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Arkansas vs Texas A&M: Final Grades

Turnovers, big plays and short yardage stumbles turned this game around in a hurry for Arkansas. Here are the final grades.

NCAA Football: Southwest Classic-Arkansas vs Texas A&M Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The dreaded redzone problem reared its ugly head again in this one for Arkansas. The Hogs were a dismal 4/7 scoring in the redzone including a fumble at the goaline and two failed fourth down plays inside the ten. All of that overshadowed one of the toughest, most resilient performances by a Razorback QB in recent history.


Passing Accuracy: A

Awareness: B

Decision Making: A

Clutch: A

Overall: A

There was just not any quit in Austin Allen in this game. Shot after shot by free linebackers and unblockable defensive lineman, and he just kept getting back up. Not only getting back up, but still able to step right back in and make the perfect throw. Such a shame that a game like this had to end up in a loss, but maybe the rest of the team will rally around the qb who just would not stay down.

The offense was productive from 25 to 25 in the first half moving the ball on the Aggie defense mostly through the air behind Allen’s accurate passing. Those 12 yard outs are just throws that teams almost can not cover due to the timing and accuracy.

A&M DC John Chavis sold out to stop the run dropping a safety down again and again which opened up the play action passing game. This left the Arkansas wide receivers open down the field with little to no help over the top and they took advantage of it.

If this team can get a performance anywhere close to this in the remaining SEC games they will put up some points and be very efficient.

Running Back

Ball Security: D

Run Success Rate: C

YDS After Contact: C

Passing Game: C

Overall: C

Not a great night for the running backs, partially due to the Aggie gameplan and in part due to the weaknesses that have shown small signs beforehand. Rawleigh Williams popped 2 or 3 long runs on the lead play with a fullback, but was not able to make the critical short yards that are just as important. That in addition to the costly fumble going into the end zone set this team back.

It was not all on Williams though as the offensive line, and play calling all played factors in the goal line stops, but ball security is at the top of this list for a reason.

Kody Walker and Whaley could not put together much production either, and as the season plays out will be asked to take on a few more carries, that SEC grind is just starting.

Tight Ends

Run/Pass Blocking: C

Routes: B

Catch Rate: B

Overall: B

I think we all had Jeremy Sprinkle in our mind on the two 4th and goal stops, and maybe the coaching staff did some overthinking instead of just sticking with what has worked. Sprinkles 4 catches and average pass blocking were the highlights for this group vs A&M.

Multiple occasions Dan Enos’s set the offense in a 2 or 3 TE look with all staying in to add a 7 or 8 man pass pro which limits the number of opportunites to get out in the passing game. Jack Kraus and Austin Cantrell contributed in this area and were partially responsible for keeping Allen in one piece.

Wide Receiver

Catch Rate: A

Run After Catch: B

Blocking: B

Routes: B

Overall: B

Just another steady performance, somewhat blemished with the fumbled end around by Reed on the goal line. Even Cody Hollister made a couple of big grabs on 3rd downs.

Jared Cornelius’s 7 catches for 126 yards adds another element that has been missing to the dual threat of Morgan and Hatcher.

Offensive Line

Run Blocking: C

Pass Pro: C

Short Yardage: F

Overall: D

Another shaky night after moving C and RG around again. The Texas A&M pass rush was just too much for this group even with help from a TE and back on a regular basis. They did provide just enough time for Allen to get rid of the ball and make a few plays but there were many misses and blown blocks.

In the run game, aside from the horrendous short yardage plays, they did open up some room on the led iso, power O and inside the tackle plays. Against a stout run defense selling out on early downs, those yards are hard to come by.

Goal line

Defensive Line

Pass Rush: B

Gap integrity: C

Contain: D

Overall: C

Texas A&M used extra pass pro as well to handle the talented DEs for Arkansas. In addition the QB draw and zone read plays slowed down the pass rush giving some extra time for deep shots downfield. Gap integrity at the end of the half gave up a long run by Trevor Knight. Some of the responsibility on that should fall on the defensive play call with gap exchange twists and stunts, that when guessing wrong opened up huge territory between the tackles.


Run Fit: D

Play Diagnosis: C

Coverage: C

Overall: C

By far the worst performance of the season for the two linebackers who play the majority of the snaps. (Ellis and Greenlaw) Out of position in the zone read situations and getting blocked by the A&M oline on key plays was demoralizing. Robb Smith made the switch to an under front in the second half shifting the backers to the strongside and allowing Ellis to have a better angle on the scrape exchange. The answer from A&M was the QB draw and the chewed up some yards right up the middle.

Defensive Back

Run Fit: D

Open Field Tackling: C

Break on the ball: C

Pattern Matching: D

Overall: D

Not much better here either, giving up deep shots downfield. Jared Cornelius was once again avoided at all costs, as the A&M offense chose to isolate DJ Dean, Ryan Pulley and Santos Ramirez on taller, faster WR’s

The loss of D’Andre Coley on a targeting penalty hurt, as he was needed to matchup against the 4 and 5 wr sets.

A gutsy performance from Austin Allen, but all in all the wheels just fell off in a hurry. Every season is full of ups and downs, maybe this will be the point where some changes are made and this team steadily improves.