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Peter Morgan

PETE’S PICKS: Discussing Texas A&M matchup with real Aggie

Going with the Razorbacks in the Game of the Week and visiting with an Aggie before Saturday’s game.

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Have you ever heard a Texas Aggie joke? Have you ever told one? Have you ever seen an Aggie not get the joke?

If so, welcome to the land of the common.

No. 16 Arkansas meets No. 7 Texas A&M this weekend in the Southwest Classic, and, as simple math would have it, 2021 is the Razorbacks’ year to be the home team. For those of you with a hankering to gamble, Texas A&M is favored by either 6- or 7-points. I have honestly lost track.

With Jerry Jones negotiating a series renewal pitting the two former Southwester Conference foes head-to-head starting in 2009, Arkansas won the first three meetings which have been held annually in AT&T Stadium (minus the exception of a A&M’s first two years in the SEC and 2020’s COVID epidemic). Sadly, since 2012, it has been nine straight losses to Aggies, but if you take out the Bret Bielema and Chad Morris years, we are right there with them.

Plus we lead the all-time series record, so we can continue to make boast in that no matter what happens this Saturday or even the next eight. Gig on that, Aggies.

I did not look into the record books, yet I believe this is only the third time the two have met as nationally ranked teams since the Southwestern Conference days (< or = 1991).

Enough with the pleasantries.

Every year around this time I get to correspond with lifelong A&M fan, Kristi Goebel. Noting her fondness for wearing maroon, my deduction is she grew up and lives “somewhere” in Texas, so please do not judge her based upon bias as she comes by it naturally. Fortunately, she almost despises the Longhorns as much as we do, so I know she’s got a good soul.

Since she allows me to use her MLB TV password, I have decided I would offset my debt to her by granting her the opportunity to have her name in Arkansas sports site print. This fully compensates her generosity by giving her both free publicity and the keys to future stardom.

I asked Kristi, whom I met some years ago via a pet rescue website, three questions (comprised from my normal banter) in regards to this year’s contest. You can find her answers below mixed in with my thoughts pertaining to the SEC Game of the Week.

Why Arkansas will win:

Confidence. This seems to be a theme with the Razorbacks Football team. Head coach Sam Pittman and his staff seem to have this group of talented young men firing on all cylinders. Can Texas A&M slow that momentum?

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Zach Calzada. Yes, I said it, the new A&M QB1 will be key for Arkansas to defeat the Aggies as he faces his first major test since taking over for the injured Haynes King. Calzada is not bad; however, I am anxious to see if we can rattle him early. That said, no matter the sport, we all know newcomers seem to channel their inner Michael Jordan when they face the Hogs.

Kristi’s Answer: “Arkansas will win if the Aggie defense does not show up or if Calzada throws interceptions [see last week’s game] and Arkansas is able to capitalize. Do not call the game too soon! We are notoriously a second half team.”

Why Texas A&M will win:

Coaching. Texas A&M Head Football Coach Jimbo Fisher (who, in my opinion, possesses neither the look of a Jimbo nor a good fisher) has kept the A&M program right where he promised them they would be since taking the reins in 2018 . “Not showing off. Not falling behind. Right in the meaty part of the curve.” He should have his team well-coached and ready to face up-and-coming Arkansas.

Defense. While I have attempted to hype up the defensive prowess of our three previous opponents, ATM is actually very solid. I shall not bore you with stats, but make no mistake, they will not give up the rushing yards in bunches to strengthen the Hogs advantage on the scoreboard.

Kristi’s answer: “The Aggies will win if the team has become more comfortable this past week with Calzada and if we can keep the interceptions to zero. He has a good arm but threw far too many picks last week. If the Wrecking Crew (our defense) continues to show up and play, A&M will have the edge.”

Final Thoughts:

Some talk on social media is Arkansas is overrated. I guess we test out this theory on Saturday.

Kendall Briles has the offense gelling. His play calling had been way above par, and I have no doubt he has a great gameplan in store.

Speaking of coordinators, can we also say enough about our defensive guru, Barry Odom? When I was younger I did not notice the finite pieces of defensive strategy. Now that I have grown closer to middle age and worrying about a 401K, I can recognize and appreciate what it is Odom does in preparation for each opponent.

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Tim Tebow Tourette’s Time: The former Florida quarterback should apologize to Darren McFadden for being awarded (albeit via a media push) a Heisman he did not deserve over #5.

Saturday should be fun. AT&T is a very loud stadium, especially when both sides are filled.

For those of you scratching your head trying to place the location of the aforementioned stadium, your memory may be refreshed if I refer to it by the same name as your Busch Light drinking uncle: “Jerry’s World”.

“We are a second half team!”… Flashback to the 2011 Southwest Classic.

Last question for Kristi: “If I told you an Aggies joke, would you get it?”
Kristi: “The real question here should be ‘would you be able to tell if I didn’t?’”
Peter: “Did you just insult me?”

Kristi closes by state the contest will be a low-scoring, defensive showcase with the Aggies being triumphant, 14 – 7.

Pfffft… What a joke.

Arkansas, 34 – 28.

Listen to the game Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at HitThatLine.com and on the air at ESPN Arkansas 99.5 in Fayetteville, 95.3 in the River Valley, 96.3 in Hot Springs, and 104.3 in Harrison-Mountain Home.

SEC Picks for Week 4

In seasons past, Andy usually reached out once or twice a week to make boast of his lead. Outside of one pocket dial and an inadvertent Captain Caveman costume selfie, I have not heard from the old chap. With our chase for the HTL Cup being so close, one cannot help but wonder why. And yes, we have sort of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” thing going on right now in regards to his prehistoric attire. His fetishes be damned; let’s pick some SEC contests.

(2) Georgia at Vanderbilt: It must be nice to be the second-ranked team in the nation and to have one of your conference road games be in Nashville. Bulldogs by 30.

LSU at Mississippi State: In the preseason I had this first SEC West game circled as a good match-up. This thought may hold true but not for the reasons I had previously anticipated. Mike Leach’s seat gets a little warmer. Tigers by 9.

Missouri at Boston College: The SEC travels to the ACC as the 2 – 1 Tigers face the 3 – 0 Eagles. Fun fact: Boston College beat Colgate on opening weekend by more than the Razorbacks Basketball team did in last year’s NCAA tournament. Eli Drinkwitz will again apologize for his misunderstood words, and BC coach Jeff Hafley will continue to insist it is not a big deal. Missouri by 3.

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(7) Texas A&M at (16) Arkansas (in Arlington, Texas): I wish I could remember when I last gave an Arkansas game the prestige of being “GOW’ prior to 2021. The Hogs have now earned the distinction twice in the past three weeks. Arkansas will have to come to play. Razorbacks by 6.

Georgia State at (23) Auburn: I seriously forgot Georgia State has a football team. I also forgot to pay my internet bill. Old age happens. Tigers by 28.

Tennessee at (11) Florida: This used to be the best game of the season in the SEC. Now it is fodder for us to discuss with confidence and easily pick a win. A fantastic Florida team did not move in the rankings because they gave Alabama all they could handle last week, losing only by a final score of 31 – 29. Speaking of, picture if you will Bama’s trip home from the Sunshine State last Saturday. Florida awoke a sleeping giant. Regardless, Gators by 27.

Kentucky at South Carolina: With this game being held in Williams-Brice, I am tempted to give the Gamecocks the edge. Unfortunately for the nation’s favorite USC, they have not shown much in a close game versus East Carolina and a blowout loss to Georgia. Kentucky continues to impress and perhaps find themselves close to being ranked late Sunday. Wildcats by 11.

Southern Mississippi at (1) Alabama: I have never felt so badly for a Conference USA team as I already do the Golden Eagles. Can you imagine the frustration built up in the Crimson Tide players after being subject to Nick Saban’s weeklong ire induced by barely escaping the Swamp with a win? I would state he was irritated after a 48 – 14 victory over Mercer. Word is he scheduled forehead blood vessel repair on the way home from Gainesville. Thanks for ticking him off, Gators. Bama by 40.

Hey, how many Aggies does it take to does it take to read an Arkansas Razorbacks opinion piece? Just one, but only because her name was in it.

Even with a backup quarterback, the Aggies are no joke. Time to see of what we are made.Find me on ‘Twitter’:

@PeterMorganWPS

Go HOGS!!!

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