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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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Six takeaways from A&M’s win over Arkansas

TAMU+vs+Arkansas+-+Christian+Kirk+Winning+Touchdown
Photo by Valerie Gunchick
TAMU vs Arkansas – Christian Kirk Winning Touchdown

(1) Christian Kirk is the best freshman in the nation — and very, very fast

Quick — name a true freshman who has had a bigger impact on their team than A&M’s Kirk. Go ahead, I’ll wait. No other freshman in the nation has done what Kirk has done thus far in 2015. And on Saturday, he further proved why he is the best freshman in the country. On a national stage, Kirk showed off his speed, putting gaps between him and Razorback defenders time and again. He tallied 173 yards and two touchdowns on eight catches, including the game-winner in overtime. Basically, A&M has a chance to score any time that No. 3 is on the field.

(2) When A&M needs a big play, enter Myles Garrett

The nation’s leading sack artist was held mostly in check by the massive Arkansas offensive line — that is until just over one minute remained in the fourth quarter. In the midst of a furious A&M comeback, Garrett finally got to the quarterback and forced a fumble, which A&M’s A.J. Hilliard recovered, and it gave A&M a chance at the win in regulation. The moral of this story is that if the Aggie defense needs a big time play, odds are that Myles Garrett will be on the end of it.

(3) The passing game is one of the most lethal in the country

Kyle Allen played as well as head coach Kevin Sumlin could have asked him to on Saturday. Allen was 21-for-28 passing, with 358 yards and two touchdowns, both to Christian Kirk. A&M only had the ball for 20 minutes in the game and managed to put up 358 yards in the air. Pair that along with the best receiving corps in the nation, and you have potential for some gaudy numbers week in and week out.

(4) No matter the situation, A&M is never out of the game

For the second consecutive year, the Aggies pulled a rabbit out of a hat and broke Razorback hearts again with another brilliant fourth quarter comeback. Though the Aggies did not play very well for most of the game, but they still managed to win the game even when it was in doubt. The defense made the plays it needed to make when their backs were against the wall, and the offense, which struggled for the majority of the night, came through with the scores it desperately needed to take the game over late for the second straight year. A&M has a certain swagger about them, and with all the talent surrounding them, they are never out of a game.

(5) De’vante Harris has come a long way

Before this year, film clips of Devante Harris were not so flattering. From being thrown to the ground by Auburn’s Sammy Coates to not-so-great effort and many missed tackles, a lot of Aggie fans had lost faith in the senior cornerback. Now in 2015, he has shown tremendous improvement under John Chavis. He has returned an interception for a touchdown this season, and on Saturday, he made the biggest play of the game, knocking down a fourth down pass in overtime to seal the win for A&M. To see where Harris was to where he is currently, the senior has come a very long way and is on track for  a very successful season.

(6) Defensively, A&M has to get off the field quicker
With an explosive, fast-paced offense, the defense has to be on the field a lot more. Long drives can really wear down a defense, no matter how much talent they yield. Getting tackles for losses on first and second down will really help them get off the field on third down. Arkansas was 5-for-10 on third down conversions Saturday, so getting off the field and preventing those long, physical drives will be big moving forward. Offensively, the run game could improve. A&M managed only 65 yards rushing on Saturday night, and the leading rusher on the night (Tra Carson) tallied only 28 yards on eight carries. If A&M can get a good balance going on offense in SEC play, it will be a tricky thing to defend.

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  • Quarterback Kyle Allen and tight end Caden Smith running a play during the TAMU v. Arkansas game on Saturday night.

    Photo by Kathryn Perez
  • TAMU vs Arkansas – Christian Kirk

    Photo by Valerie Gunchick
  • Christian Kirk catches the winning touchdown in overtime. 

    Photo by Valerie Gunchick
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