Arkansas faces the Cincinnati Bearcats in the first week of the 2022 college football season, and now, the Hogs have a better idea of the quarterback they could be up against.

Well, kind of.

Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell provided an update Monday on the competition at signal-caller, indicating that it was a close battle between Evan Prater and Eastern Michigan transfer Ben Bryant. As Cincinnati begins a new era at quarterback after Desmond Ridder’s departure to the NFL, the team has one of the most “legitimate” battles at the position it has seen in recent history.

“It’s interesting — we’ve got a unique situation. We’ve got a guy that obviously has been behind him for a couple of years in Evan Prater,” Fickell said on the Rich Eisen Show. “Has been kind of the Cincinnati kid in a lot of ways and has done a great job the last two years. But there’s another kid that was actually Des’ backup for three years, who left last year, went to Eastern Michigan — started and threw for 3,000 yards or something like that — and then came back. And I know it’s crazy, the landscape of college football, but Ben Bryan and Evan Prater really have got the respect of the entire team. And for the first time in a long time, we’re going to go into camp with a legitimate (battle) — like, hey, this is going to be really interesting. And we’ve got to figure some things out. But it’s going to be a battle.”

Fickell has said that who wins the starting gig will come down to who fits the team best, though Bryant is the more natural passer while Prater brings more to the table athletically.

Whoever ends up taking the snaps will face an Arkansas defense that helped the team finish at a respectable 9-4 overall record in 2021, but looks a bit different with the loss of players like defensive back Montaric Brown, who led the team with 5 interceptions last season.

Cincinnati and Arkansas are set to face each other on Saturday, Sept. 3, at 2:30 p.m. Central time in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.