QBs on display as No. 10 Texas A&M faces Arkansas

Texas A&M and Arkansas will present an interesting contrast in quarterbacks on Saturday (9 p.m. ET) when they clash at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Graduate transfer Trevor Knight, who had 15 starts in his first two years at Oklahoma before losing his job to Baker Mayfield in 2015, will lead the No. 10 Aggies (3-0, 1-0 SEC).

Junior Austin Allen, the understudy to his brother Brandon the last two seasons, will be behind center for the 17th-ranked Razorbacks (3-0, 0-0).

Both seem to be exactly what their respective teams have needed in the early going.

Knight, who won the starting job in the spring after coming to College Station in January, has passed for 830 yards and five touchdowns despite completing only 52.9 percent of his passes.

Part of the reason for Knight's low completion percentage is that he was on target on only half of his 40 attempts against Auburn last week. But Knight was the victim of some drops and also had a long completion to Ricky Seals-Jones nullified when the wide receiver had a foot land inches out of bounds.

When it counted, Knight was 8 of 11 after falling behind at Auburn to help the Aggies take a 10-7 lead. He ended up passing for 247 yards and rushing for a net 42 against the Tigers.

"He was really good early," Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said of Knight. "For him to play the way he did really gave us a chance to get ahead."

Knight also has rushed for 151 yards in the three games on 28 carries.

"I think he's a deceptive big man with speed," Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said. "He's got good size. They list him at 6-foot-1 and 215. To me he looks a lot taller than that, and moves."

Allen has been the straw that stirs the drink for Arkansas.

In the win over TCU in Week 2, he was named SEC Player of Week after passing for 233 yards and three touchdowns on 17-of-29 passing. Allen's 5-yard run in the second overtime gave the Razorbacks a 41-38 victory.

He wasn't all that pressed last week in the 42-3 rout of Texas State, but still was 16-of-21 passing for 241 yards and two more touchdowns.

Allen has completed 67.1 percent of his passes for the year for an average of 218.3 yards a game with seven touchdowns against two picks.

He is just the fourth quarterback to go 3-0 in his first three collegiate starts for Arkansas since it joined the SEC in the 1992 season. The others were Tyler Wilson in 2011, Mitch Mustain in 2006, and Robby Hampton in 2000. His seven touchdown passes over that span are tied with Ryan Mallett (2009) and Mustain for the high in that category over that same span.

"Austin does a lot of things very well," Bielema said. "I think he throws on the move very well, and he throws well to the left and to the right which you've seen a little glimpse of.

"He can run the football, but I wouldn't say we want to make a heavy dose of it. That jump cut he gave to his left wasn't quite as good as our running backs, but it sufficed. I'm just excited to watch him continue to grow."

The Aggies, however, will be the toughest test yet for Allen when it comes to facing pressure.

"They have two perimeter rushers that are as good as anybody in the country," Bielema said.

That would be ends Daeshon Hall, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound senior, and Myles Garrett, a 6-5, 270-pound junior. Together, they averaged 1.5 sacks a game in 2015 with Garrett leading the SEC with 12.5 total. Garrett also had 10 quarterback hurries. Hall had 7.0 sacks and another four hurries.

This season, Garrett has three sacks and four hurries. Hall is looking for his first sack, but has been credited with three hurries.

The two teams will be meeting in Arlington for a third consecutive season and seventh time overall. The first meeting in Arlington was way back in 1906 when the Aggies won 6-0.

So far, the five games at AT&T Stadium have gone the way of streaks. Arkansas won the first three from 2009-11. The Aggies have won the last two in Arlington and the last four meetings overall.