HawgBeat - 2020 First Look: Missouri Tigers
football Edit

2020 First Look: Missouri Tigers

Returning Missouri running back Larry Rountree.
Returning Missouri running back Larry Rountree. (Jordan Kodner)

We don't yet know the dates or the order, but we do know all 10 of Arkansas's 2020 opponents. Over the course of ten days, we'll give Hog fans an early look at each team on Arkansas's schedule, which is perhaps the toughest slate in all of college football.

Following Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State and Ole Miss alphabetically, Missouri is up next in our first look preview series. Like Arkansas, Ole Miss and Miss St, the Tigers are under new leadership in 2020.

Missouri Tigers (n/a)

2019 record: 6-6 (3-5 SEC)

All time series vs Arkansas: Missouri leads 8-3 (4-game streak)

Last meeting: The Razorbacks were looking to escape yet another winless SEC slate in 2019 but didn't find relief in Little Rock against Missouri. Led by interim HC Barry Lunney Jr. and former walk-on quarterback Jack Lindsey, the Hogs couldn't get much going offensively. They were also missing several players due to a small mumps outbreak. Barry Odom took the win 24-14 in his final game before becoming the Razorbacks' defensive coordinator.

Head Coach: Eli Drinkwitz (1st season, 12-1 at App. State)

First year Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz.
First year Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz. (Jessi Dodge)

Offense

Coordinator: Eli Drinkwitz (1st season) Drinkwitz is his own coordinator but he has two former offensive coordinators on his staff as well.

2019 rushing rank: 74th, 151.67 yards/game

2019 passing rank: 73rd, 222.6 yards/game

2019 total rank: 92nd, 374.3 yards/game

2019 scoring rank: 93rd, 25.3 points/game

Returning starters: 4

Key losses: Kelly Bryant, Johnathan Nance, Albert Okwuegbunam, Trevour Wallace-Sims, Tristan Colon-Castillo, Yasir Durant

Defense

Coordinator: Ryan Walters (3rd season) Walters was retained as defensive coordinator after working under Barry Odom for two years as DC and three more as his safeties coach.

2019 rushing rank: 31st, 132.75 yards/game

2019 passing rank: 6th, 179.3 yards/game

2019 total rank: 14th, 312 yards/game

2019 scoring rank: 15th, 19.4 points/game

Returning starters: 7

Key losses: Jordan Elliott, DeMarkus Acy

Recruiting

Four-year recruiting rankings (2017-20): 49, 39, 34, 54

5-stars signed: 0

4-stars signed: 4

Outlook

Arkansas and Missouri weren't that unevenly matched in 2019 and, under new leadership, the Tigers are still the Hogs' best chance at an SEC win in 2020. Perhaps I'm not giving Eli Drinkwitz enough credit but he's not returning a whole lot of fire power on offense, whereas the Razorbacks are returning 63% of their offensive production. Unlike the Hogs, Missouri will have a true quarterback battle this season and it could take Drinkwitz a little longer to transition the team to his offense than it will take Kendal Briles. Their defense is expected to be stout once again, returning seven starters. Of Arkansas's 10 opponents, Missouri is No. 1 on the scale while Alabama rounds it out at No. 10.

Difficulty Rating: 1

First Look Series

Alabama
Auburn
Florida
Georgia
LSU
Mississippi State
Ole Miss