LSU opponent preview: Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson PHOTO COURTESY: University of Arkansas athletics

ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS (5-4, 2-3 in SEC)
FACES LSU: Nov. 12, 11 a.m., Razorback Stadium (Fayetteville, Arkansas)
HEAD COACH: SAM PITTMAN (17-15 at Arkansas, 14-14 overall)
NUMBER OF HEAD COACHES, 20 SEASONS: Six
2021 RECORD: 9-4 (4-4)
OVERALL RECORD, 10 SEASONS: 49-73
CONFERENCE: SEC
LAST CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: 1989 (Southwestern Conference)
SEC TITLE GAME RECORD: 0-3
TOTAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS, LAST: 1, 1964

THIS SEASON: Arkansas peaked at No. 10 in The Associated Press rankings after a 3-0 start to the season, but the Razorbacks have since lost four of their last six games … The team lost the services of standout defensive back JALEN CATALON for the season and quarterback KJ JEFFERSON has most recently dealt with a bruised clavicle … Jefferson remains a dual threat and has completed 148-of-222 passes for 1,981 yards with 17 touchdowns and three interceptions … Running back RAHEIM SANDERS leads the SEC with 173 rushes for 1,101 yards and seven TDs … Despite injuries linebacker BUMPER POOL is second in the league with 80 tackles and fellow linebacker DREW SANDERS is fifth with 74 tackles and a league-best eight sacks … LSU transfer cornerback DWIGHT MCGLOTHERN is tied for second in the league with three interceptions.
NAME GAME: The only other head coaching stint for longtime offensive line coach Pittman came when he went 11-9-1 from 1992-93 at Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College … Arkansas’ experienced offensive line features center RICKY STROMBERG and left guard BRADY LATHAM … Jefferson completed 198-of-294 passes (67.3%; second-best in school history) for 2,676 yards and 21 touchdowns last season, but developing a dependable deep-ball threat this season is critical … Jefferson also rushed for six TDs and a team-high 664 yards last season … Transfer JADON HASELWOOD (39 catches at Oklahoma last season) is a key offensive addition, and much improvement is expected from receiver KETRON JACKSON JR. … Pool had a team-high 125 total tackles last season; his 320 total stops since 2019 are second-most among active FBS defenders

TIDBITS: Jefferson was named MVP in the Razorbacks’ Outback Bowl win over Penn State, which marked their first postseason appearance after a four-year drought … The Razorbacks were picked third in the SEC West, according to a preseason media poll … Arkansas’ No. 8 AP ranking at one point last season was its highest since 2001

FUN FACT

The Razorbacks won more games last season (nine) than they did from 2019-21 combined (seven), and the nine marked their most victories since winning 10 in 2011

INFLUENCER

KJ Jefferson

Quarterback | 6-3 | 242 | RS Junior

When he produced six touchdowns against Ole Miss last season, Jefferson be- came one of just six SEC quarterbacks since 2000 with at least three same-game TDs running and passing, joining Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Mississippi State’s QB Dak Prescott, LSU’s Joe Burrow and Ole Miss’ Chad Kelly and Matt Corral.

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thirty nine − = thirty four