Sep 3, 2022; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats running back Deuce Vaughn (22) is chased by South Dakota Coyotes linebacker Tre Thomas (21) during the second quarter at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri vs. K-State: Familiar foes yet total strangers

Missouri and Kansas State have played each other in football nearly 100 times, but the last time the two schools faced off, even the fifth-year seniors were still in grade school.

The former conference foes have not met since 2011, when new K-State offensive coordinator Collin Klein quarterbacked the Wildcats to a 24-17 victory over the Tigers. The following season, Missouri bolted from the Big 12 to the Southeastern Conference and their border series ended.

Both teams opened the season with convincing victories against overmatched opponents, and when they square off for the 98th time Saturday, this time in Manhattan, Kan., both know their quality of opponent will rise.

Missouri (1-0) is coming off a convincing 52-24 victory over Louisiana Tech on Sept. 1. The Tigers built a 38-10 lead after three quarters and Tech — forced to play catchup — finished with 337 yards of offense, but only 11 on the ground.

That was quite an upgrade for Missouri’s defense, which was one of the nation’s worst against the run last year.

“The defense, wow,” Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz said. “What a difference a year makes. To hold them to 11 yards rushing is pretty impressive. Can’t say enough about the effort those guys had.”

Kansas State (1-0) was pretty vanilla on offense while dominating South Dakota 34-0 on Sept. 3. Yet, the Wildcats pose a much bigger challenge to the Missouri defense.

The Wildcats ran for 297 yards against South Dakota, the most for the team since 2019. And with preseason All-American Deuce Vaughn watching most of the second half from the sideline, that number could have been even higher.

Vaughn rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown against South Dakota. It was his seventh straight game with more than 100 rushing yards, three shy of Darren Sproles’ school-record 10-game streak spanning the 2002 and 2003 seasons.

“That’s a testament to our offensive line,” Vaughn said. “The way they played, it was one of those things where we didn’t get to our entire playbook. We ran the ball pretty well, to the point where if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

“We were able to keep some of those things in the shadows going into next week and keep some plays that we could have ran tonight away from a team like Missouri.”

Missouri leads the all-time series 59-33-5.

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2021; Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks ruling back Raheim Sanders (5) runs the ball during the second quarter against the Missouri Tigers at Donald W. Reynolds Razorbacks Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

No. 25 Arkansas beats Missouri for eighth victory

Raheim Sanders rushed for two touchdowns as No. 25 Arkansas closed out its regular season and Southeastern Conference play with a 34-17 win over Missouri on Friday in Fayetteville, Ark.

The West Division Razorbacks (8-4, 4-4 SEC) broke a five-game losing streak against their cross-division rival from the East and finished with their fourth win in five games.

Arkansas notched its first eight-win season since 2015 when it went 8-5.

KJ Jefferson was 15-for-19 passing for 262 yards and a TD to Treylon Burks, who caught seven passes for 129 yards and a score.

Burks’ six 100-yard receiving games this season set a school record. Trelon Smith rushed for a TD.

Montaric Brown notched his fifth interception for Arkansas, which beat Missouri for the second time in eight conference meetings.

The Tigers (6-6, 3-5) got 219 rushing yards and a score on 41 carries from Tyler Badie — the SEC’s leading rusher. It marks the fifth time Badie topped 200 yards this season.

Badie has 1,604 yards on 268 attempts with 14 TDs.

Connor Bazelak was just 10-of-26 passing for 65 yards and an interception.

Jefferson helped put the Razorbacks up 3-0 on their first series — sprinting 49 yards up the middle — to set up Cam Little’s 36-yard field goal with 10:01 left in the opening quarter.

Late in the first quarter, Missouri’s defense forced a fumble by Smith, but seven plays by the Tigers produced just 11 yards.

Kicker Harrison Mevis then connected from 46 yards with13:27 left in the half.

On the best drive of the first half, the Razorbacks traveled 76 yards on eight plays, with Jefferson’s 43-yard pass to Burks putting the home side in business at the Missouri 7-yard line. Sanders bulled in from a yard out for a 10-3 lead with 5:53 left.

One of the top kickers in the country, Mevis nailed a 49-yarder with 3:02 left that rounded out the half’s scoring at 10-6.

Badie was strong with 117 yards on 22 first-half carries, but the Razorbacks did an impressive job keeping the Tigers out of the end zone.

Early in the third, De’Vion Warren took a bubble screen from Jefferson and went 55 yards, and Smith rumbled 4 yards for a 17-6 lead.

On their next series, the Razorbacks went up 24-6 when Jefferson found Burks for 52 yards.

Mevis added a 41-yard kick — raising him to 20-of-22 in an excellent season — but Little matched it from 23 yards with 11:44 left.

Sanders’ 7-yard scoring run and Badie’s late TD rush rounded out the scoring.

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA;  Arkansas Razorbacks defensive back Simeon Blair (15) and defensive back LaDarrius Bishop (24) tackle Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Slade Bolden (18) at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama won 42-35. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

No. 25 Arkansas looks to refocus vs. Missouri after tough loss

With a chance to complete a breakthrough season, Arkansas coach Sam Pittman does not want to see his team let up after a tough loss last weekend.

The No. 25 Razorbacks conclude the 2021 campaign against cross-divisional rival Missouri in a Friday afternoon Southeastern Conference contest in Fayetteville, Ark.

A victory Saturday would mark the first time the Razorbacks have won eight regular-season games since Bobby Petrino’s 2011 squad went 10-2.

While Pittman’s business at hand is getting ready for the Tigers (6-5, 3-4 SEC), thoughts of last week’s tight 42-35 road loss to No. 2 Alabama still linger.

“I thought we were pretty good in the game making adjustments,” Pittman said. “I thought it was two really good football teams with two really good game plans. We just ended up seven (points) short.”

The offense got hefty production from quarterback KJ Jefferson (326 passing yards, three touchdowns) and receiver Treylon Burks (eight catches for 179 yards, two scores).

Arkansas (7-4, 3-4) has a chance to put together a strong season in Pittman’s second year after the former University of Georgia offensive line coach’s squad went 3-7 in an all-SEC schedule in 2020.

After starting 4-0 and being ranked as high as No. 8 following a 20-10 win over Texas A&M on Sept. 25, the Razorbacks have a chance to win eight games and appear in a New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day bowl game.

Their 222.3 rushing yards per game ranks 14th in the country, and they are second in runs of 10-or-more yards.

Trelon Smith tops Arkansas with 555 yards rushing on 111 carries.

The Tigers have been much better against the run after being thrashed earlier this season and have used their own running game as a strength.

The Tigers rank ninth in the SEC in rushing — 172.4 yards per game — and Tyler Badie leads the conference with 1,393 yards on 227 attempts (6.1 per carry) and has 13 rushing TDs.

Badie also tops the team with 53 catches and four touchdown receptions.

“They’re a hot team right now, having won their last two games, and have a really good offensive line,” Pittman said. “Badie is not only their leading rusher but leading receiver by a long ways.”

Missouri holds a 9-3 overall edge in the series, including a 6-1 mark since joining the SEC, and have been victorious in the last five meetings.

Coach Eli Drinkwitz made a bold call in overtime, and the Tigers became bowl-eligible Saturday in their thrilling 24-23 home win over Florida, getting Connor Bazelak’s two-point floater to Daniel Parker Jr. for the walk-off victory.

After sitting at 3-4 following a 35-14 loss to Texas A&M on Oct. 16, the Tigers’ staff decided to change the team’s approach.

“We weren’t improving at the rate we needed to. We had to rededicate ourselves to how are we were going to focus on improvement of individual player development and commitment to the team,” Drinkwitz said.

The Tigers will have to prepare for a tough combo in Jefferson and Burks.

“Jefferson is really having a remarkable season,” said the second-year Tigers coach. “He’s really difficult to tackle and does a good job of creating time and space in the pocket and delivers the ball downfield.

“Burks is one of the top two wide receivers in the league. That would be a great contest between him and (Bama’s) Jameson Williams. Treylon is very special.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Missouri Tigers running back Tyler Badie (1) runs the ball as South Carolina Gamecocks defensive back Jaylan Foster (12) and linebacker Brad Johnson (19) make the tackle during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Badie leads Missouri past South Carolina

Tyler Badie rushed 209 yards and a touchdown and Connor Bazelak threw for 180 yards and two touchdowns Saturday to lead host Missouri to a 31-28 victory over South Carolina in a Southeastern Conference game.

Bazelak went 15-for-23 passing that included two interceptions, with Badie finishing with five receptions for 22 yards and Mookie Cooper catching three catches for 72 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers (5-5, 2-4 SEC).

South Carolina quarterback Jason Brown went 16-for-30 passing for 193 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, but he also committed a costly fumble that was recovered for a touchdown.

Josh Vann had five receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown, while Zaquandre White rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries for the Gamecocks (5-5, 2-5).

Leading 17-14 late in the third quarter, Missouri’s defense took control of the game.

On first-and-10 from his team’s 17-yard line, Brown dropped back to pass. But defensive back Martez Manuel blitzed and sacked Brown, knocking the ball free. Travion Ford fell on it in the end zone for a touchdown and a 24-14 lead with 4:28 left in the quarter.

Badie put the game away on the Tigers’ next possession when his 19-yard touchdown run pushed the lead to 31-14 with 12:31 left in the game.

Brown pulled South Carolina to 31-21 with a 38-yard touchdown pass to White with 6:56 remaining. After Bazelak threw an interception that gave the Gamecocks the ball at the Tigers’ 14-yard line, White scored on a three-yard run with 4:32 left to cut the deficit to 31-28.

Yet, Missouri ran out the clock on its ensuing possession.

South Carolina accounted for the only scoring in the first quarter on Kevin Harris’ two-yard run less than three minutes into the game.

Missouri dominated the second quarter. After Bazelak threw a two-yard touchdown to Daniel Parker just 34 seconds into the quarter, he gave the Tigers a 14-7 lead a little more than two minutes later with a 60-yard strike to Cooper.

After South Carolina tied the score on Brown’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Josh Vann with 4:26 left in the quarter, the Tigers took a 17-14 lead into halftime on Harrison Mevis’ 19-yard field goal as time expired.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2021; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) tackles Missouri Tigers quarterback Tyler Macon (10) during the first half at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 Georgia rolls past Missouri

Stetson Bennett threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns to lead top-ranked Georgia to a 43-6 victory over visiting Missouri on Saturday in Athens, Ga.

Bennett went 13-for-19 passing and JT Daniels came off the bench to complete 7 of 11 passes for 82 yards with a touchdown and an interception for Bulldogs (9-0, 7-0 SEC), who overcame a sluggish start to overwhelm the Tigers (4-5, 1-4).

Jermaine Burton caught three for 76 yards and a score, while running back James Cook rushed for a team-high 41 yards and a score on nine carries. Georgia outgained Missouri 505-273.

True freshman quarterback Tyler Macon made his first start for the Tigers, filling in for the injured Connor Bazelak. Macon went 3-for-7 passing for nine yards before being replaced by redshirt freshman Brady Cook late in the second quarter. Brady Cook went 14-for-19 passing for 78 yards, with running back Tyler Badie, the SEC’s leading rusher, being held to 41 on nine carries.

Macon re-entered the game in the final minutes and led Missouri to Georgia’s 1-yard line in the final seconds to finish the day 6-for-13 passing for 74 yards and another 42 rushing.

Burton caught a 12-yard pass from Bennett to open the third quarter and push the lead to 33-3, ending Bennett’s day. He was replaced by Daniels, who saw his first action since the first quarter of Georgia’s win over Vanderbilt on Sept. 25.

Daniels capped his first series with a 5-yard scoring strike to Ladd McConkey for a 40-3 lead with 7:26 left in the third quarter.

Georgia began taking over the game after Missouri took a 3-0 on Harrison Mevis’ 36-yard field goal with 5:50 left in the first quarter.

Bennett threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Arian Smith on a fourth-and-six to cap an 11-play, 75-yard drive with 42 seconds left in the quarter.

Georgia pushed the lead to 9-3 after Nolan Smith blocked Missouri’s punt, with the ball rolling out of the end zone after several Bulldogs failed to grab it in the field of play for what would have been a touchdown with 14:12 left in the half.

Georgia scored on its next three possessions to end the half. Zamir White’s 1-yard run capped a five-play, 62-yard drive with 11:37 remaining before Jack Podlesny pushed the lead to 19-3 with a 20-yard field goal with 5:05 left in the half.

The Bulldogs pushed their advantage to 26-3 on Cook’s 1-yard run to end a nine-play, 74-yard drive with 18 seconds left in the second quarter.

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Missouri Tigers wide receiver Tauskie Dove (86) is tackled by Texas A&M Aggies defensive back Tyreek Chappell (7) during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

No. 21 Texas A&M overruns Missouri defense

Isaiah Spiller rushed for a season-best 168 yards and one touchdown and Devon Achane matched his season high of 124 yards on the ground with two scores as No. 21 Texas A&M notched a 35-14 win over Missouri on Saturday afternoon in SEC play at Columbia, Mo.

Zach Calzada completed 13 of 25 passes for 148 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for the Aggies (5-2, 2-2 SEC). Ainias Smith caught two touchdown passes while Spiller notched his fourth 100-yard outing of the season and 14th of his career.

Conner Bazelak completed 29 of 43 passes for 230 yards and two interceptions for the Tigers (3-4, 0-3). Star back Tyler Badie rushed for 68 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries and caught seven passes for 53 yards. The touchdown was Badie’s 13th (nine rushing, four receiving) of the season.

The Aggies accumulated 283 rushing yards while outgaining Missouri 431-328.

Coming off last weekend’s epic upset of then-No. 1 Alabama, Texas A&M started fast with a 21-point first quarter.

The Aggies first got on the board when Smith caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Calzada with 11:25 left in the first quarter.

Spiller made it 14-0 when he broke into the clear up the middle on a 48-yard touchdown dash with 7:55 left in the stanza.

The Aggies increased the advantage to 21 when Achane scored on a 20-yard run with 2:43 left in the quarter.

Missouri got on the board when Badie scored on a 32-yard run down the left side with 8:09 left in the half.

Calzada and Smith teamed up again — this time from 11 yards — as the Aggies boosted their lead to 28-7 with 4:45 remaining in the half.

The Tigers put together a stellar drive in the third quarter when they navigated 97 yards in 14 plays. Dominic Lovett finished off the drive with a 7-yard run with 8:12 left in the period.

Nearly six minutes later, Achane scored from the 1 to make it 35-14 with 2:33 left in the quarter.

Seth Small, who booted the game-winning 28-yard field goal against Alabama, was short on both his attempts — from 54 and 46 yards.

–Field Level Media

Oct 9, 2021; College Station, Texas, USA;  Texas A&M quarterback Zach Calzada (10) throws a pass against Alabama at Kyle Field. Texas A&M defeated Alabama 41-38 on a field goal as time expired. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Can No. 21 Aggies sustain success after shocking Alabama?

Texas A&M is fresh off the biggest upset of the college football season and coach Jimbo Fisher doesn’t want his Aggies resting on their laurels.

The No. 21 Aggies savored their slaying of then-No. 1 Alabama but must quickly turn their focus to Missouri in Saturday’s SEC matchup in Columbia, Mo.

Texas A&M (4-2, 1-2 SEC) was sputtering and had fallen out of the rankings before recording the 41-38 home win over Alabama last Saturday.

“We’re not going to walk around with our chest out because we beat Alabama,” Fisher said. “We’re going to understand why we did it so we can do it against everyone else on our schedule.”

Texas A&M lost back-to-back SEC contests against Arkansas (20-10) and Mississippi State (26-22) before breaking the Crimson Tide’s 19-game winning streak and becoming the first unranked team to defeat Alabama in 100 games.

The play of quarterback Zach Calzada was a huge factor in the difference in results. He passed for just 151 yards against Arkansas and 135 against Mississippi State before rebounding with a career-high 285 against Alabama. He also matched his career best of three passing touchdowns.

“Zach Calzada played better,” Fisher said. “He started hot. He did an excellent job of keeping his eyes up. He played with great toughness. He got banged and bruised but continued to get up off the mat.”

Calzada and the Aggies will look to keep the offense cranked up against Missouri (3-3, 0-2), which is allowing an SEC-worst 37.5 points and 497.7 yards per game.

The Texas A&M offense averages 26.3 points and 376.7 yards per game. Calzada has completed 56.6 percent of his passes for 1,029 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions.

Isaiah Spiller has rushed for 491 yards and three touchdowns for the Aggies, while Ainias Smith leads the team with 26 catches for 285 yards and four scores.

The Tigers are coming off a 48-35 home win over North Texas, when they led 31-7 at halftime.

Running back Tyler Badie rushed for a career-best 217 yards for his second 200-yard outing of the season. He had 203 in a season-opening win over Central Michigan.

He also scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) for his fourth multi-TD game of the season. Badie ranks second nationally with 12 touchdowns (eight rushing, four receiving), rushing for 667 yards and covering 212 yards on his 25 receptions this season.

“He’s probably the least-talked-about great player in the country right now,” Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz said. “I mean, the guy is playing at an extremely high level. Two-hundred yards rushing, three touchdowns. I mean, he refused to be tackled.

“He’s really competing hard and he’s a special player.”

Tigers quarterback Connor Bazelak passed for two touchdowns against North Texas. He has completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,682 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions for an offense averaging 37.8 points and 467 yards a game.

Missouri has, however, allowed 35 or more points four times this season, including a season-worst output during a 62-24 loss to Tennessee on Oct. 2.

Drinkwitz said he saw progress Saturday when the Tigers held North Texas to 14 points over the first three quarters. Overall, the Mean Green converted just 5 of 15 third-down conversions.

“It wasn’t perfect, but we didn’t think we were going to transform into the ‘85 Bears overnight,” Drinkwitz said, referencing one of the top NFL defensive teams of all-time. “We’re working towards it. We took a big step. It’s a process.”

The teams are meeting for the first time since 2014. The Aggies hold an 8-7 series edge.

–Field Level Media

Oct 9, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Missouri Tigers wide receiver JJ Hester (13) scores as North Texas Mean Green defensive back Upton Stout (7) makes the tackle during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Badie, big plays propel Mizzou past North Texas

Running back Tyler Badie rushed for 217 yards and scored three touchdowns as the Missouri Tigers outlasted the North Texas Mean Green 48-35 in a nonconference game in Columbia, Mo.

Connor Bazelak completed 21 of 32 passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns for Missouri (3-3).

Austin Aune completed 16 of 26 passes for 305 yards and four touchdowns in his first start of the season for North Texas (1-4) of Conference USA.

Running back DeAndre Torrey added 126 yards rushing and receiving for the Mean Green.

Missouri forced three turnovers and converted two of them into touchdowns to win their Homecoming Game.

Kris Abrams-Draine intercepted Aune at the North Texas 26, setting up Badie’s 12-yard touchdown run just 4:23 into the game.

Badie’s 50-yard run propelled the Tigers to their second touchdown, a 3-yard pass to Badie with 4:14 remaining in the first.

North Texas marched 75 yards to cut their deficit to 14-7 with 13:04 left in the first half. Isaiah Johnson finished the drive with a 4-yard TD run.

Bazelak lofted a 41-yard touchdown pass to JJ Hester to push the Tigers’ lead to 21-7. Missouri made it 28-7 with Badie’s 52-yard burst through the left side of the line.

Harrison Mevis hit a 48-yard field goal to give Missouri a 31-7 halftime lead.

On their second possession of the second half, the Mean Green mounted a 70-yard TD drive capped by Aune’s 35-yard pass to Torrey coming out of the backfield.

Badie’s 42-yard run set up a 40-yard field goal by Mevis — his 16th consecutive make — as Missouri took a 34-14 lead with 13:29 left to play.

Mekhi Wingo intercepted a tipped Aune pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown as Missouri boosted its lead to 41-14.

But Aune responded with a 22-yard TD pass to Jason Pirtle and a 52-yard touchdown pass to Roderic Burns as North Texas cut its deficit to 41-28.

Dawson Downing raced 60 yards for a Missouri touchdown, but Aune’s 77-yard pass to Damon Ward got the Mean Green within 13.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver JaVonta Payton (3) catches a touchdown pass against Missouri Tigers defensive back Allie Green IV (24) during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee ignites offense in rout of Missouri

Tennessee scored on its first nine possessions, including six for touchdowns, en route to a 62-24 win over Missouri in a clash of Southeastern Conference East Division teams Saturday in Columbia, Mo.

The Volunteers (3-2, 1-1) amassed 667 yards in total offense, topping the 600-yard mark for the first time since they had 609 yards against Missouri in 2016.

Sophomore Tiyon Evans rushed for a career-high 156 yards and Hendon Hooker completed 15 of 19 passes for 225 yards. The Vols rushed for 452 yards to eclipse the 400-yard mark rushing for the first time since 1994 against Vanderbilt.

Marcus Pierce’s 27-yard touchdown run gave the Vols their highest point total since their 63-37 win over Missouri in 2016.

Connor Bazelak passed for 322 yards for the Tigers (2-3, 0-2). He also had two interceptions, with the first setting up the second of Evans’ touchdowns from 1 yard out.

Tyler Badie and D’iOnte Smith each rushed for touchdown and Kris Abram-Drane scored on a 100-yard kickoff return for Missouri. It was the Tigers’ first kickoff return for a touchdown since 2014.

Evans also had a career-long 92-yard run for a touchdown but was denied a fourth score when the Tigers stopped him on fourth-and-goal from 1 yard out midway through the fourth quarter.

The Vols amassed 425 yards in the first half alone, with 275 coming on the ground. Evans already had already surpassed his career high in rushing with 123 yards by then.

The Tigers managed a respectable 210 yards in the first two quarters but hurt them selves with eight penalties, half of them on holding violations Three of the holding calls came on one drive that eventually forced them to settle for a field goal when a touchdown would have tied the game at 7-7.

–Field Level Media