Texas A&M holds off Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR (Sports Network) - Johnny Manziel took a back seat in the second half as Kevin Sumlin allowed Texas A&M's deep backfield to steer the wheel.
The 10th-ranked Aggies racked up 262 rushing yards in their 45-33 win over Arkansas.
Texas A&M, which outscored Arkansas 21-13 in the second half, ran the ball 29 times for 150 yards while throwing only seven passes over the final 30 minutes.
"The coaches told us at halftime if we want to win the game, we're going to have the run the ball," Malena said.
Trey Williams tallied 83 yards rushing and a score on nine carries, Tra Carson had 64 yards on the ground on nine totes, Ben Malena ran for two touchdowns and 40 yards on 12 rushes and Manziel added 59 yards rushing on nine carries for Texas A&M (4-1, 1-1 SEC), which has won 10 straight road games.
"We were able to run it and be patient," the Aggies' head coach Sumlin said.
Manziel was 23-of-30 for 261 yards and two scores, Mike Evans hauled in six receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns and Deshazor Everett had a 34-yard interception return for a touchdown in the triumph.
The much-maligned Aggies defense made the stops they needed too.
The Razorbacks had the ball trailing by a score or less on three occasions in the second half, but Texas A&M's defense held up each time as it forced two three-and-outs and Everett's interception.
Returning from a shoulder injury, Brandon Allen was 17-of-36 for 282 yards and three scores for the Razorbacks (3-2, 0-1), who have dropped back-to-back tilts on the heels of a 3-0 start.
"We knew we had to score basically every time we had it," Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema said.
Alex Collins' 9-yard TD run pulled the Razorbacks within 31-27 early in the third, but the Aggies responded a bit later with an 8-play, 68-yard trek -- all runs -- that was capped when Williams scampered in from 17 yards out to make it 38-27.
Allen hit Jonathan Williams in the right flat for a 19-yard score late in the third to get the Razorbacks again back within a score, but another run-laded drive propelled the visitors to another touchdown early in the fourth.
Malena plunged in from a yard out to cap a 7-play, 57-yard march -- again all runs -- to up the advantage to 45-33.
Arkansas was unable to convert a 4th-and-10 on its ensuing drive and following a Texas A&M punt, Allen was intercepted by Steven Jenkins with 2:45 remaining to seal the outcome.
Earlier, Evans' 9-yard TD reception and Malena's 2-yard TD run, sandwiched around a Keon Hatcher 12-yard TD catch, staked the Aggies an early lead. Josh Lambo's 39-yard field goal late in the first gave the Aggies a 17-7 edge after a quarter of play.
Zack Hocker nailed a 28-yard field goal before Evans came down with a 7-yard TD catch over a host of Arkansas defenders, which gave Texas A&M a 24-10 advantage.
Allen found Williams for a 19-yard score and following an Aggies punt, Hocker's 39-yard field goal with no time left in the half got the hosts within 24-20 heading into the break.
Manziel tallied 253 total yards in the first half.
Everett's pick-six came on the third play from scrimmage in the second half.
Texas A&M, which came in averaging 50.2 points per game, outgained Arkansas 523-483 ... The Aggies were 7-of-13 on third down ... Collins ran for 116 yards on 14 carries.
09/29 00:46:55 ET