Get to know the Flames’ enemies in 2022: Arkansas | LU Sports

Liberty is playing an SEC team for the third time since joining the FBS when he makes the trip to face Arkansas. The Flames have previously played at Auburn in 2018 and Ole Miss in 2021, and the competition against the Rebels was considerably more competitive than the shutout loss to the Tigers. This game with the Razorbacks comes in a daunting streak for Liberty, which plays three Power Five programs (BYU, Arkansas and Virginia Tech) over a five-week span. Bye Week and UConn break the gauntlet.

ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS

COACH: Sam Pittman, 12-11, third season at Arkansas

RECORD 2021: 9-4, 4-4 SEC

POST-SEASON: Defeated Penn State 24-10 in the Outback Bowl

LOOKING BACK

The Razorbacks have played one of the most daunting schedules in the nation in 2021. Sure, contests against Rice, Georgia Southern and Arkansas Pine Bluff don’t move the needle, but a roster of eight SEC games and a game early with Texas certainly caught everyone’s attention.

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Take away the lopsided loss to Georgia (who hasn’t lost to the Bulldogs in spectacular fashion in 2021?), and the Razorbacks were incredibly competitive. They lost by one in a high-scoring thriller at Ole Miss, then fell by a touchdown to eventual SEC champion Alabama.

Arkansas had a breakout campaign from quarterback KJ Jefferson, who had over 3,300 total rushing yards and 27 touchdowns.

Treylon Burks thrived as a wide receiver with a 1,000-yard season, and that dynamic opened up the running offense.

The Razorbacks ranked seventh in the nation with 227.8 yards per game rushing. This number was the best among the Power Five programs.

“We led the Power Five in rushing. I think what it does, it tells us what we’re trying to do with our program,” coach Sam Pittman said at SEC media days. “We want to be a physical team on both sides of the line of scrimmage. We want to win the line of scrimmage. We want to be physical and strong. To do this is difficult to do. I coached the O line for a long, long time, I was never able to run a Power Five in a rush, but we were able to do it last year.

LOOK AHEAD

Arkansas’ defense has been a bit neglected with all of the production coming from the offense. The Razorbacks ranked 39th nationally in point defense and 50th in total defense.

This side of the ball lost the most in the offseason. The team’s second and third main tackles, Grant Morgan and Hayden Henry, left. Same thing with all-around security Joe Foucha (7.5 tackles for a loss, two interceptions, five pass breakups).

The offense will be able to move the ball at will with Jefferson playing behind four returning offensive linemen.

It will be up to the defense to make saves. The return of Zach Williams, along with the additions of Jordan Domineck (Georgia Tech) and Landon Jackson (LSU), should give the Razorbacks the chance to reach the quarterback more frequently.

“We think we can get a little closer to quarterback,” Pittman said. “We also feel a bit better with our corner situation where we can play little man coverage. We have to get behind them, chains first. We did better last year. We have to keep improving. Having man-to-man corners will help you do that.

WHO’S BACK?

SKILLED PLAYERS

» QB KJ Jefferson (198-294 passes, 2,676 yards, 21 TDs, 4 INTs; 146 carries, 664 yards, 4.5 averages, 6 TDs)

» RB Raheim Sanders (114 carries, 578 yards, 5.1 average, 5 TD; 11 catches, 109 yards, 9.9 average, 1 TD)

» RB Dominique Johnson (97 carries, 575 yards, 5.9 average, 7 TD; 7 catches, 71 yards, 10.1 average, 1 TD)

» WR Warren Thompson (19 catches, 304 yards, 16.0 average, 2 TDs)

» TE Trey Knox (20 catches, 141 yards, 7.1 AA, 1 TD)

OFFENSIVE LINES

DEFENSIVE HEADS

» LB Bumper Pool (125 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 2 PBU, 2 QBH)

» S Myles Slusher (50 tackles, 3 TFL, 0.5 sack, 2 INT, 4 PBU, 2 QBH)

» DB Jalen Catalon (46 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 2 INT, 4 PBU, 1 QBH)

» DE Zach Williams (23 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 1 QB, 1 FF)

SPECIAL TEAMS

» PK Cam Little (20-24 FG, 51 long, 0 blocked; 46-46 PAT)

» P Reid Bauer (58 punts, 43.3 medium, 61 long, 3 TB, 23 HR, 16 I20, 14 50+, 0 blocked)

» KR AJ Green (9 returns, 147 yards, 16.3 average, 31 long)

WHO HAS LEFT ?

SKILLED PLAYERS

» RB Treion Smith (119 carries, 598 yards, 5.0 average, 5 TDs)

» WR Treylon Burks (66 catches, 1,104 yards, 16.7 average, 11 TDs)

» WR Tyson Morris (24 catches, 337 yards, 14.0 average, 2 TDs)

» TE Blake Kern (15 catches, 183 yards, 12.2 AA, 2 TDs)

OFFENSIVE LINES

DEFENSIVE HEADS

» LB Grant Morgan (101 tackles, 7 TFL, 0.5 sacks, 1 INT, 3 PBU, 6 QBH)

» LB Hayden Henry (100 tackles, 12 TFL, 4 sacks, 1 PBU, 7 QBH)

» S Joe Foucha (73 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 2 INT, 5 PBU, 3 QBH, 1 FF)

» CB Montaric Brown (54 tackles, 1 TFL, 5 INT, 6 PBU, 1 FR, 1 FF)

» NB Greg Brooks Jr. (48 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 INT, 4 PBU, 2 QBH, 2 FR)

» DT John Ridgeway (39 tackles, 4 TFLs, 2 sacks, 1 QBH)

» DE Tre Williams (28 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 6 sacks, 6 QBH)

SPECIAL TEAMS

» PR Nathan Parodi (18 returns, 205 yards, 11.4 average, 1 TD, 80 long)

WHO TRANSFERRED TO

» WR Matt Landers (2021 stats at Toledo: 20 catches, 514 yards, 25.7 average, 5 TDs)

» DL Terry Hampton (2021 stats at Arkansas State: 11 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 PBU)

» DE Jordan Domineck (2021 stats at Georgia Tech: 38 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 1 PBU, 3 FF)

» S Latavious Brini (2021 stats in Georgia: 38 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 8 PBU)

» QB Cade Fortin (2021 South Florida stats: 25-48 passes, 183 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs; 9 carries, 37 yards, 1 TD)

» CB Dwight McGlothern (2021 stats at LSU: 32 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 INT, 6 PBU, 1 FF)

» LB Drew Sanders (2021 Alabama stats: 24 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 2 PBU)

» DE Landon Jackson (2021 stats at LSU: No stats in five games)

» WR Jadon Haselwood (2021 stats at Oklahoma: 39 catches, 399 yards, 10.2 average, 6 touchdowns)

WHO TO FOLLOW

» Bob Holt, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: @BobHoltADG

» Thomas Murphy, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: @TomMurphyADG

» Arkansas Football: @RazorbackFB

PROGRAM

September 3: Cincinnati, 3:30 p.m.

September 10: South Carolina, noon

September 17: Missouri State, 7 p.m.

October 8: in the state of Mississippi

November 25: at Missouri, 3:30 p.m.

THE SERIES (local team in CAPS)

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