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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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No.6 A&M opens division play in Dallas

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Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION

Looking to cement its best start since 2001, the No. 6 Texas A&M football team will face the Arkansas Razorbacks at AT&T Stadium in Arlington this weekend, kicking off a long stretch of SEC West contests.
With four of the AP top-10 teams hailing from the SEC West, the coming weeks will be a test for the Aggies (4-0, 1-0 SEC).
“I’d like to know what side of any conference has ever been this deep,” said defensive coordinator Mark Snyder.
While the Razorbacks (3-1, 0-1 SEC) are unranked and suffer from injuries on defense, it is important that the Aggies scheme stays the same, Snyder said.
“It comes down to personnel at that point,” Snyder said. “We’ve got to kind of get a feel for that throughout the first, second, third drive of the game and see who they’re putting out on the field and attack from there.”
In terms of size, Arkansas has the biggest offensive line in college football and will present challenges that some of A&M’s younger defensive players haven’t experienced this season.
“This is a game where they’re going to have to play a lot of snaps and I’m trying to coach them up a lot because they’re not used to going up against big guys like this,” junior defensive lineman Julien Obioha said. “I’m trying to do as much as I can to get them ready for a 6-10, 350-pound tackle.”
On the offensive side of the ball, there is competition at wide receiver for the Aggies, which has helped them prepare for this week’s challenge, offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said.
“If someone is injured, it gives that other guy the opportunity to step in, keep getting better and build continuity with the quarterback,” Spavital said.
Sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill said that continuity allows him to get better as well.
Hill threw his first interception of the season last week against SMU, and improving communication between him and the receiving corps will be key to their success this week.
“It’s good that we got that miscommunication,” Hill said. “It’s something we can look at and get better at. I’d rather not throw an interception but it’s good to get it out of the way so it doesn’t happen in a big-time moment.”
Since many Aggies are from the Dallas area, playing in Arlington allows them to return to their roots.
“A lot of these guys dream of playing in that stadium,” Obioha said. “I think it’s nice that they come to this school and get to go back and play in front of their home crowd.”
From here on out, A&M’s schedule will be nothing short of brutal, and Snyder said that each week will serve as an individual playoff.
“You’ve got to bring your A-game every single week on our side, there’s no doubt about that,” Snyder said. “The team that does that is going to be the team that wins the game.”
Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on CBS.

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