The Razorbacks staged another thriller with Texas A&M but in the end it was more of the same in a series that extended the Aggie winning streak over Arkansas to eight straight. Ben Hicks came off the bench, after starting quarterback Nick Starkel was injured, to come oh so close to engineering a huge upset. But a 4th down incomplete pass 17 yards from a win sealed Arkansas fate again, 31-27.
The Hogs took the opening kickoff and moved 41 yards before being stropped at the A&M 35. Connor Limpert came on and missed a 55 yard field goal. The two teams then exchanged punts before the Aggies drew first blood on a 7 play, 54 yard drive when Kellen Mond hit Ainias Smith for 9 yards and a touchdown for a 7-0 lead.
Arkansas responded with another promising drive which ended when Tyson Morris ran into a referee on a critical 3rd down conversion attempt. This time Limpert was successful on a 48 yard field goal attempt and the Hogs closed the margin to 7-3.
But the Aggies offense, behind Mond, was relentless converting several key 3rd downs on a 77 yard drive. Isaiah Spiller ran it in from 4 yards out for a 14-3 A&M lead.
Arkansas frustration continued as the offense took the kickoff and drove all the way to the A&M 5 where, on 2nd and goal, Starkel was picked off at the goal line by Justin Madubuike who returned the pick the Aggies 18 yard line. But the Hogs got the ball right back and then some when Spiller fumbled followed by De’Jon Harris’ scoop and score. The Aggie lead was down to 14-10.
Starkel left the field for the locker-room with an apparent wrist injury suffered when he tackled Madubuike after the interception. Arkansas forced a punt and Treylon Burks returned it 32 yards to the Texas A&M 41. Ben Hicks then came on at quarterback and proceeded to lead the offense on 3 play, 41 yard drive with Mike Woods giving Arkansas a 17-14 lead on a 13 yard touchdown catch.
A&M wasn’t done. With 8 seconds left until halftime Mond found Quartney Davis who took a short pass and maneuvered 22 yards around several Arkansas defenders for a touchdown and a 21-17 halftime lead.
Arkansas started the 2nd half with a bang. The defense forced the Aggies into a 3 and out. Hicks came on to direct an 8 play, 84 yard drive. Devwah Whaley put the Hogs back on top on an 11 yard touchdown run with 10:34 left in the 3rd. Arkansas had the lead back at 24-21.
The two teams then exchanged punts before the Aggies appeared ready to retake the lead. But Kellen Mond was picked off in Arkansas’ endzone by Montaric Brown who returned it to the Hogs 12. The ensuing possession ended with Hicks getting sacked on Arkansas one yard line and A&M had the ball on a short field after a Sam Loy punt. A 34 yard drive ended with a 3 yard touchdown pass from Mond to Davis for a 27-24 A&M lead early in the 4th quarter.
Hicks then lead his team on a 53 yard drive that ended with a 40 yard Limpert field goal as the Hogs closed the lead to 27-26. A&M came back with a 52 yard field goal forced when Mond sacked by Jamario Bell for a loss of 7 yards at the Arkansas 32.
That set up the final drive as Hicks got his team to the Aggies 18 yard line before throwing an incomplete pass to O’Grady on 4th and 5.