Arkansas offense ready for tough test in Missouri
After heartbreaking losses, coaches usually like their teams to have short memories. Either way, Arkansas (6-5, 4-3 SEC) doesn’t have much time to sulk about its 51-50 loss to Mississippi State.
Missouri (5-6, 1-6 SEC) plays the best defense Arkansas has faced since Alabama. But if the Razorbacks can come close to maintaining their offensive performance of the last five weeks, they should have no problem winning on Black Friday.
Arkansas had its four-game winning streak snapped Saturday, but scored 46 points in regulation time against Ole Miss. Over the last five games, the Razorbacks have averaged 50.2 (42.6 in regulation time) points and 514.4 offensive yards per game.
Quarterback Brandon Allen had the game of his life Saturday against Mississippi State. He was 30-for-43 through the air for 406 yards and seven touchdowns. If that wasn’t enough, Allen also caught a two-point conversion.
But Missouri has a much tougher defense than Mississippi State. The Tigers are ranked seventh in points allowed (15.1), 10th in yards allowed (300), and 12th in passing yards allowed (175.4) in the country.
The good news for Arkansas is Missouri doesn’t have Dak Prescott. Freshman quarterback Drew Lock has started the last seven games for the Tigers and has more interceptions (7) than touchdowns (4). Missouri’s offensive line and receiving corps haven’t provided much help.
Even if Arkansas’ offense can’t match its output from the last five weeks, the Razorbacks shouldn’t have a problem outscoring the Tigers. The Missouri offense averages just 14.5 points per game and 290 offensive yards per game.
MISSOURI TIGERS CLOSER LOOK
Key Player, offense: Drew Lock, Fr., QB — Lock took over from junior Maty Mauk during Mauk’s four-game suspension and has started ever since. The Tigers offense has struggled with both. Lock has thrown for 1,249 yards and four TDs with three interceptions. He has reached 150 passing yards in just one conference game.
Key Player, offense: Nate Brown, So., WR — Brown leads the anemic Tigers offense with four TDs. He has 27 catches for 326 yards.
Key Player, defense: Kentrell Brothers, Sr., LB — Brothers has been a rock. In addition to his 9.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks, he leads the team with 140 total tackles. Brothers also has two interceptions and a forced fumble.