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#16 Arkansas football faces #7 Texas A&M Saturday in Southwest Classic

Arkansas & Texas A&M face off annually in football.
Arkansas & Texas A&M face off annually in football.(Source: SEC)
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 8:18 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2021 at 4:21 PM CDT
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The 78th edition of the annual Southwest Classic is primed to be this week’s top matchup between ranked teams in all of college football as No. 16 Arkansas and No. 7 Texas A&M clash at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday on CBS.

The Razorbacks, coming off of a 45-10 win against Georgia Southern in their first game as a ranked team in five years, continue to ascend in college football’s national polls. Arkansas moved up to No. 16 and No. 20 in The Associated Press poll and USA Today Coaches poll, respectively. The No. 16 ranking is the Hogs’ highest since October 2016, when Arkansas reached No. 16 in the poll five games into the season. The Razorbacks and Aggies last faced off in a ranked showdown that year, when No. 17 Arkansas and No. 10 Texas A&M met on Sept. 24, 2016, in Arlington, Texas.

QB KJ Jefferson, praised for his big arm, has proven he can also do serious damage with his legs. The Razorback signal-caller is second on the team in rushing this season, totaling 180 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. In the win against Rice, Jefferson became the first Arkansas quarterback to rush for two scores in a game since Tyler Wilson did so at Ole Miss on Oct. 22, 2011. RB Trelon Smith, Arkansas’ leading rusher one year ago, has run for 216 yards and three touchdowns through the first three games of 2021, eclipsing the 100-yard mark for the third time in his career against Rice. Dating back to 2020, Smith has scored eight rushing touchdowns in his last seven games, including one against Georgia Southern, while averaging 86.1 rushing yards per game during that stretch.

WR Treylon Burks, who extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 23 against Georgia Southern, leads Arkansas with 13 catches for 206 yards and one touchdown through three games this season. His 91-yard touchdown reception from QB KJ Jefferson last weekend currently stands as the second-longest passing score in school history behind QB Matt Jones and WR Richard Smith’s 92-yarder against Tennessee on Oct. 5, 2002.

DB Jalen Catalon, recognized as a preseason All-American by the Associated Press, is the only FBS player in the nation to post double-digit tackles and record two interceptions in a game this season. The ballhawking safety, who has five interceptions since 2020 (13 games), is second on the Hogs in total tackles (28) and first in pass breakups (3).

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