The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Arlington, TX

Aggies' balanced offense, tenacious defense bests Hogs

63 days ago

ARLINGTON, Texas -- - Max Johnson threw for 210 yards with two touchdowns, ran for 57 yards and had three second-half turnovers in his first start for Texas A&M this season as the Aggies beat Arkansas 34-22 on Saturday.

Ainias Smith returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown and Chris Russell took an intercepted tipped pass 16 yards into the end zone for another score for the Aggies (4-1, 2-0 SEC). Le'Veon Moss ran for 107 yards.

Arkansas (2-3, 0-2) was held without an offensive touchdown until KJ Jefferson's 48-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Armstrong with 3:53 left. Those were the only passing yards after the first quarter for the Razorbacks, who were held to 174 total yards.

That score was set up by Johnson's second lost fumble, which came one play after a lengthy delay when Arkansas defensive lineman John Morgan III was taken off the field strapped on a stretcher.

It wasn't immediately clear how Morgan got hurt on a running play, or the extent of the injury. But a group of trainers and medical personnel tended to him for an extended period, removing his helmet and jersey before he was put on a motorized cart.

The Aggies won for the 11th time in 12 meetings since joining their former Southwest Conference rival in the Southeastern Conference in 2012.

Cam Little kicked three field goals (52, 25 and 50 yards) for Arkansas. Lorando Johnson had a pick-six on the first play of the second half.

Max Johnson also started the Southwest Classic last year, one of his three starts before a season-ending hand injury. The former LSU transfer, who started 14 games for the Tigers over two seasons, lost the starting job in camp this fall to Conner Weigman, but the fellow sophomore suffered a season-ending foot injury in the first half of last week's win at Auburn.

The Aggies led for good after Johnson's 32-yard TD pass to Evan Stewart on their opening drive of the game, and were up 17-6 after a 2-yard TD pass just before halftime. That was enough of a margin to overcome the 10 points Arkansas got off Johnson's miscues in the third quarter, before the fumble in the fourth quarter.

Johnson completed 17 of 28 passes while being mostly efficient with short and swing passes, but his first throw of the second half never made it to Moss coming out of the backfield. Johnson jumped the route for the pick and went untouched 20 yards into the end zone.

An exchange of field goals followed, Little getting his second 50-yarder of the game after a drive set up by Johnson's first lost fumble.


Texas A&M: A dominating day for the Aggies defense. When Arkansas tried to convert fourth-and-1 from its own 40 late in the first half, defensive tackle McKinnley Jackson broke through to tackle Raheim Sanders in the backfield. That led to Johnson's second TD pass.

Arkansas: The Razorbacks had a penalty-free game, but certainly had plenty of mistakes otherwise, and just couldn't couldn't do anything going offensively. They opened the game with a 15-play drive, but gained only 42 yards over eight minutes, and had to settle for a 52-yard field goal.


Texas A&M is home next Saturday against 12th-ranked Alabama, which as the No. 1 team two years ago lost 41-38 on a game-ending field goal in its last trip to College Station.

Arkansas plays the third of four consecutive SEC games away from home, at No. 20 Mississippi next Saturday.