Southwest Classic: Texas A&M Aggies vs. Arkansas Razorbacks College Football Preview

No. 14 Texas A&M Aggies vs. No. 18 Arkansas Razorbacks
Saturday, 10/1/11, 12:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Texas A&M -3.5
Current Betting Line:  Texas A&M -3
Opening Total:  59.5
Current Total:  62
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

College Football Sportsbook
The Texas A&M Aggies are looking to win their first game inside Cowboys Stadium

Texas A&M needs to pick itself off the mat quickly if it hopes to stop a two-year losing streak to the Arkansas Razorbacks inside Cowboys Stadium.  The Aggies were handed a crushing 30-29 defeat by the Oklahoma State Cowboys ad 4.5-point home favorites.  “The game changed and we had to respond to what they were doing,” commented Aggies head coach Mike Sherman.  “We weren’t where we were supposed to be when were supposed to be there.”  The program will now look to pick up its first victory inside Saturday’s venue, dropping the three previous trips.  Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw three interceptions last week, but is 274 yards from the 3,000-yard mark in total yards for his career.  Texas A&M is 0-4 ATS on a neutral field.

The Aggies will be facing a ranked opponent for the second straight game, while it has dropped its last six games against SEC foes, last winning in 1995.  Texas A&M brought back one of the more experienced teams in the nation, as 18 of 22 starters returned, including 10 of 11 on offense.  Defensively, the team leads the nation in sacks, averaging 4.7 a contest.

Arkansas will also look to avoid dropping two games in a row, falling 48-14 as 11-point road underdogs to the Alabama Crimson Tide last week.  The Razorbacks were out-gained by 171 yards in that contest, but still possess one of the best offensive attacks in the country.  The team is 15-of-15 in red zone scoring and averaging 38.8 points a game.  Arkansas is always looking to jump on its opponent, outscoring opponents by a 92-27 margin in the first half this year.  The Razorbacks have also posted a 14-1 record in regular-season action versus non-conference opponents.

The Razorbacks have been led by quarterback Tyler Wilson, who has filled in nicely for the departed Ryan Mallett.  The junior leads the SEC with 1,007 passing yards and has completed 66.9 percent of his passes.  Arkansas is dangerous when putting the ball in the air, throwing a touchdown pass in 21 straight games, which is the sixth-longest active streak nationally.  The team’s 98 total first downs also leads the conference.  Petrino hopes the running attack can provide a lift in this contest, gaining just 17 yards on 19 carries versus Alabama a week ago.  “When we tried to run the ball, we didn’t do a very good job of doing that,” he commented after the game.

Bettors will likely back the Razorbacks due to their 7-2 ATS mark versus Big 12 Conference foes, while the Aggies are 0-6-1 ATS versus SEC opponents.

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