Tigers vault past Arkansas, into SEC Championship

Tigers vault past Arkansas, into SEC Championship

Chris Turner and Ben Burke bring you the highlights from Missouri’s win over Arkansas.

RECAP

By Ron Davis, 23 Sports

Friday, Nov. 28-

For three quarters it looked as if Arkansas had Missouri beaten, but a final quarter filled with timely plays gave the Tigers the lead and the defense secured a 21-14 victory. With the victory No.17 Mizzou improves to 10-2 on the season and they will play the either Alabama or Mississippi State next Saturday in Atlanta for the SEC Championship.

Mizzou got off to a shaky start on both sides of the ball. For the first time in four games, the Tigers failed to score on their first possession. Arkansas then punched the ball in on a screen play, giving them an early 7-0 lead.

Missouri had to rely on the right leg of Andrew Baggett to get points early on. Baggett connected on career-high field goals of 52 and 50, respectively. With the kicks, Baggett became the first kicker in Mizzou history to have two field goals of 50 yards or longer.

After the Razorbacks went up 14-6 at halftime, both teams didn’t score any points in the 3rd quarter. Arkansas’ special teams great opportunities to extend upon their lead, as they blocked a Baggett field goal, and converted a fourth down on a fake punt. The Tiger defense held strong, and kept it a one-score game.

Special teams for Arkansas pinned Missouri at their 2 yard line. With their backs against the wall, Maty Mauk and the offense suddenly came alive. Back to back big plays from Mauk to Jimmie Hunt and Bud Sasser gave the Tigers the ball at the oppositions’ 4 yard line.

Mauk went back to Hunt on a fade route for the touchdown. That was followed up by a spectacular reverse pass from Sasser to Darius White on the two-point conversion to tie the game at 14 all.

After a big stop on defense, the Tigers got the ball back on their 15 yard line. The run game was nearly non-existent until this drive, but it bludgeoned the Razorback defense for all 85 yards for the touchdown. The Tigers took the lead for the first time on an impressive run by Marcus Murphy, going up 21-14.

The defense needed a final stand to secure the lead with less than 5 minutes to go. The defensive line terrorized Arkansas QB Brandon Allen, who was playing hurt, and they hit him almost every play. After a questionable unnecessary roughness penalty on Shane Ray, it looked like momentum was about to swing in the Razorbacks favor. However Kentrell Brothers made the biggest play of the season and stripped the ball from the Arkansas running back, and Markus Golden picked it up, securing the victory.

When they needed it most, the Tigers exploded in the fourth quarter. Mizzou had 112 rushing yards in the quarter after only having 40 all game. This allowed the Tigers to control the clock and the tempo, and wear down an Arkansas defense who was coming off back-to-back shutouts.

Missouri is now on a six game winning streak, and they will carry their momentum next week in Atlanta against either Alabama or Mississippi State for the SEC Championship.