After Texas A&M kicker Josh Lambo missed a 40-yard field goal with 2:23 to play before halftime, it appeared Arkansas was in prime position to take a lead into the locker room. But then offensive coordinator Jim Chaney called for Hogs quarterback Brandon Allen to throw six straight passes, and he predictably went 1-for-6, setting Arkansas up with a 4th-and-10, giving Texas A&M the ball back with plenty of time and three timeouts remaining.
Ah, but Bret Bielema had the Aggies right where he wanted them.
Razorbacks punter Sam Irwin-Hill took the punt around the left side and 51 yards into the end zone, giving his Razorbacks a 21-14 lead over No. 6 Texas A&M at the break. (The best part of that fake punt was CBS’s Gary Danielson telling viewers that Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin told him he was aware of Bielema’s tendency to fake kicks. Whoops.)
Allen started hot, hitting his first four passes for 65 yards, but finished the half with a line of 7-of-14 passing for 97 yards. His counterpart, Texas A&M’s Kenny Hill, missed six of his first nine, including his first four throws beyond the line of scrimmage, and finished the half with 96 yards and a touchdown on 10-of-22 passing as well as four rushes for 20 yards. Texas A&M has left scoring chances on the field, primarily a pair of drops by Josh Reynolds, one on 3rd-and-6 that set up Lambo’s missed field goal, and another in the Arkansas secondary that could have potentially given the Aggies a chance to forge a late tie.
Arkansas has totaled 22 rushes for 194 yards – 8.8 yards per carry – and three touchdowns. Take out Irwin-Hill’s 51 yards and the Hogs are still on pace to rush for nearly 300 yards while averaging seven yards a pop. Alex Collins has led the way with nine attempts for 88 yards and a 50-yard touchdown, and Jonathan Williams has added eight rushes for 41 yards and his own score.
The lead could actually be bigger for Arkansas, too. The Hogs lost a fumble on a botched center-quarterback exchange while driving inside Texas A&M territory, and had an Allen touchdown pass taken off the board due to a holding call.
So, yeah, if you have an upset board, Texas A&M should be on it through one half.
Arkansas receives the ball to open the second half.