After last week’s dominating win, the Missouri Tigers look like a team that should finish the season strong with a win over the visiting Arkansas Razorbacks.
Naturally, hosting the two-win Razorbacks could present a challenge in terms of a “trap game,” but the Tigers seem to be hitting their stride, and look to be able to win-out their season.
In 2017, Arkansas presented Mizzou its toughest challenge to finish the season, going blow-for-blow with the Tigers. With five minutes left in the game, Razorbacks’ kicker, Connor Limpert, tied the score at 45-all. With five seconds left, Mizzou’s Tucker McCann booted the game-winning field goal for the Tigers.
I’d like to say this game won’t present similar challenges, and considering Arkansas’ winless conference record, it’s easy to say the Tigers will have no problem putting the Razorbacks away. However, this is the SEC, and no team is truly out, until the game is over, especially an opponent playing Mizzou.
While Arkansas is winless in the conference, and has no shot at a bowl bid, the Razorbacks will look to throw the Tigers off their game. While a loss would only affect Missouri’s bowl placement, the Tigers would like to finish the season strong.
A cautionary tale to Missouri: This is the same Arkansas team that hung 31 points on Alabama – the most points scored against the Tide this season. This is also the same Razorbacks squad that lost to Vandy, and was trounced by Mississippi State last week.
Regardless, Arkansas is not to be overlooked. The good news for Missouri, is the game will be played at home, so hopefully the Razorbacks won’t receive as much preferential treatment by the SEC officials as they might in Fayetteville.
For the Tigers, this Senior Day game will be quarterback Drew Lock’s last home game. Lock, whose season began as a Heisman candidate, will look to move into second place among the SEC’s all-time passer record book.
The Tigers also hope to see running back Damarea Crockett return to action, as he left last week’s game early due to a sprained ankle. While Crockett’s return would give Missouri another offensive weapon, let’s hope it’s because he’s healthy, and isn’t solely to show the Razorbacks the err in their ways for not extending him a scholarship offer.
Crockett’s presence in the Tigers’ backfield has been felt by many an opposing defense, but if he plays, it will be the first time he’s suited up to play against his “hometown” team. In his freshman year, Crockett served a suspension for possession of marijuana, and last year, he missed after suffering a shoulder injury.
That I’m aware of, the status of tight end Albert Okwuegbunam has not been announced. However, the Tigers have listed Albert-O third on the depth chart. So if he’s able to go, it will be interesting to see how and when they work him into the rotation.
Okwuegbunam, a staple in Lock’s passing diet, has 43 catches for 466 yards and six touchdowns on the season. He was also named a semi-finalist for the Mackey Award earlier this week.
I predict this to be a close game for Missouri. Maybe not as close as last year, but I will give the Tigers a 10-point win in this game – Mizzou 38, Arkansas 28. Currently, the Tigers are favored by 23.