GAMEDAY College Football

Arkansas 38, Missouri State 27

(AP Photo/Michael Woods)

By ERIC W. BOLIN
Associated Press

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Rocket Sanders and Bryce Stephens had long scoring plays in a 2:22 span of the fourth quarter to help No. 10 Arkansas beat Missouri State and former coach Razorbacks coach Bobby Petrino 38-27.

Sanders caught a shovel pass for a 73-yard touchdown scamper with 11:38 left and Stephens returned Missouri State's ensuing punt 82 yards to give Arkansas (3-0) its first lead of the game at 31-27.

Petrino coached Arkansas from 2008 to 2011 before being fired in spring of 2012 after a motorcycle wreck and proceeding scandal. He won 11 games and 10 games in his final two seasons with the Razorbacks. Arkansas hasn't reached the double-digit win mark since.

Arkansas rallied after Missouri State (2-1), took a 17-0 lead, tying it at 17 in the third quarter. Back-to-back scores late in the third quarter gave the Bears a 10-point edge with 12:04 left before Sanders and Stephens scored.

Sanders ran for a career-high 167 yards on 22 carries and scored two touchdowns. KJ Jefferson threw for a career-high 385 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception. Jefferson's 1-yard touchdown run with 1:39 left provided the final score.

Missouri State took the lead early in large part thanks to the Razorbacks' self-induced difficulties. Arkansas' first four possessions resulted in two three-and-out punts and two lost fumbles, including one by Sanders on the Missouri State goal line the Bears picked up for a touchback.

Bears quarterback Jason Shelley threw for 357 yards and a touchdown, taking advantage of an Arkansas secondary that was without starting nickel Myles Slusher and preseason All-SEC safety Jalen Catalon, who is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

THE TAKEAWAY

The Razorbacks were darlings after a 2-0 start boosted them into the top 10, but with a stretch of SEC games upcoming, Arkansas has plenty to fix if it wants to stay in the dark horse conversation.

Missouri State proved itself capable of playing up and could compete for an FCS national championship.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter MoStUArk
MoStU TD 2:47 Jacardia Wright 1 yard TD run (Jose Pizano Extra Point) 7 0
Second Quarter MoStUArk
MoStU FG 13:29 Jose Pizano 28 yard field goal 10 0
MoStU TD 10:36 Jason Shelley 24 yard TD run (Jose Pizano Extra Point) 17 0
Ark TD 8:25 Raheim Sanders 3 yard TD run (Cam Little Extra Point) 17 7
Ark TD 1:04 Jadon Haselwood 38 yard TD pass from KJ Jefferson (Cam Little Extra Point) 17 14
Third Quarter MoStUArk
Ark FG 5:36 Cam Little 27 yard field goal 17 17
MoStU TD 3:28 Ty Scott 47 yard TD pass from Jason Shelley (Jose Pizano Extra Point) 24 17
Fourth Quarter MoStUArk
MoStU FG 12:04 Jose Pizano 31 yard field goal 27 17
Ark TD 11:38 Raheim Sanders 73 yard TD pass from KJ Jefferson (Cam Little Extra Point) 27 24
Ark TD 9:16 Bryce Stephens 82 yard punt return for TD (Cam Little Extra Point) 27 31
Ark TD 1:39 KJ Jefferson 1 yard TD run (Cam Little Extra Point) 27 38
Team Stats
  Missouri State Arkansas
First downs 22 20
  Rushing 5 9
  Passing 14 11
  Penalty 3 0
3rd Down Efficiency 7-18, 39% 4-13, 31%
4th down efficiency 1-1, 100% 1-2, 50%
Rushes-Yards 32-52 36-212
Passing Yards 357 385
Return Yards 19 139
Completions-Attempts-Int 24-43-0 19-31-1
Sacks-Yards Lost 8-48 0-0
Punts 8 3
Fumbles Lost 0-0 2-2
Penalties - Yards 8-63 6-58
Missouri State Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
J. Shelley 24 43 357 1 0
Arkansas Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
K. Jefferson 19 31 385 2 1
Missouri State Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
J. Wright 14 37 2.6 1
J. Shelley 17 14 0.8 1
C. Manning 1 1 1.0 0
Arkansas Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
R. Sanders 22 167 7.6 1
K. Jefferson 9 40 4.4 1
R. Dubinion 2 6 3.0 0
A. Green 2 2 1.0 0
Missouri State Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
K. Latulas 5 71 14.2 0
N. Mitchell 3 66 22.0 0
T. Scott 3 65 21.7 1
J. Booker 5 57 11.4 0
J. Wright 4 37 9.3 0
L. Mason 2 33 16.5 0
J. Jones 1 19 19.0 0
C. Manning 1 9 9.0 0
Arkansas Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
M. Landers 7 123 17.6 0
J. Haselwood 5 86 17.2 1
R. Sanders 2 75 37.5 1
K. Jackson Jr. 1 64 64.0 0
T. Knox 3 30 10.0 0
W. Thompson 1 7 7.0 0
Missouri State Interceptions
Player Int Yards
C. Blake 1 1
Arkansas Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Missouri State Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
G. Burkett 8 374 46.8
Arkansas Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
M. Fletcher 3 113 37.7
Missouri State Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
N. Mitchell 1 18 18.0
Arkansas Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
B. Stephens 3 105 35.0
Missouri State Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Arkansas Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
A. Green 1 34 34.0
Missouri State Missed FG
Player Length
Arkansas Missed FG
Player Length




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