I’m feeling pretty good about the upcoming football season. Many people have heard me say the Hogs could have their best season since 2011!
Talk me off the ledge or pump me up! Here’s my bold predictions for Arkansas in 2022.
Hogs go 11-1 with a single road loss in SEC play.
These are very bold predictions. I’m going to say Arkansas ends its long losing streak to Alabama this season.
The schedule sets up with a road game at Mississippi State the next week. Will Arkansas be ready coming off such a monumental victory?
Mike Leach’s team is expected to be solid offensively with their quarterback, Will Rogers returning. The Air Raid Cowbell’s could make things interesting in early October.
The Hogs will get back on track with road games at BYU and Auburn. Then, finish with Liberty, Ole Miss and LSU at home before closing with Missouri in Columbia, (MO.).
11-1 is entirely possible in year three under Sam Pittman.
The similarities to the 2010 team are there up and down the roster.
A second-year quarterback, a solid run game, an underrated offensive line, solid back seven play on defense and quality special teams play.
With the huge contract extension and the continuity of the coaching staff it’s absolutely possible.
KJ Jefferson throws for 3000 yards, rushes for 750 and scores 36 total touchdowns.
Jefferson could put up some Heisman numbers when you need him, too. His play against Ole Miss, LSU and Mississippi State last season showed he could be a top quarterback in the SEC.
In the biggest games Jefferson will be even bigger.
The Razorbacks will also need him to stay healthy if they plan to go 11-1 and a College Football Playoff Appearance.
Arkansas’ defensive efficiency rating is top three in the SEC.
History has a way of repeating itself. Barry Odom also has a way of fielding top tier defenses at every school he coaches.
This season, the Hogs return Catalon, Bumper Pool and an inexperienced defensive line. The backend of the Razorback defense will boast in talented transfers ready to star on this team.
My bold expectation is seeing the Hogs yield less than 24 points per game and be top five in yards given up and turnovers. Call me crazy but Odom is known for working defensive wonders the longer he stays at a school.
Dominique Johnson ends the season with the most rushing touchdowns again.
There will be an increased redzone emphasis with this team. That will include Johnson seeing a chunk of his touches being around the five yard line. Johnson will at least reach 10 touchdowns on the ground in 2022.
The thought by most is Rocket Sanders will get the bulk of carries and that could be completely true. However, it’s all about percentages and analytics. Johnson is a goal line dream and will be very effective this season.
Dwight McGlothern returns two interceptions for touchdowns.
This one is for fun and because McGlothern is a very good defensive back. He almost committed to the Razorbacks coming out of high school but chose LSU instead.
Arkansas had Busta Brown force five interceptions last season. I think it’s reasonable to see that number at least be matched again. However, this time McGlothern converts a couple into paydirt. The junior transfer scored on a pick six in the Tigers’ win over Florida last season.
Chris Landers, Trey Knox and Jadon Haselwood become endzone monsters in goal line situations.
Whether it is in the run blocking game or catching fades, The Razorbacks have plenty of size to go around. Haselwood will be used in the Treylon Burks role where he is lined up at any receiver position, most likely slot and gave success.
Knox has shown glimpses of being a factor in short yardage catches for first downs and such. At 6’5 and likely weighing it at 245 by September 3rd, Knox will be looking to leave a legacy and go onto the NFL as a tight end.
Landers is a fast fellow and will have the size to catch the 50-50 ball. Jefferson will have weapons all over the field if they can figure out the separation issues.
This could be the best group of wideouts since the 2016 season.
Arkansas rushes for over 400 yards to open 2022 season
This shouldn’t be so outlandish of a prediction but it very well could be.
Arkansas will return two of the better backs in the conference in Rocket Sanders and Dominique Johnson. If you add in the speed of AJ Green and freshman Rashod Dubinion, the Hogs could have a blazing time during the heat of an Ozark Mountain day.
You can also add that Jefferson will add 50-70 yards on the ground, too.
The Bearcats are fresh off a run to the College Football Playoff as the first Group of Five team to receive a berth. They return only four starters off of last year’s team defense that gave up only 16.9 points per game. They return three starters along the defensive front but will that be enough to slow the Hogs down?