ARK-TAMU FB preview

Senior running back Trelon Smith carries the ball during the Razorbacks' win over Georgia Southern. Smith and the Hogs are set to take on the Texas A&M Aggies in the Southwest Classic on Saturday.

The No. 16 Razorback football team is set to travel to Arlington, Texas, to face the No. 7 Texas A&M Aggies at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in AT&T Stadium. Both teams have an unblemished record on the season.

Arkansas is averaging 41 points per game and 492.3 total yards per game. Sophomore quarterback KJ Jefferson has excelled so far this season, completing 61.9% of his passes for 632 yards and four touchdowns. He also has 24 carries for 180 yards and two touchdowns.

Last weekend, the Razorbacks dominated the Georgia Southern Eagles 45-10.

Jefferson had a career day going 13-23 passing with 366 yards and three touchdowns. He contributed on the ground with 18 yards on five rushes.

The Aggies had no trouble handling the New Mexico Lobos last week, prevailing 34-0. The week before that, Texas A&M was in a stranglehold with the Colorado Buffaloes and escaped with a 10-7 victory.

Sophomore quarterback Zach Calzada will start just his second career game for the Aggies in place of the injured Haynes King.

Calzada did his job against New Mexico, going 19-33 with 275 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Junior offensive lineman Kenyon Green said he still wants more improvement out of him to lead them for the rest of the season because he has not seen the field that much.

"Little more confidence," Green said after the New Mexico game. "Louder, more demanding on the field. That's good, you know, we are going to need that throughout the season."

The Razorbacks lead the all-time series over the Aggies 41-33-3, but Texas A&M has won the last nine meetings. The last time the Hogs defeated the Aggies was in 2011, when Arkansas won 42-38 in comeback fashion.

Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman said he is looking forward to bringing a resurgence to the rivalry.

“I think we’ll talk about the rivalry that hasn't been a rivalry for the last nine years,” Pittman said Tuesday. “You have to win for it to become a rivalry a little bit more. I know in the past, obviously, we have won more than we lost in the rivalry, but in recent years we haven’t done so well.”

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said the rivalry game plays a big part in recruiting for both schools.

“Texas is a huge state,” Fisher said Wednesday during the Southeastern Conference coaches’ teleconference. “Players go everywhere, and (Arkansas) got a lot of the right ones.”

Saturday marks both teams’ first conference game of the season, and Pittman said he is very excited to get a taste of SEC opponents.

“We’re excited to start Southeastern Conference play,” Pittman said. “I have a lot of respect for Texas A&M, and I have for a long time. They have some friends of mine down there on the coaching staff and recruiting staff. I have great respect for Coach Fisher and what they’ve done since he’s been there.”

Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on CBS. Texas A&M is favored by 5.5 points, and the over/under is 48, according to College Football News.

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