The Texas A&M Aggies and Arkansas Razorbacks are going in different directions. Can A&M continue its positive progression, and can Arkansas do anything to reverse course? These are the basic questions to address after a week in which Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema embarrassed himself in the court of public opinion.
The Texas A&M Aggies scored big and beat Nevada at home without too much trouble. Kyle Allen is slowly getting more of a feel for coach Kevin Sumlin’s offense. Nevada did not offer a representative test of what he’s going to see in the SEC, starting with this game, but nevertheless, Allen made plenty of good plays, and that should help his confidence. The defense did not have its best game, as Nevada was able to move the ball with relative consistency. However, Nevada was scoring when it was trailing by a large margin. The Aggies did not have to be great on defense to win that game. They should be expected to do a lot better here, against an Arkansas offense which is struggling.
Speaking of Arkansas, the Razorbacks lost their second straight game and their second straight home game this past weekend against Texas Tech. Head coach Bret Bielema suffered a bad loss against a team he walloped last year, but he felt he needed to say something to Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury. This verbal fight might take some of the pressure off his players, but it really doesn’t make sense in general. Bielema should be taking responsibility for his failure to win games. Arkansas does not look very good on the field, and its coach doesn’t look very good when he gets into confrontations in the press following another loss.
The college football odds for this game started with the Aggies being favored by 6.5 points, but that has moved up to seven. There’s very little confidence in Arkansas to be able to do what it needs to do to win. The Hogs are a running team. They have to be able to pound the ball between the tackles in order to succeed. That they can’t do so against weaker defenses such as Texas Tech’s is concerning. Jonathan Williams is gone, and his absence hurts at running back, but Alex Collins was supposed to pick up the slack, and he hasn’t. People don’t trust Arkansas more than they believe in Texas A&M.
Texas A&M has punter Drew Kaser listed as questionable for this game with a leg injury. Defensive lineman Julien Obioha is questionable with an appendix injury. Running back James White is questionable for undisclosed reasons.
Arkansas has wide receiver Cody Hollister out indefinitely with a foot injury. Wide receiver Keon Hatcher will miss this game, since he is out six to eight weeks with a foot injury. Punter Blake Johnson is still suspended from playing activity. Wide receiver Jared Cornelius is out indefinitely with an arm injury. Defensive back Cornelius Floyd is questionable for this game with a hamstring. Running back Kody Walker
Handicapping The Game
Arkansas is a mess. It lost a game by scoring only 12 points two weeks ago, and then it lost a game by giving up 35. The Hogs lose low-scoring games and medium-to-high-scoring games. That’s a very bad sign. Go with A&M for your college football picks.
College Football Pick: Texas A&M -7 -112 at Pinnacle