Texas A&M vs. Arkansas: Live Game Grades and Analysis for the Aggies

Matthew SeukunianCorrespondent ISeptember 28, 2013

Sep 21, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) gestures with his fingers as he celebrates a third quarter touchdown against the SMU Mustangs at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Final Score

Texas A&M: 45
Arkansas: 33

No 10. Texas A&M went into Arkansas and beat the Razorbacks at their own game, the ground game. The Aggies ran for 263 yards and three touchdowns while Johnny Manziel threw for two touchdowns of his own.

The Aggies are now 4-1 and 1-1 in the SEC, while the Razorbacks are 3-2 and 0-1 in the SEC.

For statistics and the box score, visit NCAA.com


Postgame Analysis

Pass Offense: Despite the 45 points A&M put up, Manziel only threw for 252 yards, 204 of them coming in the first half. He did complete 70 percent of his passes in addition to throwing two touchdowns.  

Run Offense: Ben Malena and Tra Carson only ran for 45 yards in the first half, but Sumlin’s decision to stick with the run in the second half paid dividends. The Aggies ended up rushing for 263 yards and three scores.

Pass Defense: Despite the Deshazor Everett pick-six to start the second half, the Aggies still allowed Brandon Allen to go 17-of-35 with 282 yards and three touchdowns. While impressive, the second Aggie interception came in garbage time.

Run Defense: At halftime, they were giving up six yards per carry. At the end of the night, it was seven yards a carry. In total, Arkansas ran for 202 yards and a touchdown.

Special Teams: The place kicker and punter had strong outings, nailing a 39-yarder and punting for 42-yards on average, respectively. However, the coverage team allowed big returns throughout the night.

Coaching: Sumlin made some adjustments in the second half. It was his decision to stick with the run game that helped his team on both sides of the ball.

Sep 28, 2013; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) looks to pass against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the first quarter at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

First-Half Analysis

Pass Offense: It’s tough to give Johnny Manziel anything but an “A” after a performance like that. Manziel went 18-of-23 with 204 yards and two touchdowns, connecting with seven different receivers. Mike Evans did his thing in the first half, catching five balls for 93 yards and two scores.

Run Offense: The Aggies only carried the ball 15 times, with six of those coming from Manziel, so this grade is on a curve. Ben Malena and Tra Carson looked good combining for 45 yards and a touchdown.

Pass Defense: The Aggies are only up four at the half, a sign of just how poor their defense has been. Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen went 10-of-18 with 168 yards and two touchdowns.

Run Defense: The Aggies, for the most part, had contained the Razorback running attack until the final drive. Through 30 minutes, the Aggies have allowed more than six yards a rush and more than 100 total yards on the ground.

Special Teams: Josh Lambo nailed a 39-yard field goal and Drew Kaser pinned the Razorbacks inside their own 20 in the first half, yet Arkansas has 73 yards on kick returns.

Coaching: I expected Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin to come into this game with a game plan defensively, yet the more I watch the Aggies play, the more I realize Manziel is saving Sumlin’s job.