FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas suffered its first non-conference loss of the season Saturday, falling to Liberty at home on homecoming 21-19.
A late comeback attempt for the Hogs came up short when KJ Jefferson was ruled short on a 2-point attempt that would have tied the game with just over one minute left.
The loss drops the Razorbacks to 5-4 on the season, with games at home against LSU and Ole Miss and a visit to Missouri remaining on the schedule.
How it Happened
It was slow start for the Razorbacks in their first home game in over a month.
The Arkansas offense punted on all four of its first quarter drives, picking up only one first down while being held to -16 rush yards.
On Arkansas' final full offensive possession of the quarter, the Flames partially blocked a Reid Bauer punt that gave Liberty possession near its own 40-yard line.
Liberty quickly drove 59 in five plays, scoring on a 16-yard strike from Johnathan Bennett to Noah Frith over the middle, putting Liberty on top 7-0.
The Hogs' ensuing drive ended near midfield when Arkansas failed to convert on a 4th and 5.
The Flames then took advantage of another short field.
Liberty made its way to the red zone, and Bennett connected with Demario Davis in the right front corner of the end zone. The score gave the Flames a 14-0 to nothing advantage.
It marked the third consecutive home game in which Arkansas faced a double-digit first-half deficit after also trailing early against Missouri State and Alabama.
The Hogs finally got something going on their seventh drive of the game thanks to the run game.
Rocket Sanders produced consecutive runs of 13, 9 and 28 yards to get Arkansas to the Liberty 26, the furthest downfield the Hogs had advanced to that point.
But on the next play, Jefferson's pass down the seam to Trey Knox bounced off Knox's hand in the endzone, and right into the hands of Liberty's Daijahn Anthony for the interception.
Liberty extended its lead to 21-0 on its next drive when Bennett's third TD pass of the half went to Treon Sibley for a 19-yard score.
Arkansas did not score until the final play of the first half, when Cam Little knocked through a 50 yard field goal as time expired.
That made it a 21-3 Liberty lead at the half.
In the second half, freshman Quincey McAdoo came up with a punt block in the Liberty end zone for a safety, bringing the Hogs technically within two scores, 21-5.
The Arkansas offense woke up in the fourth with two late touchdowns to Trey Knox to get within 21-19.
However, the Hogs were stopped short on a KJ Jefferson run on the 2-point attempt that would have tied the game.