How does KJ Jefferson top his performance from Saturday against Ole Miss? He has really come into his own as he develops under Kendal Briles. The timing of big plays, being a physical runner and has a grasp of how this offense runs.
The quarterback run has been a staple in Briles’ offense since his days at Baylor. He inherited a big, mobile signal caller that had all the tools to be a bit time player for Arkansas. Former head coach, Chad Morris, recruited Jefferson as the quarterback of the future. The future has finally come to fruition as he is the most talked about player on this Razorback team. There no longer lies any doubt about who QB1 is. There is no controversy. Jefferson is the man and no one else is even close.
This season, outside of the first half against Rice, Jefferson has looked the part of a high-level SEC quarterback. Similar to the show he put on in the season finale against Missouri in 2020. His completion percentage has risen tremendously from his career average. He’s up to 63% in 2021 and that’s already been against two stout defenses in Texas A&M and Georgia. His 1235 yards passing and 320 yards rushing make him look very elite, as he deserves to be. Even so more, Jefferson outdueled Ole Miss quarterback and Heisman favorite, Matt Corral in a loss on Saturday. So, what does Jefferson do this Saturday?
Stretch the field: Jefferson has no problem blowing the top off of SEC defenses. Outside of Georgia, he has thrown at least one pass of more than 30 yards in every game. Like I mentioned yesterday, Auburn won’t be beaten on the ground as much as it would be through the air. The Tigers are giving up 316 yards passing in road games. Will that be a key to beating them?
Pound the rock: One thing Jefferson has done is be able to move that ball with his legs. He has picked up numerous first downs and scored five touchdowns on the ground. Jefferson picked up a couple of huge first downs against the Aggies on the final drive to place the nail in the coffin. He did the same thing against Texas when Arkansas ran all over Bevo’s defense, rushing for 73 yards on 10 carries. The Tigers have a top three run defense in the conference so Jefferson and his running ability will be a test.
Being THE captain: Watching how Jefferson reeled after the loss to Ole Miss showed me a few things. One of them was he hates to lose. It looked like it gave him a bad taste in his mouth and longed for another chance to win it. Captains take losing personally. They want to win and will not give up. The way Jefferson soaked in the atmosphere postgame in Oxford on Saturday tells me he is ready to serve up vengeance to the remainder of the schedule. He has a bad taste in his mouth and I wouldn’t be surprised if he will not be denied the rest of the year. Jefferson is ready and Hog fans should be ready for a long ride.
Jacob is the managing editor of Arkansas Fight! He hopes you enjoy the content and consider subscribing for free! You can also follow him on Twitter at @jacobscottdavis.