Missouri beat Arkansas in a high-scoring thriller on Black Friday in Fayetteville, 48-45.
The Tigers moved to 7-5, and the Razorbacks dropped to an ugly 4-8, including 1-7 in the SEC. It’s likely to be Bret Bielema’s final game as Arkansas’ head coach. The university fired athletic director Jeff Long a week and a half earlier, stripping Bielema of the guy who hired him and who was his chief defender in Arkansas’ administration.
Tucker McCann kicked a chip-shot field goal from 19 yards to win the game with five seconds left. That came after Drew Lock led Mizzou on a 14-play, 75-yard drive that took 4:55 off the clock. It was a master class in how to finish a game, though Mizzou coach Barry Odom weirdly called a timeout with nine seconds left before the kick.
The Tigers had 696 yards of offense on a whopping 102 plays. Arkansas actually had a higher yards-per-play figure (7.3 to 6.8), but Mizzou had 33 minutes of possession time and managed seven points off turnovers, to Arkansas’ three. That was the difference.
Mizzou had a resurgent season, rebounding from a 1-5 start to become one of the funnest teams in the country (and a bowl-eligible one at that). Bielema’s Hogs have often been enjoyable even when they’ve been bad, so it’s no surprise we got a fun one here, and it’s also no surprise that the Tigers came out on top.
SB Nation reported last weekend on Arkansas’ coaching situation:
The Razorbacks will move on from head coach Bret Bielema after the season.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn is interested in returning home to take that position once it’s open, though his status might depend on this week’s Iron Bowl. He’d also have a hand in picking Arkansas’ new AD.
Memphis coach Mike Norvell will also be a candidate for the Arkansas job, once it’s open. Norvell is from the state and his two years recruiting for Memphis are considered a plus to boosters.
If Malzahn leaves, expect Auburn people to push for Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher. If Fisher were to land at Auburn, he’d hope to retain at least current Tigers defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and associate head coach Rodney Garner.
Arkansas did have one really good thing come out of this game.
This was Arkansas’ senior day, and it included senior defensive lineman Bijhon Jackson making a successful marriage proposal during the pregame ceremony: