FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas was perfect outside the SEC in 2021, but to repeat that will be a huge challenge for the 2022 Razorbacks.
In 2021, Arkansas defeated Rice 38-17, Texas 40-21, Georgia Southern 45-10 and UAPB 45-3. That group was 21-12 in 2020 when seasons were shorter due to COVID restrictions. Arkansas was coming off a 3-7 mark in 2020 against an all-SEC schedule.
This season, the Hogs are slated to open the season on Saturday, Sept. 3, against Cincinnati. On Sept. 17 the Razorbacks will host former head coach Bobby Petrino and Missouri State. The Hogs go to BYU on Oct. 15 and then will host Liberty on Nov. 5. Those four teams combined to go 39-13 in 2021. All the games will be played in Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville with the exception of BYU which will be in Provo, Utah.
Cincinnati became the first non-Power 5 school to play in the College Football Playoffs where they fell to Alabama 27-6 in the semifinals. The Bearcats finished 13-1. Missouri State was 8-4 and lost to Tennessee-Martin 32-31 in Round 1 of the FCS playoffs. The Bears only lost to Oklahoma State 23-16. One can rest assured Petrino will have his squad ready to play the Hogs. Petrino will be on the opposite sideline of where he had tremendous success building a 34-17 record from 2008-11.
BYU is a very good team at home. They finished 10-3 in 2021. The losses were to a very good Baylor team and Boise State. They lost the bowl game to UAB as well when missing some key players. They defeated Arizona 24-16, USC 35-31, Utah 26-17, Arizona State 27-17 and Washington State 21-19. Liberty had a good season, but did lose quarterback Malik Willis and others. They fell to Ole Miss 27-14 last season. Liberty finished 8-5 in 2021.
Cincinnati will be a challenge for the Hogs in the season opener, but the Bearcats did lose a lot of talent to the NFL Draft. The NFL drafted nine former Bearcats. BYU returns the majority of its starters from last season.