Missouri Tigers Football news and notes - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Missouri Tigers Football news and notes

From the University of Missouri

Team Notes

· Mizzou improved to 4-4 on the season, and 2-3 in Big 12 Conference play, with a thrilling come-from-behind 38-31 overtime win Saturday at 16th-ranked Texas A&M. The Tigers trailed by 14 points in the 2nd quarter, and by 11 points (28-17) heading into the 4th quarter before a late charge gave them a 31-28 lead midway through the final period. A&M forged a tie which forced overtime, but the Tigers got an 11-yard TD pass from QB James Franklin to WR Marcus Lucas, and the Tiger defense held on A&M's overtime possession, with DT Dominique Hamilton batting down a 4th-down pass attempt to preserve the lead and the win, which was Mizzou's first road win against a ranked team since 1997, when Larry Smith's Tigers beat #12 Oklahoma State, 51-50 in double overtime…

· Mizzou's comeback win marked the 2nd-largest 4th-quarter deficit overcome in Tiger history. The largest 4th-quarter deficit ever overcome for a Mizzou win was in 1949 against Nebraska, when MU trailed 20-7 before rallying for a 21-20 victory. Saturday's win marked only the 5th time in MU history that it has overcome a double-digit 4th-quarter deficit to win. All of those instances include: 13 pts. vs. Nebraska, 1949 (W, 21-20 after trailing 20-7 in the 4th); 11 pts. at Texas A&M, 2011 (W, 38-31 in OT after trailing 28-17 in the 4th); 10 pts. at Nebraska, 1974 (W, 21-10 after trailing 10-0 in the 4th); 10 pts. vs. Nebraska, 2003 (W, 41-24 after trailing 24-14 in the 4th); 10 pts. vs. Iowa State, 2005 (W, 27-24 in OT after trailing 24-14 in the 4th)…

· The game was Mizzou's 2nd overtime game of the season (lost on Sept. 9th, 37-30 at #23 Arizona State), and the 14th alltime for Mizzou, which is an NCAA record. The Tigers have a 10-4 mark in extra-period games (including 7-2 under Head Coach Gary Pinkel) and those 10 wins are also the most in NCAA history, through games of Oct. 29th…

· Mizzou jumped to leads of 7-0 and 14-7 in the 1st quarter in College Station, only to see the Aggies get their high-flying offensive act in gear. A&M scored on 4 straight possessions to surge to a 28-14 lead. A field goal at the halftime gun pulled Mizzou to within 28-17 at half, and that's how the score stood heading into the 4th quarter, after both teams were stymied by lost fumbles deep in enemy territory in the 3rd. Mizzou's defense forced two more turnovers in the 4th quarter, which flipped the momentum its way, and the Tigers scored on TD runs of 8 yards by Franklin and 11 yards by TB Henry Josey to take the lead…

· Mizzou's running attack gashed the Aggie defense for 284 yards on 50 carries – more than twice as much as the previous high total for an A&M opponent in 2011 (Texas Tech ran for 132 yards which was the previous high). Texas A&M entered the game with the 5th-ranked rushing defense in the nation, allowing an average of just 79.86 yards per game…

· The Aggies' high-powered offense did manage an output of 500 yards, but they did most of the damage in the first half. A&M rolled to a 28-17 halftime lead, and scored TDs on its last 4 possessions of the half, only to see the Tiger defense adjust and hold them to a field goal for the remainder of the game. Texas A&M's 2nd-half/overtime possessions looked like this: fumble, punt, punt, interception, punt, field goal, fumble, turnover on downs…

· Mizzou leads the Big 12 Conference, and ranks 12th in the NCAA in rushing offense, averaging 243.88 yards per game. The per-game average is the most for a Tiger team since 1997, when Mizzou averaged 263.50 yards on the ground, a total which ranked 6th in that year's NCAA rankings. The last time Mizzou won a conference rushing title was 2003, when MU led the way with a 237.5 average (6th in the NCAA that season)…

· Mizzou continues its two-game Texas road trip this Saturday at Baylor, as the Tigers and Bears will match up in Waco, Texas at 6 p.m. (televised on FOX Sports Net). This will mark the 3rd-straight week that Mizzou's defense will face off against a top-10 offense. Baylor features the nation's #3 offense (averaging 560.00 yards per game), and that follows Texas A&M, who came into last Saturday's game ranked 7th in total offense (522.57). The previous week, Oklahoma State came to Columbia toting the nation's 2nd-ranked offense (551.17 avg.)…

· Mizzou holds a 10-3 series advantage over Baylor, including a 7-1 mark since the Big 12 formed in 1996. Mizzou had a 7-game win streak over the Bears broken, however, in their last meeting, as Baylor won a 40-32 shootout in Columbia in 2009. Mizzou has won 4 straight games in Waco, claiming 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 contests…

 

Offensive Player of the Week

James Franklin – QB, Soph., 6-2, 225, Corinth, Texas

· Franklin led a dramatic comeback win in a hostile environment, as the Tigers overcame a 28-17 4th-quarter deficit to pull out a 38-31 overtime win at 16th-ranked Texas A&M. Franklin, who accounted for 4 TDs on the day, tossed a clutch 11-yard TD pass in overtime on 3rd down that proved to be the winning points. That capped an outstanding day for the sophomore, as he finished with 295 yards of total offense, including 16-of-24 passing for 198 yards and 2 TDs (42 yards, 11 yards) and 97 yards rushing and 2 more TDs (20 yards, 8 yards)…

· Franklin ranks 15th in the NCAA in total offense, averaging 301.50 yards per game. His play Saturday at 16th-ranked A&M helped the Tigers knock off their first ranked opponent on the road since 1997, and he's got the Tiger offense ranked 11th nationally in total offense heading into Saturday's game at Baylor (490.25 avg.). His performance Saturday was especially gratifying, as it came a week after he had 4 turnovers in a loss to Oklahoma State…

 

Defensive Player of the Week

E.J. Gaines – CB, Soph., 5-10, 185, Independence, Mo.

· Gaines anchored a solid 2nd-half defensive performance which limited the high-powered A&M offense to just 3 points total after halftime. Gaines notched a career-best 10 tackles on the day, but more importantly broke up a career-best 4 passes – including 3 in the 4th-quarter as Mizzou rallied from a 28-17 deficit…

· The 1st-year sophomore starter now has 13 passes defended (11 PBUs, 2 INTs) on the season, which is tops in the Big 12 Conference (1.63 per game avg.). He ranks 5th nationally in that category entering Saturday's game at Baylor. Gaines is 2nd on the Tiger team with 51 tackles on the year, and leads Mizzou with 11 pass break ups (the rest of the team has 22 PBUs combined) and 2 interceptions. He's also averaging 15.2 yards per punt return on 6 attempts…

 

Individual Notes

· Mizzou was once again led by sophomore All-Big 12 candidate TB Henry Josey, as he ran for 162 yards on 20 carries (8.1 avg.) and 1 TD (11 yards) against the nation's 5th-ranked rushing defense. With Mizzou trailing 28-24 midway through the 4th quarter, Josey burst off right tackle for 43 yards to set up his own 11-yard score with 7:38 to play in regulation that gave MU a 31-28 lead. Josey leads the Big 12 in rushing, and now ranks 4th nationally, with his per-game average of 127.13 yards per game. His 162-yard day pushed him over the 1,000 mark for the season (1,017), and he's got a shot at challenging Devin West's school-record of 1,578 in 1998. He's now had 3-consecutive 100-yard days…

· Senior DT Dominique Hamilton continued his All-Big 12 type season on Saturday by having a hand in some huge plays that helped lead the way for Mizzou's dramatic win. Hamilton, who leads all Big 12 interior linemen with 37 tackles so far on the year, had 4 stops Saturday at A&M, including a half-TFL. But he saved his biggest play for last, when he batted down a 4th-down pass in overtime to end the game. Hamilton also recovered an Aggie fumble in the 4th quarter at the Mizzou 45-yardline with just :25 seconds left in regulation that wiped out an A&M opportunity to kick a game-winning field goal…

· Senior DE Jacquies Smith also had a productive day, as he made 8 tackles, and forced 2 fumbles, while getting 2 TFLs and 1 QB sack. Smith got around the edge to knock the ball out A&M QB Ryan Tannehill's hands with just :25 seconds left in regulation and A&M threatening to position for a potential game-winning field goal. The fumble was pounced on by MU's Dominique Hamilton to end the threat. Smith, who missed 2 games earlier in the year due to an elbow injury, is tied for the team lead with 3.5 QB sacks, and is 3rd with 6.5 TFLs, while his 2 forced fumbles now leads the team…

· Sophomore CB Randy Ponder, a former walk-on who is now on scholarship, had some huge momentum plays in the win at A&M, as he accounted for a pair of turnovers to help Mizzou to its comeback win. Ponder intercepted a pass in MU territory early in the 4th quarter, and returned it 45 yards down to the Aggie 30-yardline to jump start MU's rally. Three plays later, MU scored to cut the deficit to 28-24. Prior to that, in the 3rd quarter, with A&M leading 28-17 and driving for a potential back-breaking TD, Ponder forced a fumble after a reception by A&M's Ryan Swope, with MU's Luke Lambert recovering on the Tiger 31-yardline. Mizzou's offense couldn't capitalize on that turnover, but the play was a huge momentum shift for the Tiger defense. Ponder is now tied for 3rd on the team with 3 pass break ups…

· Sophomore WR Marcus Lucas caught a career-best 5 passes at Texas A&M, and none was more important than his last, which was a beautiful leaping grab on a 3rd-down fade pass in overtime that went for an 11-yard score to give Mizzou the 38-31 win. Lucas finished with a team-best 64 receiving yards on the day, and he now stands 4th on the team with 14 receptions for 213 yards and 2 TDs on the year. Saturday's score was his first since the 2011 opener against Miami (Ohio)…

· Junior Trey Barrow has been one of the nation's top punters all season, and on Saturday at Texas A&M, he was called into duty in a major way, as he handled all kicks on the day, due to regular PK Grant Ressel being sidelined with a strained hip flexor. Barrow, who had never handled a place kick in college, calmly made his first-ever try at the halftime gun, from 26 yards out, to cut A&M's lead to 28-17 at half. He later was just wide right from 46 yards out at the end of regulation that could have won the game, but he was perfect on all 5 extra points on the day, while he also averaged 43.7 yards on 6 punts, and also handling all kickoffs.

 

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