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College Football Preview 2024: Arkansas Razorbacks win projections, strengths and weaknesses, quarterback spotlight and more

2T3J9N2 ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 30: Arkansas Razorbacks defensive end Landon Jackson (#40) keeps his eyes on the quarterback during the Southwest Classic college football game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the Arkansas Razorbacks on September 30, 2023 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. (Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

After finishing with a combined 16-10 record between 2021 and 2022, Arkansas plummeted to a 4-8 mark this past season. The Razorbacks fielded the SEC’s third-worst offense in EPA per play in 2023 after placing sixth across the two years prior. The unit will look very different this upcoming season as they introduce quarterback, running back and offensive line transfers

The defense has intriguing talent at all three levels, but the offense’s improvement will be key to Arkansas’ chances at making a bowl game.


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Biggest Strength: Defending the run

Arkansas’ defensive line consistently made plays in the backfield last season. Razorback defensive tackles and edge defenders accounted for 41 tackles for a loss or no gain in 2023, the second most among SEC schools. Four of the five defensive linemen who played at least 300 snaps last season returned, including potential first-round edge defender Landon Jackson.


Biggest Weakness: An underwhelming passing game

Arkansas’ new quarterback, Boise State transfer Taylen Green, ranked 120th in the FBS in PFF passing grade last season (60.2). The Razorbacks bring back their top eight pass-catchers, but only one (Andrew Armstrong) accounted for more than 400 yards last year.

Finally, Arkansas finished just 99th in team pass-blocking grade in 2023 and is projected to start two transfers on the offensive line who have never been full-time starters.


2023 Team Overview

Offense
EPA per play Yards per play Successful play rate Explosive run play rate Explosive pass play rate
-0.084 4.9 30.4% 12.5% 12.6%
104th 120th 121st T-112th 96th
Defense
EPA allowed per play Yards allowed per play Successful play rate allowed Explosive run rate allowed Explosive pass rate allowed
-0.049 5.8 33.7% 15.7% 15.8%
51st 80th 50th 73rd 106th

Three Notable Transfer Portal Additions

  • QB Taylen Green (Boise State): 68.1 PFF grade
  • RB Ja'Quinden Jackson (Utah): 81.5 PFF grade
  • OT Fernando Carmona Jr. (San Jose State): 81.5 PFF grade

Three Notable Transfer Portal Losses

  • QB KJ Jefferson (UCF): 77.6 PFF grade
  • RB Raheim Sanders (South Carolina): 60.6 PFF grade
  • LB Jaheim Thomas (Wisconsin): 69.0 PFF grade


Quarterback Spotlight: Taylen Green

2023 Grade: 68.1
Key Stat: 83.8 rushing grade over past two seasons (13th among FBS quarterbacks with at least 100 carries)

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