Position-by-position analysis



TEXAS A&M The Aggies will again turn to left-hander Max Johnson (20-31-0, 226 yards, 4 TDs, 64.5%), who took over at halftime last week for Conner Weigman (82-119-2, 979 yards, 8 TDs, 68.9%). Weigman suffered a lower leg injury last week and is out for a while, possibly the season. Johnson is at 168.3 passing efficiency, mostly vs. Auburn. Johnson passed for 151 yards and a TD and ran for 39 vs. Hogs last season.

ARKANSAS KJ Jefferson (76-108-3, 918 yards, 9 TD) is completing 70.4% of his passes, which is on pace to be a career-best. One of his 3 interceptions came on a Hail Mary last week. Jefferson is 1 TD shy of breaking the school record for TD responsibility. He is 27th nationally in passing efficiency (163.7) and he has 128 rushing yards with 1 TD. Jacolby Criswell (2-2-0, 28 yards, 1 TD) played in the opener.

Advantage Arkansas

Running backs

TEXAS A&M The Aggies, like the Hogs, have a versatile backfield. True freshman Rueben Owens (27-103, 1, 3.8 yards per carry), a 6-0, 200-pounder, is the listed starter. However, Junior Amari Daniels (39-234, 2 TDs, 6.0 ypc), a 5-9, 205-pounder, has the best production among the group. Le’Veon Moss (29-168, 2, 5.8) is a 210-pound sophomore. Big back is 6-3, 235-pound Earnest Crownover.

ARKANSAS Rashod Dubinion (41-174, 1 TD, 4.2 ypc) is coming off his best game of the year at LSU, in which AJ Green (31-190, 2, 6.1 ypc) was limited with a sore shoulder. Junior ace Raheim Sanders (15-42, 2, 2.8) could be back in action after missing 3 games with a knee issue. Dominque Johnson (14-39, 2.8) is a physical blocker who hasn’t recaptured his 2021 form yet.

Advantage Arkansas

Receivers/tight ends

TEXAS A&M The Aggies have major talent, led by Evan Stewart (22 receptions, 307 yards, 3 TDs), veteran slot Ainias Smith (18-272), Jake Johnson (11-90, 1), the QB’s brother, and Noah Thomas (10-112, 4), who missed last week for personal reasons. Moose Muhammad (9-60, 1), Jahdae Walker (9-148, 1), Amari Daniels (7-52) and Rueben Owens (6-65) have also been contributors.

ARKANSAS Andrew Armstrong (24-273, 3, 11.4 ypc) has emerged as the top target. TE Luke Hasz (15-239, 3, 15.9) is coming off his first 100-yard game, which featured 2 TDs. Isaac TeSlaa (13-174, 1), now in the slot, is among those without a drop. Tyrone Broden (5-46, 1) emerged last week with a 19-yard TD. Jaedon Wilson (7-130, 1), Isaiah Sategna (3-19) and Davion Dozier (1-14, TD) are in the mix.

Advantage Texas A&M


TEXAS A&M The Aggies’ front paved the way to a season-high 209 rush yards against Auburn last week. Their top group includes true freshmen RT Chase Bisontis and LG Mark Nabou, along with senior RG Layden Robinson and sophomores C Bryce Foster and LT Trey Zuhn, a 6-7, 315-pounder. The entire starting group averages a beefy 6-5, 325 pounds.

ARKANSAS The Razorbacks had more false starts than holding calls last week and established some consistency in run game blocking while allowing 4 sacks for a second straight week. The LT battle between sophomore Devon Manuel and RS freshman Andrew Chamblee will continue. LG Brady Latham, C Beaux Limmer, RG Josh Braun and RT Patrick Kutas hold the other spots.

Advantage Texas A&M



TEXAS A&M Senior McKinnley Jackson (6 tackles, 1 sack) is a tough-to-move 6-2, 325-pounder in the middle. Walter Nolan (14, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 1 PBU), a 6-4, 290-pounder, has the most tackles, while 6-4, 290-pounder Shemar Turner (11, 4 TFL, 3 sacks, 2 hurries, 2 FF) has the most disruption. Fadil Diggs (9, 3 TFL, 1 PBU, 1 hurry) is the lightest starter, at 6-5, 260, on the end.

ARKANSAS DT Cam Ball (13, 0.5 sacks) had a big game at LSU. Taurean Carter (12, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 hurry), Eric Gregory (7, 3 hurries), Keivie Rose (7, 3 TFL, 2.5 sacks) and Tank Booker (3, 1.5 TFL) are in DT rotation. The Hogs need better production from ends Landon Jackson (11, 6, 2), Trajan Jeffcoat (5, 4, 1.5), John Morgan (4, 2, 2), Jashaud Stewart (4, 1 TFL, 2 hurries) and Zach Williams (2).

Advantage Texas A&M


TEXAS A&M The Aggies’ starters are a pair of 230-pounders in junior Edgerrin Cooper (24, 7 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 hurry, 1 FR) and true freshman Taurean York (22, 2, 0.5). Hogs fans will remember key backup and senior Chris Russell Jr. (8, 1.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks) as the guy who forced KJ Jefferson’s fumble inside the 3 as the game-turning play in the Aggies’ 23-21 win last season.

ARKANSAS Coordinator Travis Williams has appeared to settle on junior Jaheim Thomas (43, 5 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 PBU, 1 hurry) and sophomore Chris Paul (25, 2.5, 1) as the top combo. True freshman Brad Spence (6, 1 INT, 1 TD) and sophomore Jordan Crook (3) got a snap at the goal line late last week, while senior Antonio Grier (3, 1 INT, 1 TD) played on special teams and not defense.

Advantage Texas A&M


TEXAS A&M Senior S Damani Richardson (14, 1 TFL, 1 hurry) and junior CB Tyreek Chappell (7, 3 PBU) combined on the 97-yard fumble-return TD vs. the Hogs last season. The other starters are sophomore NB Bryce Anderson (12, 3 TFL, 1 PBU, 1 hurry, 1 FF), grad transfer CB Josh DeBerry (16, 1 sack, 1 INT, 5 PBU, 1 hurry) and sophomore S Jacoby Mathews (12, 1 PBU).

ARKANSAS Safeties Jayden Johnson (18, 1 INT, 1 FF), Al Walcott (16, 1 PBU) and Hudson Clark (13, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 1 FF) will be key in pass coverage, as will NB Lorando Johnson (7, 1 TFL, 1 PBU). Jaylon Braxton (5, 3 PBU) is pushing for more playing time in CB rotation with Dwight McGlothern (7, 1 TFL, 2 INT, 1 PBU, 1 FF) and Jaheim Singletary (10, 3 PBU), who was targeted last week.

Advantage Texas A&M

Special teams

TEXAS A&M PK Randy Bond is already 9 of 11 on FGAs, with 7 consecutive makes. Bond has 18 touchbacks on 29 kickoffs (62%). Punter Nik Constantinou (43.3), who also serves as the holder on placekicks, would rank 25th if he had enough attempts to qualify. PR Ainias Smith (9.6 avg.) has a 44-yarder and Moose Muhammad (6.0) an 11-yarder. Rueben Owens (22.8) has been the top kick returner.

ARKANSAS Cam Little (4 of 5 FGAs, 18 of 18 PATs) would like to atone for a late 42-yard miss vs. Aggies last season. Little has 19 touchbacks on 23 kickoffs (82.6%) and Blake Ford is 2 of 2. P Max Fletcher (44.7), who had a successful fake FG run last week, is 13th in the FBS. Devin Bale is also in the mix. Return man Isaiah Sategna (25.7 PR, 1 TD; 22.3 KOR) is dangerous. Snapper Eli Stein is off to a good start.

Advantage Arkansas


TEXAS A&M The Aggies carry the built-in satisfaction of “owning” this series every year but one since 2012. The Bobby Petrino effect is also in play today, as the former Hog boss schemed up a great attack plan vs. the Hogs last year while head coach at Missouri State and nearly cooked up an upset. Max Johnson played well enough to engineer a win over Arkansas last year.

ARKANSAS The Hogs can feel they owe the Aggies one after last year’s weird plays, but the truth is the Razorbacks have been on the bad end of a series of unlucky breaks in the Southwest Classic rivalry for much of the past decade. Treylon Burks’ big TD reception and a tipped INT keyed the lone Hogs’ win in 2021. Can the Razorbacks flip the narrative and create the big plays this time?

Advantage Arkansas