Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson (1) heads back to the sidelines against Georgia Southern during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)
- Arkansas battles Texas A&M in matchup of 3-0 teams
- The Aggies have yet to lose to the Razorbacks since joining the SEC in 2012
- Read below for odds, analysis and a betting prediction
There will be separation come Saturday (Sept 25), as a pair of undefeated SEC clubs clash at AT&T Stadium.
The upstart Arkansas Razorbacks, who’ve climbed to 16th in the nation after their 3-0 start, will play the 7th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies, who’ve also ripped off three straight wins to open the campaign.
The Aggies are a 5.5-point favorite in this one. Kickoff goes at 3:30pm ET in Arlington, and the game will be broadcast on CBS.
Texas A&M vs Arkansas Odds
|Texas A&M||-220||-5.5 (-110)||O 47 (-105)|
|Arkansas||+180||+5.5 (-110)||U 47 (-115)|
Odds as of Sept. 21st at DraftKings
It’s expected to be a calm, clear and sunny afternoon, with temperatures around 88 degrees.
Arkansas Out of Nowhere
Head coach Sam Pittman has put his program — a perennial doormat — on the map in just his second year at the helm. How bad have the Razorbacks been? Consider their win total in 2021 matches the team’s highest win total in any of the previous four campaigns.
Arkansas on the ground vs Texas
🐗 KJ Jefferson: 73 yards
🐗 Trelon Smith: 70 yards, 1 TD
🐗 A.J. Green: 67 yards , 1 TD
🐗 Raheim Sanders: 50 yards, 1 TD
🐗 Dominique Johnson: 49 yards, 1 TD pic.twitter.com/c1v8pzng9J
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 12, 2021
Their signature win came in Week 2, when they dismantled the Texas Longhorns, a team many pundits had predicted were turning the corner this season. Ranked 15th at the time, the Razorbacks buried the Longhorns with a relentless ground game, churning out 333 rush yards and four touchdowns.
Their defense limited Texas to just 256 yards of total offense, including QB Hudson Card being limited to 8-for-15 passing for 61 yards.
KJ Jefferson connects with Warren Thompson for 60-yard touchdown.
Jefferson has 275 passing yards and 2 touchdowns pic.twitter.com/0ecmu0ExXV
— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) September 18, 2021
Offensively, sophomore pivot KJ Jefferson has been very good to start the year, showing off both his ability to throw and run. In their opening week 38-17 win over Rice, Jefferson rushed nine times for 89 yards and a pair of scores, while also throwing for 128 yards and a touchdown.
Against Georgia Southern, he threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns to rout the Eagles 45-10.
2021 CFP National Championship Odds Tracker
No King, No Problem (Yet)
While Jefferson is firmly entrenched at Arkansas. Texas A&M has had to adjust on the fly, after their starting QB Hayes King suffered a crack in his lower leg in their Week 2 win against Colorado. He’s out indefinitely. King suffered the injury early in the first quarter, and Zach Calzada has filled in pretty well in his absence.
Zach Calzada with the 70 yard 💣 to Demond Demas for an Aggie TD!!pic.twitter.com/pcYH1atBDG
— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 18, 2021
In a 10-7 slog against the Buffaloes, Calzada threw for 183 yards and a touchdown in relief. He was sharper in Week 3 against New Mexico, going 19-for-33 for 275 yards and thee TD tosses against just one interception in a 34-0 win. The running game also chipped in, with Isaiah Spiller churning out 117 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. Spiller has cracked the 100-yard plateau in two of their three games this season.
Good Morning Ags
The Texas A&M Defense hasn’t allowed a point in 7 consecutive quarters and the Aggies have now won 11 straight football games
— Tim England (@tengland_150) September 19, 2021
Of course, the current strength of the Aggies is a premier defense, that hasn’t allowed more than 10 points in a game, 17 total for the season, and are coming off a shutout against the Lobos. A&M’s D has really shined at shutting down the passing attack, with no quarterback tossing for more 100 yards in a game this season.
What’s the Best Bet?
Jefferson will need to be his best to break through a stingy A&M defense. The Razorbacks average 41 points per game, while the Aggies give up just 5.7. The Razorbacks are a perfect 3-0 ATS this season, including as a 6-point underdog to the Longhorns. This will be the first game this season the Aggies have not been favored by six points or more (the current line is 5.5 points). They’re 2-1 ATS.
This has been a totally lopsided matchup: since moving to the SEC in 2012, the Aggies have won all nine meetings against the Razorbacks. If there was ever a chance for Arkansas to buck that trend, it appears this is their best opportunity to do so. Look for Jefferson to keep the Razorbacks close in a low-scoring affair.
Pick: Arkansas +5.5 (-110) and UNDER 47 points (-105)
Having worked in and around sports since 1997, Eric is truly a knowledgeable expert. The two-time journalism grad specializes in all things NBA and NFL. From TSN.ca to CTV’s Olympic Broadcast Consortium, Eric’s work has appeared in local and national publications alike.