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By The Numbers: Texas A&M downs Arkansas 45-24

basically we ran the dang ball and played mean defense

NCAA Football: Southwest Classic-Arkansas vs Texas A&M Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Aggies put on an absolute show last night. There are few things that cut straight to the core of die-hard fans like swarming, aggressive defense and running the dang ball, and Texas A&M did plenty of each against the Hogs. These numbers tell a story of that night.

0: ZERO INTERCEPTIONS. This is perhaps the most encouraging part of Knight’s game: while he did make some poor throws in the first half, none of them were really dangerous or costly. We need him playing smart, and that’s what he did.

FIRSTS: This was the first time A&M had two players with 150 yards rushing in a game since 1990. Before any of the players in this game were born. Another first that is almost unbelievable: that was Myles Garrett’s first ever fumble recovery as an Ag. He’s usually the one forcing them.

MOSTS: The Aggies’ 366 rushing yards is the highest total since joining the SEC. The previous high was 361 against Mississippi State in 2012.

2: Aggie punts. Think about it: we only punted twice, and Tripucka’s average was 47.5. We had roughly half the time of possession that Arkansas had. There was one very costly fumble inside the five yard line but apart from that the offense’s efficiency was much improved.

3: fumble recoveries. This defense was swarming like crazy, playing inspired, opportunistic football. It’s a treat to watch John Chavis turn this thing around right in front of us.

3.0: Arkansas yards per rush. The vaunted power run game amassed only 120 yards on 40 plays.

4: Reynolds receptions. For 141 yards and that 92-yard TD. When he gets in stride and the ball is thrown just right, it is a thing of beauty to watch. Knight hit him for a similar long play against Auburn, so hopefully they’re getting some chemistry down.

5: total punts. The Hogs only punted three times. This was one hell of an entertaining game all-around.

7: penalties for 55 yards. This is manageable.

8: on Austin Allen. Look, this kid is good. It’s not just that he was getting obliterated and getting right back up and running the next play, it’s that he was making excellent reads and throws all night after taking repeated poundings. He’s tough but he’s also a damn fine QB. Best of luck on the rest of the season.

8/12: third-down conversions. MUUUUCH better than last week at Auburn. 75% is good.

9: tackles for Armani Watts. Throw in 2.5 for loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, a pass breakup, and a quarterback hurry. Our safeties just take turns having tremendous games. “Oh but safeties shouldn’t lead the team in tackles bleh bleh bleh” hey these guys are ballers, and if they want to fly around and hit people I say we let ‘em.

9.9: yards per rush. 366 yards on 37 run plays. That’s runnin’ the dang ball, folks.

10: team tackles for loss. Distributed among ten different players. Lights out.

12.8: yards per carry for Trayveon Williams. 153 yards on 12 carries. He’s a brutal knockout punch in the second half after our OL has had a couple hours to tenderize an opposing defense. He’s quick, decisive, can run through the first tackle, and loves scoring touchdowns. And only a freshman.

20:15: time of possession. That’s nearly a 2:1 advantage for the Hogs. That 19-play, 9 + minute drive that resulted in 0 points pretty much summed it up.

591: total offense. On 59 plays. In just over 20 minutes. This is the output we’ve been waiting all season to see, and it couldn’t have come in a better game.