A fourth quarter collapse by Arkansas’ defense overshadowed an improbable performance by redshirt Freshman quarterback K. J. Jefferson who started in place of an injured Feleipe Franks.
A 32 yard field goal by Harrison Mevis gave Missouri the win, 50-48, after the Hogs had taken the lead on a touchdown pass by Jefferson along with a two point conversion with :43 left in the game.
Missouri took the ball first, marching 37 yards in seven plays where, after a defensive stop by Arkansas, the Tigers took the lead on a Mevis 51 yard field goal.
Jefferson entered the game and the Hogs promptly went three and out after three passes, two of them incomplete.
Missouri got the ball back and this time the home team went all the way on a 69 yard drive, the big play a Connor Bazelak pass complete to Keke Chism for 29 yards to the Arkansas two yard line. Larry Rountree went the rest of the way for a 10-0 lead.
At that point the Hogs offense responded with masterful 75 yard drive with Jefferson both running and throwing the ball. Blake Kern narrowed the lead to 10-6 with a two yard touchdown catch from Jefferson but A.J. Reed pulled the point after attempt wide left.
Missouri took the ball and drove it again but Arkansas forced another field goal attempt, this one a chip shot for a 13-7 lead.
Jefferson was just getting warmed up. He made it 13-12 quickly on a 69 yard pass to Treylon Burks. This time Reed connected and the game was tied 13-13.
The scoring contest continued as Missouri responded with a another 75 yard drive. Roundtree took it in from six yards out and the Tigers were in front again, this time 20-13.
Arkansas came right back with some ball control offense of its own. Trelon Smith capped a 13 play, 75 yard drive with an eight yard run and the game was tied at 20-20.
Arkansas finally came up with a three and out stop and after a 39 yard punt and the Hogs’ offense was in business again. Early in the drive Missouri lost linebacker Nick Bolton on a targeting call. Arkansas then pulled off a fake field goal when holder Jack Lindsey took the snap and raced 20 yards to the Missouri five. Jefferson then scored on a one yard run and the Hogs held a 27-20 halftime lead.
Arkansas went three and out to start the third quarter and Missouri closed the lead to 27-23 after a 37 yard field goal. But Jefferson continue to step up big, connecting with Burks on a 41 yard pass on 3rd and 15 to the Missouri 26. Five plays later Smith ran it in from 15 yards out and Arkansas took a 33-23 lead before Reed missed yet another point after attempt.
Arkansas forced another Missouri kick at the Tigers 25. Jefferson and the Hogs set up shop on their own 34. Smith immediately ripped off a run to the Mizzou 45 but the drive stopped there and Arkansas punted the ball back to the Tigers 14.
Bolstered by a mysterious unsportsmanlike conduct penalty Missouri then drove to the Arkansas 23 where Mevis booted a 40 yard field goal. Arkansas’ lead was down to 33-26.
The Hogs answered with another touchdown drive as Smith scored again, this time on a 16 yard run but Mizzou answered quickly with Tyler Badie ripping off a 46 yard touchdown run. With 12:41 left in the game Arkansas’ lead was back to seven at 40-33.
Arkansas was then forced to punt quickly and Missouri had the ball back and they tied the game up in a hurry going 82 yards on eight plays. Roundtree scored untouched on a nine yard run.
At that point Arkansas defense collapsed. A 46 yard run by Roundtree and a 25 yard scoring run by Badie put the Tigers up 47-40.
Arkansas was not done. Jefferson led the Hogs on a dramatic 13 play, 75 yard answering drive. Jefferson got the Hogs to within one with a touchdown strike to Mike Woods. He then hit Woods on a two point conversion for a 48-47 lead with :43 seconds left in the game.
But the Tigers then drove to the Arkansas 15 where Mevis won it on a field goal with no time left in the game.
Jefferson was 18 of 34 passing for 274 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 32 yards and a touchdown. Smith rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns. The Hogs piled up 566 yards of total offense and scored the most points by an Arkansas team in an SEC game since 2017 which also came on a high scoring loss, 48-45, to Missouri.