COLUMBIA, Mo. — Arkansas and Missouri meet for the eighth time on Friday afternoon at Faurot Field in the still-new “Battle Line Rivalry” game. The Tigers hold a 4-3 all-time advantage in the series, but the teams have split the last two games since the rivalry’s christening.
The Razorbacks (7-4, 3-4 SEC) and Tigers (3-8, 1-6 SEC) come into the game in vastly different places. Arkansas beat Mississippi State 58-42 last weekend, continuing a peculiar trend of alternating wins and losses over its last eight games. Missouri, meanwhile, enters this game having lost six of its last seven, including a 63-37 setback last week at Tennessee.
If Arkansas wins, it would mark the most regular-season wins for the Razorbacks during the Bret Bielema era. Missouri, which will not be bowl eligible, is wrapping up its first season under coach Barry Odom.
Arkansas-Missouri game time, details
Date: Friday, Nov. 25
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Location: Memorial Stadium, Columbia, Mo.
Weather: 55 degrees
Line: Arkansas is favored by 7 points
Which TV channel is Arkansas-Missouri on?
The game will be broadcasted on CBS.
How can I watch Arkansas-Missouri online?
The game will be available on CBSSports.com.
Who is calling the Arkansas-Missouri game for CBS?
Brad Nessler will handle play-by-play duties, while Gary Danielson will be the color analyst. John Schriffen will be the sideline reporter.
How can I listen to Arkansas-Missouri on the radio?
The game will be available on the Razorback/IMG Sports Network, with Chuck Barrett as the play-by-play announcer, Keith Jackson as the color analyst and Quinn Grovey as the sideline reporter. In Fayetteville, the game is available on 99.5 FM, 93.3 FM, 92.1 FM and 1290 AM. The contest is also available on Sirius XM channel 119.
Arkansas-Missouri keys to the game
Feed Rawleigh Williams
When Williams, Arkansas’ leading rusher, records at least 96 yards, the Razorbacks win. When he doesn’t, the Razorbacks lose. Even though Dan Enos’ offense is a more pass-heavy than a traditional Bielema system, the run is still the greatest indicator of success or failure. Williams leads the SEC in rushing with 1,209 yards. He rushed for 205 yards and 4 touchdowns last week at Mississippi State. Williams is averaging 144.7 yards in the Razorbacks’ seven wins and just 49 yards in the Hogs’ four losses. If the sophomore has a big game Friday, the Razorbacks will probably win. If he’s held below 100 yards, Missouri’s chances increase exponentially. Fortunately for the Hogs, Missouri currently has the worst rushing defense in the SEC, allowing 239.91 yards on the ground per game this season.
Contain the run
On the flip side, Arkansas’ defense absolutely must keep the Missouri rushing attack under control. That task got a whole lot easier on Monday, when Odom announced that freshman running back Damarea Crockett will be suspended for the game because of a marijuana-related arrest. Crockett, a Little Rock native, has rushed for 1,062 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. The Missouri offense has been more successful through the air this season. Quarterback Drew Lock has thrown for 3,131 yards and 22 touchdowns this season, although Arkansas’ defense has been better against the pass than against the run this season.
Arkansas hasn’t won consecutive games since September. The simple explanation for that is that the Hogs have played a brutal schedule, and that’s totally fair. It’s also a reason why the Razorbacks’ chance to finally win back-to-back contests is much higher this weekend against a 3-8 Missouri team. But the Tigers’ offense has shown an ability to put up points and yardage, and in a shootout, anything can happen. Arkansas — especially its defense — must avoid overconfidence if it’s going to take care of business in Columbia. A loss Friday would be nothing short of a disaster and would — yet again — zap the Hogs of any momentum they gained against Mississippi State.