Texas A&M vs. Arkansas odds preview: Point spread, prediction for Southwest Classic

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Texas A&M quarterback Max Johnson (14) looks to scramble against New Mexico during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)

The Texas A&M Aggies got back on track last weekend with a 27-10 win over the Auburn Tigers and will look to improve to 2-0 in the SEC this Saturday when they take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in the annual Southwest Classic from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Unfortunately, the win came at a cost for Texas A&M (3-1, 1-0), who lost starting quarterback Conner Weigman to a foot injury that will keep him on the sidelines for the rest of the season.

In his place will be 22-year-old redshirt sophomore Max Johnson, a transfer from LSU with plenty of game experience. Johnson was the starting quarterback for the Tigers in 2021 and threw for 2,815 yards, 27 touchdowns and six interceptions.

The Aggies-Razorbacks rivalry dates back to 1903 and was hotly contested back when the two programs battled in the Southwestern Conference. Recent years have seen Texas A&M win 10 of the past 11 games, including a 23-21 win last year.

It was the Aggies defense that shined last week against Auburn. Texas A&M held Auburn to just 200 yards of total offense and 56 yards passing. The Aggies had 15 tackles for loss and held the Tigers to 3-of-15 on third downs. Running backs Le’Veon Moss and Amari Daniels combined for 183 rushing yards.

Arkansas (2-2, 0-1) comes in after a tough 34-31 loss to LSU last Saturday. It was a back-and-forth contest for the Golden Boot that came down to a late field goal. Quarterback K.J. Jefferson threw for 289 yards and three touchdowns but also had two costly interceptions. The Razorbacks are hoping that running back Raheim Sanders can return to the lineup Saturday after missing the past three games.

Texas A&M Aggies vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

Time/TV: Noon ET (ESPN)

Point Spread: Texas A&M -5.5

Over/Under: 53.5

Analysis: With Johnson’s experience as a starter and familiarity with the SEC, the Aggies shouldn’t have too many limitations on offense. They will also continue to try to run the ball effectively and play a physical game. Arkansas is a tough out, they got off to quick starts against LSU and BYU but lost leads down the stretch. This game has been a nailbiter in recent years and Saturday should be no different.

Prediction: Texas A&M 27, Arkansas 22

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