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BYU Prepares For Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson Returning From Injury

Oct 10, 2022, 5:10 PM | Updated: Oct 11, 2022, 11:37 pm
BYU Football, KJ Jefferson, Arkansas Razorbacks...
BYU football is preparing for the return of Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson, who was sidelined last week with a head injury. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football has another difficult game in front of them this week when they host the Arkansas Razorbacks.

After Monday’s press conference, the challenge appears to be getting tougher as Hogs starting quarterback KJ Jefferson is expected to return this week. Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman said Jefferson, who was dealing with a head injury, will have a normal week of practice in preparation for BYU.

“Yes, it’s a normal week,” Sam Pittman said during his Monday press conference when asked about Jefferson’s availability in practice. “He just can’t get hit today would be that protocol. But he never gets hit anyway in practice, so he  can go ahead and do his full thing today.”

The 6-foot-3, 242-pound Jefferson is an elite talent at the quarterback position and is viewed as a potential early-round NFL draft prospect. Last season, Jefferson was instrumental in leading Arkansas to a 9-4 record.

“We’ve watched some of the interviews from their head coach as well as their offensive coordinator and [Jefferson] had a chance to come back and play this last week for them. But they decided to hold him. So I think we’ll definitely see him this week,” said BYU defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki on Coordinators’ Coordinator.

Sitake on KJ Jefferson: “He’s a special player”

BYU coach Kalani Sitake had high praise for the type of challenge Jefferson will pose to BYU’s defense.

“You can see it on film, and you can see the things that he does to the great talent on defenses that they are going against; he’s a special player,” Sitake said. “Big, too, and he can fly, he’s got it all man, and he’s a pain. … He’ll punish you and he can do it with his arm and with his legs. He’s extremely talented and you can see when he’s in there, he makes a huge difference for their team.”

Getting Jefferson back is critical for an Arkansas team that is currently on a three-game losing streak entering the BYU game. Last week’s absence was the first for Jefferson since he became the full-starter at quarterback for the Hogs last season.

Jefferson has passed for 1,096 yards and completed 66.1% of his passes while also rushing for 312 yards and four touchdowns on 81 attempts.

BYU vs. Arkansas

Location: LaVell Edwards Stadium

Kickoff: 1:30 p.m. (MT)

TV: ESPN

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM – Extended pregame begins at 9 a.m.)

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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