Texas A&M's defense overwhelms Arkansas
Backup quarterback Max Johnson threw two touchdowns, Texas A&M's defense sacked Arkansas seven times and scored on an interception, and the Aggies beat the Razorbacks 34-22 Saturday afternoon in Arlington, Texas.
With quarterback Conner Weigman (foot) lost for the season, Texas A&M (4-1, 2-0 SEC West) had Johnson make his first start since last Oct. 1.
The left-hander went 17 of 28 for 210 yards and rushed for 57 yards.
He tossed scores to Evan Stewart and Earnest Crownover but also surrendered a pick-6 and lost fumble that led to a field goal.
Le'Veon Moss had 107 rushing yards on 17 carries, while Ainias Smith had 202 all-purpose yards, including 131 on three punt returns.
The Aggies won for the 10th time in the past 11 meetings.
The Razorbacks (2-3, 0-2) struggled offensively, as KJ Jefferson was 9-for-17 for 132 yards with a TD and an interception.
Raheim Sanders rushed for 34 yards on 11 carries as Arkansas managed only 174 yards of offense.
Arkansas' Cam Little nailed three field goals, including two from at least 50 yards.
On the opening series of the 80th meeting between the former Southwest Conference foes, Jefferson led the Razorbacks down to the first score, a 52-yard field goal by Little at 6:45.
But on a 75-yard series, Johnson answered by completing all five passes and hitting Stewart from 32 yards for a 7-3 lead before Little (25 yards) and Texas A&M's Randy Bond (42) traded successful kicks.
With just 13 seconds left in the half, Johnson flipped a 2-yard pass to Crownover for his second catch this season -- both for scores -- and a 17-6 advantage.
On the first scrimmage play of the third, Arkansas' Lorando Johnson jumped a Johnson pass in the flats and went 20 yards with the interception to make it
17-13, but Bond countered with a 34-yarder.
Johnson fumbled on the next series on a quarterback keeper, and Little cranked a 50-yarder at 7:58 of the third.
With the quarter's second defensive TD, Chris Russell Jr. picked off a deflected Jefferson pass and rambled 16 yards to push it to 27-16.
Smith (four catches, 71 yards) had an electrifying 82-yard punt return after first muffing the boot with 7:40 remaining.
Jefferson found Andrew Armstrong for 48 yards at 3:53 for the final margin.
--Field Level Media
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