September 30, 2009

A&M gets stiff test against Arkansas

A lot has been made of Texas A&M's 3-0 start in Aggieland, but it's not because of the undefeated stretch through September. The Aggies were supposed to beat New Mexico, Utah State and UAB, but the way they beat them was much different than expected.

A&M (3-0) won the three games by an average of 26.67 points and have been putting up huge numbers on the offensive end. The Aggies rank No. 1 in the nation in total offense with 574.33 yards per game and are in the top seven in rushing, passing and scoring offense.

It's a major change from a year ago when the Aggies finished the season ranked No. 78 in total offense, No. 27 in passing offense, No. 114 in rushing offense and No. 83 in scoring offense.

It's not only on the offensive end either as the Aggies are tops in the nation in sacks with 4.67 per game, led by Von Miller's nation-leading 2.67 per game. The Aggies have 14 sacks through three games after tallying just 16 last season, good enough for No. 100 in the nation.

"One thing Coach Sherman stressed is staying even keel. Don't get too high or get too low. Just keep everything in perspective," said A&M junior quarterback Jerrod Johnson. "If you don't work hard you can always get beat. That's one of the things we're focusing on this week is trying to stay the course, keep our minds in the right place and understand the task we have at hand."

A&M, however, will get its stiffest test by far Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington when it faces Arkansas (1-2) in the inaugural Southwest Classic. The Razorbacks narrowly lost to No. 18 Georgia at home two weeks ago in a shootout and then lost to No. 3 Alabama in Tuscaloosa last Saturday.

In essence, Arkansas is a much better team than its record indicates. The Razorbacks are faster at just about every position than any team the Aggies have faced this season.

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