FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Alex Collins rushed for three touchdowns and Arkansas beat Missouri 28-3 Friday at Razorback Stadium.
Collins had touchdown runs of 4, 7 and 25 yards in the first half to help the Razorbacks to a 21-3 halftime lead.
Collins rushed for more than 100 yards for the ninth time this season, finishing with 130 yards on 30 carries.
“They called my number and I worked to the best of my ability," Collins said. "It was hard to keep two hands on the ball because it was wet and cold, but we did our best to hold on to the ball. I have to give credit to the offensive line. They did a good job of getting great push, making good calls and blocking the right people in order to give us the extra yards we needed to win the game.
"Missouri has an excellent defense, but we took our mistakes and turned them into triumphs. There were no personal feelings regarding the loss to Missouri last season, we just did our best for the seniors. We wanted them to win one last time in this stadium.”
Collins, a junior, may have played his last game at home. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said Collins will submit paperwork next week to the NFL Draft advisory board to guage his professional prospects.
"I know he was a little emotional before the game," Bielema said. "I think he really felt like the vibe of this could be his last game.
“I grabbed him in pregame and told him through the course of the week and let him know that if the weather pans out the way it looks, that we are going to ride him. It was fun to see him have that kind of a game."
Arkansas extended its lead to 28-3 on a 9-yard touchdown run by Kody Walker late in the third quarter. Walker, a Missouri native, had 77 yards on 14 carries.
“I thought Alex and Kody Walker ran the ball extremely hard, took advantage of some bounce plays, some cut-backs," Bielema said. "We knew they were going to be able to make some plays on their own for the conditions of what they are in."
The Razorbacks (7-5, 5-3 SEC) held Missouri to 171 yards total offense. The Tigers scored their only points on an Andrew Baggett 35-yard field goal in the second quarter to cut the lead to 14-3.
The Hogs responded with a 79-yard touchdown march with Collins scoring with 39 seconds left in the half.
Arkansas' defense bounced back after giving up 639 yards and 51 points in a loss to Mississippi State last week. Missouri (5-7, 1-7) failed to score a touchdown for the fourth time this season.
"Our three keys on defense were to get the call, execute the call and make the next call," Bielema said. "Robb (Smith) did a great job of putting that plan in and I think it really showed.”
Missouri had as many punts as first downs (8).
"Our defensive coaches, players and probably our fans really needed to see that," Bielema said. "I’m really excited. Just the preparation to bounce back. There is no pointing fingers, no one was looking around, no one is trying to reinvent the wheel. We just needed to play better."
The game was likely the final for Tigers coach Gary Pinkel, who announced earlier this month that he would retire after the season. There is an outside chance Missouri can make a bowl game despite not winning six regular season games.
"I didn’t like it to end it this way," Pinkel said. "If you know me, I love those players. I’d like to thank all of those coaches and players, all of those fans that have been a part of what we’ve done the last 15 years.”
The Razorbacks won the Battle Line Trophy for the first time. The trophy, which was unveiled Monday, is presented to the winner of the annual game between the two programs.
Arkansas will learn of its bowl destination next Sunday.
Dominique Reed catches a pass in the first half.
Kody Walker slices through the Missouri defense.
Hunter Henry fights for yardage.
Brooks Ellis makes a tackle of Russell Hansbrough.