Rapid Reaction: Mizzou comes marching back to beat Arkansas
There is no excuse for Arkansas.
Even though the Razorbacks held a commanding 24-7 lead over Missouri at halftime, the Hogs let their slip away when the two rivals met in the Battle Line game.
Give credit to the Tigers, they had every reason to wave the white flag in their final game of the season. Instead, they fought back and earned a victory that should carry momentum into the offseason.
Here is a rapid reaction of Missouri’s 28-24 win over Arkansas:
WHAT IT MEANS
The Razorbacks fell to 7-5, as they continued to be inconsistent in SEC play after getting off to a fast start against non-conference opponents. Instead of riding a two-game winning streak into bowl season, the Hogs will be hobbling into the postseason after this tough loss. Let’s face it: this is a bad loss for the Razorbacks.
The Tigers improved to 4-8 and picked up their second SEC win. Although this has been a rough year for Missouri, the team proved it didn’t give up on its season and finished the year strong.
WHAT I LIKED
Arkansas: The Hogs got off to a fast start and jumped out to big lead, thanks in part to their ability to utilize their running game with play-action passes. Every SEC team knows the key to stopping Arkansas is controlling its running game, and the Razorbacks used that to their advantage when Austin Allen connected with Keon Hatcher for a huge play-action pass on the first play of the game.
Missouri: Even though the Tigers had every reason to quit at halftime, they didn’t. Missouri fought back and picked apart the Hogs’ secondary and stormed back to take the lead in the second half. The Tigers’ quarterback Drew Lock led the charge with deep passes.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Arkansas: How the Razorbacks took their foot off the gas, especially defensively. Arkansas played like a team which thought it had the game in the bag in the second half instead of finishing the job. In addition to playing uninspired football, Austin Allen cannot throw two interceptions inside the red zone, and the offensive line needs to do a better job of protecting him.
Missouri: The Tigers looked like they were asleep in the first half, and they allowed the Hogs to get a massive head start on the scoreboard.
WHO’S THE MAN
Arkansas: Rawleigh Williams III finished with 117 rushing yards and a score, as he did the best he could to establish the running game for the Hogs.
Missouri: Drew Lock led the comeback, throwing for 268 yards and a touchdown. He completed 16-of-26 passes and carved up the Arkansas secondary throughout the second half. When Lock is hot, he’s hot.
Arkansas: Facing fourth-and-5 at the Missouri five, Allen was picked off by Aarion Penton with 7:12 remaining in the game. Even though the Hogs returned to Tigers’ territory on their next drive, that was their best chance of finding the end zone.
Missouri: Even though the Tigers had plenty of big plays during their comeback, it was Nate Strong who capped off a nine-play, 81-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run which ultimately gave Missouri its first lead of the day.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks will wait to learn where they will be heading to play a bowl game.
Missouri: It’s time for the Tigers coaching staff to hit the recruiting trail because Missouri’s season is done.