Thrillingly, the Arkansas Razorbacks are the 2022 AutoZone Liberty Bowl champions after escaping the Jayhawks of Kansas in three overtimes. What started as a blowout in favor of the Razorbacks turned into one of the most memorable AutoZone Liberty Bowl games in history.
In the first half, it was all Arkansas as the Razorbacks jumped out to an early 31-13 at the break. During the first half of the 2022 AutoZone Liberty Bowl, KJ Jefferson stole the show for the Razorbacks as the dual-threat quarterback burned the Jayhawks through the air and on the ground. Many thought Arkansas would continue to impose its will on Kansas in the second half. Arkansas finished the first half with 378 yards of total offense. On defense, the Razorbacks wreaked havoc on the Jayhawks as it was evident that Arkansas was more physical and faster than Kansas could handle.
The second half; was a completely different ball game as the Jayhawks came out looking for a street fight. Arkansas fell asleep in all aspects of the game and allowed Kansas to fight its way back. Behind the play of their quarterback, Jalon Daniels put up video game numbers in the second half to provide Kansas with a comeback of a lifetime. It might not have been enough, but there is nothing to be upset about if you’re in the Kansas program. That comeback they had last night was nothing short of legendary. With a minute left in the game, Kansas was down a touchdown after cutting the Arkansas lead to 38-30. After a miraculous onside kick recovery, Kansas had life and scored quickly to tie the Razorbacks, forcing overtime.
In overtime, Arkansas and Kansas traded blows. The scene for the instant classic that ended the 2022 AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Finally, in the third overtime, Arkansas had the ball first and attempted the successful two-point conversion, holding the Razorbacks’ lead to 55-53. Kansas had a shot at the tie, but the Arkansas defensive unit held the line forcing Kansas to throw the ball out of the back of the endzone to end the AutoZone Liberty Bowl with an Arkansas 55-53 win.
Overall, it’s hard not to be excited about the win if you’re Arkansas. Despite giving up the lead to Kansas, the Razorbacks showed grit and provided Arkansas fans something to be excited about heading into the 2023 season. However, for Kansas, the future of Jayhawk Football is bright and filled with future celebrations and excitement. Both programs have a lot to build off of from the 2022 AutoZone Liberty Bowl.