Mon, 04 Dec 2023

Texas AM enters Arkansas clash with QB concerns

Field Level Media
27 Sep 2023, 04:05 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports)

Texas AM will travel in-state to Arlington to face Arkansas on Saturday in Southeastern Conference action, but the Aggies have a major concern.

On Monday, coach Jimbo Fisher listed starting signal-caller Conner Weigman as day-to-day, meaning that backup Max Johnson could run the offense when the neutral-site game kicks off in massive ATT Stadium.

The son of Super Bowl-winning quarterback Brad Johnson, the left-handed Johnson relieved Weigman when the starter went down with an ankle sprain in the first half of last Saturday's 27-10 conference-opening home victory over Auburn.

Fisher said he is more than comfortable having Johnson, who passed for 123 yards, leading the Aggies (3-1, 1-0) if Weigman cannot go Saturday.

"You have two guys, guys I've said from the beginning I've felt very confident with," Fisher said. "(Johnson) came in and played excellent football and did a great job. He made plays and really led us through the game."

Fisher added that receiver Noah Thomas, who has not played in the past six quarters, should be cleared to play, while safety Jardin Gilbert is out after having shoulder surgery.

In a rivalry that started in 1903 and was forged in the Southwest Conference, the two teams have found their way to the SEC and played as conference rivals every season since 2012.

While the Razorbacks (2-2, 0-1) lead the overall series 42-34-3, the Aggies have won 10 of the 11 meetings in their current conference alignment.

Arkansas is still trying to finish games in a winning fashion after consecutive one-score losses to Power 5 programs.

After wasting a 10-point lead and dropping a 38-31 home decision to BYU on Sept. 16, the Razorbacks bolted to a 13-3 lead but ultimately fell 34-31 last Saturday at then-No. 12 LSU.

Two losses by a total of 10 points and a rash of pre-snap penalties have led to frustration.

"It's a series where the game is going to be close," Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said. "In these close games, we've come up disappointed more times than not. We've got to play with the same amount of passion we had last week but with smarter pre-snap penalties on both sides of the ball."

Saturday's matchup will mark the first time since 2018 that both schools enter the game unranked.

--Field Level Media

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