As we all know, this game was very similar to the 2014 game where Arkansas played well, but could not finish in OT. They won in time of possession, total yards, 3rd down efficiency, first downs, but they lost in the key areas of turnover margin and, of course, on the scoreboard. Here are the advanced stats look at this game and some trends that have formed so far this season.
You would assume completing 20/25 passes would result in a win. But as the saying goes, when you assume you make an ass out of u and me. Thats pretty much the story of this season so far.
The most unbelievable part is that Allen did not throw a pass in the 4th quarter and was 1/3 in overtime after a costly false start penalty. I do not know of any quarterback who's asked to go a whole quarter without throwing and then convert when the game is on the line. The quarterback position is a lot about timing and a rhythm, so it's extremely difficult to turn that switch on the last couple plays of the game.
56% Success Rate on Third Down: Evidence of winning football, but not enough at the end.
Brandon Allen is having an incredible year statistically. But there is no doubt he would trade that for a couple plays and completions at critical moments.
Overall the passing game was highly efficient and converted when they needed minus in overtime.
Alex Collins played his guts out and racked up 151 Yards on 26 carries.
Key stat: Collins had 57 Yards on 8 carries in the 4th quarter alone at 7.1 yards/ carry.
The rushing attack was solid and has improved every week after an abysmal start.
Collins' individual rushing success rate was a staggering 77%. Just another example of how unbelieveable this loss was from a stats perspective.
Alex Collins Rushing Success vs Texas A&M (Green gained 50% on 1st Down, 70% on 2nd or 100% on 3rd/4th)
The more conservative passing attack yielded solid results through four quarters, but was not able to come through in the redzone in overtime. The penalties were a killer, but a positive were the low numbers of drops and high amount of yards after catch.
Drew Morgan has emerged as the go-to receiver in Keon Hatcher's absence, and made some big plays against A&M. His role on crossing routes and quick over the middle plays were a big part of the offensive success in this game. Finding a way to get him the ball in the open field is key.
This group played well for 3 and a half quarters until the game tying drive and the overtime TD. Holding Texas A&M to that few number of points and forcing some 3 and outs is not going to happen many times this season.
Arkansas stopped A&M 4 times for no gain or behind the LOS and had 2 sacks.
The Razorbacks came up with a big 3rd down stop forcing a field goal in 3rd q with 8:30 to play.
Tra Carson had 8 catches for 62 yards.
We will see more of this as the season goes on, where Carson only had 2 catches the entire season but was put into the passing game plan against the Hogs. Every team so far has matched up a running back against the Arkansas linebackers in coverage to their advantage. Finding a way to adjust and get a favorable matchup for Arkansas in this situation will be key in the coming weeks.
Against Texas A&M, Arkansas struggled to cover backs out of the backfield as mentioned, and struggled to align against trips formations. Some of the key big plays for A&M came off of mismatches with a LB on a WR (Josh Reynolds and Christian Kirk).
The linebacker havoc rate for the season and in the Texas A&M game have been far below what we saw last season. The big reason for that has been opposing offenses using formations to force the Arkansas defense to check out of a pressure call and into a base play. This has ended up creating mismatches and putting those linebackers in a tough position both in the run game and passing situations.
Overall this team is back where they were a year ago after a close loss in OT to the Aggies. If they respond like last season and have a renewed focus and physicality going to Tennessee I think they can come out with an upset and gain some momentum going into the Alabama game.