The Missouri Tigers (6-5) are looking to guarantee a winning record at the end of their season as they travel to Fayetteville to take on the No. 25 Arkansas Razorbacks (7-4). Here are the three keys.
By Steve Wright
1 – Pump out the run game
Mizzou is 5-0 when rushing for 200 yards or more. Thankfully for the Tigers they have a star running back in Tyler Badie that is more than capable of doing that on his own (again). As the season has gone on the rushing attack has been more and more important because of the accumulation of injuries picked up by quarterback Conor Bazelak. Banged up is an understatement for the signal caller, so the running game will have to shoulder an even greater load. Something around 225 on the ground feels like enough.
2 – Take something away from the Hogs
This Arkansas team is a weird one. Pinning down an offensive identity is hard, yet the Hogs still seem to do enough to win more than their fair share of games. Part of this is because they don’t make a ton of mistakes, but their biggest weapon is their balance and the ability to use that balance to expose whatever a defense is worst at. Mizzou needs to not let the balance occur here. Taking either the run or pass away will leave the Hogs vulnerable as neither is strong enough to win a game without help from the other side of the coin.
3 – Explosive/Havoc plays
This has all the hallmarks of being a close game. In close games, it is turnovers and explosive plays that make a difference. Arkansas has only thrown three interceptions on the year – though there are 12 fumbles which should be considered by the Mizzou defensive staff – so the havoc plays on defense will be more of the run stuffs on key third downs and tackles for a loss variety. On offense, the explosion will have to come from short passes leveraged into big games. Arkansas is 108th in the nation in giving up big plays in passing down situations. Mizzou needs to take advantage here.