Missouri is going back to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game.
The Tigers gave Arkansas a dose of its own medicine in the fourth quarter Friday in a comeback 21-14 win that sealed Missouri’s second-straight SEC title game appearance.
After tying the game at 14-14 early in the fourth, Missouri got the ball back with 10:42 left in the game at its own 15-yard-line. The Tigers marched down the field with just one pass play – and it was incomplete. Thanks to a five-yard penalty, Missouri had 11 carries for 90 yards, the last of which was a 12-yard run by Marcus Murphy for the winning touchdown.
Missouri finished the game with 158 rushing yards.
Arkansas’ chance to tie was given second life on a 4th-and-8 after the Razorbacks committed a false start penalty. Missouri DE Shane Ray apparently didn’t hit the whistle and hit QB Brandon Allen, who was struggling with a back injury he suffered last week against Ole Miss. Ray was flagged for roughness and the penalty gave Arkansas a first down.
Six plays later, Alex Collins ran for two yards and Arkansas called timeout. However, Collins fumbled as he was tackled and Missouri’s Markus Golden recovered the ball. The play was originally not called a fumble and Arkansas’ timeout gave officials plenty of time to decide a review was necessary. Following a review after the timeout, Missouri was awarded the ball and simply had to run out the clock.
After losing many key contributors from an 11-2 Cotton Bowl-winning team last year, Missouri was picked to finish in the bottom half of the SEC East. And, much like Ohio State, who lost to Virginia Tech at home, Missouri suffered a brutal non-conference home loss early in the season. In week four, Missouri lost 31-27 to Indiana.
However, since getting flattened by Georgia 34-0 at home, Missouri, 10-2 and 7-1 in the SEC, has won six straight games thanks to a resilient defense which again was fantastic in the second half on Friday. After Arkansas went up 14-3 in the second quarter, Missouri didn’t let the Razorbacks get past the Tiger 34 until the final drive of the game.
Had Missouri lost Friday, Georgia would have gone to Atlanta thanks to the head-to-head tiebreaker. But with Georgia’s loss to Florida, control of the East flipped back to Missouri and the Tigers never relinquished it. After losing to Auburn last year, Mizzou now has a chance for redemption against either Mississippi State or Alabama.
For more Arkansas news, visit HawgSports.com
For more Missouri news, visit PowerMizzou.com
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