Arkansas Razorbacks

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 24:  Trevor Knight #8 of the Texas A&M Aggies runs for a touchdown against the Arkansas Razorbacks in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Second-half dominance powers No. 10 A&M past No. 17 Arkansas, 45-24

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No. 10 Texas A&M grabbed a late touchdown run from quarterback Trevor Knight in the first half and shut down No. 17 Arkansas in the second half of a 45-24 victory in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Aggies shut down the Razorbacks in the second half and scored 28 points on offense to improve to 4-0 and head into October thinking about making a run at the SEC West title (and potentially for real this time).

With the game tied at 17-17, Arkansas put together a draining 89-yard drive on 19 plays, but it was the Texas A&M defense that held strong down by the goal line. Just as they had done twice in the first half, Texas A&M prevented Arkansas from punching the football across the goal line, this time with a fourth-down stand. Two plays later, Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight unloaded a deep ball to Josh Reynolds racing down the right sideline. The ball was placed perfectly for Reynolds and he let his speed take care of the rest on a 92-yard touchdown drive. It was quite the momentum swing and the Aggies did not look back.

Texas A&M scored a touchdown after forcing Arkansas to punt on the ensuing possession and took advantage of a short field from the 15-yard line after an Arkansas fumble. Trayveon Williams did the honors on the first touchdown with a 33-yard scamper and Christian Kirk got his hands on a pass from Knight after the Razorbacks’ fumble.

Four games into the season and there appears to be enough evidence to suggest this Texas A&M defense has improved, and that helps make Texas A&M a formidable player in the SEC West moving forward. Is it ready to take down Alabama? Probably not, but the Aggies have the look of the second-best team in the SEC behind the defending national champions. Arkansas still has the potential to play spoiler with anyone on their schedule though, including Alabama.

Knight was a machine for the Aggies, ending his night with 225 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, a game-high 157 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Arkansas quarterback passed for 371 yards and two scores, but took a beating all night.

Texas A&M is 4-0 for the third straight season under Kevin Sumlin. The last time Texas A&M went 4-0 in three straight seasons was 1939-1941. It is also the third straight undefeated September for Texas A&M, which was last achieved from 1997 through 1999. The hot seat talk has been nowhere to be heard in College Station this season.

Arkansas gets a likely breather next week when they return home to host Alcorn State. A home game against Alabama looms after that. Texas A&M will stay in SEC play next week when they head to South Carolina. The Gamecocks are coming off a 17-10 loss at Kentucky.

Trevor Knight runs for 2 TDs but Texas A&M and Arkansas tied 17-17 at Jerry World

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 24:  Trevor Knight #8 of the Texas A&M Aggies runs the ball against the Arkansas Razorbacks in the first quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight may not be having a very effective evening through the air in AT&T Stadium against Arkansas, but two long touchdown runs by the Aggies quarterback have been enough to give Texas A&M some life at the halftime break. Texas A&M and Arkansas are tied 17-17 at the break, thanks to Knight’s 101 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns to counter a balanced Razorback offense.

Keon Hatcher put Arkansas on the giant scoreboard first in the first quarter with a 15-yard touchdown reception from Austin Allen. Texas A&M missed a field goal on the ensuing possession but would later capitalize on an Arkansas fumble. On 3rd and 1 from the Arkansas 42-yard line, Trevor Knight took off for a 42-yard touchdown run to put the Aggies on the board. Arkansas would respond with a field goal, but not before being stopped by Texas A&M’s stingy defensive front inside the 10-yard line in a key sequence.

The Razorbacks ran seven plays from inside the 10-yard line, including six plays inside the two-yard line. During that sequence, Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen appeared to injure his shoulder, causing backup Ty Storey to start warming up on the sideline. The good news for Arkansas was Allen would return on the next offensive possession. That drive may have ended quickly with a fumble, but the Arkansas defense held the Aggies to a game-tying field goal, 10-10.

Arkansas went back to work the next time they took the field by putting Allen in command through the air once more. Allen helped guide the offense down the field and back into the red zone with a 38-yard completion to Jared Cornelius, and Rawleigh Williams III made up for an earlier fumble with an eight-yard touchdown run for the 17-10 lead.

With the time winding down in the second quarter, Knight once again came to the rescue with a run right up the middle with very little standing in his way of the end zone. The 48-yard run in the final minute of the half may be just the momentum builder Texas A&M needed, but there will still be some work to do in the second half.

Arkansas AD Jeff Long will not let past affect how Bobby Petrino viewed in playoff picture

LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 07:  Bobby Petrino the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals gives instructions to his team during the game against the Syracuse Orange at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
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With Louisville ascending quickly out of the gates of the college football season, the early playoff discussions have already begun. Bobby Petrino has seemingly resurrected his career as a head coach after a complete disaster of an off-field situation saw his run at Arkansas crash on the side of the road. Now, with Petrino and the Cardinals very much worth discussing as a legitimate national title contender three weeks into the season, Petrino’s old boss at Arkansas says the past will not affect the present.

Jeff Long, athletics director at Arkansas, of course, is that former boss of Petrino’s. Long may have felt let down by Petrino in the final days of his time as head coach of the Razorbacks, but Long and the rest of the College Football Playoff have one specific job to accomplish at the end of the year; field the best four teams in college football into a College Football Playoff. Long’s past feelings about Petrino will not affect how the Cardinals may or may not be viewed in the national title picture should Louisville be so fortunate to be in such a position at the end of the season.

“No, there’s no reason for me to recuse myself,” Long said, according to the Associated Press. It is standard protocol for any member of the College Football Playoff selection committee with a direct tie to any potential playoff candidate to leave the room during discussion of that specific school. Although Petrino is a former coach at Long’s Arkansas, that does not come into the equation for Long’s role on the committee.”I think Louisville is a fine football program, and they demonstrated that after three weeks of the season. We’ve got six more weeks before we rank a group of teams.”

“I think Louisville is a fine football program, and they demonstrated that after three weeks of the season. We’ve got six more weeks before we rank a group of teams.”

Long, as the chairman of the selection committee, has previously been tasked with addressing the committee’s weekly poll on live television and essentially serve as the face of the committee (that responsibility is now Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt‘s). The reaction to some of Long’s comments during the weekly poll explanations have been taken to task a number of times during the past two seasons, but these comments related specifically to Petrino and Louisville are fair and honest. There is no reason Long should be removed from the discussion of Louisville as long as there is no evidence suggesting Long still has an ax to grind with Petrino. We are more than a few years removed from Petrino’s last stint at Arkansas, so as long as the water has passed under the bridge, Long should remain on the selection committee if and when Louisville is discussed.

Coaches Poll: Big Ten takes four of top 10, Louisville surges to No. 4

LOUISVILLE, KY - SEPTEMBER 17:  Lamar Jackson #8 of the Louisville Cardinals celebrates with Jamari Staples #2 after he ran for a touchdown against the Florida State Seminoles  at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
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Alabama once again maintains a sizable lead atop the latest Amway Coaches Poll after coming from behind to put away Ole Miss on the road this weekend. The Crimson Tide received 59 first-place votes out of 64 to cement their place on top of the coaches poll once again. No. 2 Ohio State earned three first-place votes from the coaches this week after a road win at Oklahoma, who fell out of the top 25 at 1-2.

No. 3 Clemson picked up the lone remaining first-place vote after finally appearing to wake up against South Carolina State. Louisville, despite blasting last week’s No. 2 team (Florida State), did not pick up a first-place vote from the coaches. They did, however, jump up to No. 4. Florida State was dropped to No. 14. No. 5 Michigan, No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Houston, No. 8 Michigan State, No. 9 Washington and No. 10 Wisconsin complete this week’s top 10 according to the coaches.

Oklahoma and Notre Dame each fell out of the top 25 in the coaches poll this week after their second loss of the season, but No. 21 Ole Miss managed to stay just inside the top 25 with an identical record despite blowing double-digit leads two times in the first three weeks. No. 25 Iowa barely hangs on to a spot in the top 25 following a home loss to FCS juggernaut North Dakota State. Perhaps that indicates the respect the coaches have for the Bison.

Here is the full coaches poll for this week, with first-place votes noted:

  1. Alabama (59)
  2. Ohio State (3)
  3. Clemson (1)
  4. Louisville
  5. Michigan
  6. Stanford
  7. Houston
  8. Michigan State
  9. Washington
  10. Wisconsin
  11. Georgia
  12. Tennessee
  13. Texas A&M
  14. Florida State
  15. Baylor
  16. Florida
  17. LSU
  18. Arkansas
  19. Miami
  20. Nebraska
  21. TCU
  22. Ole Miss
  23. Utah
  24. Texas
  25. Iowa

Bret Bielema calls TCU fans’ booing of Hogs LB Brooks Ellis “a very sick moment”

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 10:  Brooks Ellis #51 of the Arkansas Razorbacks celebrates after Adam Griffith #99 of the Alabama Crimson Tide missed his second field goal attempt in the first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 10, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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One of the strange side effects of the hurry-up era of college football is that every defensive injuries must now be treated with suspicion.

The entire gambit behind the hurry-up is to play so fast that it prevents the defense from substituting, thereby forcing the opponent to leave tired players on the field as their offensive counterpart runs past them. But the push-pull nature of football has created an end around where any player who may want a breather simply falls on the field, thereby stopping the action completely.

No one will admit to it, but (almost) everyone does it. And when they do, and that defender happens to be playing in a stadium other than his own, the home fans boo.

That situation played out Saturday night in Fort Worth when TCU fans booed Arkansas linebacker Brooks Ellis, who went down with a cramp in the fourth quarter.

“I thought it was very sick moment,” Bielema told SEC Country Monday. “As (linebackers coach) Vernon (Hargreaves) said to me, he goes, ‘Yeah, I want Brooks Ellis out of the game. You’re right, we’re faking an injury. We’re taking what we think may be our best player off the field.’ It makes no sense.

“There isn’t a dishonest bone in his body. He was cramping up because he was playing his tail off and he got booed off the field.”

Ellis returned to the action for the remainder of the fourth quarter and overtime.

“You see him running in the locker room, he got the quickest IV I’ve ever seen in the history of mankind,” Bielema said. “Our doctors should be the SEC doctors of the week. They probably wouldn’t get it, and I’m not going to quit over it.”

Booing aside, Saturday night was just about perfect for Ellis. He led the Razorbacks with 13 tackles and three TFL, returned an interception 47 yards for a touchdown and aided his club to a 41-38 double overtime win.