ARLINGTON, Texas -- Just get Texas A&M into overtime against Arkansas and the Aggies have a chance.
They proved that again Saturday as they rallied for a 28-21 overtime win over the Razorbacks at AT&T Stadium.
The 14th-ranked Aggies (4-0, 1-0 in the SEC) trailed by eight points in the fourth quarter before rallying to tie the game at 21 with 2:50 left. A&M then overcame a deflating final play of regulation that ended with Taylor Bertolet's 38-yard field-goal try skirting wide right.
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But when the game got to overtime, the Aggies made all the right moves. Christian Kirk's 20-yard scoring reception gave Texas A&M a lead, and then defensive back Devante Harris knocked down a fourth-down pass to end the game.
"When it comes down to the fourth quarter and overtime we don't wear out," said Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen, who threw for 358 yards and two touchdowns.
It was a dÃ©jÃ vu sort of ending as the Aggies stopped Arkansas on the same side of the field last year to win an overtime thriller 35-28.
The Aggies were overmatched by Arkansas (1-3, 0-1) throughout the second half. The Razorbacks ran over and through A&M's defense to turn a 13-7 deficit into a 21-13 lead in the fourth quarter by dominating time of possession. Arkansas controlled the ball for more than 39 minutes in regulation and rolled up 446 yards and 25 first downs.
But the Aggies got a huge stop late in the game after Arkansas was going for the dagger on 4th and 3. A false start penalty forced Arkansas to punt the ball to the Aggies with 4:11 remaining. It took A&M just five plays to cover 85 yards as Tra Carson's run made it 21-19. Kyle Allen then threw the game-tying two-point conversion to Josh Reynolds.
The Arkansas bid to win the game in regulation came to an end with a fumble by Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen at the Arkansas 42. But the Aggies couldn't capitalize, as the Bertolet miss set the stage for overtime.
While the missed kick may have deflated the Aggies in the past, head coach Kevin Sumlin didn't see that look from his team Saturday.
"What a game, huh?," Sumlin said. "That's about the only thing I can say. I'm really proud of our effort. Enough to win. There are things we can obviously learn from this game. I was happy with our guys continuing to play and finish out a game. That's something I think we can learn from going forward and take a little bit of confidence out if it. I think the look in their eye late in the fourth quarter and overtime was confidence and I hadn't seen that for a while in this team."
That showed in the extra period. After Kirk's catch, the Razorbacks were called for a false start on their drive. That put them behind the sticks and left them with a 4th and 4 to try and keep the game going. That's when Harris stepped in front of a Drew Morgan to tip away the pass from Brandon Allen.
The A&M defense, which was gashed for 457 yards, played big down the stretch and the offense also made the plays when it had to.
"This year we've got the right pieces in every spot to come together to make big plays," said sophomore defensive end Myles Garrett, who forced the fumble that ended the Arkansas final drive in regulation. "We didn't have to have one side carrying the other."
The Aggies got a huge offensive contribution from Kirk, who had eight catches for 173 yards and two scores. His 44-yard catch in the second quarter tied the game at 7. But A&M was forced to settle for field goals on its next two scoring possessions. That allowed Arkansas to gain some momentum.
The Razorbacks had just three scoring possessions, but all three touchdown drives. The final one came on Rawleigh Williams' 3-yard run with 14:12 remaining in regulation.
But the Razorbacks hurt their chances to put the game away with huge penalties, as Arkansas had 93 yards in penalties. Three of those were offensive holding calls and three others resulted in Texas A&M first downs.
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