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Predicting the 2023 Football Season: Arkansas Razorbacks

The Sam Pittman lovefest train slows to a crawl.

Alabama v Arkansas
In 2023, it’s K.J. Jefferson and.....
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Fifth in our installments of our wild blind dart-throwing predictions takes us to Hogville.


Coach: Sam Pittman, age 61 (19–17, SEC 10–16 in three seasons at Arky)

2022 Arkansas record: 7-6 (3-5 SEC, 5th in the West; Triple overtime Liberty Bowl win over Kansas)

CB969 2022 Prediction: 8-4 “Pittman did a remarkable job in his second year as a head coach. The hardest thing to do is follow up a big year with another big year. Has he used up all his tricks and pep talks?...”

Looking back: A stacked defense and stars in the offensive backfield led to lofty projections in 2022. The Razorbacks won their first three over Cincy, SCar and Mo State, but then lost three straight: TAMU, Bama, MSU. Road wins over BYU and Aubie got hope back on their side. The Hogs then came out flat against Liberty and a near miss defeat to LSU. Arky ybeat Ole Miss but fell to a lousy Mizzou team. The saving grace was a wild triple overtime win over Kansas in the Liberty Bowl.

Returning starters: 4 on offense, 3 on defense, kicker, punter.

Key losses: OC Kendal Briles (left for same job with TCU), DC Barry Odom (head coach UNLV), LB Drew Sanders (3rd round, Broncos), C Ricky Stromberg (3rd round, Washington), WR Jadon Haselwood, WR Matt Landers, OT Dalton Wagner, LB Bumper Pool, DB Latavious Brini, DB Jalen Catalon (Texas), TE Trey Knox (South Carolina), EDGE Jordan Domineck (Colorado - sucker!), DB Simeon Blair (Memphis), WR Ketron Jackson (Baylor), QB Malik Hornsby (Texas State)

Top returnees: QB KJ Jefferson, RB Raheim “Rocket” Sanders, PK Cam Little, DB Dwight McGlothern, OL Brady Latham, LB Chris Paul, DB Hudson Clark, C Beaux Limmer, DL Taurean Carter (missed all of last season)

Top newcomers: Job hopper OC Dan Enos (from Maryland), DC Travis Williams (from UCF), TE Var’keyes Gumms (transfer from North Texas), CB Jaheim Singletary (UGA), EDGE Trajan Jeffcoat (Mizzou), CB Lorando Johnson (Baylor), S Alfahiym Walcott (Baylor), TE Luke Hasz (Fr.), S Christian Ford (Fr.)

Name you need to know: You probably already know the name since he has been around forever, but K.J. Jefferson is a threat to pass or run. At 6’ 3”, 246 lbs (almost identical to Derrick Henry), it is a daunting task to bring him down.

Strengths: Jefferson is a playmaker but needs more consistency... running backs and their depth... Tight end... More depth at DL and DB...

Weaknesses: New OC and DC rebuilding a bad defense and okay offense with all these new transfers will be daunting... New wide receivers to break in... Nine transfers projected to start does not speak well of a program’s development...

Outlook: Pittman again turned to the Transfer Portal to fill holes. Problem is, he lost about as many as he added. And those he added are not all that much better. I fear it’s going to be a long year for the Hogs.

Win Total Odds*

Over 7 +125 (bet $100 to win $125)
Under 7 -145 (bet $145 to win $100)

*Source: DraftKings


Sat, Sep 2 vs Western Carolina - W
Sat, Sep 9 vs Kent State - W
Sat, Sep 16 vs BYU - W
Sat, Sep 23 @ LSU - L
Sat, Sep 30 vs Texas A&M (in Arlington) - L
Sat, Oct 7 @ Ole Miss - L
Sat, Oct 14 @ Alabama - L
Sat, Oct 21 vs Mississippi State - L - possible toss up
Sat, Nov 4 @ Florida - L
Sat, Nov 11 vs Auburn - L
Sat, Nov 18 FIU - W
Fri, Nov 24 vs Missouri - W


Regular season wins for Arky in 2023:

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    10 - I BELEIVE in Pittman
    (22 votes)
  • 8%
    9 - Jefferson will carry the team
    (36 votes)
  • 15%
    (63 votes)
  • 25%
    (104 votes)
  • 32%
    (131 votes)
  • 11%
    5 or less - HOT SEAT for Pittman
    (48 votes)
404 votes total Vote Now


Sat, Sep 2 vs Middle Tennessee
Sat, Sep 9 vs Texas
Sat, Sep 16 @ South Florida
Sat, Sep 23 vs Ole Miss
Sat, Sep 30 @ Mississippi State
Sat, Oct 7 @ Texas A&M
Sat, Oct 14 vs Arkansas
Sat, Oct 21 vs Tennessee
Sat, Oct 28 off week
Sat, Nov 4 vs LSU
Sat, Nov 11 @ Kentucky
Sat, Nov 18 vs Chattanooga
Sat, Nov 25 @ Auburn