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.

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