#19 Arkansas hosts #23 Cincinnati Saturday in season opener

Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 10:28 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 3, 2022 at 12:20 AM CDT
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The Hogs are opening their season with a top-25 matchup in Fayetteville for the first time in program history. #19 Arkansas faces #23 Cincinnati on Saturday, Sept. 3, inside Razorback Stadium to begin the 2022 campaign. Kickoff between the Hogs and Bearcats is set for 2:30 p.m. on ESPN.

This year marks the first time since 1974 that Arkansas is ranked in the preseason and opening its season against a fellow top-25 team at home. No. 20 Arkansas defeated No. 5 USC, 22-7, in a home game at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Ark., to begin the 1974 campaign, finishing with a 6-4-1 record under legendary head coach Frank Broyles.

QB KJ Jefferson, one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in all of college football, returns to lead the Razorback offense in 2022. Jefferson threw for 2,676 yards and 21 touchdowns while running for 664 yards with six scores on the ground last season, posting the SEC’s fourth-best passing efficiency (164.7). He is one of two returning FBS quarterbacks (Louisville QB Malik Cunningham) to lead their team in both passing and rushing yards one year ago.

RB Raheim ‘Rocket’ Sanders burst onto the scene as a true freshman in 2021. The Rockledge, Fla., native earned SEC All-Freshman honors after running for 578 yards and five touchdowns last season, finishing second on the Hogs in rushing yards. Sanders was one of four Razorback ball carriers to rush for at least 500 yards in 2021 – a feat that had not been accomplished at Arkansas since 1975.

TE Trey Knox is Arkansas’ most experienced returning pass catcher entering the 2022 campaign. After beginning his collegiate career at wide receiver, the Murfreesboro, Tenn., native, shifted to tight end last season to provide depth at the position. Knox, who has 55 receptions for 596 yards and four touchdowns in 33 career games, thrived in the role, catching 20 balls for 141 yards and one score while helping block for a ground attack that led the SEC in rushing with an average of 227.8 yards per game.

LB Bumper Pool led the Razorbacks in total tackles with 125 last season, racking up 7.5 tackles for loss in the process. Pool, an All-America and All-SEC honoree, has posted two consecutive seasons with 100+ total tackles and boasts the second-most total tackles (320) among all FBS defenders since 2019. The Lucas, Texas, native enters 2022 with 349 career tackles – ninth-most all-time at Arkansas.