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Texas A&M 28, Arkansas 21: Razorbacks played a great game of keepaway but still faltered

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

arkansastamuwp

You had it, Arkansas. And then you didn't.

Top 5 Plays

Play Number

Name

Down-Distance-Spot

Quarter

Play Description

Home Team WP Before Play

Home Team WP Added

1

143

Texas A&M

2-2-2

4

Tra Carson Rush for 2, TOUCHDOWN

0.758

-0.279

2

158

Texas A&M

2-5-20

5

Kyle Allen Pass to Christian Kirk for 20, TOUCHDOWN

0.603

-0.277

3

156

Texas A&M

3-4-21

4

FIELD_GOAL

0.340

0.263

4

150

Arkansas

2-10-54

4

Brandon Allen Rush for -5, FUMBLE

0.597

-0.251

5

50

Texas A&M

1-10-64

2

Kyle Allen Pass to Christian Kirk for 57, FIRST DOWN

0.449

-0.140

Texas A&M 28, Arkansas 21

Confused? Visit the Advanced Stats glossary here.

Basics Arkansas Texas A&M Nat'l Avg
Total Plays 67 48
Close Rate (non-garbage time) 100.0%
Avg Starting FP 19.8 24.0 29.5
Possessions 9 10
Scoring Opportunities*
4 6
Points Per Opportunity 5.25 3.33 4.82
Leverage Rate** 76.1% 77.1% 68.5%
Close S&P*** 0.672 0.718 0.588
* A scoring opportunity occurs when an offense gets a first down inside the opponent's 40 (or scores from outside the 40).
** Leverage Rate = Standard Downs / (Standard Downs + Passing Downs)
*** When using IsoPPP, the S&P formula is (0.8*Success Rate) + (0.2*IsoPPP)
EqPts (what's this?) Arkansas Texas A&M
Total 41.4 38.5
Rushing 20.3 7.6
Passing 21.1 30.9
Success Rate (what's this?) Arkansas Texas A&M Nat'l Avg
All (close) 56.7% 47.9% 41.9%
Rushing (close) 65.0% 44.4% 42.8%
Passing (close) 44.4% 50.0% 40.9%
Standard Downs 66.7% 56.8% 47.3%
Passing Downs 25.0% 18.2% 30.2%
IsoPPP (what's this?) Arkansas Texas A&M Nat'l Avg
All (close) 1.09 1.67 1.27
Rushing (close) 0.78 0.95 1.06
Passing (close) 1.76 2.06 1.49
Standard Downs 0.87 1.62 1.11
Passing Downs 2.97 2.21 1.80
Line Stats Arkansas Texas A&M Nat'l Avg
Line Yards/Carry (what's this?) 4.20 2.94 2.84
Std. Downs Sack Rt. 0.0% 9.5% 4.7%
Pass. Downs Sack Rt. 16.7% 0.0% 6.8%
Turnovers Arkansas Texas A&M
Turnovers 2 0
Turnover Points (what's this?) 6.7 0.0
Turnover Margin Texas A&M +2
Exp. TO Margin Texas A&M +0.51
TO Luck (Margin vs. Exp. Margin) Texas A&M +1.49
TO Points Margin Texas A&M +6.7 points
Situational Arkansas Texas A&M
Q1 S&P 0.667 0.709
Q2 S&P 0.613 0.996
Q3 S&P 0.937 0.552
Q4 S&P 0.623 0.688
1st Down S&P 0.667 0.806
2nd Down S&P 0.713 0.890
3rd Down S&P 0.594 0.534
Projected Scoring Margin: Texas A&M by 3.7
Actual Scoring Margin: Texas A&M by 7

Power to A&M for figuring out a way to win this game. Arkansas did an incredible job of playing keep-away, moving the ball efficiently, and shutting down A&M drives once the Aggies fell into passing downs. But A&M stayed close enough for the Arkansas Close-Game Jinx to take over. And it always does.

Bret Bielema teams have now lost 14 consecutive one-possession games and 16 of 18. Arkansas is 0-9 in such games since Bielema took over in 2013, and the last one he won came in early 2012 at Wisconsin, when his Badgers watched Utah State miss a makeable field goal at the buzzer.

Close-game records are tricky. There is a major element of randomness involved, enough to make us assume that things will even out over time. From 2006-10, for instance, Bielema's Badgers were 18-7 in such games. Still, when you fall into this much of a funk, be it because of a little or a lot of randomness, it creates of a crisis of confidence. When Arkansas finds itself in a tight game late, the Hogs cannot call on previous experience to help them pull through. And even when they surged ahead of Texas A&M on Saturday -- two touchdowns in five minutes gave them a 21-13 advantage -- the lead never felt safe.

The Razorbacks' last three possessions after taking the lead: punt, fumble, turnover on downs, and a 28-21 overtime loss.