3 takeaways from Missouri's 48-14 thumping of Arkansas
Missouri captured its first 10-win season since 2014 on Friday by thumping Arkansas.
The Razorbacks were overmatched and outclassed. They lost their quarterback in the first quarter, lost their composure in the second quarter — though, to be fair, that can be said of both teams, not just Arkansas — and lost hold of the rope in the third quarter.
Missouri cruised to a 48-14 win over the Razorbacks that moved the team to 10-2 on the year. Here are three takeaways from the game.
KJ Jefferson exits, takes the Arkansas offense with him
A 22-yard run from KJ Jefferson with nine to play in the first quarter ended in a fumble and, more importantly, an injury for the offensive engine of the Razorbacks. Jefferson limped off the field and never returned.
At the time of his exit, Arkansas had 17 yards of offense on four plays. The Hogs’ first possession of the game was a three-and-out that lost 5 yards. Not exactly tip-top offensive execution, but you would certainly expect a Jefferson-led Arkansas offense to fare better than the Hogs did without him the rest of the way.
Arkansas had four consecutive punts after Jefferson’s exit — three of them three-and-outs.
The first possession of the second half ended with a fumble. Missouri scored five plays later to take a 27-0 lead. Then Arkansas fumbled the kickoff and Missouri scored on an 11-yard pass from Brady Cook to go up 34-0. Then Arkansas went three-and-out.
With five minutes to play in the third, Jacolby Criswell fumbled the football and Missouri returned it for a scoop-and-score touchdown.
Through three quarters, down 41-0, Arkansas had 87 yards of offense and four turnovers.
The Razorbacks got two touchdown drives in the fourth to keep from being shut out at home, but they were the kind of touchdowns only AI would care to mention. And Arkansas also fumbled for a sixth time on their final possession of the day.
Arkansas had 98 pass yards on 22 completions. That, combined with six fumbles was a wonderful way to reward the faith paid to coach Sam Pittman earlier this week.
Cody Schrader shreds the Hogs
Missouri’s all-everything tailback was one again magnificent in the win.
Cook didn’t have to do much — 12-of-20 for 112 yards through the air — because Schrader was dicing Arkansas on the ground. He finished with 217 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.
The performance was Schrader’s fifth consecutive 100-yard game and his eighth on the season. It was also his second 200-yard outing in the last three weeks.
He had just four carries stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage all day. Schrader hit for runs of 12, 14, 16, 36, 43, and 49 yards.
Missouri’s overall offensive performance doesn’t jump off the page, but that’s in part because its average drive started just 59 yards away from paydirt. Yes, the average possession for Mizzou began at its 41. (The field position battle was decidedly won by Missouri because of Arky’s fumbleitis.)
And Schrader still topped 200 yards. It was a fabulous performance from a fabulous back.
Missouri locks in New Year’s plans
Missouri’s 10th win likely secures a bid to play in a New Year’s Six bowl game for the first time in the College Football Playoff era.
The Tigers went to the Cotton Bowl in 2013 and beat Oklahoma State in a classic.