After a demoralizing loss at the hands of San Jose State last week, the Hogs looked to turn their season around against Texas A&M at AT&T stadium for the annual Southwest Classic.
The Razorbacks (2-3,0-2) took the field against the Aggies (3-2, 1-1). Both teams entered the game after losing last week, the Aggies to conference competitors Auburn and the Razorbacks to San Jose State.
The Aggies struck first with 2:56 left in the first quarter on a touchdown pass from quarterback Kellen Mond.
The Razorbacks quickly responded at the beginning of the second quarter with a 46-yard field goal from senior kicker Connor Limpert.
A&M would find the endzone on the next drive and caught an interception in the red zone on Arkansas’ next possession.
The Aggies would not have the ball long as Razorback linebacker De’Jon Harris responded by recovering a fumble and taking it to the endzone, bringing the Razorbacks back 10-14.The half was rounded out by junior quarterback Ben Hicks replacing the starter Nick Starkel, who was injured tackling an A&M player on the interception return. Arkansas head coach Chad Morris said that he was unsure about Starkel’s injury at the half, but it would be evaluated this upcoming week.
Hicks came out of the gate strong, scoring a touchdown.
With eight second left in the half, A&M scored one more time to take the lead 21-17.
During the third quarter, the Razorbacks got on the scoreboard first with an inside touchdown run from running back Devwah Whaley, making the score 24-21 with Arkansas in the lead. The Hog lead was also followed by an Montaric Brown interception in the A&M red zone.
The game picked up in the fourth quarter with an A&M touchdown from Mond immediately making the score 28-24.
Arkansas would respond with 8:47 remaining with a 40-yard field goal from Limpert, bringing the Razorbacks back within a point, 28-27.
Five minutes later, the Aggies were in field goal range and kicker Braden Mann put three points on the board. This increased A&M’s lead, 31-27.
Hicks and the Hogs brought the ball down the field and eventually faced a fourth-and-five in the red zone. Hicks scrambled to avoid the Aggie pass rushers and threw up a prayer, but the pass fell incomplete, going through the hands of tight end Cheyenne O’Grady to end the contest.
“Credit to Texas A&M who found a way to win it, but I’m extremely proud of our football team,” Morris said. “We have to find ways to win football games like this, and that's on me.”
Next week the Razorbacks will be off, and then the following week the Hogs will head to Lexington on Oct. 12 to take on the Kentucky Wildcats (2-3, 0-3). The Wildcats are coming off three losses to SEC opponents: Florida, Mississippi State and South Carolina.
“I think it's been a long grind since the first of August and these guys need a mental break,” Morris said. “We still have five more conference games.”