Optimism surrounding Arkansas football is the highest it has been in several seasons as the No. 16 Razorbacks (3-0) get set to take on No. 7 Texas A&M (3-0) Saturday in the annual clash between the two SEC West foes. And if Arkansas is to post a win in the series for the first time in a decade and improve to 4-0 on the year, expect quarterback K.J. Jefferson to a big reason why, according to CBS Sports college football analyst Gary Danielson.

“I think it will look a little bit the way Florida played against Alabama,” Danielson said during an appearance on CBS Sports HQ. “You have to run the quarterback for the offense to work. The way (Arkansas) is designed and Kendal Briles he’s got them going sometimes tempo and sometimes they’re throwing the ball, like you mentioned last week.

But I think the base of their offense is physical play that centers around their quarterback. You know, K.J. Jefferson, a big guy. He runs tough on their quarterback keeps … and the athletes they have around them everywhere are playmakers.

“Put that together with the offensive line that Sam (Pittman) always puts together. They are huge again. They are a handful. They really are. They are coming at you in all different directions. Now this Texas A&M defense is very elite, maybe one of the best they’ve had in years. But like Texas found out, they come at you at four or five different angles.

And the way the defensive coordinators like to talk about is that when you are willing to run the quarterback, you’re playing true 11-on-11 in the college game … in college game, unless you’re really good throwing the ball, you have to get your quarterback involved, and that’s what Arkansas is doing.”

A former four-star prospect in the 247Sports Composite Player Rankings, Jefferson has passed for 632 yards and four touchdowns against two interceptions this season. On top of that, Jefferson rushed for more than 70 yards during both the team’s season-opener vs. Rice and then in a Week 2 upset of Texas. During an appearance on The Paul Finebaum Show on earlier in September, Jefferson described Pittman’s relationship with the team.

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