Nov 18, 2023; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks running back Isaiah Augustave (23) rushes during the second half against the FIU Panthers at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas won 44-20. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Former Arkansas RB Isaiah Augustave transfers to Colorado

Former Arkansas running back Isaiah Augustave, who rushed for a combined 181 yards in his last two games for the Razorbacks, announced on social media Thursday afternoon that he is transferring to Colorado.

The 6-foot-2, 208-pound Augustave played as a true freshman in 2023 for Arkansas, totaling 35 carries for 202 yards and one touchdown, and catching three passes for seven yards in 11 games.

He earned Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week honors for his Nov. 18 effort in a 44-20 victory over Florida International. Augustave rushed 14 times for 101 yards, a 7.2-yard average. The next week in the season finale, he rushed 15 times for 80 yards and his lone score.

Augustave, who will have three years of eligibility remaining, chose Colorado over offers from Florida State, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Utah and other programs.

The Buffaloes’ running back room includes Ohio State transfer Dallan Hayden as well as Micah Welch, Charlie Offerdahl and Brandon Hood.

Colorado thought it had a commitment from transfer Rashad Amos, who changed his decision to Ole Miss on May 18. Amos played at South Carolina (2020-22) and Miami of Ohio, where he rushed for 1,075 yards and 13 TDs last season.

Augustave was a four-star prospect in the Class of 2023 out of Naples (Fla.) High School, where as a senior was rated a top-15 running back in the country and the No. 38 player in Florida by 247Sports.

–Field Level Media

Nov 11, 2023; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA;  Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback KJ Jefferson (1) runs the ball during the second quarter in the game against the Auburn Tigersat Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas transfer QB KJ Jefferson commits to UCF

Former Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson announced on social media Monday that he will transfer to UCF for his final season of eligibility.

Jefferson, 22, completed 64.2 percent of his passes for the Razorbacks in 12 starts last season, throwing for 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The Razorbacks finished 4-8.

Jefferson played just three games as a true freshman in 2019 and made two starts over eight games from 2019-20. As the full-time starting QB for the Razorbacks in 2021, he threw for 21 touchdowns and four interceptions then followed that in 2022 with 24 TDs and five interceptions.

All told, Jefferson has amassed 7,911 passing yards, 67 touchdowns and 18 interceptions as well as 1,876 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns in parts of five seasons in Fayetteville.

Shortly after Jefferson announced he would move to UCF, wide receiver Kobe Hudson announced he would return to the Knights in 2024. Hudson, a former Auburn transfer, had 44 catches for 900 yards and eight TDs this past season.

–Field Level Media

Nov 18, 2023; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback KJ Jefferson (1) rushes in the third quarter against the FIU Panthers at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas won 44-20. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson enters transfer portal

Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson is in the transfer portal, several outlets reported Monday.

As a graduate transfer, Jefferson will be immediately eligible to play in 2024.

Jefferson has spent five years with the Razorbacks and thrown for 7,911 yards, 67 touchdowns and 18 interceptions on 65.1 percent passing. In 2023, his numbers took a slight dip from recent seasons with 2,107 yards, 19 touchdowns and a career-high eight picks.

Jefferson also ran for 447 yards and two touchdowns in 2023 and has gained 1,876 yards rushing and scored 21 rushing touchdowns over five seasons.

During Jefferson’s time on campus, Arkansas recovered from some lean years to go 9-4 in 2021 (with an AP ranking as high as No. 8) and 7-6 in 2022. But the Razorbacks fell to 4-8 (1-7 SEC) in 2023, and the program hired its former head coach, Bobby Petrino, as the new offensive coordinator under Sam Pittman.

Jefferson hails from Mississippi and was a four-star prospect coming out of high school. He earned MVP honors at both the Outback Bowl after the 2021 season and the Liberty Bowl after the 2022 campaign.

–Field Level Media

Nov 11, 2023; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA;  Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback KJ Jefferson (1) gets past Auburn Tigers linebacker Elijah McAllister (11) during the second quarter at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson to enter transfer portal

Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson will enter the transfer portal, he announced in a social media post Saturday.

“It has been a dream to be captain and QB1 at the University of Arkansas,” Jefferson wrote on Instagram. “Accomplishing those records and being mentioned amongst the great QBs in Razorback history was an honor, but the memories and friendships I’ve made with my coaches and teammates along the way are what I’ll cherish the most.

“To the fans, I can’t express my gratitude enough for all of the support I’ve received from this great state. I hope you’ve enjoyed watching me grow as a man and a player as much as I’ve enjoyed representing this state and university. You accepted me as one of your own, and for that, I’m forever grateful and in your debt.”

The 6-foot-3, 247-pound Sardis, Miss., native totaled 7,911 yards passing and 67 touchdowns in his career at Arkansas. Prior to 2023, he had two straight seasons where he rushed for at least 600 yards and six touchdowns.

Arkansas finished the 2023 season a disappointing 4-8 with Jefferson throwing for a career-low 2,107 yards and eight interceptions, and only adding 447 yards and two touchdowns via the ground.

However, his previous three seasons as a starter did enough to establish his talent, and he is expected to be an attractive QB option in the portal, with schools like South Carolina and Auburn as possible destinations for Jefferson.

In a 44-20 win over Florida International in November, Jefferson broke Brandon Allen’s school record of 64 TD passes and Tyler Wilson’s passing yardage mark of 7,765 yards.

Before Jefferson officially stated his intentions, Arkansas grabbed Boise State transfer quarterback Taylen Green via the portal on Dec. 12.

–Field Level Media

Missouri State Bears head coach Bobby Petrino during the bears win on the Western Illinois Leathernecks at Plaster Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022.

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Bobby Petrino back at Arkansas as offensive coordinator

Bobby Petrino is returning to Arkansas as the offensive coordinator under Razorbacks coach Sam Pittman.

Petrino was the head coach in Fayetteville from 2008-11, compiling a 34-17 record with three bowl games.

He replaces Dan Enos, who was fired last month following a 7-3 home loss against Mississippi State.

Per ESPN, Petrino will receive $1.35 million in 2024 and $1.5 million over the following two seasons.

Petrino, 62, spent the 2023 season at Texas A&M as the offensive coordinator for Jimbo Fisher, who was fired on Nov. 12.

Petrino also has been a head coach in the college ranks at Louisville (2003-06, 2014-18), Western Kentucky (2013), and FCS program Missouri State (2020-22). He went 3-10 as head coach of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons in 2007.

The Razorbacks finished 4-8 this season, including 1-7 in the Southeastern Conference.

–Field Level Media

Missouri State Bears head coach Bobby Petrino during the bears win on the Western Illinois Leathernecks at Plaster Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022.

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Reports: Arkansas preparing to hire Bobby Petrino for OC job

Bobby Petrino and Arkansas appear to be headed for an unlikely reunion.

Arkansas is finalizing a deal to make Petrino its next offensive coordinator, ESPN and 247Sports reported Tuesday.

After ESPN reported that Arkansas was “vetting” its former head coach, 247Sports reported that “the deal is done,” only missing Petrino’s signature.

Petrino, 62, spent 2008-11 as the Razorbacks’ coach and led them to a Cotton Bowl win in the 2011 season. But he was fired in April 2012 after a motorcycle accident led to the revelation that he was conducting an extramarital affair with an athletic department employee.

Arkansas fired offensive coordinator Dan Enos midway into his first season in the role, but Sam Pittman will return after the Razorbacks’ 4-8 campaign. Arkansas finished the season ranked 70th in the country in scoring (26.6 points per game).

Petrino spent the 2023 season as offensive coordinator at Texas A&M, which fired head coach Jimbo Fisher earlier this month. Petrino’s unit still managed to rank 25th in the nation at 34.2 ppg despite the Aggies’ disappointing 7-5 season.

Petrino compiled a 34-17 record in his four years at Arkansas. He has also served as head coach of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons (2007) along with Louisville (2003-06, 2014-18), Western Kentucky (2013) and FCS Missouri State (2020-22).

–Field Level Media

Nov 24, 2023; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Missouri Tigers running back Cody Schrader (7) rushes against the Arkansas Razorbacks during the second quarter at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Cody Schrader rips Arkansas as No. 9 Missouri hits 10 wins

Southeastern Conference leading rusher Cody Schrader ran for a career-high 217 yards and a score as No. 9 Missouri reached double-digit wins for the first time since 2014, pasting Arkansas 48-14 on Black Friday in Fayetteville, Ark.

Schrader achieved the yardage on 27 carries, but the lion’s share of his work — 192 yards — came on 22 first-half attempts.

Quarterback Brady Cook was 12-of-20 for 112 yards, rushed for a score and tossed two touchdowns to Brett Norfleet, from 16 and 11 yards.

The win should put the Tigers (10-2, 6-2 SEC) into a New Year’s Six bowl game, with their only two losses coming to ranked opponents LSU and Georgia.

Missouri moved the Battle Line Rivalry series record to 11-4 in its favor against the Razorbacks (4-8, 1-7), who lost for the ninth time in the past 11 outings against their border rival.

Record-setting Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson was injured early in the first quarter and did not return. Jacolby Criswell went 12-for-20 for 96 yards with a TD pass in relief.

Schrader set up the game’s first score with a 36-yard run and soon plunged in from 2 yards — his ninth straight game with a rushing TD — at 9:12 of the first quarter.

On the next series, Jefferson scrambled for a 22-yard gain but took a hard hit, fumbled and clutched his left knee. He left the game with the assistance of trainers.

Harrison Mevis drilled a 24-yard field goal at the end of Missouri’s ensuing drive.

A scuffle ensued after Cook was hit out of bounds on the Arkansas sideline in the second quarter, and another tussle occurred a play later. Both sidelines had to be restrained while one fight had to be broken up.

Missouri’s Armand Membou and Arkansas’ Eric Gregory and Zach Williams were ejected.

When the fracas settled, Cook made it 17-0 on a 3-yard run.

Schrader’s 49-yard dash put the Tigers in field-goal range for Mevis, who made one from 22 yards for a 20-0 halftime score.

After Norfleet’s two TD receptions in the third, Jayden Jernigan recovered a fumble and rumbled 10 yards for a score to make it 41-0.

In the fourth quarter, the Razorbacks’ Andrew Armstrong caught an 8-yard pass from Criswell, and Isaiah Augustave (15 carries, 80 yards) scored on a 6-yard run.

Missouri’s Nathaniel Peat scored on a 1-yard run to cap the scoring.

–Field Level Media

Nov 25, 2022; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback KJ Jefferson (1) against the Missouri Tigers during the game at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas QB KJ Jefferson (leg) leaves game vs. Missouri

Record-setting quarterback KJ Jefferson was injured on the Razorbacks’ second series in the team’s season-finale against No. 9 Missouri on Friday.

A senior who set two school records last weekend in a 44-20 win over Florida International, Jefferson scrambled for a 22-yard gain just six minutes into the Battle Line Rivalry matchup. He fumbled on the play.

The 6-foot-3, 247-pound Sardis, Miss., native took a hard hit on his left side and came up clutching his left knee. He had to be helped off the field by the training staff.

Jefferson was replaced at quarterback by Jacolby Criswell, a transfer from North Carolina.

Jefferson was 2-for-2 passing for just two yards at the time he left the game.

–Field Level Media

Missouri quarterback Brady Cook adjusts his helmet before a college football game at Faurot Field on Nov. 11, 2023, in Columbia, Mo.

Missouri eyeing elusive 10th win at Arkansas

The long-scuffling Missouri football program hasn’t posted a double-digit victory total since 2014.

The Tigers have a chance to change that — and secure a New Year’s Six bowl game — when they finish their regular season Friday against Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark.

Missouri (9-2, 5-2 Southeastern Conference) kept its special season alive with a dramatic 33-31 win over Florida lat Saturday. That raised the stakes for this rivalry game with Arkansas (4-7, 1-6).

“I think it’s a mindset and this team has it,” Missouri quarterback Brady Cook said after beating the Gators. “I don’t think we win this game last year. I think that’s the development and the toughness and the grit that this team has. Yeah, I’m just so proud of our team. It’s super special.”

The Tigers marched 62 yards in the final 1:36 to set up Harrison Mevis’ winning 30-yard field goal. Along the way they converted a fourth-and-17 play to stay alive.

“We’re tough and we refused to lose,” running back Cody Schrader said. “I keep saying from last year — I truly believe that we won that game because of what we learned last year. I think last year we may have found a way to lose that game and this team, this year, we’re not going to lose those games.”

Cook has completed 221 of 330 passes for 3,077 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions this season. Schrader has rushed for 1,272 yards and 12 touchdowns, and Luther Burden III has caught 77 passes for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns.

Missouri’s defense was compromised Saturday by the absence of linebackers Chad Bailey, who is out for the season with a core muscle injury, and Ty’Ron Hopper, who missed the Tennessee game with a sprained ankle. Hopper is questionable for this game.

The Tigers will have their hands full with Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson, who has passed for 2,105 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushed for 432 yards and two touchdowns.

Jefferson became Arkansas’ career leader in passing yards (7,909) and passing touchdowns (67) during the Razorbacks’ 44-20 victory over Florida International lat Saturday.

“It meant a lot to us that we’ve been able to have him for four years now,” Arkansas coach Sam Pittman said. “KJ’s meant a lot to our program. He’s going to mean a lot to us next Friday, too. Just really, really happy for him.”

Freshman running back Isaiah Augustave had a breakout game against Florida International, gaining 101 yards on 14 carries. He stepped up after running backs Rashod Dubinion and Raheim Sanders suffered first-quarter injuries.

Andrew Armstrong (52 catches, 724 yards, four touchdowns) is Jefferson’s top receiving threat. He caught four passes for 67 yards against Florida International.

This has been a challenging season for the Razorbacks, who suffered a six-game losing streak in the middle of the campaign. That raised questions about Pittman’s future, but Arkansas athletic director Hunter Yurachek seemed to put those to rest after the Florida International game.

“This has not been the season any of us anticipated,” Yurachek said in a statement. “We have work to do. I am confident that together, we can meet the goals and expectations of our program.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 18, 2023; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback KJ Jefferson (1) passes in the first half against the FIU Panthers at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

KJ Jefferson sets Arkansas TD mark in blowout over Florida International

Record-setting Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson fired three touchdowns Saturday night as the Razorbacks topped Florida International 44-20 in Fayetteville, Ark.

A three-year full-time starter, Jefferson went 15-for-28 for 187 yards and rushed for 90 yards on 15 carries as the Razorbacks (4-7) won for the second time in their past three outings.

The Sardis, Miss., senior broke Brandon Allen’s record of 64 TD passes and Tyler Wilson’s passing yardage mark of 7,765 yards.

Isaiah Augustave rushed 14 times for a game-high 101 yards. Kicker Cam Little made 3 of 5 field goals.

The Razorbacks outgained FIU 510-341 in total yardage.

The Panthers (4-7) got a strong game from quarterback Keyone Jenkins, who was 21 of 36 for 265 yards with two TDs and two interceptions.

Wideout Kris Mitchell had 157 yards and a TD on six receptions.

After Arkansas forced a turnover on downs on the opening series, Jefferson tossed a 10-yard strike to Jaedon Wilson at 12:22 for a 7-0 lead.

With the first of his three scores, Jefferson became the school’s all-time leader in TD passes with 65.

However, FIU answered immediately when Jenkins connected on an 80-yard pass to Mitchell and ran in on a keeper from a yard out on the next play.

Jenkins was at it again to close the first quarter, completing a 12-yard pass to Dean Patterson. A missed extra-point attempt left the visitors ahead 13-7.

In the second quarter, Jefferson padded his TD record by finding Tyrone Broden on a 4-yard score at 11:58 for a 14-13 lead.

In the game’s most bizarre play, Arkansas defensive back Alfahiym Walcott reached around wideout Patterson during a catch, stripped the ball from him as the receiver was going to the turf and sprinted 28 yards for a touchdown. He added a second interception later.

With 4:45 remaining in the half, Little drilled a 31-yard field goal. The Razorbacks made it 24 unanswered points when Dominique Johnson ran 31 yards at 1:08 for a 31-13 lead.

In the second half, Mitchell leaped for a 12-yard score from Jenkins to stop the Arkansas scoring run nearly five minutes into the third quarter, but Jefferson found Isaiah Sategna from 32 yards later in the frame.

After missing two tries, Little booted successful kicks from 39 and 41 yards to cap the scoring.

–Field Level Media