Texas A&M will be seeking its first-ever conference victory as members of the Southeastern Conference when the Aggies host old Southwest Conference foe Arkansas at 11:21 a.m. on Saturday at Kyle Field.

Arkansas
RAZORBACKS (1-3, 0-1 SEC)
(RV/RV) Texas A&M
AGGIES (2-1, 0-1 SEC)
Complete Release (PDF)
Date Saturday, September 29
Kickoff 11:21 a.m. (CT)
Stadium Kyle Field (82,589)
College Station
TV SEC Network (CW8/KBTX in B/CS)
    Dave Neal, play-by-play
    Andre Ware, commentary
    Cara Capuano, sidelines
Radio Texas A&M Sports Network
    Dave South, play-by-play
    Dave Elmendorf, commentary
    Will Johnson, sidelines
Satellite Sirius Ch 94/XM Ch 200
Live Audio 12thManTV
Live Stats AggieAthletics.com
Twitter @AggieFootball
Rankings AP - A&M RV, USAT - A&M RV
Series UA leads, 41-24-3
Up Next: at Ole Miss
    Saturday, Oct. 5
    Oxford, Miss.
    6 p.m. (ESPNU)
  • Texas A&M is in its first year in the SEC after 16 seasons in the Big 12 from 1996-2011. A&M and Arkansas were both members of the SWC until Arkansas joined the SEC in 1992.
  • Calling the game for the SEC Network will be Dave Neal (play-by-play), 1989 Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware (analyst) and Cara Capuano (sideline). Describing the action for the national radio broadcast on the Touchdown Radio will be Frankie Frangie (play-by-play) and 1992 Heisman winner Gino Torretta.
  • UA holds a 41-24-3 advantage in the long series with the Aggies, that dates back to first meeting in 1903.
  • Arkansas holds a 15-17-1 advantage over the Aggies in College Station, but the Aggies have won four of the last five in Kyle Field.
  • Arkansas will be making its first appearance at Kyle Field since 1991. The Aggies won that game 13-3 in front of an ESPN national viewing audience and 62,487 fans in the stands.
  • Prior to A&M joining the SEC, the Aggies and Hogs played the first three games of a 10-year non-conference series agreement with Arkansas earning victories at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
  • Texas A&M and Arkansas, along with the Dallas Cowboys' organization, agreed to a new long-term series earlier this fall to play the annual football game between the two schools at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington beginning in 2014 and continuing through the 2024 season.

trends and notables

  • NCAA sack leader Damontre Moore has posted 12 sacks in his last seven games dating back to last year.
  • The Aggies have been dominant in the middle two quarters so far in 2012, outscoring their opponents 97-9. In the second quarter, A&M has outscored its opponents 69-3.
  • The Aggies have given up just one turnover and zero points after turnovers in 2012. A&M has scored touchdowns after both its 2012 takeaways.
  • Texas A&M is one of just seven teams in the NCAA FBS without a recovered fumble in 2012.
  • Texas A&M is completing 65.1 percent of its pass attempts in 2012, which is well ahead of the school record percentage of 61.6 set last season when NFL first-round draft pick Ryan Tannehill took the majority of snaps at quarterback.
  • Fourteen Aggies have already made at least one catch in 2012.
  • Junior RB Ben Malena has started in four of the Aggies' last five games. In his starts, Malena is averaging 70.5 yards on 16.8 carries (4.2 yards per carry).
  • Senior CB Dustin Harris has 16 punt returns in the first three games of 2012 after logging just 18 last year when he led the NCAA FBS with a 18.6 average.
  • Texas A&M easily has the most punt return yardage in the NCAA FBS with 347 after three games. The next highest total is 318 by North Carolina in four games.
  • A&M opponents have just three punt returns in 2012 for a total of six yards.
  • The Aggies have had 15 scoring drives the past two games while averaging 1:56 in time of possession and six plays per scoring drive.
  • Opponents average 33:09 in time of possession to the Aggies' 26:51.
  • The Aggie defense is limiting opponents to just 20 percent in third-down situations (9 of 46).
  • The Aggies have had four different tackle leaders in the first three games of 2012: Jonathan Stewart with 17 vs. Florida; De'Vante Harris and Toney Hurd Jr. tying with 7 vs. SMU; Damontre Moore with 6 vs. South Carolina State.
  • Redshirt freshman QB Johnny Manziel has produced 11 touchdowns in the past two games -- seven via the air and four on the ground.
  • The Aggies had their first "pick six" in more than two seasons when sophomore Deshazor Everett stepped in front of a South Carolina State QB Richard Cue aerial last week. He returned it 22 yards for a TD. It was A&M's first INT return for a touchdown since Dustin Harris had a 38-yarder against Stephen F. Austin in 2010.
  • The 70 points by the Aggies against South Carolina State were the most since scoring 73 vs. Baylor in 2003.
  • Redshirt freshman PK Taylor Bertolet was credited with tying a school record for PATs in a single game with 10 against South Carolina State. However, the 10th PAT was actually taken by sophomore transfer Josh Lambo, who was a recent addition to the Aggie roster. He is a 6-foot, 215-pound placekicker from Middleton, Wisc., by way of Collin College.
  • Texas A&M has four individual SEC statistical leaders: CB Dustin Harris (punt returns, 20.4), Ryan Epperson (punting, 47.6) and DE Damontre Moore (QB sacks, 2.0/TFL 2.7).
  • In the SEC team statistics, the Aggies lead in net punting (47.2), sacks (5.3/G) and 3rd down conversion defense (19.6 percent).
  • Senior WR Ryan Swope is eight catches away from 200 career catches. Coming into 2012, only five SEC receivers had ever hit the 200-catch level.
  • Senior RB Christine Michael is 54 yards from becoming the 13th Aggies to hit the 3,000-yard level in career all-purpose yards.
  • Junior DE Damontre Moore tallied his 20th career QB sack, which put him in the top 12 on the Aggies' illustrious career sacks list. He also has seven career forced fumbles in just 28 career games, and he's chasing the school record of 12 set by Jacob Green (1977-79).
  • With the victory over SMU, head coach Kevin Sumlin won his seventh straight road game.
  • Sophomore linebacker Justin Bass (Plano East HS) has been the Aggies' 12th Man in all three games this season. His older brother, Ben, was a 2011 senior for the Aggies, and is currently on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad.

Defense among elite company

The Texas A&M defense, flourishing in new defensive coordinator Mark Snyder's 4-3 scheme, is one of six teams in the NCAA FBS ranked in the top 20 of the four main statistical categories: total, rushing, pass efficiency and scoring defense. Other teams ranked in the top 20 of all four stats are No. 1 Alabama, No. 3 LSU, No. 4 Florida State, No. 15 TCU and No. 20 Michigan State.

The defense's stinginess is in stark contrast to 2011's numbers when were ranked No. 59 or worse in three of the four statistical categories.

Texas A&M in 2012 NCAA Defensive Rankings

Category              NCAA rk___ Avg.                      2011 RK____ 2011 Avg.

Total....................... No. 12_____ 279.8 yards            No. 59______ 378.2 yards

Rushing.................. No. 18_____ 94.0 yards              No. 12______ 101.9 yards

Pass Efficiency....... No. 20_____ 101.05 rating         No. 67______ 130.98 rating

Scoring................... No. 12_____ 12.3 points            No. 70______ 28.2 points

Manziel has nose for endzone

Redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel has a knack for finding the endzone. After three games, Manziel ranks in a tie for No. 2 nationally in points responsibility with an average of 24.0 points per game. His average would likely be even higher because he was pulled early in the Aggies' blowout wins over SMU and South Carolina State. Manziel played the full game in the season opener against Florida (1 rush TD), was pulled after three quarters against SMU (6 TDs -- 4 pass/2 rush) and played just the first half against South Carolina State (5 TDs -- 3 pass/2 rush).

2012 NCAA Points Responsibility

Rk.    Player, School____________ Pts resp for/G

    1.   Geno Smith, West Virginia_______ 26.0

    2.    Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M_____ 24.0

            Seth Doege, Texas Tech__________ 24.0

    4.    Braxton Miller, Ohio State_______ 24.0

            Colby Cameron, La. Tech_________ 24.0

            Kolton Browning, La.-Monroe____ 24.0

            Nick Florence, Baylor____________ 24.0

freshman leaders

The impact made by the Aggies' freshman class is undeniable. For the first two games of 2012, the game high totals for passing, rushing, total offense, catches, receiving yards, kickoff return yards and all-purpose yards were posted by true or redshirt freshmen. Last week vs. South Carolina State, freshmen led the way in passing, catches and total offense.

Freshman Statistical Leaders Through Three Games

Category              vs. Florida                  vs. SMU                         South Carolina St.

Passing                    Johnny Manziel (173)     Johnny Manziel (294)     Johnny Manziel (174)

Rushing                   Johnny Manziel (60)       Johnny Manziel (124)     --

Total Offense          Johnny Manziel (233)     Johnny Manziel (418)     Johnny Manziel (252)

Receptions              Mike Evans (7)               Mike Evans (6)               Mike Evans (5)

Receiving Yards       Mike Evans (60)             Mike Evans (123)           --

KO Return Yards      Trey Williams (58)         Trey Williams (30)         --

All-Purpose Yards    Trey Williams (104)       Johnny Manziel (124)     --

Tackles                    --                                     De'Vante Harris (7)        --

NEW FACES in New places

Texas A&M's depth chart is brimming with first-year players. The two-deep chart features 16 that are new to the team or redshirted last season, including 10 true freshmen.

Closer Look at the Depth Chart

Offense (8): WR Mike Evans, WR Derel Walker, WR Sabian Holmes, WR Thomas Johnson, OL Germain Ifedi, OL Mike Matthews, OL Joseph Cheek, QB Johnny Manziel

Defense (6): DL Julien Obioha, LB Michael Richardson, DB De'Vante Harris, DB Tramain Jacobs, DB Johntel Franklin

Specialists (3): PK Taylor Bertolet, PK Davis Plowman, KOR Trey Williams

New scheme, same results

Aggie defensive boss Mark Snyder's new 4-3 defensive scheme gets pressure from all over the front seven with a whopping 11 defenders with at least a half-sack, including five defensive linemen, five linebackers and a defensive back.

Like last year when they led the nation in sacks, the Aggies are again at the top of the NCAA quarterback sacks chart with 16 in the first three games. Last season the Aggies led the nation with 51 sacks (3.9 per game).

2012 NCAA Team QB Sack Leaders

Rk.        School                                     QBS/G

    1.        Texas A&M.................... 5.33

    2.        Tulsa............................. 4.75

    3.        Buffalo.......................... 4.67

    4.        San Jose State.............. 4.25

    5.        Nebraska....................... 4.00

                Cincinnati...................... 4.00

2012 SEC Team QB Sack Leaders

Rk.        School                                     QBS/G

    1.        Texas A&M.................... 5.33

    2.        South Carolina.............. 3.75

    3.        Ole Miss........................ 3.00

    4.        Alabama....................... 2.75

    5.        Missouri......................... 2.5

                Kentucky......................... 2.5

                Cincinnati...................... 4.00

Moore leads the sack attack

Building on last season's strong play down the stretch, junior defensive end Damontre Moore has posted six sacks in three games and stands atop the NCAA statistics for QB sacks and tied for the lead in tackles for losses. Moore is flourishing in his new role at defensive end after spending his first two years at outside linebacker.

After his three-sack performance against Florida, Moore earned SEC Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week honors. He earned honorable mention National Defensive Lineman of the Week honor after the SMU and South Carolina State games from the College Football Performance Awards.

Last season, Moore ranked No. 21 nationally with 8.5 quarterback sacks, with six of those sacks coming in the final four games of the season. Down the stretch last year, Moore posted two sacks against Kansas State and Kansas and single sacks against Texas and Northwestern. His three sacks against Florida were a career high and were the most by an Aggie since Tony Jerod-Eddie had three against SMU in last year's season-opener.

For his career, Moore has compiled 29 QBs or 0.7 sacks per game, which puts him in a tie for No. 2 on the NCAA active career sacks leaders list.

2012 NCAA Individual QB Sack Leaders

Rk.  Player, School________________ QBS/G

  1.  Damontre Moore, Texas A&M______ 2.0

  2.  Bjoern Werner, Florida State________ 1.6

        Travis Long, Washington State_______ 1.6

  4.  Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame_________ 1.5

        Travis Johnson, San Jose State_______ 1.5

        Jarvis Jones, Georgia______________ 1.5

NCAA Active Career QB Sacks/G Leaders

Rk.  Player, School________________ QBS/G

  1.  Jarvis Jones, Georgia______________ 1.1

t2.  Damontre Moore, Texas A&M______ 0.7

        Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina____ 0.7

  4. Eight players_____________________ 0.6

dual threat manziel

Redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel needed just three games to put his name among college football's top dual threats at quarterback. Among quarterbacks ranked among the top 100 rushers in NCAA FBS, Manziel ranks No. 3 in passing yards per game. 

2012 NCAA Passing Yards Leaders

(Among the NCAA's top 100 rushers)

Rk.  Player, School_________________ Rush/G_____ Pass/G

  1.  Cody Fajardo, Nevada_____________ 104.5______ 239.5

  2.  Taylor McHarque, Rice_____________ 89.8_______ 231.8

  3.  Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M_______ 87.3_______ 213.7

  4.  Jordan Lynch, North Illinois_________ 109.5______ 211.3

  5.  Denard Robinson, Michigan________ 110.3______ 209.3

 

net gain for epperson

Incumbent starter Ryan Epperson, who fought off a strong challenge from sophomore Drew Kaser to win the 2012 punting job, has opened the 2012 season with several eye-opening performances. He is averaging 47.6 on 14 boots, and ranks No. 1 in the SEC and No. 3 in the NCAA.

Six of his 14 punts have been downed inside the opponent 20 yard line with no touchbacks, and only three of his punts have been returned. 

The Aggies' season net punt average stands at 47.2 and ranked No. 2 nationally. Last year, the Aggies were No. 94 nationally with a 35.0 net punt average.

2012 NCAA Individual Punting Leaders

Rk.  Player, School_____________ Avg.

  1.  Richie Leone, Houston_________ 48.8

  2.  Sean Sellwood, Utah__________ 47.8

  3.  Ryan Epperson, Texas A&M____ 47.6

  4.  Tyler Williams, Marshall_______ 47.5

  5.  Riley Stephenson, BYU________ 47.3

2012 NCAA Team Net Punting Leaders

Rk.  School___________________ net Avg.

  1.  Texas______________________ 49.4

  2.  Texas A&M_________________ 47.2

  3.  Marshall___________________ 44.1

  4.  Air Force___________________ 43.8

  5.  Florida_____________________ 43.4

Big Crowds at Kyle Field

Texas A&M's two sellout crowds to start 2012 have pushed its sellout streak to 10 games, which is easily a school record. A&M's sellout streak dates back to the 2010 Nebraska game, which set the Kyle Field record with an attendence of 90,079. Kyle Field was filled to 105.0 percent capacity in 2011 and the average attendance of 87,183 broke the previous high by over 4,000 fans per game.

Kyle Field's Biggest Crowds

  RK   Crowd      Opponent (Year)                           Result

   1.   90,079       No. 8 Nebraska (2010)             W, 9-6

   2.   88,645       No. 25 Texas (2011)                   L, 27-25

   3.   88,253       No. 12 Texas (2007)                   W, 38-30

   4.   87,555       No. 5 Texas (2001)                      L, 21-7

   5.   87,361       Baylor (2011)                                   W, 55-26

   6.   87,358       No. 6 Oklahoma State (2011)               L, 30-29

   7.   87,206       Notre Dame (2001)                     W, 24-3

   8.   87,188       No. 1 Oklahoma (2000)           L, 35-31

   9.   87,224       No. 24 Florida (2012)                    L, 20-17

10.   86,951       SMU (2011)                                       W, 46-14

Swope Sets Sights on Receiving Records

  • After breaking A&M's single season receptions record in back-to-back seasons, senior wide receiver Ryan Swope is within range of most of the career receiving standard in the Aggies' record book.
  • For his career, Swope has 192 catches for 2,299 yards and 17 touchdowns. He is within 41 catches and 793 yards of his receiving counterpart for the past three years, Jeff Fuller, who grabbed 233 receptions for 3,092 yards and 34 touchdowns from 2008-11.
  • Swope posted a school record with six 100-yard receiving games last season, and has nine for his career (ties for school record with Fuller).
  • He set another school record with four touchdown receptions against Baylor in 2011. His 206 receiving yards (on 11 catches) against the Bears was the fifth 200-yard game in A&M history.
  • A second-team All-Big 12 pick last year, Swope is the SEC's leading active pass catcher in receptions, receiving yards and receiving TDs.
  • Easily the team leader in offensive 20-yard plays last year with 16, including seven 20-yard plus TD plays.
  • Was a running back at Austin Westlake High School, but lined up at WR from day one at Texas A&M.
  • Aggies are 7-2 in Swope's 100-yard receiving games, and are 8-4 when he has 8 or more catches.

Career Receptions

Player                                          Rec.              Years

Jeff Fuller                                     233               2008-11

Ryan Swope                             192               2009-

Terrence Murphy                   172               2001-04

Uzoma Nwachukwu       130               2009-

Bethel Johnson                       117               1999-02

Career Receiving Yards

Player                                          Yards         Years

Jeff Fuller                                     3,092           2008-11

Terrence Murphy                   2,600           2001-04

Ryan Swope                             2,299           2009-

Uzoma Nwachukwu       1,838           2009-

Bethel Johnson                        1,740           1999-02

Career Touchdowns

Player                                          TDs                Years

Jeff Fuller                                     34                  2008-11

Bob Long                                      19                  1966-68

Ryan Swope                             17                  2009-

Uzoma Nwachukwu       16                  2009-

Tony Harrison                            14                  1990-93

Harris to the House

Senior Dustin Harris earned SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Week after shredding South Carolina State for 246 punt return yards, including a breath-taking 96-yard sprint for a touchdown. Harris' 246 punt return yards shattered his own single game school record from last season and the Southeastern Conference's 64-year old record. Harris' long return was the second-longest in school history behind Bob Goode's 98-yarder against Ellington Field in 1945. Harris broke his old school record of 162 yards set vs. Kansas last year, and eclipsed the SEC record of 203 yards set by Vanderbilt's Lee Nalley against Kentucky in 1948. It was the third punt return touchdown of Harris' career, joining his 54-yarder against Louisiana Tech in 2010 and his 72-yarder vs. Kansas in 2011. He matched the career school record for punt return touchdowns originally set by Kevin Smith from 1988-91.

Two of the nation's most dangerous punt returners in 2011 resided in the SEC with Joe Adams of Arkansas and Tyrann Mathieu of LSU, but the NCAA leader was in College Station. Harris was the NCAA statistical champ with an average of 18.6 yards on 18 punt returns with one touchdown.

2011 NCAA Punt Return Leaders

1_ Dustin Harris, Texas A&M _ 18.6

2_ Joe Adams, Arkansas_________ 16.9

3_ Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin__ 15.8

4_ Tyrann Mathieu, LSU_________ 15.6

5_ Devon Wylie, Fresno State___ 15.4

A&M Season Punt Return Average

1_ Dustin Harris, 2011 _______ 18.6

2_ Aaron Glenn, 1993___________ 19.9

3_ Yale Lary, 1951______________ 16.2

4_ Carl Roaches, 1972__________ 15.1

5_ Kevin Smith, 1991___________ 14.5

A&M Game Punt Return Yards

1   Dustin Harris     246 vs. South Carolina State, 2012

2   Dustin Harris     162 vs. Kansas, 2011

3   Aaron Glenn            131 vs. Mizzou, 1993

4   Rod Harris                 123 vs. La. Tech, 1987

5   Billy Mitchell          116 at Houston, 1994

A&M Long Punt Returns

1   Bob Goode               98 vs. Ellington Field, 1945

2   Dustin Harris     96 vs. South Carolina State, 2012

3   Charlie Royalty      93 at Villanova, 1948

4   Carl Roaches           84 vs. Rice, 1972

5   Aaron Glenn            76 vs. Missouri, 1993

C-Mike returns

  • Christine Michael's first name is pronounced: CHRIS-tin, not Christian or chris-TEEN
  • Michael's last two seasons have been cut short due to season-ending injuries. He broke his right leg in game 8 in 2010 (vs. Texas Tech) and tore his left ACL in game 9 in 2011 (vs. Oklahoma).
  • Perhaps the team's hardest worker, Michael was far ahead of his projected rehabilitation schedule. During spring drills, new head coach Kevin Sumlin had to monitor Michael to make sure he wasn't doing too much. At the time Sumlin said: "I had to tell him to go sit down, and I look back up and he's back in there. I'm going to have to have a meeting with him, but a good meeting. He wants to play."
  • Despite missing nine games the past two seasons due to season-ending injuries, Michael is the SEC's leading active rusher with 2,433 career yards.
  • Has nine career 100-yard plus rushing games, including four in nine games last season. Aggies are 7-2 in games when C-Mike rushes for 100-plus yards.
  • His 2,433 career rushing yards rank No. 14 in school history.
  • Was well on his way to his first 1,000-yard season in 2011 with 899 yards in nine games, including a monster 32-carry, 230-yard, three-TD effort against Arkansas.

Aggies in the NFL

Texas A&M had 18 former players on NFL Opening Day active rosters.

Aggies on NFL Opening Day active rosters

#85   Martellus Bennett, TE, New York Giants

#71   Michael Bennett, DL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

#95   Rocky Bernard, DL, New York Giants

#79   Red Bryant, DL, Seattle Seahawks

#96   Ron Edwards, DL, Carolina Panthers

#25   Mike Goodson, RB, Oakland Raiders

#42   Cyrus Gray, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

#63   Geoff Hangartner, OL, Carolina Panthers

#96   Kellen Heard, DL, St. Louis Rams

#41   Jorvorskie Lane, FB, Miami Dolphins

#9                  Shane Lechler, P, Oakland Raiders

#60   Kevin Matthews, OL, Tennessee Titans

#58   Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos

#48   Don Muhlbach, DS, Detroit Lions

#32   Jordan Pugh, DB, Washington Redskins

#17   Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins

#74   Cody Wallace, OL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

#94   *Ty Warren, DL, Denver Broncos

* -- Injured in season-opener, placed on

Injured Reserve

Practice Squad

#79   Ben Bass, DL, Dallas Cowboys

#37   Terrence Frederick, DB, New York Giants

#83   Jeff Fuller, WR, Miami Dolphins

#63   Tony Jerod-Eddie, DL, San Francisco 49ers

#80   Jamie McCoy, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers

#77   Lucas Patterson, DL, Kansas City Chiefs

Injured Reserve:

#4                  Randy Bullock, PK, Houston Texans

NFL Coaching Staffs:

Dennis Allen, Oakland Raiders (Head Coach)

Dan Campbell, Miami Dolphins (Tight Ends)

Kyle Caskey, Cincinnati Bengals (Offensive Quality Control)

Jerry Fontenot, Green Bay Packers (Tight Ends)

Johnny Holland, Oakland Raiders (Linebackers)

Gary Kubiak, Houston Texans (Head Coach)

Kirk Parrish, Seattle Seahawks (College Scouting Coordinator)

Shawn Slocum, Green Bay Packers (Special Teams Coordinator)

TEam captains, leadership council

  • Team captains, selected by player voting, are seniors LB Sean Porter, DB Steven Terrell, OL Patrick Lewis and WR Ryan Swope.
  • Leadership Council, also selected by player vote, is comprised of SENIORS: LB Sean Porter, TE Michael Lamothe; JUNIORS: OL Jake Matthews, OL Luke Joeckel; SOPHOMORES: QB Jameill Showers, RB Brandon Williams; FRESHMEN: QB Johnny Manziel, WR Mike Evans.