The Battle Line Rivalry hasn’t had a ton of stakes in most iterations since Missouri joined the SEC.
It does Friday.
Arkansas would feel better about its season with a 7-5 record as opposed to a 6-6 one. Missouri needs a victory over the Razorbacks to reach bowl eligibility at 6-6, itself.
The Hogs have more momentum, if that’s such a thing, coming off a massive victory over Ole Miss in Week 12. Missouri has dropped two straight SEC games, but beat New Mexico State last week to put itself into position qualify for the postseason with a final win.
The Tigers may only have two SEC wins, but every loss they’ve had but one (Tennessee) was by a just a single possession. And armed with one of the best defenses in the conference, Mizzou could surprise and pull an upset Friday.
Missouri's defense is hard to run on
FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS – NOVEMBER 26: KJ Jefferson #1 of the Arkansas Razorbacks is sacked by Martez Manuel #3 of the Missouri Tigers at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium on November 26, 2021 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Missouri has held five opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing this season. Only Tennessee, which demolished everyone except South Carolina last week, had what could be qualified as a great running game on the ground, going for 264 yards and five touchdowns. Arkansas is capable of doing the same, but that game was an outlier in the Mizzou season.
Brady Cook is a dual-threat
Oct 22, 2022; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Missouri Tigers quarterback Brady Cook (12) runs the ball against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the first half of the game at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Arkansas coach Sam Pittman was worried against Ole Miss about Rebels quarterback Jaxson Dart taking off and running. Missouri quarterback Brady Cook is just as capable. He has 409 yards and five touchdowns in the ground this season.
Missouri has more to play for than Arkansas
Nov 26, 2021; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Missouri Tigers head coach Eli Drinkwitz looks on during the second quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorbacks Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz isn’t on the hot seat, per se, but Tigers faithful have been less than thrilled with what the third-year coach has done in his time in Columbia. Getting to a bowl game wouldn’t restore faith, but it should be enough to buy Drinkwitz, an Arkansas native, another season at the helm.