By: Derik McKinney
Following last Saturday’s loss, Mizzou’s football program had a week of turmoil leading up to its Battle Line Rivalry game against Arkansas. Mizzou came out of the gate slowly, going into halftime down by 17, but responded with 21 unanswered points in the second half, to win their final game of the season 28-24.
Mizzou’s offense came out and set the tempo in the second half, going 9 plays for 63 yards on it’s first drive, capping it off with a 2-yard touchdown run by Nate Strong. Arkansas missed a field goal right before the half, and that bad luck lingered through their first second half drive. Arkansas marched down the field for 7 minutes, just to get picked off by a frustrated Mizzou defense.
Mizzou’s defense was the true story of the second half, recording two interceptions, forcing two punts and getting a goal line stop in the final minutes. Arkansas torched Mizzou’s defense in the first half for 318 yards, but the Tigers’ defense only allowed 130 yards in the second half, after rallying behind each other following an end zone interception by freshman linebacker, Cole Garrett. Arkansas converted 7-10 3rd down conversions in the first half, but the Tigers defense stepped up only allowing 2-7 3rd down conversions in the second half.
Mizzou honored 17 seniors on its senior day. One in particular had a huge day, and made big time plays on the defensive end – cornerback Aarion Penton. Penton finished with six tackles, two pass deflections, and an interception. Senior linebacker Donavin Newsome, wore No. 30 in honor of senior linebacker Michael Scherer, whose season ended due to a knee injury suffered in Mizzou’s homecoming game against Middle Tennessee State.
Drew Lock finished completing 16-26 passes with 268 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. Lock finishes the season with 3399 yards, the most by an SEC quarterback this season.
Lock’s favorite target J’Mon Moore caught six passes for 135 yards, becoming the only 1,000-yard receiver this season for Missouri. Moore also recorded a rushing touchdown due to a inadvertent Ish Witter fumble in the endzone.
Mizzou will end the season 4-8 in coach Barry Odom’s first season. Although the Tigers aren’t eligible for a bowl game this 17 point comeback, the biggest second half comeback in school history, will serve as a huge momentum booster going into the offseason.