BYU COUGARS

Three Things To Know About BYU Football Opponent Arkansas

Jun 14, 2023, 10:35 AM

BYU Football, Arkansas, Kickoff Time...

BYU football will travel to Arkansas during the 2023 nonconference schedule. (Ben B. Braun, Deseret News)

(Ben B. Braun, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – BYU football has one non-conference game against a Power Five opponent. It’s a revenge opportunity as BYU travels to SEC Country to face the Arkansas Razorbacks.

BYU’s first visit to Fayetteville in program history will be on September 16.

Last season, Arkansas crushed BYU 52-35 as the Hogs racked up 644 yards of offense in the blowout win in Provo.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

BYU at Arkansas

Date: Saturday, September 16, 2023

Location: Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium

Kickoff: 5:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN2

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM)

RELATED: 10 Must-Watch Big 12 Nonconference Games In 2023

Arkansas has one of the best backfields in college football

BYU knows all too well the Hogs’ talent in their offensive backfield. KJ Jefferson returns at quarterback, and Raheim “Rocket” Sanders at running back. Both players combined for 574 of Arkansas’ 644 yards on BYU a season ago.

They are considered the best backfield in the SEC and arguably the country entering the 2023 season.

Sanders was a first-team All-SEC pick on his way to rushing for 1,443 yards and ten touchdowns last season.

BYU has a new defensive coordinator in Jay Hill. Trying to stop Sanders and Jefferson will be the first big barometer check of how improved BYU’s defense is in 2023 compared to a season ago.

New coordinators

One positive for BYU is that Arkansas won’t have the same offensive play caller this fall. Last year, the Hogs had Kendal Briles as offensive coordinator, but he bolted for the same position and associate head coach title at TCU.

Replacing Briles is Dan Enos, who has a history working with Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman. Pittman and Enos were on the same Arkansas staff in 2015. Enos was the offensive coordinator, and Pittman was the associate head coach coaching the offensive line under Bret Bielema.

The tempo of last year’s Arkansas offense probably goes out the window to a more smashmouth attack. We shall see this fall.

On the defensive side, Arkansas has a new coordinator there as well. Barry Odom left Fayetteville to be the head coach at UNLV in the Mountain West after a season where Arkansas was 123rd nationally in total defense.

Travis Williams is the new defensive coordinator after two seasons as the DC at UCF and before that as a co-defensive coordinator at Auburn under Gus Malzahn.

Find BYU Football’s 2023 schedule here.

Don’t sleep on Arkansas because of last year’s record

Arkansas was a preseason sleeper last year to potentially contend in the SEC West. That never materialized, as they finished with a 7-6 record. But when you look at the finishes in many of the games, the Hogs had close calls.

Arkansas lost four games last season by a combined nine points. Each of those four losses were by a field goal or less. If Arkansas wins those games, they were an 11-2 team last season.

There’s no margin for error for a program like Arkansas in the SEC. But they have shown under Pittman that they are a tough out for anyone in the SEC.

The BYU game for Arkansas will be important, as three of their next four are on the road. Two of those will be against SEC West favorites LSU and Alabama.

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 Mitch’s coverage of BYU moving to the Big 12 Conference on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

Take us with you wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

BYU Cougars

Bronco Mendenhall, New Mexico, Former BYU Coach...

Mitch Harper

Former BYU Coach Bronco Mendenhall Excited For Next Journey At New Mexico

The former headman at BYU is back in the Mountain West Conference.

16 hours ago

BYU Football, Ben Bywater, Injury Update...

Mitch Harper

Kalani Sitake Provides Injury Update On BYU LB Ben Bywater

Linebacker Ben Bywater is working his way back from an injury he suffered last season.

23 hours ago

Jimmer Fredette, BYU Football, Big 12 Media Day, Olympics...

Mitch Harper

Jimmer Fredette Supports BYU Football At Media Day Before Olympics Trip

Jimmer is set to lock in for the Olympic games in Paris.

1 day ago

BYU Football, Kalani Sitake, Big 12 Media Day...

Mitch Harper

Kalani Sitake Boasts Confident Outlook For BYU Football Entering 2024 Season

The ninth year head coach exits Big 12 Media Day with confidence that BYU football will exceed expectations.

1 day ago

Brett Yormark, Big 12, BYU Football...

Mitch Harper

Brett Yormark: BYU Has ‘Embraced Innovation’ As Big 12 Member

Big 12 boss likes what he sees from BYU as a Big 12 member.

2 days ago

BYU Cougars Football Head Coach Kalani Sitake Big 12 Media Days...

Chandler Holt

Head Coach Kalani Sitake Says BYU Football Isn’t ‘Looking For Quick Fix’

Going into his ninth season with the Cougars, BYU Football head coach Kalani Sitake understands that champions aren't made overnight.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Three Things To Know About BYU Football Opponent Arkansas