Rapid Reaction: Mizzou wins wild Battle Line Rivalry on last-second field goal
The Arkansas Razorbacks were dealt some bad news just before kickoff of Saturday’s Battle Line Rivalry game at Mizzou. Starting QB Feleipe Franks was dealing with a rib injury and wouldn’t be able to play.
That meant backup QB KJ Jefferson got the start. Starting RB Rakeem Boyd had opted out earlier in the week, too, so backup RB Trelon Smith got the start in his place.
Both Smith and Jefferson, along with WR Treylon Burks, had big games for the Hogs. And, former Mizzou head coach Barry Odom (now Arkansas’s defensive coordinator) got his defense to do enough to stop the Tigers in the red zone, holding them to field goals instead of touchdowns on several key drives in the first 3 quarters of the game. Burks finished with 206 receiving yards and a touchdown.
It was also a big day for the Mizzou offense, though, as the RB tandem of Larry Rountree III and Tyler Badie came up with some major runs while racking up huge yardage numbers. Rountree finished with 185 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Badie ended up with 2 scores.
Sadly for the Tigers, their leader, LB Nick Bolton, was ejected on a controversial targeting play just before halftime:
ain't no way this is targeting on Nick Bolton. SEC gonna have to explain why Mizzou's best defensive player got yanked for no reason. pic.twitter.com/S1oqQ4ghOj
— Mark Kim (@MarkJKim_) December 5, 2020
Late in the game, there was plenty of drama, too. After Mizzou took a 47-40 lead, Arkansas drove down the field and scored on a touchdown pass to Mike Woods. Then, Woods came up with one of the craziest catches of the year. Arkansas went for the 2-point conversion to win, and this happened:
And here is the 2-point conversion.
— Unnecessary Roughness (@UnnecRoughness) December 5, 2020
Mizzou had time for 1 more drive after Arkansas took the 48-47 lead, though, and redshirt freshman QB Connor Bazelak led the Tigers into field goal range for K Harrison Mevis. And, he drilled the game-winning kick, securing Mizzou’s 50-48 victory.
Mevis went 5-for-5 on his field goals. Arkansas missed an extra point and had 1 blocked, which was the difference in the 2-point Tiger victory.
Bazelak finished with 380 passing yards, but didn’t throw for any touchdowns (or any interceptions).
The Battle Line Rivalry continues to intensify, and it looks like it could be one of the better SEC rivalries in the near future with Eli Drinkwitz at Mizzou and Sam Pittman at Arkansas.
Mizzou hosts No. 8 Georgia next weekend. The Bulldogs had a bye this week after the Vanderbilt game was postponed. Arkansas hosts No. 1 Alabama in Fayetteville next Saturday.