Image Courtesy: Arkansas Razorbacks Athletics
AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Arkansas vs. Kansas
December 28, 5:30 PM ET, ESPN/ESPN App
Opt-Outs: Arkansas – Jadon Haselwood (WR), Bumper Pool (LB), Drew Sanders (LB), Ricky Stromberg (C), etc.
Kansas – Steven McBride (WR), Shaad Dabney (DB), Edwin White-Schultz (DB), Gavin Potter (LB), Kevin Orange (DE), etc.
I was honestly pretty worried about the state of the Arkansas football program this week. But in his early signing period press conference, coach Sam Pittman said that “he feels good” about where he thinks his program is at this point. Arkansas will be without two starting receivers, their starting center, both of their starting linebackers, and other players due to the draft and transfer portal. The point being that if it weren’t for QB KJ Jefferson and tailback Rocket Sanders, there is no way I could see Arkansas winning this game. Kansas is appearing in their first bowl game in a long time and will face an Arkansas team that did the same thing just a year ago. The Arkansas defense will have to deal with dual threat Jayhawks QB Jalon Daniels, who has thrown for almost 1500 yards, 13 passing touchdowns and 6 rushing touchdowns. Running back Devin Neal led Kansas in rushing this season rushing for over a thousand yards and 9 touchdowns while Lawrence Arnold led the Jayhawks in receiving with almost 500 yards and 4 touchdowns this season. Star safety Kenny Logan Jr. has 96 tackles and 3 interceptions this season. The Razorbacks counter with KJ Jefferson, who has thrown for 26 TDs while throwing for 2,361 yards and rushed for 510 yards and 7 TDs. Arkansas has truly played through Rocket Sanders this year, as he finished second in the SEC in rushing with 1,426 yards and 10 TDs. Matt Landers came on for the hogs at receivers with 3 TDs in the final two games of the regular season and helped him get 7 TDs for the season. Pittman’s team will be without Drew Sanders and Bumper Pool, who lead the team in tackles but Chris “Pooh” Paul has proven to be a good replacement. Paul has managed 50 tackles this season in a back-up role but he will be starting in place of Sanders and Pool. To me, this game stays close for two or three quarters, but Jalon Daniels outduels KJ Jefferson with more starters on the roster for the game. Projected Score: Kansas 42, Arkansas 35