Missouri today looks for crucial sixth win vs. Arkansas

One last chance.

In both of Eli Drinkwitz’s first two seasons at the helm of the Missouri football program, the Tigers finished the regular season with a .500 record and were invited to a bowl game.

With the Tigers 5-6 going into their final game, this afternoon’s Borderline Rivalry against the Arkansas Razorbacks has become a game to be won.

Missouri is coming off a tie against the New Mexico State Aggies last Saturday night, where the Tigers cruised to a 45-14 win.

Brady Cook had a good day, passing for 251 yards and three touchdowns on 19-of-27 passes, giving him 472 yards and six touchdowns in the past two games.

Two of those touchdowns went to Luther Burden, keeping him tied for team lead with a total of seven touchdowns alongside Cody Schrader, who also rushed for two Saturdays.

For his first season, Burden now has 36 catches for 299 yards and five touchdowns to go through the air with 91 rushing yards on 17 carries and two scores. Schrader has taken the lead in his first Division I season with 603 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 139 carries.

The past two weeks have doubled Cook’s passing touchdown total for the year, bringing him to 12 scores and 2,267 air yards with seven interceptions, with 409 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

Missouri’s improved offense will battle an Arkansas defense that allows 28.7 points per game for 452.4 yards. The Razorbacks have struggled to defend through the air, allowing 276.8 passing yards per game and 175.5 rushing yards per game.

Junior linebacker Drew Sanders (6-foot-7, 233 pounds) leads the Razorback defense with 96 tackles, including 12.5 for loss and 8.5 sacks, and has downed an interception, forced three fumbles, and recovered another. Senior linebacker Bumper Pool (6-2, 232) has 92 tackles for Arkansas to go with 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. Redshirt senior defense Simeon Blair (5-10, 208) has 60 touchdowns and redshirt junior Hudson Clark (6-2, 182) has 56.

Junior defensive back Dwight McGlothern (6-2, 181) leads the Razorbacks with three interceptions.

The Arkansas team’s strength, however, has been its offense, which has racked up 40 points three times this season, including a 42-27 win against No. 20 Mississippi last week.

The Razorback’s offense averages 31 points per game on 465.5 total yards with an almost equal split of 233.5 rushing yards and 232.2 passing yards per game.

Sophomore running back Raheim Sanders (6-2, 227) leads the Arkansas offense with 1,379 yards and 10 touchdowns on 209 carries, while redshirt junior quarterback KJ Jefferson (6-3, 242), who returned from injury last week, 472 has yards and six touchdowns on 125 attempts.

Jefferson also passed for 2,149 yards and 20 touchdowns on 165-of-244 (67.6 percent) passes with just three interceptions.

Redshirt junior receiver Jadon Haselwood (6-3, 213) was Jefferson’s main target with 52 catches for 628 yards and three touchdowns, while senior receiver Matt Landers (6-5, 197) leads the team with 701 and six touchdowns on 40 catches.

Missouri has won five of the past six Borderline Rivalry games, each from December 25, 2016-November. 5, 2020, but Arkansas won 34-17 in Fayetteville last year.

The kick-off is 2.30 pm (KRCG-TV).

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