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The Arkansas Razorbacks and the Missouri Tigers face off on Friday in SEC college football action. The Hogs are a favorite in the game, but between the weather and the Tiger’s bowl eligibility hanging in the balance, I am worried about this game. The Razorbacks have had a much better offense, but Mizzou’s defense is statistically one of the best in the SEC.
Missouri would not be in prime position to get a bowl invitation. The Tigers are 5-6, needing another win to lock up bowl eligibility, and are 14-point underdogs against Arkansas. Because essentially every SEC team with a .500 or better record is guaranteed to play in the postseason, a win Friday would normally be a win-and-in game for Missouri, but a must-win to get a bowl berth.
The Arkansas Razorbacks appeared to be headed for their seventh win of the season last Saturday against Mississippi State but then some of the worst coaching strategy anyone will ever see took a win and made it a loss. Arkansas head Coach Brett Bielema decided it was more important to have MSU burn timeouts than score a touchdown with a first down from the 12-yard line and it eventually led to a blocked field goal that sealed the Hogs fate. The Arkansas offense is averaging 35.8 points and 470.2 yards per game and they have turned the ball over nine times. Razorbacks QB Brandon Allen has completed 65.1 percent of his passes with 29 touchdowns and six interceptions. Alex Collins is Arkansas’ leading rusher with 1,262 yards and 14 touchdowns and Drew Morgan leads in receptions with 52 10 touchdowns and Hunter Henry has 44 catches. The Arkansas defense is allowing 30 points and 425.3 yards per game with nine interceptions, seven fumble recoveries, and 15 sacks. Brooks Ellis leads Arkansas with 95 tackles, Dre Greenlaw has 88 tackles, and Deatrich Wise has 6.0 sacks. Arkansas is already bowl eligible but this has been a disappointing season delivered by one of the highest paid Head Coaches in the nation.
The Missouri Tigers are 5-6 this season and need a win here to extend Gary Pinkel’s career into bowl season. Missouri is averaging 14.5 points and 290.9 yards per game with 16 turnovers. Mizzou QB Drew Lock has completed 50.8 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and seven interceptions. Ish Witter leads the Tigers in rushing with 517 yards and Nate Brown and J’Mon Moore each have 27 receptions. The Missouri defense is allowing 15.1 points and 301.3 yards per game with eight interceptions, seven fumble recoveries, and 27 sacks. Kentrell Brother leads Missouri in tackles with 140, Michael Scherer has 85 tackles, and Charles Harris has 7.0 sacks. Missouri’s offense has let down their defense this season.
Arkansas is 5-1 against the spread in their last six SEC games, 8-3 against the spread following a loss, and 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games. Missouri is 7-0 against the spread following a double-digit home loss, 15-5 against the spread in their last 20 road games, and 2-5 against the spread against a team with a winning record.