Year four of the Hugh Freeze era gets underway with a road trip to Southern Miss on Sept. 3. Today, we continue our early look at Liberty’s 2022 schedule as the Flames travel to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in one of the most anticipated games of the season.

WHO: Arkansas (9-4, 4-4 SEC)

WHEN: Nov. 5, TBD

WHERE: Razorback Stadium (76,212)

SERIES: First meeting

WHAT’S NEW: The Razorbacks posted back-to-back 2-10 seasons in 2018 and 2019, which included a school-record 19 straight SEC losses. Sam Pittman was hired prior to the 2020 campaign as he became the third head coach in four years. He was just 3-7 in his first year in an all-SEC schedule, COVID-shortened season. Arkansas bounced back in a big way last year and look to continue that trend into 2022.

WHO TO WATCH, OFFENSE: Quarterback KJ Jefferson had a breakout sophomore season last year, completing 67.3% of his passes for 2,676 yards with 21 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He also led the Razorbacks in rushing with 664 yards and six touchdowns on 146 carries.

WHO TO WATCH, DEFENSE: Linebacker Bumper Pool led Arkansas and was third in the SEC with 125 tackles. He added 7.5 tackles for loss and two pass breakups. The super senior has 349 career tackles in 44 games.

OUTLOOK: Last year, Arkansas got to 4-0 to begin the year and was ranked No. 8 in the AP Poll before dropping three in a row and falling out of the Top 25. The Razorbacks would bounce back with three wins before losing to Alabama and then defeated Penn State for their first January 1st bowl win since 2000 to finish No. 21 in the final AP poll.

The Razorbacks once again face one of the toughest schedules in the country, but they have brought in a number of talented transfers including Oklahoma receiver Jadon Haselwood, as well as transfers from Georgia Tech, LSU, Alabama, and Georgia.

The offense should remain explosive even with the loss of first-round NFL draft wide receiver Treylon Burks who is now a teammate of former Liberty quarterback Malik Willis with the Tennessee Titans. Jefferson is a true dual-threat at quarterback and has a talented group of pass catchers to throw to including Haselwood. Three of the top four running backs return behind an offensive line that returns four starters.

On defense, the Razorbacks will rely on a number of transfers, particularly on the defensive line and linebacker. Arkansas returns three starters in the secondary, led by safety Jalen Catalon.

Liberty will be coming off a bye week when they travel to Arkansas for homecoming while the game is scheduled between two big SEC games in Auburn and LSU for the Razorbacks. Arkansas will play at BYU on Oct. 15, just a week before the Flames play host to the Cougars.


Sept. 3: @ Southern Miss
Sept. 10: UAB
Sept. 17: @ Wake Forest
Sept. 24: Akron
Oct. 1: @ Old Dominion
Oct. 8: @ UMass
Oct. 15: Gardner-Webb
Oct. 22: BYU