08 November 2011

Shootout at the Brazos Corral

Tigers struggle early, comeback late
by Mizzou Matt 11/5/11
WACO, TX- The University of Missouri football team looked to do something they haven't done all season: win back to back games. The Tigers traveled to Waco, TX to try and do just that. Carrying a .500 record after a big overtime win against Texas A&M last week, the Tigers came in riding the momentum. How would the momentum fare throughout the game?

Both sides struggled to find their stride early, as Baylor, boasting Heisman candidate Robert Griffin III, forced Mizzou to a three and out, before doing the same. Sophomore quarterback James Franklin led the Tigers down field, and Mizzou found the endzone first on a six yard rush by Henry Josey, the Big 12's leading rusher. The score at the 8:04 mark was the only score of the first quarter. RG3 had a chance to tie the game, but Mizzou DB Kip Edwards forced a fumble at the goal line and Braylon Webb recovered it in the endzone.

The second quarter found a bit more offense, as Baylor and Missouri traded blows. RG3 found Terrance Williams on a six yard pass and Aaron Jones converted the extra point at the 12:33 mark to tie the game at 7. Josey struck back with his second touchdown run from just a yard out with 3:30 to go in the half. RG3 would score with :01 second left in the half, but the extra point would be blocked by Mizzou to go into the locker room with just 27 total points scored. 14-13 Mizzou advantage.

Baylor struggled in the redzone in the first half, going just two for four with a fumble, touchdown, missed field goal by Jones and a RG3 touchdown. Mizzou went a perfect 2-2.

Henry Josey entered the game with 1,017 yards rushing, 127.1 yards per game, which is third in the nation. The first half found Josey carrying the ball 10 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns. The Tigers ran the ball for 184 yards, but passed for only 61. Griffin had 167 yards passing in the first half and two touchdowns. In the second half, however, Josey wouldn't get the ball so much. Just four carries for 21 yards after the break.

The third quarter has been Mizzou's weakness this season, and a 28 yard pass from Griffin to Williams made the score 19-14. Baylor would add a two-point conversion to go up by 7. They wouldn't relinquish the lead as easily tonight like A&M did a week ago. Alongside a Michael Egnew fumble, Terrance Ganaway would add a 38-yd touchdown run to extend the lead to 28-14. Last week, Mizzou overcame a 28-17 deficit to win in overtime. That was the second-largest deficit overcome in Mizzou history, the largest is 14 against Nebraska in 1949. Baylor held a 14-pt advantage at the end of three.

Mizzou would strike first in what they hoped would be another big fourth quarter on a Trey Barrow 30-yd field goal. Barrow is still filling in for the injured Grant Ressel. The Tigers have scored 94 points coming into the game, which is 3rd in the NCAA. Griffin would strike back with a 68-yd touchdown pass to Tevin Reese at the 8:22 mark. On Mizzou's next drive, they took just 1:17 to go 67 yards as Franklin found Marcus Lucas for a 34-yd touchdown. Is another fourth quarter comeback in the works?

Not so fast, said Baylor's Ganaway, who took just one play to go 80 yards. Ganaway finished with 186 yards rushing. Franklin started finding a stride in the fourth, hitting his receivers for key pickups. He found Marcus Lucas, L'Daminan Washington, Brandon Gerau, Wes Kemp and Michael Egnew to possibly mount the comeback, but it was too little, too late. The last two scores of the game would go the Tigers way, as Franklin hooked up with Moe, who had just 3 catches on the night, for a 17 yard score at the 3:55 mark. Franklin would find L'Damian Washington with 1:59 to go to cut the Bears lead to 3, 39-42. Remember there was 27 total points scored in the first half, the shootout came in the final 30:00 as the two teams scored 54 combined points in the second half. Total points scored along the Brazos River: 81. Griffin would finish at 27/41, 406 yds, 3 TD, 0 INT passing. Mizzou would finish a perfect 5-5 in the redzone.

Baylor tallied 687 offensive yards, and recovered both onside kicks that Mizzou attempted, and would run out the clock to give Mizzou their 5th loss on the season. The Tigers still need two wins to become bowl eligible, with Texas, Texas Tech and Kansas remaining on the schedule. Mizzou falls to 4-5, 2-4 in 2011. All four of the Tigers' road losses have been by a total of 27 points (7 against Arizona State, 10 against Oklahoma, 7 against Kansas State, 3 against Baylor).

OTHER SPORTS
Mizzou soccer defeated Baylor in penalty kicks, 4-3 in the opening round of the Big 12 tournament, goalkeeper Mackenzie Sauerwein made the final save on Baylor's penalty kick, then would score the game winning goal. The win advanced the Tigers to the semifinal, where they would fall to 2nd-seeded Texas A&M, 3-0.

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