per game. On the other side of the ball the Aggies give up 279.5 yards per game, making them 14th in the nation. The Aggies are one of three teams ranked in the top twenty in both categories
• A&M has played nine true freshmen this year. Last year they played 18.
• Turnovers have been the biggest problem over the last three games for Texas A&M. They have totaled 14 over that span.
• Seven current Aggies have already earned the undergraduate degrees while completing their eligibility.
Following are quotes from Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino and selected players about the A&M game.
Petrino on the trip to Dallas: “We’re excited to go back to Dallas. It was a lot of fun last year with the unbelievable atmosphere and an unbelievable stadium to play in. I think we have twenty-six guys on our roster from the state of Texas so getting to go back there and playing is a great deal for us. We are certainly looking forward to it.”
Petrino discussing the AP poll and Arkansas being ranked No. 11: “It’s nice. You feel good about it, but we’ve got to go play this week and prove it. When you watched Alabama and Florida play, they were very good football teams. I’m sure it was hard on all of our players watching the game, because we know how we were in a position to win that (Alabama) game and we didn’t get it done. I think that’s where you get the respect factor is playing Alabama the way we did. We also know we have to do it every week and you have to earn your respect every week. All we can do is control how we play, how we perform, and getting the wins.”
Petrino’s comments on Texas A&M: “We understand that Texas A&M is a very good team. They have the ability to throw the ball and run it. Their quarterback has the ability to move around, make throws on the run and run with the ball. He gives you a lot of things you have to prepare for; we’re looking forward to our preparation for that. Defensively, they run the 3-4 package, run a lot of blitzes and try to out man you in a number of situations, so we are going to have to a really good job of preparing for their defensive philosophy. I’m happy with where we are and look forward to the week.”
Petrino comments on the team’s state of mind: “I was really concerned going into last Tuesday’s practice. They came out with great energy and great focus and I thought, ‘Man, we’ve really grown up as a football team.’ There is no question that we have good leadership within our team. Our guys believe in each other and we want to go out and prove that we are a good football team. It didn’t take until last night, they showed it Tuesday. Obviously I think our assistant coaches did a good job in the meetings selling the fact that we have a lot of football ahead of us.”
Arkansas receiver Jarius Wright talks about going back to Dallas: “It’s going to be great going back to that stadium again. It was a very memorable moment. Lots of people wish that had the chance to play on a field like that, and to get that opportunity is awesome.”
Razorback defensive end Tenarius Wright comments about playing at Cowboy’s stadium: “The main attraction that caught my eye was the jumbotron. It stretches all the way from one 20-yard line to the other. It definitely makes you look up instead of looking at the field after someone makes a play. It was amazing.”
Tenarius Wright discusses the team outing the Alabama game behind them: “Some people may still have it on their hearts, but as a team I think we are over it. We came out and took a stand not to lose any more games, and we are ready for the Texas A&M game.”