As a certain uneasy feeling rises in the stomachs of Arkansas football fans that things may once again turn south in the latest coaching era, it always helps to go down laughing and pointing. In this case, we again find in the crosshairs Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher, who is in his sixth season after failing to make a bowl last year.
Hollywood actor and comedian Matt Besser wants to lead the charge in this regard, pointing out in his latest standup bit that the Aggies gave someone named Jimbo a nearly 12-figure contract that surely breaks the record for the most money ever paid to anybody with that nickname.
Jimbo Fisher’s goodwill with Texas A&M football fans is slowly wearing out. Fisher won the 2013 BCS National Championship after just four seasons at Florida State but has had next to no success in terms of competing for a national title outside of the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
Despite five-star talent galore, the Aggies finished the 2022 season with an uninspiring 5-7 record. As Besser astutely points out, one of those five wins was against Arkansas, so if the Aggies are bad, where does that leave Arkansas? Really bad? “The problem is, to really laugh at them, we have to beat them,” the Little Rock native explains.
LIVE UPDATES: Arkansas vs Texas A&M
Arkansas is wearing white helmets with a chrome Razorback logo to go along with red jerseys and white pants.
Defensive end Jashaud Stewart did not make the trip because of an undisclosed injury.
6:45, 1Q – Arkansas 3, Texas A&M 0
Arkansas converted three straight third-and-longs before finally failing on one to end the opening drive of the game. Cam Little booted a career-long 52-yard field goal to start the scoring.
2:36, 1Q – Texas A&M 7, Arkansas 3
The Aggies responded with an eight-play, 75-yard drive to take the lead. It was capped by a perfectly placed 32-yard touchdown pass from Max Johnson to Evan Stewart.
END of 1Q – Texas A&M 7, Arkansas 3
13:00, 2Q – Texas A&M 7, Arkansas 6
The Razorbacks got a big play by Rocket Sanders, who picked up 38 yards on a screen, but their drive once again stalled out inside the 10. It’s the fourth straight time Arkansas failed to score a touchdown after getting inside the 10. Cam Little booted a 25-yard field goal.
10:26, 2Q – Texas A&M 10, Arkansas 6
Defensively, Arkansas finally got a third-down stop, but Texas A&M still got a 42-yard field goal out of it.
0:13, 2Q – Texas A&M 17, Arkansas 6
After Arkansas failed to convert a fourth-and-1 from the 40, Texas A&M marched right down the field and punched it in with a 2-yard pass from Max Johnson to Earnest Crownover. The Aggies go up by two scores and will get the ball to start the second half.
HALF – Texas A&M 17, Arkansas 6
14:54, 3Q – Texas A&M 17, Arkansas 13
On the first play of the second half, Snaxx Johnson read the swing pass all the way and picked it off. He returned it 20 yards for a pick-six.
11:11, 3Q – Texas A&M 20, Arkansas 13
Arkansas gave up a 32-yard run by Max Johnson, but did stiffen in the red zone. Randy Bond’s 34-yard field goal puts the Aggies up by a touchdown.
7:58, 3Q – Texas A&M 20, Arkansas 16
After a fumble recovery, Andrew Armstrong couldn’t quite reel in a touchdown pass on third down and Arkansas had to settle for another long field goal. Little’s 50-yard kick pulls the Hogs within four.
5:15, 3Q – Texas A&M 27, Arkansas 16
The defense finally notched a three-and-out, but Arkansas promptly handed it right back. KJ Jefferson’s pass was tipped up into the air and the ball fell right into the arms of Chris Russell Jr., who returned it 16 yards for a touchdown.
END of 3Q – Texas A&M 27, Arkansas 16
7:40, 4Q – Texas A&M 34, Arkansas 16
Texas A&M gave Arkansas some life by missing a 48-yard field goal, but the offense went backwards on three straight plays and had to punt. Ainias Smith returned that punt 76 yards for a touchdown.
3:53, 4Q – Texas A&M 34, Arkansas 22
Arkansas’ first offensive touchdown of the day is a 48-yard connection from KJ Jefferson to Andrew Armstrong.
FINAL – Texas A&M 34, Arkansas 22
Aggies Writer Calls Hogs DBs “A Gift” for Max Johnson
The Hogs’ record in the annual Southwest Classic in Cowboys Stadium has been less than stellar, losing 10 of the last 11. A lot of folks, like FanSided’s Graham Harmon, expect that to go to 11 of 12 on account of a weaker than expected Arkansas pass defense given the change in assistant coaches and infusion of talent in the secondary.
“The Hogs have an extremely weak pass defense—both by raw and opponent-adjusted metrics,” Harmon writes.
“Every team they have faced has exceeded their season-long YPA average when playing this Arkansas secondary. [Aggies QB] Max Johnson is a guy you need to play within himself in order for him to be successful, but I think the ability of the Aggie receivers will give him plenty of chances to push the ball downfield and be successful overall on the day.”
Harmon expects an emotional letdown from Arkansas after barely losing at LSU last week. “This game and this Arkansas secondary come as a veritable gift for the new Aggie signal caller,” he concludes before predicting a 30-13 win.
With both teams at a crossroads, neither program’s followers will be OK with defeat regardless of margin. Texas A&M with a fanbase who’s slowly becoming petulant like a child not getting their sweet treat after eating their vegetables, and Arkansas is trying to avoid a catastrophic midseason mudslide that could send both coaches packing before the season’s end.
Matt Besser grew up in an era foreign to younger Arkansas football fans. The era of the now defunct Southwestern Conference in which Aggie jokes were dispensed like Pez candy from joke books like one Besser proudly holds in the latest standup. He’s been around enough blocks that someone left him a comment on his LSU video reminding him just how old he is.
Jerry’s Divine Touch Needed for Arkansas vs Texas A&M?
Besser may look even more weathered the next time the Razorbacks play a true home game. The Hogs won’t play at Donald W. Reynolds Stadium for another three weeks, but it should would help if Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys owner and Razorback booster, gave his favorite college team a true home field advantage on Saturday.
“I know you got some weather controls up in there,” Besser asks Mr. Cowboy. “Come on, you know you can control the weather. I bet you can crank up the heat or make it super cold when they have the ball.” Surely, Jerry has “gotta have some wind machines” or at the least can “make some lightning.” (If any mortal can literally make lightning, I’d put my money on Jerry.) Indeed, the Hogs might just need every advantage they can get, given all the talent in maroon waiting to swamp the Hogs fresh off a 27-10 win over Auburn.
It certainly isn’t because of a lack of talent that Jimbo Fisher has seemingly mired himself stuck between a rock and a hard place with the Texas A&M football crowd. He has more five-star recruits than one can count, so perhaps it was a lack of sophistication, no pizzazz or flair, just a fast-talking head coach who can’t put it all together.
Jimbo Fisher Situation as an Aggie Joke
Remember, they paid this guy nearly 100 million bucks. The fact Jimbo Fisher is getting a guaranteed $94 million is in and of itself “a funny Aggie joke… That is a hilarious amount of money to pay a guy named Jimbo.” Maybe that’ll come out in a 2023 edition of the Aggie joke book to follow in line with one of those SWC era classics: “Perrier and water is the sophisticated Aggie drink at the student center.”
What do you know, if Jimbo gets canned, that would likely leave good ol’ Bobby Petrino, now Texas A&M offensive coordinator, at the helm as interim coach. Maybe he can return the Aggies back to a similar level to what he achieved during his glory days at Arkansas. the last time he pranced around the SEC as a head coach.
Whatever happens, mix Perrier with the alcohol of your choice, for some extra sophistication. Look up in the air at all the “stars” in the 11 a.m. sky come Saturday in Cowboys Stadium and embrace the madness. Whenever these two teams get together, something bizarre is always in the cards. Who it happens to is anyone’s guess.
Let’s just hope the upright behaves this time for Arkansas football fans, and if they do win Besser can recite from that glorious Aggie joke book of his with head held a little higher.
How to Watch Arkansas vs Texas A&M
Date: Saturday, Sept. 30
Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)
Kickoff Time and TV Schedule: 11 a.m. CT (SEC Network)
Announcers: Dave Neal (play-by-play), Matt Stinchcomb (color analyst), Alyssa Lang (sideline reporter)
Texas A&M’s Rankings: RV (AP) | RV (Coaches) | No. 12 (SP+) | No. 16 (FPI)
Arkansas’ Rankings: NR (AP) | NR (Coaches) | No. 36 (SP+) | No. 34 (FPI)
ESPN FPI: Texas A&M has an 73.0% chance to win
SP+ Projection: Texas A&M has a 74% chance to win, favored by 10.9 (proj. score: 33-22)
Odds/Betting Line: Texas A&M, -5.5 | O/U 54.5 (BetSaracen)
Make sure to watch Matt Besser’s Arkansas vs Texas A&M bit and hear his prediction below:
See Besser act with John C. Reilly in the “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” clip below:
More on Arkansas vs Texas A&M from BoAS here: