Kansas Set to Take on Arkansas in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 28


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Via Kansas Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. – For the first time since the 2008 season, the Kansas Jayhawks will play postseason football when they travel to Memphis, Tennessee to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in the 64th AutoZone Liberty Bowl on December 28.

Kickoff is slated for 4:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN with Dave O’Brien (Play-by-Play), Dan Mullen (Analyst) and Taylor McGregor (Sideline) on the call.

Both teams are battling for a winning season and the rights to the Bell Trophy, which is awarded to the winner of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The meeting between Kansas and Arkansas will be the third in their series history, which dates back to 1905. Kansas has won both meetings between the two teams, with the first coming in 1905 (6-0) and last meeting in 1906 (37-5).

Kansas enters its 13th bowl game in program history, where the Jayhawks hold a 6-6 record all-time. Kansas last played in a bowl game in 2008, when they defeated Minnesota in the Insight Bowl, 42-21. The Jayhawks are 5-1 in their last six bowl games, including three straight bowl wins. This will be Kansas’ second appearance in the Liberty Bowl, with its first coming on Dec. 17, 1973, in a 31-18 loss to North Carolina State.

The 2022 season has been nothing short of a breakout season for the Jayhawks, who have earned six wins for the first time since 2008. Kansas ranks 28th in the country in scoring offense at 34.2 points per game, which are the most since the 2007 season. Over the last 10 seasons, Kansas’ highest scoring average was 23.5 in 2019.

Kansas’ success earned nine Jayhawks a spot on the All-Big 12 teams, led by sophomore cornerback Cobee Bryant being named All-Big 12 First Team. The Jayhawks also placed three individuals on the Second Team, including quarterback Jalon Daniels, tight end Mason Fairchild and center Mike Novitsky.

Arkansas finished 3-5 in the SEC, dropping its final game of the season at Missouri, 29-27. Head coach Sam Pittman’s team is led by quarterback KJ Jefferson, who completed 185-of-271 passes this season for 2,361 yards, 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

Sophomore running back Raheim Sanders was also a standout on offense, rushing for 1,426 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry. Overall, the Arkansas offense is ranked No. 26 in the country in total offense and the defense is ranked No. 123.

Arkansas was well-represented on the All-SEC teams with six individuals named, including center Ricky Stromberg, linebacker Drew Sanders, kickoff specialist Jake Bates, running back Raheim Sanders, linebacker Bumper Pool and defensive back Dwight McGlothern.

For more information on the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, including fan information, tickets, bowl apparel and more, visit the Kansas Jayhawks Bowl Hub here.

About the AutoZone Liberty Bowl

The AutoZone Liberty Bowl Football Classic is the seventh oldest college bowl game and is one of the most tradition-rich and patriotic bowl games in America. The AutoZone Liberty Bowl was founded in Philadelphia in 1959 and the inaugural game featured a match-up between Penn State and Alabama. That game began a tradition of great stars, exciting football, and was the first of 63 thrilling chapters in the history of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Football Classic. The AutoZone Liberty Bowl has enjoyed many highlights through the years. The Bowl has hosted all-time great coaches such as Paul “Bear” Bryant, Lou Holtz, Tom Osborne, Steve Spurrier and Bill Snyder. The Bowl’s history also includes four Heisman Trophy winners (Ernie Davis, Terry Baker, Doug Flutie and Bo Jackson) and other stars such as Archie Manning and Donovan McNabb.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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