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Cessna's grades: Razorbacks give test Aggies can't ace
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ROBERT CESSNA GRADES THE AGGIES

Cessna's grades: Razorbacks give test Aggies can't ace

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A&M v Arkansas fourteen filler four

Texas A&M’s Devon Achane, center, fights for yardage against Arkansas’ Greg Brooks Jr., right, during last week’s game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

OFFENSE: D

What went right: Isaiah Spiller’s 67-yard touchdown run gave Texas A&M hope, and the unit’s only turnover came off a deflection.

What went wrong: A&M lost the line of scrimmage. A revamped line missing right guard Layden Robinson had to be revamped again when left tackle Jahmir Johnson was injured early in the second half. Wins up front were far and few between as A&M mustered only 272 yards.

Bottom line: Other than Spiller’s touchdown, the Aggies had one play of more than 19 yards. Take away Spiller’s run and A&M had 205 yards on 58 plays, averaging just 3.5 yards per play.

DEFENSE: C

What went right: Arkansas converted only 3 of 13 third downs. A fourth-down stop late in the first half kept A&M in the game — the Razorbacks might’ve gone ahead 20-0 if not 24-0 had they converted it.

What went wrong: Arkansas put A&M on its heels from the kickoff. A&M hadn’t allowed a pass longer than 19 yards, but Treylon Burks had receptions of 21, 27 and 85 yards in the first half. AJ Green had a 48-yard touchdown catch and Tyson Morris a 21-yard reception. Arkansas also had nine runs of at least 10 yards by six different players.

Bottom line: A&M couldn’t force a turnover to help its struggling offense. A&M’s best starting field position was its 45. Other than that, its average starting position on the other 10 possessions was its 27.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-

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What went right: Seth Small’s 49-yard field goal gave A&M a spark before halftime. Nik Constantinou averaged 45.8 yards on eight punts, five inside Arkansas’ 20. Devon Achane had a 32-yard kickoff return, and kickoff specialist Caden Davis kicked a pair of touchbacks.

What went wrong: A&M had a delay of game penalty on a punt and a holding call on a punt return.

Bottom line: A&M isn’t good enough to overcome little mistakes. The holding call against Chris Russell led to A&M’s worst starting field position at its own 10. A&M quarterback Zach Calzada threw an interception two plays later.

COACHING: C

What went right: A&M revamped its offensive line with starting right guard Layden Robinson out for a second game. The unit was OK at the outset as A&M picked up five first downs on its first two possessions, but when left tackle Jahmir Johnson left with an injury in the second quarter, the unit had to be tweaked again, and the offense struggled.

What went wrong: A&M never looked comfortable in any phase, committing 11 penalties including seven on offense.

Bottom line: Arkansas offensive coordinator Kendal Briles and Razorback defensive coordinator Barry Odom both managed to take advantage of A&M’s weaknesses.

OVERALL: C-

What went right: A&M had a chance to win the game in the second half after being dominated in the first half.

What went wrong: Arkansas got constant pressure on Calzada, often by rushing only three and dropping eight into coverage.

Bottom line: Arkansas played like a top 10 team from start to finish, ending a nine-game game losing streak to A&M.

Robert Cessna’s email address is robert.cessna@theeagle.com.

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