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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

What we learned: Texas A&M vs Arkansas

Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Junior running back Trayveon Williams rushed for 152 yards Saturday afternoon.

The 2018 edition of the Southwest Classic was yet another close game between Texas A&M and Arkansas. The Aggies sealed the 24-17 win over the Razorbacks with a defensive play in the closing minutes of the game but that’s not all that happened. Here’s what we learned from A&M-Arkansas:
Starting strong and stalling out
A&M’s offense has shown promise, but seems unable to piece together consistent drives each possession. A&M opened the first quarter against Arkansas firing on all cylinders. With a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from freshman Jashaun Corbin to start the game the A&M offense then followed that up with another touchdown.
However, after those two opening possessions, seven of the eight A&M drives resulted in either a turnover, missed field goal or punt. The Aggies scored with five minutes left in the game to put them ahead 24-10.
A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said he was unhappy with the way his team played, despite getting the win.
“I didn’t think we played really well,” Fisher said. “We played in spurts, thought we came out and started well, had some great things at the beginning but lost control of the game — [which we] had control of the game. We let [Arkansas] hang in the game, we’re up three scores and let them get back in the game.”
Jimbo Fisher demands the most out of his players and even more from his leaders.
In the third quarter of the game, junior linebacker Tyrel Dodson got into an argument with an Arkansas defender, prompting a scuffle between the two sides. Junior linebacker Tyrel Dodson was in the middle of the fight which caused Fisher run out and grabbed Dodson by the facemask while yelling at him.
After the game, Fisher said he was angry with Dodson for engaging in a argument rather than focusing in the game.
“I don’t need that guy out there pushing and shoving, getting in a fight in the game,” Fisher said. “Lose one of our best players on defense and our team leader… Learn to put your pride away and go on the sideline. There ain’t no sense to go out there and push and shove and do dumb things out there when you’re locked in on the game.”

Aggie defense wins it again for A&M
Last season, the Aggies were able to beat the Razorbacks in overtime after then senior Armani Watts intercepted a pass in the end zone. This season, it was senior defensive back Donovan Wilson who was able to snag the ball away from Arkansas wide receiver De’Vion Warren to seal the Aggies victory.
Wilson, who has missed the equivalent of a full game’s worth of playing time due to targeting calls, said he felt responsible for not being able to finish a game with his team but was glad he was able to seal the game.
“[I just felt] blessed to have this opportunity and the coaches put me in a great position to make the play,” Wilson said.
Running the ball
In the last few weeks Fisher emphasized the need to reestablish the run game. While it wasn’t an explosive game, the Aggies were able to run for 201 yards to the second-best run defense in the SEC. Entering this game, Arkansas allowed and average 88. 2 yards a game and 2.7 per carry.
Junior running back Trayveon Williams rushed for 152 yards and the Aggies’ last touchdown of the game, which was the difference. Williams said while the game overall wasn’t the most effective, he felt the offense was able to move the ball effectively, especially in that final drive.
“I feel like we were pretty successful on the ground today,” Williams said. “You know, we kind of ran the ball and there was something that we stuck to and it was something that we did. ”
Southwest records
Corbin’s 100-yard opening kickoff for a touchdown was the tied for the longest kick return for a touchdown in Southwest Classic history. Braden Mann’s 65-yard punt is the longest punt the classic, Mann broke Arkansas’ Dylan Breeding’s record of 60-yards in 2010.

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