football Edit

Arkansas falls to Missouri, 29-27


Down 29-27 with fourth-and-7 on its own 40-yard line and 3:25 left in the game, Arkansas elected to punt the ball away to Missouri and the Tigers converted a first down to end the Hogs' hopes of a win.

Head coach Sam Pittman trusted his defense, which had forced two punts and a missed field goal on the previous three drives, but the group wasn't able to hold when it needed to the most.

The win for Missouri made it bowl eligible and the loss for Arkansas was its sixth of the year.

Missouri out-gained the Razorbacks 463-306 in total yards and the Tigers averaged 7.3 yards per play in the contest. Quarterback Brady Cook ran for a career-high 135 yards and one score.

KJ Jefferson threw for 193 yards, two scores and one interception on the afternoon. He also added 38 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Rocket Sanders rushed for just 47 yards on 10 carries and he fell short of Ole Miss' Quinshon Judkins for the SEC rushing title.

Seven sacks and strong rush defense by the Tigers made a big difference in the game. The Hogs had just 113 rushing yards compared to 226 by Missouri.

Here's a recap of Friday's loss for the Razorbacks:

First Half

After a three-and-out by the Hogs on their first drive, Missouri's Brady Cook kept the ball on a read option on the first play and ran it 27 yards down the left sideline.

The Tigers made it just three yards outside of the red zone and that's where they sent out Harrison Mevis to kick a 40-yard field goal that put Missouri up 3-0 with 9:34 left in the opening quarter.

Arkansas drove down the field running the rock on eight of nine plays, but it was a 37-yard connection between Jefferson and Matt Landers that highlighted the possession. Jefferson kept it himself for a 3-yard score to cap off a 9-play, 75-yard scoring drive that put the Hogs up 7-3.

Missouri bounced right back with a 7-play, 75-yard drive that featured Cook going 4-5 passing with 69 yards through the air. Cody Schrader punched it in from three yards out to put the Tigers back on top, 10-7.

Following Arkansas' second three-and-out, Cook completed a 55-yard pass to Dominic Lovett on the second play of Missouri's drive. Three plays later, on the first play of the second quarter, Cook scampered nine yards to put the Tigers on top 17-7.

Despite taking a pair of sacks on the next drive — Ty'Kieast Crawford had to come in for an injured Luke Jones at left tackle — Jefferson willed the offense down the field and found Landers for a 27-yard touchdown to cap off a 12-play, 75-yard drive.

Cook put the offense on his shoulders on Missouri's next drive, rushing for 67 yards to push his game total to 116. The Arkansas defense held, though, and forced a 27-yard field goal by Mevis, that pushed the Tigers' lead to 20-14 with 5:26 left in the first half.

The Razorbacks gained a pair of first downs on their next drive, but they wanted a timeout after getting into a third-and-7 situation. Out of the break, Jefferson found Jadon Haselwood for a 21-yard completion. Three plays later, Jefferson completed a pass to Sanders on a wheel route for an 8-yard touchdown that gave the Hogs a 21-20 lead with 1:35 to go in the quarter.

Missouri had nothing going on its final drive of the half and the Hogs went into the break with a 1-point lead.

Second Half

The Tigers opened the half with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive that was capped off with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Cook to Luther Burden. Missouri elected to go for two, but Hudson Clark picked off Cook in the end zone to keep it at a 26-21 Tigers' advantage.

On the ensuing Arkansas possession, Jefferson was sacked for a loss of six on second down and on third-and-15 he threw his fourth interception of the season to Daylan Carnell, who took it one yard to the Arkansas 29-yard line.

Schrader ran 17 yards for a score, but it was called back for holding. The penalty allowed the Hogs to hold tight and force a 29-yarder from Mevis that made it 29-21 with 5:32 left in the third quarter.

After ending up in a third-and-13 situation, Jefferson found Sanders for a screen and he converted the first down, and was lucky that the ball rolled out of bounds after he fumbled. The Hogs settled for a field goal six plays later, and Cam Little was good from 46 yards out to make it a five-point Missouri lead.

A Jashaud Stewart sack and a drop by Missouri's Mookie Cooper led to a three-and-out for the Tigers. A late hit by the Tigers as time expired in the third quarter put the Hogs at the Missouri 35-yard line to start the fourth.

The Razorbacks were unable to punch the ball in — even after trying a direct snap to Trey Knox on the goal line — and Little's field goal was good from 20 yards to make it a 29-27 Missouri lead with 12:40 left in the game.

On the next drive, Missouri gained a first down thanks to a pass interference all on Drew Sanders. Two plays later, Schrader ran 29 yards to midfield. After a pair of 5-yard penalties on the Tigers and a 7-yard run on third down, they ended up with fourth-and-10 at midfield. Jack Stonehouse's punt set the Hogs up at their own 10-yard line with 8:24 to play.

Jefferson was sacked for eight yards on second down and a 12-yard catch on third down from Ketron Jackson Jr. was not enough. Reid Bauer's punt was partially blocked and went just 20 yards to give the Tigers the ball at the Arkansas 35-yard line.

Sanders dumped Cook for a 6-yard sack on third down to force a 54-yard field goal from Mevis, which was no good to give the Hogs the ball at their own 37-yard line with 4:15 remaining.

The Hogs couldn't take advantage and they were forced to punt again, this one a 46-yarder from Bauer to the Missouri 14-yard line. On third-and-4, Cook found Mekhi Miller for 22 yards to all but seal the win for the Tigers.

The Hogs got the ball back with 14 seconds on the clock, but two desperations plays were not enough to win.