The No. 16 Arkansas football team picked up a victory over the No. 7 Texas A&M Aggies 20-10, Saturday at AT&T Stadium, jumping eight spots in the rankings as Pro Football Focus handed out some top marks to Razorback players.
Junior wide receiver Treylon Burks had a big day with 167 yards, hauling in six passes and a touchdown. The score went for 85 yards as he burned the Aggie defender late in the first quarter. PFF graded Burks at 84.6, the highest grade given to any offensive player for the game.
Arkansas sophomore quarterback KJ Jefferson said the Hogs tried to focus on isolating Texas A&M’s defensive backs to lead to the explosive play.
"That was the main thing going into the week, just reading that safety, seeing if he's going to help over the top,” Jefferson said in the postgame press conference. “And I see he did help over the top, so I just gave Treylon a chance and just made a play."
Jefferson went 7-15 passing with 212 yards and two touchdowns, earning a grade of 76.5 for his performance.
Freshman quarterback Malik Hornsby found time on the field after Jefferson sustained a leg injury in the third quarter. Hornsby completed just one pass for seven yards, but contributed on the ground with 12 yards on six rushes.
Hornsby led a scoring drive in the fourth quarter to put the Hogs up 20-10. In 20 snaps, PFF graded Hornsby at 61.6.
Burks praised Hornsby for stepping up in a high-pressure situation to lead the Hogs to a victory.
"It was a big role for Malik to come in and step up the way he did," Burks said. "You know, (he) led us to a field goal which was big, put us up by 10.”
The Arkansas defense played a huge factor in the Razorbacks pulling off the upset. The Hogs allowed 272 total yards, the lowest mark for the A&M offense all season. Senior defensive back Montaric Brown intercepted Aggie sophomore quarterback Zach Calzada in the fourth quarter to set up the final scoring drive.
PFF gave the Hog defense grade of 67.4, with the highest graded player being senior defensive end Tre Williams at 85.
Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman said the Razorbacks’ win over Texas A&M proves that the Hogs have been underestimated.
“We beat No. 7 (Texas A&M) and No. 15 (Texas),” Pittman said. “Some might say A&M is not really good because Arkansas beat them. They say Texas might not be any good because Arkansas beat them. I think they are really good.”
Overall, PFF graded the Hogs with a 65.1. The team’s competition so far has been tough, but it will only get more difficult.
The Hogs are scheduled to face off against the No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs in a top-10 matchup Saturday in Athens, Georgia. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN.