First-year Missouri coach Barry Odom played the role of Dr. Frankenstein at halftime Friday during the Battle Line Rivalry at Memorial Stadium.
The lifeless Tigers dug a 17-point hole against Arkansas before intermission only to rally for a 28-24 victory after Odom reanimated his squad at halftime, then rode a gutsy fake-punt call to a second win in the season’s final three games.
Rather than pack it in, Mizzou, 4-8, pitched a second-half shutout and scored three unanswered touchdowns for the largest halftime comeback in program history, sending 17 seniors out with a win in front of a crowd of 51,043.
“There’s been a lot of distractions these past 12 months … last year with the protest and coach (Gary) Pinkel retiring,” said junior defensive end Marcell Frazier, who finished with a career-high three sacks and four tackles for a loss. “We’re kind of used to distractions, honestly. It’s kind of sad to say, but we’re used to it, so this was just another week for us.”
But it wasn’t just another win.
It’s the second-largest comeback win in MU history, topped only by the 21-point rally in the 2005 Independence Bowl against South Carolina.