Liberty Bowl: Kansas (6-6) vs. Arkansas (6-6), Dec. 28, 5:30 p.m. EST (ESPN)
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK COLLEGE LINE: Arkansas by 2 1/2.
Series record: Kansas leads 2-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
A winning record. This is the first bowl game for Kansas from the Big 12 since 2008 when the Jayhawks routed Minnesota in the Insight Bowl in Arizona. It’s also the Jayhawks’ 13th bowl game all-time. Arkansas from the Southeastern Conference is playing in its second straight bowl under coach Sam Pittman and 44th in program history. The Razorbacks are familiar with the Liberty Bowl: Wednesday will be their sixth time and first since beating Kansas State 45-23 on Jan. 2, 2016.
Expect an offensive showdown. Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson is a dual threat, completing 68.3% of his passes for 2,361 yards with 22 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He’s also run for 510 yards and seven TDs in 10 games running an offense ranked 26th in the country due to piling up 453.8 yards per game. Kansas ranked 38th in total yards, but the Jayhawks may have an edge in scoring with an average of 34.2 points a game (27th nationally). The Jayhawks also rank fifth nationally averaging 7.01 yards per play.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kansas: RB Devin Neal ran for 1,061 yards and averaged 6.2 yard per carry, good for 20th nationally. He was the first Power Five running back to run for at least 190 yards in consecutive games. He ran for 224 yards and adding 110 yards receiving against Oklahoma State and 190 running yards against Texas Tech.
Arkansas: RB Raheim “Rocket” Sanders. He led the Razorbacks in rushing with 1,426 yards and 10 TDs, averaging 6.5 yards per carry. He ranks second in the SEC for total rushing yards and his average of 118.8 yards per game. He led the SEC with 1,697 all-purpose yards.
FACTS & FIGURES
These programs have not met since 1906 when Kansas beat Arkansas for a second straight season. … Arkansas is 15-24-3 all-time in bowl games and 2-3 at the Liberty Bowl. … Kansas is 6-6 all-time in bowl games. This is Kansas’ first bowl game against an SEC team since the 1981 Hall of Fame Bowl, a 10-0 loss to Mississippi State. This is the Jayhawks’ second Liberty Bowl and first since 1973, a loss to North Carolina State. … Kansas scored 56 offensive touchdowns this season, most since 2008. … Kansas ranks seventh nationally allowing only nine sacks with the same five linemen starting every game. … Arkansas led the SEC and tied for fifth nationally with 39 sacks. That’s one off the school record set in 1998. … Arkansas are averaging 223.4 yards rushing per game and hit 200 yards rushing an SEC-best eight games this season. The Razorbacks rank second in the SEC and ninth nationally in rushing offense.
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