No. 10 Arkansas rallies to beat Missouri State football in thriller. Here were the highlights.
Arkansas puts the game away
Missouri State couldn't advance and the Razorbacks escaped with the victory. A thrilling matchup with the Bears showing they're an FCS National Championship contender.
Arkansas probably just put the game away
A 21-yard pass from Jefferson to Trey Knocks on third-and-12 kept the ball out of the Bears' hands. Sanders then broke away for a 43-yard run to get inside the Bears' five. Jefferson powered a one-yard touchdown in shortly after to take an 11-point lead with 1:39 left.
Arkansas stops Bears in Hogs territory
A 38-yard pass to Kevon Latulas got the Bears to the Arkansas 37 but they then went backward. A false start and a sack turned into the Bears punting
Hogs ball at their 20 with 6:50 to go and a four-point lead.
Arkansas takes its first lead with punt return
After Missouri State's three-and-out, Bryce Stephens returned the punt for a touchdown and the Hogs have their first lead of the night. 82 yards for Stephens. It's loud and it's not over yet.
Arkansas responds to Missouri State field goal
The Bears extended their lead with a 10-play drive while going 71 yards down the field. It resulted in a 31-yard Pizano field goal with 12:04 left to retake a two-score lead. Arkansas had an immediate answer when Jefferson shuffled a pass to Sanders at the line-of-scrimmage and he outran the Bears' defense 73 yards to bring the game back within three.
Missouri State 27, Arkansas 24 — 4Q 11:38
3Q 2:02 Missouri State 24, Arkansas 17
Bears force an Arkansas punt and the Bears take over at their own 15.
Petrino rolls the dice and Missouri State retakes lead
On fourth-and-1 from the Arkansas 47, Petrino called a play-action pass which turned into Tyrone Scott being unguarded down the field for a 47-yard touchdown connection.
Missouri State 24, Arkansas 17 — 3Q, 3:28
Arkansas ties it up with field goal
A 14-play, 84-yard drive ended with the Hogs kicking a 27-yard field goal to tie the game at 17 with 5:36 left in the third quarter.
Hogs take advantage of a horsecollar on third-and-long to put points on the board.
3Q 10:04 MSU 17-14
Missouri State goes backward with an offensive pass interference and a false start. Bears punt and Arkansas takes over at its 7.
Tahj Chambers picks off Jefferson
KJ Jefferson's pass near midfield went in and out of his receiver's hands and into Tahj Chambers'.
Bears' ball at midfield.
Missouri State goes into halftime with 17-14 lead
Petrino kept the foot on the gas for a second but after a Shelley sack for a loss of six, the Bears decided to go into the break with the halftime lead.
Shelley was 14-of-27 for 176 yards at the break. He also rushed for 33 yards and a score.
Jefferson, for the Hogs, was 9-of-15 for 237 yards and a score at the break.
Arkansas brings the game within three
After a Missouri State three-and-out, Arkansas went 85 yards in 16 seconds to score with 1:04 left in the half. Jefferson found Haselwood on a 38-yard touchdown pass to make it 17-14.
2Q 2:27 MSU 17-7
Arkansas turns the ball over on downs at the Missouri State 34.
2Q 4:47 MSU 17-7
Arkansas gets Missouri State punt for the first time since there was 7:59 left in the first quarter. Arkansas ball at its 19.
Arkansas wakes up for scoring drive
An eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that only took 2:11 put the Razorbacks on the scoreboard. A long completion for 20 started the drive before Sanders ran for 42 yards on the following two plays. He finished the drive off with a three-yard touchdown run.
Missouri State 17, Arkansas 7 — 2Q, 8:25
Missouri State takes a 17-0 lead
After the three-and-out, Jason Shelley hit a wide-open Naveon Mitchell for a 20-yard gain. Shelley then scrambled for a 24-yard touchdown while making one man miss before diving into the endzone for a three-score lead.
2Q 12:08 MSU 10 ARK 0
Arkansas goes three-and-out and Naveon Mitchell returns the punt to the Arkansas 44. Bears in business once again.
Missouri State capitalizes off another Arkansas turnover
Facing third-and-5 to start the second quarter, Jason Shelley hit Naveon Mitchell over the middle of the field who took it 45 yards to the Arkansas 30.
The Bears had a chance at a two-touchdown lead but Shelley missed a wide-open Kevon Latulas in the endzone. They had to settle for a 28-yard field goal from Jose Pizano.
Arkansas was close to answering but fumbled at the one
Arkansas looked like it was going to quickly respond when K.J. Jefferson found Ketron Jackson Jr. open deep while beating Caleb Blake in single-coverage. A 64-yard gain ended with the Razorbacks at the MSU 1.
But on the very next play, star running back Rocket Sanders was hit before he reached the goal line and fumbled with Missouri State recovering the ball in the endzone.
Missouri State scores touchdown after KJ Jefferson fumble
A 12-play, 64-yard drive ends with Missouri State taking the first lead of the game. Quarterback Jason Shelley had a masterful drive for the Bears which included passes of 18, 17 and 19.
1Q 7:17 0-0
1Q 7:59 0-0
1Q 9:43 0-0
1Q 10:34 0-0
Bobby Petrino entered to a chorus of boos from the Arkansas student section but they weren't too audible over the loudspeakers blaring pregame. A 20-year-old college student would have been around 10 years old when his scandal at Arkansas took place.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — FCS No. 5 Missouri State is on the road this week to play FBS No. 10 Arkansas in what will surely be an interesting evening in the Natural State.
Bobby Petrino, in his third year as MSU's head coach, makes his return to Fayetteville, where he had a tremendous amount of success as the Razorbacks' head coach from 2008-11. His infamous motorcycle crash and scandal before the 2012 season led to his firing.
It is unclear how he will be received when he steps onto the Donald W. Reynolds Razorbacks Stadium field.
The Razorbacks are heavy favorites entering the game, but they haven't shown any signs that they'll take the Bears lightly. Sam Pittman, in his third year as the Hogs' head coach, hasn't allowed his team to overlook the Bears with dates against Texas A&M and Alabama on deck for the Razorbacks.
Missouri State also has meaningful games coming after this week with FCS No. 2 South Dakota State visiting the Bears next week in what should be a giant Missouri Valley Football Conference showdown.
Follow along here for live coverage of the Bears' and Razorbacks' matchup on Saturday starting at 6 p.m.
Missouri State vs. Arkansas coverage
Wyatt D. Wheeler is a reporter and columnist with the Springfield News-Leader. You can contact him at 417-371-6987, by email at email@example.com or Twitter at @WyattWheeler_NL. He's also the co-host of Sports Talk on Jock Radio weekdays from 4-6 p.m.