No. 10 Arkansas avoids upset bid, beats Petrino and Missouri State

No. 10 Arkansas avoids upset bid, beats Petrino and Missouri State


After two straight sacks by the Razorback defense forced Missouri State to punt, Razorback returner Bryce Stephens inbounded the ball and sprinted 82 yards into the end zone to send Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium into its loudest frenzy. it in every season.

The score put Arkansas up 31-27 with 9:16 left in the fourth quarter after trailing the Bears for the entire game prior to that point.

Despite Missouri State being outgained 597-409 in the game, the Hogs struggled to get the ball in the end zone, and four turnovers didn’t help matters.

The Hogs trailed 27-17 with 12:04 left in the game, and after a 1-yard touchdown run from KJ Jefferson with 1:39 left, Arkansas led Missouri State 38-27.

Jefferson finished the evening with a career-high 385 passing yards, two rushing touchdowns, 40 rushing yards and a score on the ground as well.

Defensively, the Hogs recorded eight sacks on the evening and Drew Sanders had 2.5. The defense struggled on the night, which will have to be ironed out before next Saturday’s game with Texas A&M.

Here’s a breakdown of how things went down:

The First Half

Both teams started slowly with each of the first two drives coming with a punt. Missouri State managed to run 4:26 off the clock on its first drive, while the Hogs managed just 0:51 on their first drive.

On the second Arkansas drive of the game, Jefferson followed up a 26-yard completion to Matt Landers with a fumble on the quarterback keeper to recover the Bears on their own 36-yard line.

The Bears capitalized by driving 64 yards in 12 plays and Jacardia Wright made a 1-yard scoring run on the ground to make Missouri State the first team to lead Arkansas all season.

On the next Razorback possession, Jefferson put the ball right on the money for a 64-yard completion to Ketron Jackson Jr., but on the next play, Sanders ran the ball into the end zone and Missouri State got it on back for a touch.

After controlling 11:20 of the clock in the first quarter, the Bears came out firing with a 45-yard completion on the first play of the second quarter. After a pass interception by Dwight McGlothern, the Arkansas defense held tight in the red zone to force a 28-yard field goal from Jose Pizano that made it a 10-0 Bears lead.

The next Razorback drive lasted 1:21 and they did not gain a yard. The Bears took advantage again, as Jason Shelley scampered off Bumper Pool and dove for the end zone to score and give Arkansas the largest deficit to an FCS team in program history, 17-0.

Jefferson and the Hogs offense woke up on the next drive by capping an 8-play, 75-yard drive with a 3-yard score from Raheim Sanders, who walked into the end zone untouched.

After a defensive stop, Arkansas found itself in a 4th-and-9 situation on the next drive and Jefferson handed it off to Rasod Dubinion, who took it up the middle for five yards.

The Hogs were fortunate to stop the Bears on the ensuing possession and capitalized on a 2-play, 85-yard touchdown drive that featured a 38-yard touchdown catch by Jadon Haselwood that led to 17-14 Missouri State with straight. more than a minute left in the half.

Jordan Domineck’s sack shut down any scoring chances for the Bears before time expired, leaving the Hogs with a 3-point deficit at halftime.

Second half:

Arkansas got the ball to start the half and a pass that bounced off the hands of Trey Knox ended up in the hands of Missouri State’s Tahj Chambers for Jefferson’s first interception of the season.

After an offensive pass interference and delay of game penalty, the Bears forced a punt and pinned the Hogs back at their own 6-yard line.

Arkansas’ offense managed to drive 84 yards in 14 plays, but couldn’t punt. Cam Little hit a 27-yard field goal to tie the game at 17-17 with 5:36 left in the third quarter.

Missouri State came right back with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Shelley to Ty Scott on 4th-and-1 that made it 24-17. A failed Razorback drive resulted in a Max Fletcher punt that gave the Bears the ball at their own 15 yard line.

The Razorbacks’ defense bent, but did not break and allowed a 31-yard field goal to make it a 10-point deficit with 12:04 left in the contest.

Two plays later, Jefferson dumped the ball to Sanders, who took off for a 73-yard score to bring the deficit back to three points with 11:38 left.

A pair of sacks — one split by Landon Jackson and Domineck and one by Sanders — pinned the Bears back and forced them to punt. Missouri State added Stephens, who sprinted 82 yards for a touchdown to give the Hogs their first lead of the night, 31-27.

The Bears didn’t let up on offense as they got a 38-yard reception on the first play of the ensuing drive. The Razorbacks struck back, however, as Zach Williams got his second sack of the night to force Missouri State into a 4th-and-21.

The Hogs converted a 3rd-and-12 with a 21-yard completion to Trey Knox. After a 43-yard run by Sanders, Jefferson hit it from a yard out to put the Hogs up 38-27, the final score in the end.


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