- Sam Khan Jr., ESPN Staff Writer
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M used some big plays on both sides of the ball to turn a close game into one the Aggies have a good amount of control over, taking a 27-10 lead over Arkansas into the locker room midway at Kyle Field.
Stat of the half: Texas A&M has rolled up 409 total offensive yards. The Aggies really got rolling in the second quarter, putting 20 points on the board and 230 offensive yards up in that 15-minute span alone. They've rolled up all of that in just 14:04 time of possession.
Player of the half: Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. He continues to make big plays both with his arm and his feet. He dazzled the crowd with a 52-yard run in the first quarter and has made some nice throws for touchdowns, including one that hit senior receiver Ryan Swope in stride for an 80-yard touchdown pass to give the Aggies a 27-10 lead with 2:31 left in the first half.
What’s working for the Aggies: The passing game has been on point (Manziel is 18-of-24 for 261 yards and three touchdowns), and the running game has been productive as well. Junior running back Ben Malena, who got his third consecutive start, has 55 rushing yards and an 11-yard touchdown reception.
What’s working for the Razorbacks: Anything to Cobi Hamilton and Knile Davis. Tyler Wilson has found Hamilton, the senior receiver eight times for 85 yards, and Davis has 124 combined rushing and receiving yards and the Razorbacks' lone touchdown. Davis had trouble finding running room in short-yardage situations a couple of times, and Wilson will have to do a better job of finding receivers. He's gone 16-of-26 passing but has an interception that eventually turned into a touchdown the other way for the Aggies' offense.
What Texas A&M needs to do to win: The Aggies need to continue to be aggressive. This is a familiar spot for them -- they were up by 18 points on the Razorbacks a year ago and lost 42-38. Look for Texas A&M to keep the pedal to the metal on offense. Defensively, we'll see if the Aggies can put a better performance than they did a year ago.
What Arkansas needs to do to win: Take care of the ball and do a better job on third down. The Hogs started out by converting three of their first four third downs, but they're just 2-of-8 since. That has given the Aggies more offensive opportunities. Perhaps feeding Davis and finding ways for him to get in space will help them in the second half.
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