The Missouri Tigers (5-3) downed the Arkansas Razorbacks (3-6) in a barn-burner Saturday in Columbia, 50-48.
Arkansas scored a touchdown and converted on a two-point conversion to take a 48-47 lead with 0:43 remaining in the game. The Tigers then drove 60 yards down the field to set up a 32-yard field that kicker Harrison Mevis drilled as time expired.
Razorback redshirt freshman quarterback K.J. Jefferson manned the helm for the Hogs in place of graduate senior Feleipe Franks. Jefferson completed 18 of 33 passes for 274 and three touchdowns and added 32 yards on the ground and a rushing score.
“Well, I was really proud of K.J. Jefferson,” Pittman said on the postgame Zoom call. “I thought he stepped in there and played one heck of a football game.”
Sophomore wide receiver Treylon Burks set a career-high with 206 receiving yards, the most since Cobi Hamilton’s 303-yard game against Rutgers in 2012. Redshirt junior running back Trelon Smith paced the Hogs with 176 yards rushing and was the first Razorback to have three rushing touchdowns in a game since Rawleigh Williams III in 2016
The Arkansas defense had its worst performance of the season Saturday. The Hogs surrendered 653 total yards to the Tigers, 405 of which came in the second half. Missouri recorded nine plays of 20-plus yards in the contest.
“We just weren’t making plays,” junior linebacker Bumper Pool said. “We were undisciplined. Bunch of offside penalties, two busted coverages, missed tackles. (We) just didn’t play well in the fourth quarter and they took advantage of it.”
Missouri stopped the Hogs on the opening drive of the second half and took advantage of it by nailing a 37-yard field goal to cut the Razorback lead to 27-23 early in the third quarter. The next Razorback drive was highlighted by a 41-yard catch-and-run by Burks that set up for a 15-yard score by Smith. Senior kicker A.J. Reed’s extra point was blocked, keeping the Hogs’ lead at 33-23.
The Tigers began driving late in the third quarter and opened the fourth with a 41-yard field goal from Mevis that cut the Razorback lead to 33-26. On the ensuing Arkansas drive, the Hogs recorded four plays of 14-plus yards, including a 16-yard score by Smith.
Missouri responded to the Razorback touchdown with a quick, two-play drive that was capped off by a 46-yard touchdown catch by running back Tyler Badie. Tiger running back Larry Rountree III found the endzone for the third time on the day to cap off the Tigers next possession and tie the game at 40-40.
Missouri opened the game with a 51-yard field goal from Mevis that capped off a quick first drive. On the Tigers’ next possession, Rountree III punched in a 2-yard score that gave them a 10-0 advantage over the Hogs.
After a slow start on offense, the Razorbacks drove down the field late in the first quarter and Jefferson found redshirt junior tight end Blake Kern for a two-yard score and his first career passing touchdown. Reed hit the upright to make the score 10-6.
The Tigers almost doubled Arkansas’ total yards in the first quarter, 121-65. They held the ball for nearly 10 of the first 15 minutes in the game.
The second quarter began with a 29-yard field goal from Mevis that gave Mizzou a 13-6 lead. Just three offensive plays later, Jefferson found Burks streaking down the left side for a 68-yard touchdown that evened the score at 13-13.
On Missouri’s next possession, Rountree III ran six yards for his second touchdown of the afternoon to give the Tigers a seven-point lead. The Razorbacks then drove 75 yards in 13 plays to respond with a score of their own, an 8-yard run by Trelon Smith.
Jefferson led the Hogs in the two-minute drill late in the second quarter and took a quarterback sneak into the end zone to put the Hogs up 27-20 at halftime. A fake field goal that resulted in a 20-yard scamper by holder Jack Lindsey set up the score for Arkansas.
Despite the slow first quarter, the Razorbacks had a prolific first half on offense. Jefferson was 8-13 with 118 passing yards and two touchdowns along with 36 rushing yards and a score on the ground. Burks continued his dominance on the year, hauling in four catches for 103 yards and found paydirt on the 68-yard score.
Arkansas will host the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide next Saturday in Fayetteville. The game time and channel have yet to be announced.