FAYETTEVILLE — KJ Jefferson is coming off an outstanding game against BYU and now hopes to duplicate that success on Saturday.

Jefferson and the Hogs had a bye week this past weekend as did this week’s opponent Auburn. In a 52-35 win over BYU, Jefferson completed 29 of 40 passes for 367 yards and five touchdowns. He also had 10 carries for 32 yards. Sam Pittman talked about how they handled the bye week with Jefferson who missed the Mississippi State game with a head injury.

“We just didn’t, he didn’t throw the football last week,” Pittman said. “I can’t remember the game. I’m wanting to say it might have been going into A&M on a Thursday, he threw a ball and didn’t finish practice. It’s been nagging him a little bit and so we decided not to throw him last week. I anticipate him being healthy and ready to go.”

Pittman talked about how important Jefferson is to the Hogs and how they are preparing him for games in hopes of having him against the five remaining opponents.

“Well, we’re going to change practice up just like we did when we went to BYU,” Pittman said. “We’re going to start fast with good on good and things of that nature. It worked so we’re going to keep it that way. But KJ is the heart and soul of our team, so having him will help us tremendously. I think we’re ready to try to make a run. I mean we talk about it a lot.

“Of course you’ve got to win the next one to get on a run. But especially late October, early November, it’s a lot about the vibe of the team. It’s a lot about where you’re at injury wise. What you really believe you can do, probably more importantly what you want to do. Things of that nature. I like where our team is. I think this is a big test for us, obviously on the road at a very traditionally rich program that has a lot of good players. And so, but I’m excited where we are and KJ is a big part of that.”

On the season, Jefferson has completed 109 of 161 passes for 1,463 yards, 14 touchdowns and only one interception. Jefferson is also second on the team in rushing with 91 carries for 344 yards and four touchdowns.

Another weapon offense is running back Raheim “Rocket” Sanders. The sophomore has rushed 140 times for 870 yards and seven touchdowns. He also has caught 15 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown. Pittman praised Sanders, but wants him to not fumble the football. He talked about the expected workload for Sanders the final five games.

“I like where he’s at,” Pittman said. “I think he’s 124 a game or something like that average. Ball security has to improve there. Again, not just necessarily ones on the ground but the way we’re carrying the ball. I think we’ve got to be a little smarter there. But he’s been a better back all year than he was last year just because he’s understanding it. He hasn’t played that position very long. But Rocket is a competitor. A guy that’s mature for his age, very much so. I think he can handle the load that he’s getting right now. Obviously we have four backs that we think are pretty good players. But it’s his ball. As long as he’s not tired we’re going to give him the ball.”

One of the key blockers for Sanders and Jefferson is right guard Beaux Limmer.

“Well, he’s got a little nastiness in him,” Pittman said. “He likes to play the game, likes to finish blocks. Beaux is extremely smart and strong. I think he probably has is the most improved offensive lineman we have this year. He’s played really well. I think he’s playing with a lot of confidence. That would mean to me that he finishes blocks well and he has the physicality to do that. I’ve been really pleased with him this year. He’s a really good center as well. We just, because of Ricky (Stromberg}, we haven’t had a chance to put him in there. But I think he’s an NFL player, I think he will be, and maybe in the future we’ll be able to look at him at center some as well.”

Transfer wide receiver Matt Landers had eight receptions for 99 yards and three touchdowns against BYU. It was his first touchdowns as a Razorback. Landers now has 25 catches for 360 yards and three touchdowns. Pittman hopes the big game against BYU helps Landers close out the season on a high note.

“I think you could almost feel the weight lifted off of his shoulders when he caught a touchdown pass,” Pittman said. “He hadn’t caught a touchdown this year, and I think when he did that that was a big, big deal for him. And then to catch three of them, and none of them were miraculous … he got by a guy and that was a long one and the other two he was wide open in the end zone and caught it. I think it was much needed, important for him to be able to do that. He’s got to be good here in this run we’re trying to make.”

Senior tight end Trey Knox also had a good game in the win over BYU. He caught four passes for 66 yards and a touchdown. He now has 16 receptions for 220 yards and three touchdowns. Pittman likes what he has seen from Knox.

“I was pleased,” Pittman said. “He made some key catches for us, too, against BYU. Certainly I think it goes a little bit with opening up the offense on first and second down. He will become more of a main target in that. He’ll continue to work and be consistent in his blocking, but I think he’s had a really good year. I think it was great for him to move from wideout to tight end. I think it was a really good move for him. And I think he’ll have an opportunity to play in the NFL.”

Freshman wide receiver Isaiah Sategna from Fayetteville was highly touted coming out of high school and expected to help the Hogs this season. However, he injured an ankle in practice and that has limited him. Pittman talked about him and tight end Tyrus Washington as well on Monday.

“He might (factor in down the stretch),” Pittman said. “He’s had an ankle that hurt him for a while, maybe now four and a half or five weeks. We talked about him today, as well, about he’s played in one and what are we going to do with him? Our philosophy has always been if you get bowl eligible you’d like anybody that you might think about redshirting or not … I’m not saying we are, but if that’s the case, you kind of want to leave one game open, so when they’re practicing that length that they actually feel like they’re going to play. I think it helps them with practices and helps them get better and those things.

“So he’s at one (game) right now. We’re aware of it. Obviously, we have not spoken with him about it yet. A lot of times we don’t unless a guy comes in, like with Tyrus Washington, and says, ‘I’ve played in four games, I’d like to redshirt if at all possible.’ We haven’t talked with Isaiah about that. But as of right now, it’d be nice to have him four more years after this because he’s so valuable. He can be valuable on special teams as well, and I think he’ll be a really good slot receiver for us. The injury certainly hurt him. At one point he was in the two-deep, and then the ankle bit him pretty hard.”

The Hogs have been much improved on third-down conversions this season. They were very successful against BYU in that regard.

“Yeah, well, it certainly has helped,” Pittman said. “We’d like to be higher than that. Of course last week was certainly- 12 I think, 12 out of 15. And, of course the one down on the goal line was a different situation. But if we can continue to stay on the field. We have to lean on our offense. I mean, that’s what we have to do right now. A lot of teams lean on one side or the other. But our offense needs to stay out there on the field and score points for us, and as long as they’re converting those third downs, it’s a big thing for us.”

Arkansas and Auburn will kickoff at 11 a.m. on Saturday and televised on the SEC Network.