Eli Drinkwitz on Arkansas rivalry game: 'They have a trophy and we want it'
Missouri elected to celebrate its Senior Day last weekend in a 45-14 win over New Mexico State despite having 1 more game at Faurot Field.
The reasoning? According to 3rd-year coach Eli Drinkwitz, all attention must be on winning the Battle Line Rivalry Trophy against Arkansas.
“The only thing we’re focused on is it’s a rivalry game and it’s trophy week. That’s it,” Drinkwitz told reporters Tuesday. “None of the other stuff matters. The most important thing to us is they have a trophy and we want it.”
Despite finishing the regular season at home against Arkansas, Missouri held Senior Week last week to put all the attention this week on the Razorbacks:
"They have a trophy and we want it." pic.twitter.com/mM8ZfkI3sA
— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) November 22, 2022
Early struggles from the Tigers’ offense puts Missouri in win-now mode entering Friday’s matchup. A victory will not only provide bragging rights for the next year but also will give the Tigers bowl eligibility for 2nd time in 3 seasons.
Last season, the Hogs capped off their Renaissance revival season with a 34-17 win at home. KJ Jefferson totaled 320 yards of offense and a touchdown, while the run game averaged 4.9 yards per run and tacked on 3 scores. Arkansas, under the direction of then-2nd-year coach Sam Pittman, would finish with 9+ wins for the first time since 2011.
“The only way to [get the Battle Line Trophy] is to play our best game, and to prepare the way we know how to prepare, and play with unbelievable effort,” Drinkwitz said. “That’s the focus. That’s why we did Senior Week last week. This week is all about Rivalry Week against Arkansas and the Battle Line Trophy. Whatever happens after that happens.”
Kickoff from Faurot Field is set for 3:30 ET. The game will be nationally televised on CBS. All-time, the Tigers hold a 9-4 advantage over the Hogs, winning 5 of the previous 6 matchups.