BYU (2-0) at Arkansas (2-0), Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Line: Arkansas by 8, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Arkansas leads 1-0.
The first opponents Arkansas has faced were hardly the kind to give a true glimpse of what may be in store for the Razorbacks in 2023. After beating FCS foe Western Carolina in Week 1, Arkansas followed with a 28-6 win over Kent State in Week 2. That victory saw them pick up the second-most votes of any team outside the AP Top 25. Another win Saturday over BYU would have Razorbacks faithful feeling good ahead of a brutal next month that features three ranked SEC teams and Texas A&M. BYU, which is in its first year in the Big 12, would love a signature victory over an SEC team and a bit of revenge after losing to the Hogs last season.
BYU, despite scoring 41 points against Southern Utah last week, is ranked 111th in FBS in total offense, averaging just over 325 yards per game. The Arkansas defense has not allowed a touchdown yet, and is allowing just 245.5 yards per game, good for 18th in the country.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
BYU: DE Tyler Batty has wreaked some havoc in the early going coming off the edge for the Cougars, logging two tackles for loss, a sack and three quarterback hurries. Arkansas has had some issues on the offensive line. If Batty can disrupt quarterback KJ Jefferson, the Arkansas offense could struggle.
Arkansas: QB KJ Jefferson will carry a larger load than usual without injured star RB Raheim Sanders. A preseason second-team All-SEC selection, Jefferson hasn’t been turned loose by offensive coordinator Dan Enos this season. He has just 389 yards passing and 59 yards rushing through two games.
Arkansas defensive end Trajan Jeffcoat was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week after the Kent State game. He had two tackles for loss and 1 1/2 sacks last week. BYU trailed last year’s game by just three points with 17 minutes left before losing 52-35. Junior running back AJ Green is expected to get a bulk of the carries for Arkansas with Sanders out. He ran 15 times for 82 yards against Kent State.
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