FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas is finally getting back to Razorback Stadium to play a game with No. 23 Liberty coming to Fayetteville.
The Flames are 7-1 on the season and have played three quarterbacks. Former Tennessee quarterback Kaidon Salter was injured earlier in the season, but the Flames still have Johnathan Bennett and Charlie Brewer. Bennett was 24 of 29 for 247 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a 41-14 victory over BYU. He also added 46 yards on the ground on eight carries. That performance caught the eye of Arkansas safety Hudson Clark.
“Bennett had a great game against BYU,” Clark said. “He’s been a good fit for them. Brewer obviously has played at two Power Five schools, so they both have really good talent. They can throw it well. Brewer can run as well, and 11 (Bennett) can too. We definitely see some speed with Brewer. Overall, they’re both really good, and we’re going to be preparing for both and watching film on both.”
Brewer has played at Baylor and Utah. He has fought injuries this season that has limited him to 3 of 4 passing for 18 yards. On the ground, he has rushed five times for 13 yards. His most success was at Baylor. In his collegiate career, Brewer has passed for 10,202 yards and 68 touchdowns while rushing for 1,068 yards and 22 more touchdowns.
Clark was asked if Liberty’s offense reminds him of any other team the Hogs have faced this season?
“They like to throw the ball deep,” Clark said. “They like to have the quarterback run, and the quarterback can extend it with his legs. They can really do it all. So, yeah.”
Arkansas’ left tackle Luke Jones talked about the Liberty defense and what he has seen from them on tape.
“They’re a pretty aggressive defense,” Jones said. “They twist and move a lot on the D-line, and I think there are similarities to Mississippi State week whenever they were moving a lot during that game. We’re preparing for them and watching film on them right now.”
Clark admitted the way Liberty handled BYU got the Hogs attention. Arkansas defeated BYU the previous week as well.
“They’re really explosive,” Clark said. “They can run the ball, they can pass the ball. They’re pretty balanced. I think they have really good receivers who can catch really well. So if you’re not prepared, if you’re not locked in every play, they can really do a number on you. So we have to take that mentality to the game.”
Liberty running back Dae Dae Hunter is someone Hugh Freeze said could have played for him when he coached at Ole Miss. Hunter has carried 120 times for 821 yards and eight touchdowns this season. He has also caught 18 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown. The leading receiver is Demario Douglas who has grabbed 42 passes for 615 yards and five touchdowns. Bennett has completed 77 of 134 passes for 939 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has rushed 47 times for 111 yards and a touchdown. Clark knows he will see a lot of Douglas on Saturday.
“I mean, he’s a real good talent,” Clark said. “I think he could play anywhere. He’s quick, he gets in and out of breaks, he’s got really good hands. And once he gets the ball in his hands he’s a really good player and can break tackles, and he’s got that breakaway speed. So I think we’ve just got to keep an eye out on him and prepare for him and do that.”
Linebacker Drew Sanders is very aware of Hunter and the problems he poses for the Arkansas defense.
“Obviously he’s a really good back,” Sanders said. “Liberty’s a really good team. They’ve competed in every single game. They barely lost to Wake Forest. They’re a solid team and it’ll be a good contest. Their back I think is one of their better players on offense and it’ll be a good test for us.”
Arkansas and Liberty will kickoff at 3 p.m. Saturday with the game televised on the SEC Network.