ARLINGTON, Texas — Despite a better game plan, better execution and a chance to win at the end, it was the same old song for the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Southwest Classic.
Arkansas took possession on the opening drive of the game, but Connor Limpert pulled a field goal attempt from 51 yards wide right as the Aggies took over at mid-field.
Texas A&M got on the board first on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Kellen Mond to Ainias Smith with 2:56 remaining in the first quarter.
Arkansas responded with a Limpert field goal from the 46 to cut the deficit to 7-3 early in the second quarter.
After another Aggie touchdown, Nick Starkel drove Arkansas into the redzone, only to be intercepted by Madubuike. On the play, Starkel was injured going to the ground. He left the game to get an x-ray and although he returned to the sideline with a sleeve on his left forearm, Chad Morris told the ESPN broadcast that, "he would not play for the foreseeable future".
The play following the interception, Mond and running back Isaiah Spiller fumbled the handoff. It was scooped up by Scoota Harris and returned for a touchdown to bring the Razorbacks within four.
Ben Hicks, on in relief of Starkel, led Arkansas on a four play, 41 yard drive that ended in a 13-yard touchdown pass to Mike Woods that put the Hogs ahead 17-14. But the defense allowed a late touchdown and Texas A&M lead 21-17 at the half.
Hicks and the Razorbacks had a strong start to the third quarter, going on an eight-play, 84-yard drive that was capped off with a Devwah Whaley 11-yard touchdown to give Arkansas a 24-21 lead.
Hogs would keep the Aggies off the board thanks to a Montaric Brown endzone interception, Arkansas' second takeaway of the afternoon.
But Mond would respond with leading an Aggies drive to start the fourth quarter, completing a 3-yard pass to Quartney Davis for the go-ahead score with 12:21 to play.
Arkansas put together a drive, but it stalled at the 40 and the Hogs had to settle for a field goal to bring them within 1.
Needing a defensive stop deep in their own territory on 3rd down, Jamario Bell sacked Kellen Mond, but couldn't drive the Aggies out of field goal range. Texas A&M tacked on three more on a 50-yard field goal to put the score at 31-27 with 3:52 left in the game.
Hicks orchestrated a late-game drive, completing a 4th and 2 passes to C.J. O'Grady to move the chains, following by a 22-yard pickup to Mike Woods to get Arkansas into Texas A&M territory.
But a sack and a false start pushed the Razorbacks to 3rd and 22. Hicks, rushed for 17 yards to give Arkansas a final chance at 4th and 5 at the Aggies 19. Hicks was flushed out of the pocket and his pass to O'Grady fell incomplete as Arkansas falls to Texas A&M, 31-27.