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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Defensive gameplan mirrors opening game

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Familiar offense
Arkansas specializes in running the football, averaging 324.5 yards per game on the ground. Defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said the prior experience of preparing for a run-heavy offense against South Carolina will carry over into the team’s preparation this week.
“I think South Carolina’s passing game is a little more intricate than what we’re going to see,” Snyder said. “The same plays we prepared for the two weeks leading up to South Carolina in the run game are the same plays we’re preparing for right now.”
SEC West
With six of its seven teams ranked in the top 17, five of which are undefeated, the SEC West is regarded as the most difficult division in college football. Arkansas, the only unranked SEC West team, is doing its fair share to contribute to that moniker with only one loss on the season and a 3-0 record out of conference.
“They are a much improved football team over last year,” said head coach Kevin Sumlin. “I would argue that they should be ranked.”
Snyder said the division is by far the best in the country and that each week presents significant challenge.
“It’s going to be a one-week playoff every week in the West,” Snyder said. “You’ve got to bring your A-game every single week, and the team that does that is going to win the game.”
Kenny’s Return
The last time Kenny Hill played inside AT&T Stadium, he led Southlake Carroll High School to its eighth state championship with a 36-29 win over Fort Bend Hightower, passing for 229 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 116 yards and two more scores. Hill is eager to return to a stadium that he has played in multiple times.
“I get another chance to play in Dallas and that’s always cool,” Hill said. “I’ve played my fair share at Cowboys Stadium. I’m just comfortable there.”
Young players step up
A&M had 13 freshmen and sophomores make tackles in the SMU game, and the Aggies will need their young players to contribute very soon as the gauntlet of the SEC schedule looms.
“It’s going to be fun to watch these guys play,” Snyder said. “We’ll know a lot more Saturday because they’re going to have to play.”
Sophomore linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni said the game can be a chance for the young players to make an impact, and cited true freshman Zaycoven Henderson as an example.
“If I were Zaycoven, I’d be really, really excited for this [game,]” Mastrogiovanni sad. “He’s a big body and he’ll be able to see how he stacks up against a downhill run team.”
Helping Hand
Arkansas defeated Texas Tech 49-28 in Lubbock in its third game of the season, and offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said he discussed strategies with Red Raiders head coach Kliff Kingsbury, A&M offensive coordinator in 2012.
“I just asked him what he thought of their personnel,” Spavital said. “He was impressed with their front, and their personnel, and their scheme and how they’re going to keep everything in front of you. They play hard. They rally to the ball and they try to create turnovers. We do have different personnel than Texas Tech, but [Kingsbury’s] insight is always helpful.”
Sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill speaks to media members Tuesday in preparation for his second career SEC game.
Photo by Ateesh Twari

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