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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Jerry World a good venue for Razorbacks

by Wally Hall | September 21, 2022 at 5:02 a.m.

Texas A&M is a bit of mystery team, but it is not a trap game for Arkansas.

Appalachian State was a trap game for the Aggies.

Texas A&M and the University of Arkansas have history that goes back to 1903 when the Aggies won 6-0 in College Station, Texas.

They have met 78 times and Arkansas has the edge in winning with a record of 42-33-3.

Sam Pittman and the Razorbacks snapped a nine-game losing streak last season when they downed the Aggies 20-10 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

They return to Arlington at 6 p.m. Saturday in what may be the next-to-last game for these two teams in the luxurious home of the Dallas Cowboys.

The contract expires after the 2024 season.

When this contract was signed, Jeff Long was the director of athletics at Arkansas and Eric Hyman was athletic director at A&M.

Long now lives in North Carolina, and Hyman has been gone from Aggieland since 2016.

By most accounts, Arkansas' current director of athletics, Hunter Yurachek, is open to negotiations to keep the series in Jerry Jones World. It is no secret that Jones, a former Razorbacks football player who was on the 1964 national championship team, is a huge donor for his alma mater.

The owner of the Dallas Cowboys is generous on the field and off. The Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center opened in 2015 thanks to a $10.65 million gift from the Jones.

When this series started, both schools bought their allotment of tickets, but the A&M side of the field seems to have dwindled in attendance recently.

It is no secret that A&M wants this to be a home-and-home series and have since Kyle Field was renovated and 20,000 seats were added.

That made A&M the largest stadium in the SEC with 102,733 seats and the fourth largest in the country behind Michigan (107,601), Penn State (106,572) and Ohio State (102,780).

Rounding out the top 10 largest stadiums is No. 5 LSU, No. 6 Tennessee, No. 7 Alabama, No. 8 Texas, No. 9 Georgia and No. 10 UCLA, which plays its home games at the Rose Bowl.

While the Aggies don't lose money playing in Arlington, they potentially could make about $1.5 million more playing at home.

If A&M ends the contract, it won't be surprising if Arkansas finds another opponent to play in AT&T Stadium. Not to keep the Jones' happy but for recruiting exposure which they may need more than ever when Texas and Oklahoma join the SEC, which is looking like it will happen sooner than 2025.

Of course, now neither team is thinking about where they play, but who they play.

Most people would say Arkansas is a ground-oriented offense. The Razorbacks have run 146 times and passed 78 times, but they have 770 yards through the air and 731 on the ground. That's called balance.

The Razorbacks have rushed for eight touchdowns and passed for six. Again, that's called balance.

The Aggies (2-1) have not been consistent on offense. While Arkansas ranks fourth in the SEC with 1,501 yards of total offense, an average of 500 per game, A&M is last with 941 total yards, an average of 313 per game.

A&M Coach Jimbo Fisher was once considered a quarterback whisperer, but that was in 2014 when he won the national championship and his quarterback was Jameis Winston.

Since then, he hasn't had as much luck with signal callers, including this season when his quarterbacks have completed 50 of 99 pass attempts for 4 touchdowns with 2 interceptions.

However, pass defense is not the Razorbacks' strength, and they'll have to get pressure on those quarterbacks, something they have done with success in the first three games.


Print Headline: Jerry World a good venue for Razorbacks

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