NCAA Preview: Arkansas vs Texas A&M

No. 17 Arkansas (3-0) vs. No. 10 Texas A&M (3-0), 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Texas A&M by 6 1/2

Series Record: Arkansas leads, 41-28-3

WHAT’S AT STAKE

What’s been one of the most competitive games in the Southeastern Conference the last few seasons has suddenly turned into an unlikely contest to determine the early season second second-best-in-the-West behind No. 1 Alabama. Arkansas has surged in the rankings thanks to a win at TCU two weeks ago, while Texas A&M already has two quality wins on its resume — over UCLA at home and at Auburn last week.

KEY MATCHUP

Arkansas left tackle Dan Skipper vs. Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett. Skipper, the Razorbacks 6-foot-10 tackle, has a history he’d like to make amends for in this game — with his tripping penalty costing Arkansas a chance to go up three scores in the second half of an eventual loss two years ago. After moving from the right side back to left tackle this season, he’ll face a difficult test this week against arguably the top rushing end in college football. Garrett already had three sacks this season, and the junior has 27 in his career.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Arkansas: RB Rawleigh Williams. After having his season ended early last year with a broken neck suffered against Auburn, the sophomore has returned to provide a much-needed boost to Arkansas’ running game. Williams leads the SEC in rush attempts (71), and he’s topped the 100-yard mark in each of the last two games — including a 137-yard performance in the win over TCU.
Texas A&M: QB Trevor Knight. The Oklahoma transfer has provided the Aggies with options in both the passing and running games through three games, passing for five scores and rushing for three more. However, he’s only completed 52.9 percent (63 of 119) of his passes.

FACTS & FIGURES

The Aggies have won four straight games over the Razorbacks, including the last two in overtime … Arkansas has won 10 of its last 12 games since losing to Texas A&M last season and nine of its last 10 … The Associated Press ranking for the Razorbacks is their highest since being ranked No. 8 early in the 2012 season.

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