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.
Some schools will let the quarterback competition play out over the summer, but Kevin Sumlin is ready to turn the keys of the offense over to his starting quarterback for the upcoming college football season. Sumlin and Texas A&M announced Trevor Knight will be the starting quarterback for the Aggies this fall, bring one quarterback competition to a close.
Knight transferred to Texas A&M from Oklahoma last December and threw himself right into the suddenly urgent quarterback competition in College Station. The Aggies lost two quarterbacks to transfer with Kyle Allen moving to Houston (torching Texas A&M’s culture on his way) and Kyler Murray heading to Knight’s previous college home of Oklahoma. Knight was expected to be a favorite to win the starting job at Texas A&M having previously started for the Sooners and experiencing his own success in the Sooner state. Knight lost his starting job to former Texas Tech transfer Baker Mayfield.
Knight played in six games for Oklahoma last season, completing 22 of 40 pass attempts for 305 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions and rushing for another score. The struggles of 2015 were disappointing considering Knight’s rise in 2014, leading Oklahoma with 2,300 passing yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore.
After seeing two quarterbacks transfer out of the program shortly before Texas A&M’s bowl game, the Aggies will reportedly add former Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight to the roster. Knight’s transfer to Texas A&M was reported by George Schroeder of USA Today, although it had long been expected the Aggies would be the program Knight joined after being given a release from his scholarship from Oklahoma.
Knight will be eligible to play for Texas A&M right away in 2016 as a graduate transfer. That is excellent news for Kevin Sumlin, because he is in dire need of a starting quarterback. Texas A&M lost Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray to transfers after both split time as a starter in 2015. The loss of two quarterbacks has led to growing criticism of Sumlin and the job he is doing at Texas A&M, but the addition of Knight should help ease some of the tension in College Station.
Knight taking on the role of starter should be pretty much a given in College Station given his past playing experience even though he ended up losing the starting job to Baker Mayfield, who was a former walk-on at Texas Tech who joined the Sooners this past year.
Knight appeared in just six games this past season, in which he completed 22 of 40 pass attempts for 305 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. In 2014 Knight was much more successful, leading Oklahoma with 2,300 passing yards and 14 touchdowns, but with 12 interceptions and a 56.6 completion percentage. Knight could be a natural fit in Texas A&M’s offense though as he brings a dual-threat game with him, which tends to do well under Sumlin at Texas A&M for at least half a season.
UPDATE (6:18 p.m.): Knight confirmed the transfer news on his Twitter account.
With Baker Mayfield‘s stock climbing this season, Trevor Knight is seeking out new opportunities to get some considerable playing time. Knight was granted a full release from his scholarship by Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops. As Knight pursues new opportunities, Stoops will reportedly not block Knight from transferring to any destination, which is always refreshing to see.
Knight is expected to graduate this semester, which will mean he will be ruled eligible to play immediately next fall at the FBS level. According to a report from Sooner Scoop, Knight has already been in touch with a few potential destinations, including Kansas State, and a return to Oklahoma has not been entirely ruled out. Other schools reportedly to have been in communication with Knight include Georgia, Oregon and SMU. According to Sooner Scoop‘s report, Knight will take his time to make his decision so he can avoid being any kind of distraction to his soon-to-be-former Sooner teammates as they prepare for the College Football Playoff.
Knight appeared in just six games this season, in which he completed 55.0 percent of his passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Knight passed for 2,300 yards last season with 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, but lost the starting job to former walk-on and Texas Tech transfer Mayfield this fall.
In one of the more non-surprising moves of the offseason, the incumbent under center at Oklahoma has been unofficially unseated.
With an official announcement expected in short order, multiple media outlets are reporting that Baker Mayfield has been tapped by Bob Stoops and his Sooners offensive coaching staff to be OU’s starting quarterback. Mayfield, labeled as a key transfer in one of our preview posts, had been in a competition with Trevor Knight, OU’s starter a season ago, but has been considered the favorite due to his familiarity with the Sooners’ new offense.
Mayfield’s first start, should the reports come to fruition, would come against Akron Sept. 5 in Norman.
Mayfield transferred from Texas Tech to OU in December of 2013. An appeal filed that would’ve granted him immediate eligibility was ultimately denied, leaving Mayfield sidelined for the 2014 season.
The Sooners, incidentally, will play host to the Red Raiders Oct. 24.
Knight, in his first season as a starter, barely tossed more touchdown passes (14) than picks (12), missing the last three games of the regular season due to injury. He returned for the Russell Athletic Bowl matchup with Clemson, and laid the foundation for his demotion with an absolutely abysmal performance — 17-of-37 passing for 103 yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions in the 40-6 blowout loss to the Tigers.
UPDATED 3:53 p.m. ET: The football program subsequently confirmed that Mayfield has indeed been named the Sooners’ starting quarterback.