Plenty will be on the line Friday, including bragging rights and bowl eligibility, as Missouri plays host to Arkansas in a cross-division SEC showdown on CBS. The Tigers need a win to reach bowl eligibility, while the Razorbacks seek a victory to equal last season's 4-4 mark in league play. In other words, there's plenty up for grabs in the first of two SEC on CBS Games of the Week in a key spot on Black Friday.
For Missouri, missing a bowl game under third-year coach Eli Drinkwitz (who recently received a contract extension and raise) would be a disappointment after the Tigers made the Armed Forces Bowl last season. For Arkansas, dropping this game after snapping a five-game losing streak in the series last season would mark regression.
Arkansas won last season's meeting 34-17 at home but is still looking for its first-ever win in Columbia, Missouri. The Tigers are 5-0 all-time at home against the Razorbacks, dating back to the first-ever meeting between the teams in 1906. The Razorbacks came up just short in a 50-48 loss during the 2020 season that ended with a game-winning field goal from Mizzou kicker Harrison Mevis as time expired.
A total of 42 points were scored in the fourth quarter alone during that game, and it would be no surprise if the teams played a similarly wild one this time around. Let's take a look at what's ahead in the annual late-November showdown for the Battle Line Trophy.
How to watch Arkansas vs. Missouri live
Arkansas vs. Missouri: Need to know
Battle Line Trophy: Arkansas and Missouri have played 13 times, but they only became annual rivals when the Tigers joined the SEC for the 2014 season. Since then, the two have been designated permanent cross-division foes and play for the Battle Line Trophy. While this may not be regarded as one of the SEC's biggest rivalries, it certainly has one of the biggest trophies. The winner takes home a slab of silver that is more than 4 feet tall and weighs over 180 pounds.
Statistical strengths: These teams are all over the map in terms of their strengths. While Arkansas is No. 8 nationally in rushing offense, it is No. 118 in passing yards allowed. Within Missouri's defense alone, there is vast statistical polarization. The Tigers are No. 31 in total defense, allowing only 338.2 yards per game, but they are tied for 116th in red zone defense. Mizzou is also tied for 111th in red zone offense, making the red zone a particular area of struggle for the Tigers. Arkansas is just 86th in red zone offense, though, which puts the Razorbacks offense under the microscope in this game. Can they capitalize on Missouri's poor red zone defense?
Healthy Jefferson: Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson returned from injury last week and threw for three touchdowns in a 42-27 win over Ole Miss. The Razorbacks are a different team when they have the physically imposing redshirt junior under center. Jefferson missed Arkansas' 13-10 loss to LSU on Nov. 12 with a shoulder injury, and was also out at Mississippi State on Oct. 8 when the Razorbacks lost 40-17. But the Razorbacks are 6-3 when Jefferson has played, and that record includes wins at BYU and Auburn.
Arkansas vs. Missouri prediction, pick
Of the 14 combined SEC games these two have played so far, nine of them have been played under this point total. With Missouri ranking No. 7 nationally in time of possession and Arkansas at No. 8 in rushing offense, there could be some long periods of clock-bleeding in this matchup. While Missouri's red zone defense is dreadful, Arkansas ranks just 86th nationally in red zone offense. It could be a busy day for the kickers. Prediction: Under 55.5
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