FAYETTEVILLE — Junior running back AJ Green topped the Razorbacks in rushing against Kent State with 15 carries for 82 yards and also added a reception for seven more yards.
Green is getting additional reps with junior Raheim “Rocket” Sanders out with a knee injury. Green and the Razorbacks will be back at Razorback Stadium on Saturday night to host undefeated BYU.
“I know the challenge,” Green said. “We played them last year, but that was last year. They’re going to be a new team coming in. They’re gonna fight and we’re gonna fight. Somebody has to go down, but either way it will be a fight.”
The running game has drawn criticism from some. The Hogs rushed for only 105 yards against Western Carolina. They upped that total to 172 against Kent State. Green said the Hogs are working hard to improve that aspect of the game.
“I would say it’s really a challenge now,” Green said. “We’ve got new people on the line. We had some people who left so we’re not all comfortable yet. That’s what we’ve been working on every single day. So the run game, as you can see, is only going to keep getting better. We’re going to learn to execute our plays better.”
Green talked about what it feels like to go out there with the starting unit like he did against the Golden Flashes?
“It felt good,” Green said. “But I’m out there with the starting unit a lot so it wasn’t really anything different for me. I just got the ball first last game, but it’s the same looks.”
Quarterback KJ Jefferson was second on the team in rushing last week with 13 carries for 48 yards. Green talked about the spark Jefferson provides running the ball.
“It always brings extra juice just to see him make big plays,” Green said. “Last game we had a couple of drops to start so he felt like we’re not there yet. He started running the ball when he could and it juiced up the rest of the team. It really opened up a lot more things. Now they have to watch KJ in the box and make sure he’s not able to get out. The receivers get open and it’s just history from there.”
Green played in all 13 games, rushing for a career-best 414 yards on 87 carries with three touchdowns while adding six catches for 75 yards and eight kick returns for 127 yards in 2022. As a true freshman in 2021, Green appeared in 12 games. He totaled 227 yards and one touchdown on 47 rushing attempts, averaging 4.8 yards per carry. In addition, Green caught seven passes for 84 yards and a touchdown, averaging 12.0 yards per catch.
Arkansas and BYU will kickoff at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2 Saturday night. Both teams are 2-0 on the season.