Kayler Smith-23Sports

Coming off of their fifth straight loss, Mizzou headed to Little Rock to take on conference rival Arkansas in the sixth Battle Line Rivalry game. Mizzou went into the game hoping to earn their first road win of the season, as well as improve to a .500 record.

After several weeks of stagnant offense, the Tigers started third-string quarterback and true freshman Connor Bazelak over Taylor Powell who has made one start this season due to nagging injuries from Kelly Bryant.

After an unsuccessful opening drive by the Tigers, Arkansas marched down the field and punched in the first score of the game on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Jack Lindsey to Trey Knox.

Bazelak and the Tigers crafted a rhythmic drive led by Larry Roundtree on the ground and Bazelak to Barrett Bannister through the air. Bazelak targeted Bannister four times for 39 yards and Roundtree moved the ball 37 yards in this drive including the 5-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7.

A few minutes into the second quarter, Bazelak suffered an injury, bringing in Powell to take over for Mizzou. The Tigers put together a 3-minute drive that resulted in a field goal nearing the half to put Mizzou on top 10-7 going into the half.

Coming out of the break, Mizzou started out with the ball but Powell threw an interception on the first play, resulting in a touchdown drive by the Razorbacks to give them the lead back. Midway through the third, a 79-yard drive ending in a 3-yard touchdown rush by Tyler Badie put the Tigers back on top 17-14.

Mizzou’s defense held the Razorbacks scoreless for over 28 minutes of the second half, scoring one last touchdown in the fourth quarter to finish out the game 24-14, giving Mizzou their fourth consecutive Battle Live Rivalry win.

This win also gave Mizzou bowl eligibility, but due to the result of the NCAA appeal announced last Tuesday, the team will not get to have the opportunity to play in a bowl game this season.

The first half performance from Bazelak shows some hope for Mizzou’s 2020 season. He went 7/9 with 80 yards in his debut. Also a surprise performance from walk-on Bannister who led the Tigers with 60 receiving yards shows promise for the Mizzou offense.

The Battle Line Rivalry will take place in at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City in week 13.

Mizzou finished their season 6-6 (3-5 SEC) ranked 6th in the SEC East.