Four Tigers transfer after 34-17 loss to Arkansas ends regular season

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Missouri football’s regular season came to a close on Friday with a 34-17 loss to (24) Arkansas. 

The Tigers kept things close in the first half, trailing 10-6 heading into the locker room. Blaze Alldredge had one of his best games of the season, making three drive-ending plays including a forced fumble in the first quarter. Missouri couldn’t find the end zone with its struggles in the passing game limiting the offense.

The Razorbacks pulled away in the second half, as KJ Jefferson led four straight scoring drives for Arkansas. That included a 52-yard touchdown pass to Treylon Burks, who burned the Tigers for a total of 129 yards on seven catches.

“I was proud of the way our guys fought… to play the way we did in the first half, I was really excited to come out in the second,” Missouri head football coach Eliah Drinkwitz said after the game. “Gave up a couple of explosive plays, were never able to sustain rhythm offensively, kept getting big penalties that were putting us way out of whack on second and longs and third and longs and you know, in the fringe zone, and weren’t able to sustain drives, and got away from us late… we were trying to play a little bit of a tighter game, and once it got to two scores, it kind of got away from us there.”

Mizzou didn’t score a touchdown until its final drive of the game, when Tyler Badie took a Brady Cook-led drive into the end zone with 51 yards on nine carries. That drive helped the senior break the Tigers’ single-season rushing record, as Badie’s 219 rushing yards left him with 1,604 yards this season, eclipsing Devin West’s previous record of 1,578 rushing yards set in the 1998 season.

“He’s a special player,” Drinkwitz said. “He’s a great competitor. He gives us everything he’s got, and, you know, for him to get that record, that’s a special thing”

Badie took 41 carries in the game, four shy of the Mizzou single-game record set by Zain Gilmore in 1999. His performance against the Razorbacks was his fifth 200-yard game of the season, unmatched in the FBS.

“It’s not about all the glitz and glamour and all the titles and stuff like that,” Badie said. “It’s more about just doing whatever I can do for this team and helping them, just being able to be that spark plug for the offense.”

A few big runs from Badie in the first half were brought back by holding penalties, and he even cost himself a big first-down gain with a facemask penalty. Those fouls consistently pushed the Tigers offense back behind the original line of scrimmage.

“Self inflicted wounds, we kept getting in our own way,” Drinkwitz said. “We had big gains and had holding penalties, we got a chop block, we got an illegal cut, I mean even right before half, there, we have an explosive play that gets called back on a holding penalty, so a lot of things that we’re going to have to work hard to correct.”

Connor Bazelak had his worst passing performance of the season, completing just 10 of his 26 passes for 65 yards and an interception. Drinkwitz gave his quarterback a long leash, but after going three and out following his fourth quarter interception, he put the ball in Brady Cook’s hands.

“I felt like our team was in the game. He hadn’t made a big mistake. You know, I don’t ever want our quarterbacks to feel like if they make a single mistake, they’re going to get pulled, so after the interception, wanted to give him another chance to drive us down and see what he could do, but you know, at the end, I needed to give Brady a chance and see what he could provide for us.” 

Mizzou finished its regular season with a .500 record (6-6) for the third consecutive year. Following the game, Daniel Parker Jr., Chris Shearin, Ish Burdine and Messiah Swinson all announced their entries into the transfer portal, joining Ja’Mori Maclin and Jamie Pettway Jr. as Tigers who transferred during the 2021 season. 

Lying ahead for the Tigers is their bowl game, which will be announced sometime this weekend. Missouri will rest up before the final game of the season, which won’t take place for at least another three weeks. 

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