Friday, September 28, 2012
Matchups to watch: Texas A&M-Arkansas
By Sam Khan Jr.
• Arkansas WR Cobi Hamilton vs. Texas A&M CB Deshazor Everett The Aggies have shifted Everett, who started the last two games at safety, back to cornerback for this week and his help will be warranted against the big, productive Hamilton. The 6-foot-3, 209-pound senior set an SEC record last week with 303 receiving yards in Arkansas' loss to Rutgers. Handling Hamilton will be key for the Aggies' defense.
Ben Malena has started the last two games at tailback for Texas A&M.
• Arkansas OG Alvin Bailey and C Travis Swanson vs. Texas A&M DTs Kirby Ennis and Spencer Nealy The Texas A&M defensive front has done a solid job rushing the passer and against the run in the Aggies first three games and credit is due to both Ennis and Nealy. In Bailey and Swanson, the Razorbacks have a pair of preseason All-SEC picks, both of whom are returning starters from a year ago, anchoring the interior of their offensive line. The Razorbacks haven't been able to run it particularly well though, averaging just 3.3 yards per carry as a team.
• Texas A&M CB/RS Dustin Harris vs. Arkansas P Dylan Breeding Harris is coming off a career game, setting an SEC and Texas A&M single-game record with 246 punt return yards in the Aggies' win over South Carolina State. That included a 96-yard return for a touchdown. Harris is a real weapon for the Aggies in helping them with field position and also being a threat to score. Breeding ranks 19th in the country with a 44.9 yards-per-punt average.
• Texas A&M RBs Ben Malena, Christine Michael and Trey Williams vs. Arkansas LB Alonzo Highsmith The Aggies haven't run the ball as well as they would have liked with their running backs in recent weeks and they're hoping to get that part of the offense kick-started this week. Highsmith, a 6-1, 233 senior, mans the middle linebacker spot for the Razorbacks and leads the team in tackles (40) and has three tackles for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery to his credit this year. Highsmith was a preseason second team All-SEC pick.