ARLINGTON, Texas — Arkansas got a great game from its offense, defense and special teams to defeat Texas A&M 20-10 on Saturday in AT&T Stadium in the SEC opener for both teams.
The Hogs jumped out to a 17-0 lead and then turned to a stingy defense and clutch kicking by Cam Little to take the win. KJ Jefferson got hurt on a 9-yard run on the first play of the second half. He played some more in the second half before giving way to Malik Hornsby. Jefferson did return late in the fourth quarter to help the Hogs run out the clock. Montaric Brown also had a big interception to help the Hogs win.
“Well, the defense kept us in the game,” Pittman said after Jefferson’s injury. “That was the biggest thing, and they knew it. Remember, adversity doesn’t mean it has to directly affect your side of the ball. It affects the other side. And adversity affected, you know, because K.J. was out, it affected defense, too. And they went in there and played really well, I thought.
“And then when Mo picked the pass, you know, that was really so big because, you know, it was, you know, let’s punt them down to the 20. They kick it back to our 20. And, you know, not a lot happening, which is okay when you’re 14 up. But then when it got to 7, it was a different story. And that was a big, big pick.”
Pittman went into a little more detail about Jefferson’s injury that happened following the run on the Arkansas sideline. It wasn’t a late hit by the Aggie defender, but very close to it.
“No, he went into the tent,” Pittman said. “He hit right on top of his knee. And it’s just a bruised knee. I think they tried to put something on it to maybe numb it a little bit. And that numbing gel, I’m not obviously a doctor, but it takes a second or two, or a minute or two to get it, you know, where it numbs your knee. And then finally it worked, and he came in at the end of the game there in the fourth quarter.”
Little hit field goals of 46 and 24 yards. The shorter one put the Hogs up by two scores and took some of the pressure off the offense that was playing at that time without Jefferson.
“Yeah. Well, I mean, I think we got it down there a little bit to take a little bit of the pressure off. But the one early in the game was longer,” Pittman said. “I don’t know what it was,42 yards, somewhere in there. I’m guessing, somewhere in that area. But the guy’s so valuable to us. I mean, I’m not going to say it, but he’s good and he’s making them. So you can say it all you want, I’m not.”
Once again defensive end transfer Tre Williams had a big game. He has three sacks the past two weeks. He finished with four tackles, two for loss, a pair of sacks and three quarterback hurries.
“Well, Tre really works hard at practice and he works all his different moves and those type things,” Pittman said. “And he’s healthy now. He was beat up a little bit early in the year, and he’s healthy now. So he’s really got a nice little swim move on him, a little rip move. And he’s fast.
“Some of the things he couldn’t do early in the year is because of health. You know, his back was jacked up. His bicep was jacked up a little bit. And now he’s healthy. He’s a good football player, I know, because he gave us trouble when I was at Georgia. I had two first round left tackles — Georgia did. I didn’t, I mean Georgia did. And we had a hard time blocking him when he was a freshman and sophomore.”
Arkansas will be at Georgia on Saturday to face the No. 2 Bulldogs at 11 a.m. CT. The game will be televised on ESPN.