FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson said after the BYU game he was lifting weights and an Auburn defender found that out Saturday.

Early in the second quarter, Arkansas was leading Auburn 7-3 when Jefferson ran 13 yards for a touchdown to put the Hogs up 14-3. On his way into the end zone, Jefferson stiff armed an Auburn defender to the ground. Following the game, Jefferson talked about that play.

“Actually I really ran the wrong play,” Jefferson said smiling. “Basically it was a zone and I was just reading. It’s really a shallow route to (Jadon) Haselwood actually. I didn’t see Haselwood at all, so I just took off running and I made the most of it. I had to make one guy miss, and that was the guy I made miss.”

It seems safe to say Auburn probably knows now you lift weights and your strength?

“I think they did, I think they did, I think they did,” Jefferson said. “That’s the first thing my teammates actually came up to me and said — you lift weights. It’s trend now. I love it. I love going out there with my teammates and playing hard-nosed football.”

Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman already knew what Auburn found out Saturday about Jefferson’s strength and talent.

“Yeah, I mean, he just extends plays when really there’s no way that he can,” Pittman said. “He’s so big that they can’t get him down. And strong. That was a big, big play in the game, but I’m really proud of him. He’s taken over the leadership of the team more and more each week. He had a heck of a game, he takes care of the ball.”

Rocket Sanders is no slouch himself. He rushed 16 times for 171 yards and caught a pass for six yards. Sanders now has rushed for 1,041 yards and seven touchdowns on 156 attempts. He too was impressed with Jefferson’s still-arm run for the touchdown.

“Yeah, I saw that,” Sanders said. “That was smooth. That’s next level. That was smooth. He always play around, man. When I told him about that, I was like ‘That was smooth,’ gave him confidence, he probably wanted to hit me back and was like, ‘Oh, yeah, I gotta teach you a little something.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, okay, I guess.'”

Jefferson completed 16 of 24 passes for 234 yards and one touchdown while rushing 10 times for 45 yards and two touchdowns. Jefferson, Sanders and the other backs got the running game going in the second half. The Hogs finished the game with 286 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Jefferson talked about what led to the second-half success.

“Just being to know we can establish the run,” Jefferson said. “We kind of got away from it in the first half, with throwing the ball. We just wanted to get back to the basics and knowing we can ground and pound and win the game by running the ball and establishing the run. That’s what the second-half adjustment was.”

Jefferson is obviously developing very good chemistry with wide receiver Matt Landers. Against BYU, Jefferson found him eight times for 99 yards and three touchdowns. Then on Saturday Jefferson connected with Landers four times for 115 yards.

“Just being able to understand Matt and try to get him into a rhythm early to build his confidence up,” Jefferson said. “He’s extremely hard on himself, so anything that he doesn’t get, he’s just down on himself, so being able to get him into rhythm early, let him get a feel for the game and then I know I can go to Matt in tough situations.”

Entering Saturday’s game the Hogs hadn’t beaten Auburn since 2015. The 41-27 victory on Saturday changed all that.

“Coach Pittman emphasized this week in practice,” Jefferson said. “Just being able to play for those guys that had never beaten Auburn, to send them out the correct way, is truly an accomplishment for everybody on the team.”

Jefferson and the Hogs outscored Auburn 14-0 in the third quarter on Saturday. The Hogs only led 17-13 at halftime, but the Hogs took control of the game in the third quarter.

“Just starting fast,” Jefferson said. “We emphasized starting fast all week of practice just like BYU week … We know we haven’t won the third quarter all season, so just being able to come out with that edge and that mentality we’re going to win and dominate the third quarter. So that was our whole mentality for both sides.”

Arkansas started the season 3-0. Then they lost three in a row, but now have won two straight. Is the season back on track?

“It is,” Jefferson said. “We’ve all bought into the process just knowing we need to go on this run. Be able to create history like we did today, being able to snap the losing streak versus Auburn. So we’re able to create history, write our own story and keep moving forward. Keep this program on track.”

Arkansas will return to Razorback Stadium on Saturday for the first time since Oct. 1. They will host Liberty at 3 p.m. Saturday and televised on the SEC Network. Liberty is 7-1 with only a one-point loss to Wake Forest on its record.