11 hours ago
ARLINGTON, Texas — – Devon Achane rushed for 159 yards and a touchdown, Demani Richardson sprinted the final 82 yards on a wild fumble return for another score and No. 23 Texas A&M beat 10th-ranked Arkansas 23-21 on Saturday night.
The Razorbacks (3-1, 1-1 SEC) had a chance to take the lead with 1:30 remaining, but little camThe 42-yard field goal attempt from the left hash mark hit near the top of the right post – and flew to the ground in the end zone, no good. That drive came just after the Aggies missed a longer field goal attempt.
Texas A&M (3-1, 1-0) has had back-to-back wins over ranked teams since that embarrassing 17-14 home loss to Appalachian State two weeks ago. The conference opener for the Aggies came a week after a 17-9 win over the then No. 1. 13 Miami, which then fell 12 places and will no longer be ranked after a Lost 45-31 at home to Middle Tennessee State earlier Saturday.
“We’re nowhere near what we need. We’ve got to heal some self-inflicted wounds, we’ve got to clean things up,” Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher said. “But we beat two good football teams who weren’t playing very well, not at the top of our game, but who were playing well sometimes and still competing and making plays when needed, and that’s very encouraging. “
Arkansas led 14-0 after TD passed KJ Jefferson on consecutive journeys in the first trimester. He first threw a screen which Ketron Jackson turned into a 32-yard score before finding Warren Thompson wide opening behind the secondary for a 56-yarder.
But after the Razorbacks responded to Max Johnsonthe 10-yard TD pass from Evan Stewart while driving 72 yards on 11 plays at 3, Jefferson for some reason attempted to jump over the blocking linemen at 3 and lost the ball.
“It’s tough. Give A&M all the credit, they fought back from 14,” Razorbacks coach Sam Pittman said. “They had some big plays…and definitely a big fumble recovery.”
Jefferson ended up going straight up instead and the ball was knocked out of his hands by linebacker Chris Russell and picked up in the air by Tyreek Chappellwho took off the other way and ended up in the ball carrier’s permanent grip Raheim Sander close to 20. But he handed the ball to Richardson, who took it into the end zone.
“A game with great momentum. It helped us a lot,” said Achane.
Fisher said he didn’t know “if it saved us, but it made winning a lot easier.”
Although the Aggies failed to convert the tying extra point, that touchdown was part of 23 straight points. They moved on for good 9-yard TD from Achane which capped the second-half opener for a 20-14 lead.
Johnson, the LSU transfer, was 11 of 21 passing for 151 yards on his second A&M start. Jefferson completed 12 of 19 passes for 171 yards and rushed 18 times for 105 yards. Jefferson had a 6-yard run with 10 minutes left in the game.
Texas A&M: The Aggies recovered from their slow start offensively, when they went 3-and-out on their first four drives. They led 14-0 before getting their first initial down on a 63-yard run by Achane midway through the second quarter.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks missed a chance to have back-to-back 4-0 starts for the first time since 1988-89, which was still a few seasons before joining the SEC. The Hogs haven’t won their first two SEC games since 2006. They went 4-0 overall last year with a victory over the Aggies, who had won nine straight in the series before that.
CONSEQUENCES OF THE SURVEY
The Aggies will regain some of the spots they’ve lost since being sixth in the preseason and in week one, but they’ll still be a long way from being back in the top 10. Arkansas will definitely slide.
Arkansas is at home to face No. 2 Alabama next Saturday.
Texas A&M travels to Mississippi State next Saturday for the second of four straight away from Kyle Field.