How Arkansas and Missouri compare at each position

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Friday, November 25, 2022
Missouri quarterback Brady Cook (12) throws to a receiver during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Tennessee Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
Missouri quarterback Brady Cook (12) throws to a receiver during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Tennessee Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)


ARKANSAS KJ Jefferson (165-244-3, 2,149 yards, 20 TDs) is back where he had a statistically strong start behind Feleipe Franks in 2020. Jefferson is 10th in FBS pass efficiency (166.2) and at 67.6% completions is again pursuing Franks’ UA record 68.5%. Jefferson has 472 rush yards and 6 TDs. Malik Hornsby (13-27-2, 268, 1) and Cade Fortin (14-29-0, 135, 1) have started once each in losses with the backups playing better.

MISSOURI Brady Cook (201-307-7, 2,262 yards, 12 TDs) is at 65.5% completions, but his 12-7 TD-to-INT rate drags his efficiency rating to 135.7, 11th among SEC starters. Cook is the Tigers’ second-leading rusher with 409 yards and 5 TDs on 107 attempts and 3.8 ypc. Backup Jack Abraham (3-8-2, 44, 0) has not played much, nor well. QB of the future Sam Horn (0-2-0) played a series last week.


Running Backs

ARKANSAS Raheim Sanders (209-1,379, 10 TDs) is coming off a career day with 232 yards, 3 TDs vs. Ole Miss. His 6.6 yards per carry is 2nd among SEC RBs. He’s fifth on the UA single-season chart, with Madre Hill’s 1,387-yard 1995 season in sight. AJ Green (73-310, 2 TDs, 4.2 ypc) and Rashod Dubinion (45-155, 3, 3.4) have shown flashes all year, but their roles were slender last week.

MISSOURI Cody Schrader (139-605, 7 TDs), a 5-9, 214-pounder, who rushed for 2,000-plus yards in DII last year, has emerged as the lead back. The senior averages 4.4 yards per carry. Bruiser Nathaniel Peat (92-399, 2, 4.3 ypc), a 5-10, 206-pounder, had the unfortunate fumble just shy of the goal line at Auburn. Elijah Young (19-93, 4.9) and Michael Cox (9-46, 5.1) have also gotten some run.


Receivers/Tight Ends

ARKANSAS Jadon Haselwood (52 receptions, 628 yards, 3 TDs) has caught at least 3 passes in every game, playing through an injured shoulder. Matt Landers (40-701, 6, 17.5 ypc) has run hot and cold, with all of his TDs coming in 2 games. Ketron Jackson (15-270, 3) had a super TD grab last week. TE Trey Knox (22-267, 5) has been solid. Playing time for Bryce Stephens (8-92, 1) is up with Warren Thompson out.

MISSOURI Dominic Lovett (50-716, 3, 14.3) is easily the team receptions and yardage leader. Fellow slot man Barrett Banister (36-403, 0, 11.2) plays his best vs. the hometown Hogs. Freshman Luther Burden (36-299, 4, 8.3) also has 91 rush yards, 2 TDs, but hasn’t unleashed like many projected. Mookie Cooper (16-181, 0, 11.3) and Tauskie Dove (15-226, 1, 15.1), who has played well vs. Hogs, also contribute.


Offensive Line

ARKANSAS Sixth-year senior RT Dalton Wagner’s return last week from a back issue was welcomed. The other four starters in LT Luke Jones, LG Brady Latham, C Ricky Stromberg and RG Beaux Limmer have started all previous 11 games. The start count for the quintet is up to 154 games. The group was a Joe Moore Trophy nominee but did not make the 9-team cut to the semifinalist stage.

MISSOURI The Tigers’ front, a mixture of veterans and youth, averages 6-5, 318 pounds, impacted by “smallish” RS freshman C Connor Tollison (6-4, 287). Guards Xavier Delgado and Mitchell Walters are huge at 6-4, 334, and 6-8, 331, respectively. Frosh Armand Membou has started the past couple of games at RT, with senior Connor Wood sliding over a spot to RG. LT Javon Foster and Tollison have started all 11 games.


Defensive Line

ARKANSAS The Razorbacks have 18 sacks from their undersized front, led by DEs Jordan Domineck (29 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 6.5 sacks), Zach Williams (31, 6.5, 4.5, 6 hurries) and Landon Jackson (21, 3 sacks, 1 hurry). DT Cam Ball (26, 1.5 TFL) is on the rise. Eric Gregory (16, 4 TFL, 2 sacks, 4 hurries), Isaiah Nichols (15, 1 TFL), Terry Hampton (22, 2.5, 1, 1 PBU), Jashaud Stewart (11, 1.5, 1) and Dorian Gerald (3, 1 hurry) contribute.

MISSOURI One of the SEC’s most underrated fronts is anchored by ends Trajan Jeffcoat (20 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 2 hurries) and Isaiah McGuire (34, 11, 5.5, 4, 1 FF), who have started all 11 games. DJ Coleman (33, 8.5, 4.5, 2 FF) has been a huge DE add. Top DTs are Darius Robinson (26, 4.5, 2.5, 3 hurries), Kristian Williams (23, 4, 1, 2), Jayden Jernigan (12, 1.5, 1, 1) and Josh Landry (9, 1.5 TFL).



ARKANSAS Drew Sanders (96, 12.5, 8.5, 1 INT, 6 hurries, 3 PBU, 3 FF, 1 FR), the Butkus Award finalist has one of the most jam-packed stat lines in the FBS. Last week he passed Bumper Pool (92, 4.5, 2, 5 hurries, 3 PBU) for the team tackles lead. Pool is questionable with health issues, a few stops short of a third straight 100-tackle season. Chris Paul (41, 7, 4, 2 hurries, 1 FF, 1 FR) has been a stout blitzer with stardom awaiting.

MISSOURI The Tigers come forward aggressively, filling into run lanes and racking up tackles for loss, in the base 4-2-5 scheme. Ty’Ron Hopper (57, 11.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 6 hurries, 4 PBU, 1 INT, 1 FF), a transfer from Florida, has a stuffed stat line. Chad Bailey (42, 6, 1, 2 PBU, 1 FR), a 240-pound senior thumper, starts at the other spot. Top reserves: Dameon Wilson (16, 1 FR) and Devin Nicholson (11, 2 hurries, 2 PBU).



ARKANSAS It seems the rotation has settled in, with safeties Simeon Blair (60, 1 TFL, 5 PBU), Hudson Clark (56, 2 TFL, 1 INT, 10 PBU, 2 FR, 2 FF) and Latavious Brini (48, 3, 1 INT, 2 FR, 1 FF) pairing with CBs Dwight McGlothern (40, 3 INTs, 7 PBU, 2 FF) and Quincey McAdoo (16, 1 sack, 1 INT, 3 PBU) and NBs Myles Slusher (28, 5, 2, 2 hurries), who has had a hectic year, and Jayden Johnson (31, 1.5 sacks, 3 PBU).

MISSOURI Tons of experience and quality CBs roam the Missouri secondary, led by S Jaylon Carlies (64, 2 INTs, 3 PBU), S Joseph Charleston (52, 3.5 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PBU), “Star” Martez Manuel (45, 8, 2 sacks, 3 hurries), and CBs Kris Abrams-Draine (38, 13 PBU) and Ennis Rakestraw (32, 4.5 TFL, 11 PBU, 1 INT, 3 FF). Daylen Carnell (23, 2 INT) and Dreyden Norwood (12, 1 sack, 1 INT, 3 PBU) see time.


Special Teams

ARKANSAS Cam Little is 10 of 13 on FGs, with a 47-yard miss last week, and 41 of 41 on PATs. Jake Bates has an 83.9% touchback rate and exactly 4,000 kickoff yards. Teams coordinator Scott Fountain is using Reid Bauer (44.3) for long punts, Max Fletcher (37.6) for pinning opportunities. PR Bryce Stephens (9.9) has had few chances since his 82-yard TD vs. Missouri State. KOR AJ Green has a low 14.8-yard average.

MISSOURI Luther Burden has a 78-yard punt return TD and a 13.7 yard average. KORs are well below average at 14.8 per return. P Jack Stonehouse (42.4 avg.) has 8 50-yarders, 13 inside the 20. PK Harrison Mevis (18 of 23 FGs, 29 of 29 PATs), one of the best in the FBS, has not been as automatic in ’22, with a missed 26-yard game-winner at Auburn. Sean Koetting has a 75.9% touchback rate on kickoffs.



ARKANSAS The Razorbacks got a huge onus off their backs with last week’s win, so how much is in the tank after that emotional pitch? There are other built-in incentives, however, like winning in Columbia, Mo., for the first time since the Tigers joined the SEC. Also, DC Barry Odom is likely eager to beat his alma mater, where he was head coach (2016-19) and make up for a late collapse here in 2020.

MISSOURI Bowl eligibility should be a strong motivator, so the Tigers (5-6) have that in their favor in addition to the homefield advantage. However, on Thanksgiving break, how many students will be excited about either sticking around campus or heading back from break to the game? Coach Eli Drinkwitz is an Arkansas native who gave the Razorbacks a dagger here in 2020.



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