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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Lost momentum leads to Razorbacks’ loss

by Wally Hall | September 25, 2022 at 5:00 a.m.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Somehow in the second quarter, the Arkansas Razorbacks lost momentum that seemed incredibly powerful early.

It ended up costing the 10th-ranked Razorbacks the game 23-21.

The offense couldn't get anything going in the second and third quarters after KJ Jefferson lost a fumble in the second quarter and the defense missed tackles and let receivers get wide open.

A 42-yard field goal attempt with 1:30 to play hit the upright, and the hopes of another miracle comeback were gone.

Just how bad it got for the Hogs was illustrated in the third quarter when, after yet another short punt, Texas A&M was in business at their own 39.

At the time the Razorbacks somehow had fallen behind 20-14, but they had been so dominant in the first quarter when they totaled 170 yards of offense. Surely against a team which lost to Appalachian State, the Hogs couldn't be counted out. And almost weren't.

The Aggies drove 47 yards for a field goal. It was a drive in which they lost 40 yards on penalties and a sack and once faced second and 30. Then an average passing attack struck for 32 yards and a first down.

That's getting them down and then helping them up.

It turned out that field goal was the winning margin.

The game started out looking like it was going to be an old-fashioned beat down.

At the end of the first quarter, the Razorbacks led 14-0 and had completely dominated the Aggies.

It was looking like the ultimate Aggie joke.

Texas A&M opened the season ranked No. 6 in the nation and played like they were No. 106, although in the opening quarter, the Arkansas defense had a lot to do with that.

In the opening quarter, the Aggies. had 28 yards of total offense and no first downs.

Jefferson had thrown for two touchdowns, and the Hogs had dominated the line of scrimmage like it was their backyard.

On their first possession of the second quarter the Aggies drove 83 yards in five plays and then got a 10-yard touchdown pass.

The Razorbacks appeared like they were going to answer until they got shocked with a wild play that could have only been prevented if Jefferson hadn't tried to dive over the line of scrimmage on first and goal from the A&M 3.

At the 2, the ball was knocked loose and Tyreek Chappell grabbed it in the air and returned it to the 18 where he appeared to be locked up by Raheim Sanders, only Demani Richardson reached in and stripped his teammate and raced 82 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown.

A bad snap on the point after led to failure but at the half it was 14-13 Arkansas.

The Aggies took the lead on their first possession of the second half with a 70-yard drive that looked like it had come from the Arkansas playbook.

They rushed for 41 yards on four carries and passed for the other 34 on two passes.

Going into the final quarter, the Razorbacks, who had only 131 yards of offense in the second and third quarters combined, received a punt. If there was going to be another cardiac kids comeback it was now or never.

The Hogs drove 30 yards and then tried a flea flicker with only two receivers downfield. It was a loss of 5 yards and the Hogs ended up facing a fourth and 1.

Jefferson scrambled for 6, and five runs later, four by the quarterback, it was 23-21 with 10:05 to play.

The Razorbacks fans were on their feet, ready to be their own 12th man.

Arkansas almost pulled it off, but almost doesn't count in football or in Las Vegas where the Aggies had somehow been the favorite by 2 1/2 points and somehow won by two.

Print Headline: Lost momentum leads to Razorbacks’ loss


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