FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — In the week leading up to Arkansas vs. #23 Liberty, you'd have been hard-pressed to tell which team was the ranked one based on the chatter.
The Hogs were a two-touchdown favorite over the Flames, and, well, you don't normally schedule a Homecoming game against an opponent you expect to struggle with. And yet...
It was all Liberty from the start. Arkansas got the ball first and quickly went three and out. That was the story of the first half.
The Hogs punted on their first four drives, followed by a turnover on downs, another punt, and an interception. That pick, KJ Jefferson's second of the season, bounced off of Trey Knox's hands in the end zone.
Meanwhile, Liberty, led by a third-string quarterback who missed practice all week with the flu, managed to put points on the board, scoring touchdowns on two straight drives to end the first quarter and start the second.
Only a 50-yard field goal from Cam Little at the end of the half kept the Hogs from going into the locker room with a goose egg on the scoreboard.
The Arkansas defense came out of the locker room with some fire, shutting out Liberty in the third quarter. The offense still couldn't score though, but at least the special teams could. Clarendon alum Quincy McAdoo blocked a punt in the end zone for safety, cutting the deficit to 21-5.
After the teams traded interceptions, Arkansas finally put together a scoring drive, going 84 yards on 17 plays, capped by a quick touchdown pass to Knox. A direct snap to Rocket Sanders for the two-point conversion made it an on-possession game.
Liberty looked to be driving to ice the game, but the Arkansas defense made back-to-back stops after a nine-yard first-down run to force a punt, and the Hogs got the ball back with just under four minutes to play.
Arkansas drove the field and scored with 1:11 left on the clock. Needing the two-point conversion to tie, a KJ Jefferson sneak was inches short, and Arkansas falls 21-19.
Up next, the Hogs host LSU, on November 12th at 11:00 a.m.