Aggies And Jimbo Fisher Turn In 2nd Straight Jumbo Victory - 23-21 Over No. 10 Arkansas

Well, Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher has certainly made everyone look stupid.

He was called a fraud, ridiculed and said to suddenly have job security issues since an upset loss to 18-point underdog Appalachian State two weeks ago.

All Fisher and his team have done since is knock off No. 13 Miami last week and No. 10 Arkansas, 23-21, on Saturday night in Arlington, Texas.

"We are gutsy," Fisher said on ESPN after the game. "We play hard. The fight, the heart, the guts of these guys - we're getting better. We've just got to get better quicker."

No. 23 Texas A&M (3-1, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) also got lucky. Arkansas kicker Cam Little's go-ahead field goal attempt from 42 yards out hit the top of the right crossbar and dropped straight down - no good - with 1:35 to play.

The Aggies ran out the clock for the win.

The Razorbacks (3-1, 1-1 SEC) cut the Aggies' lead to 23-21 on a 6-yard touchdown run by quarterback KJ Jefferson at the 10:04 mark of the fourth quarter with their first points since the first quarter when they took a 14-0 lead. At that time, the game was looking like a blowout.

Arkansas was in the process of shredding the Aggies' defense and had it completely off balance as it drove toward a likely 21-7 lead late in the second quarter. But on first-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Jefferson attempted to leap for the touchdown. And one of the wildest plays in the 2022 college football season ensued.

A&M linebacker Chris Russell hit Jefferson in the air and forced the ball out. Defensive back Tyreek Chappell scooped it and ran to the Aggies' 18-yard line when he appeared to be nearly tackled, but he handed off to defensive back Demani Richardson.

And Richardson took it the remaining 82 yards for the touchdown to cut Arkansas' lead to 14-13 after a blown conversion with 3:11 to play before halftime.

At the half, Arkansas led A&M in first downs, 15-4, and in total yards, 281 to 152.

The Aggies maintained the momentum in the third quarter as it took the second half kickoff and drove 70 yards in six plays to take their first lead of the game at 20-14 on a 9-yard run by tailback Devon Achane.

Texas A&M increased that to 23-14 late in the third quarter on a 31-yard field goal by Randy Bond. At that point, the Aggies had outgained the Razorbacks, 236 yards to 17 since the fumble return.

Fisher said after the App State loss that his team needed to play some ranked teams.

"Because we'd find out who we are," he said Saturday after the game. "We needed the challenge."

In the meantime, Fisher has found his quarterback. Max Johnson, the junior LSU transfer, went to 2-0 as the Aggies' new starter. He completed 11 of 21 passes for 151 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. He also rushed 13 times for 39 yards while showing excellent mobility.

Achane led all rushers with a career-high 159 yards on 19 carries.

Jefferson completed 12 of 19 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns, but after the first half, he was only 4-of-6 passing for 45 yards with seven rushes for 35 yards. At the half, he had thrown for 126 and rushed for 70.

Jefferson put Arkansas up 7-0 with a 32-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Ketron Jackson Jr. with 9:44 to go in the first quarter and hit wide receiver Warren Thompson on a 56-yard touchdown pass for a 14-0 advantage with 5:25 left in the opening period.

The Aggies won despite losing star wide receiver Ainias Smith to a serious leg injury in the third quarter when his right leg got rolled in a pile. After leaving the game, he returned in a protective boot and wearing crutches.

Texas A&M plays at Mississippi State (3-1, 0-1 SEC) at 4 p.m. Saturday on the SEC Network. The Bulldogs beat Bowling Green, 45-14, on Saturday. Arkansas hosts No. 2 Alabama (4-0, 1-0 SEC) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on CBS. The Tide defeated Vanderbilt, 55-3, on Saturday.

Written by
Guilbeau joined OutKick as an SEC columnist in September of 2021 after covering LSU and the Saints for 17 years at USA TODAY Louisiana. He has been a national columnist/feature writer since the summer of 2022, covering college football, basketball and baseball with some NFL, NBA, MLB, TV and Movies and general assignment, including hot dog taste tests. A New Orleans native and Mizzou graduate, he has consistently won Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awards since covering Alabama and Auburn at the Mobile Press-Register (1993-98) and LSU and the Saints at the Baton Rouge Advocate (1998-2004). In 2021, Guilbeau won an FWAA 1st for a game feature, placed in APSE Beat Writing, Breaking News and Explanatory, and won Beat Writer of the Year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). He won an FWAA columnist 1st in 2017 and was FWAA's top overall winner in 2016 with 1st in game story, 2nd in columns, and features honorable mention. Guilbeau completed a book in 2022 about LSU's five-time national champion coach - "Everything Matters In Baseball: The Skip Bertman Story" - that is available at, and Barnes & Noble outlets. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, the former Michelle Millhollon of Thibodaux who previously covered politics for the Baton Rouge Advocate and is a communications director.