Missouri Tigers Lose to Mississippi State Bulldogs, 31-13


The Mississippi State Bulldogs defeated the Missouri Tigers 31-13 Thursday night.

It started off quite poorly for the Tigers. The Bulldog offense ripped through the vaunted Tiger defense with a 42-second, 62-yard drive, capped off by a 36-yard pass from Bulldog QB Dak Prescott to WR Fred Ross. The Tigers defense rebounded; Kentrell Brothers forced Brandon Holloway to fumble the ball at the Mississippi State 47, and Terry Beckner Jr. scooped up the fumble. Missouri’s offense once again failed to capitalize, relying on Andrew Baggett’s leg to bring the score to 7-3.

The Tigers’ defense dominated to start the second quarter; the first Bulldog drive of the quarter was ended by Donavin Newsom, who forced Dak Prescott to fumble the ball, leaving the Tigers on their own 26. Missouri could not capitalize, giving the Bulldogs another chance to score in the second quarter. Kentrell Brothers came through again, blocking a punt and giving the Tigers excellent field position.

Despite starting off on the Mississippi State 25, the Tigers could do no more than garner another field goal. For the Bulldogs, the third time in the quarter was the charm. Their third drive started off quite well; Fred Ross fumbled the ball, but Brandon Holloway picked the ball up and returned it 69 yards to the Missouri 29. Three plays later, Dak Prescott slung a touchdown pass to star WR De’Runnya Wilson, extending the Bulldogs’ lead to eight.

And then a pig flew across the field.

Nov 5, 2015; Columbia, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers running back Russell Hansbrough (32) dives into the end zone for a touchdown against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the first half at Faurot Field. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

At first, it looked like red zone woes would sink the Tigers. Drew Lock motored the offense down the field to the Mississippi State 21-yard line. He handed it off to Russell Hansborough to put the ball in the end zone.

You read that right: the Missouri Tigers scored a touchdown. This broke a streak of 14 quarters without a Missouri touchdown.

The second half started off with the Bulldogs in decent field position thanks to a 23-yard Josh Holloway return. Missouri S Tavon Ross was injured on the play. The Bulldogs pushed out of their red zone before Dak Prescott threw a pass to De’Runnya Wilson, who sprinted to the Missouri 15 yard line before being pushed out of bounds. Prescott took advantage of Missouri CB Kenya Dennis’s troubles covering Wilson and put the ball into Wilson’s hands for another touchdown.

On the ensuing kickoff, Finis Scribbling IV fumbled the ball, but was bailed out by Tyler Hunt, who scooped up the ball to keep the drive alive. Drew Lock could not keep the drive alive, throwing a deep pass off his back foot, only to be intercepted by Kivon Coman.

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The Missouri defense refused to buckle; defensive Charles Harris knocked the ball out of Dak Prescott’s hand to set the Bulldogs back. Mississippi State could not convert their excellent field position into a touchdown, settling for a field goal. The next Tiger drive was short, and Missouri failed to get out of its own territory. The next Bulldog drive resulted in a great catch by Fred Ross for a touchdown; this came after Dak Prescott rushed on 3rd and four to bring the Bulldogs to the Missouri 12.

The Tigers continued to be foiled by bad starting field position. Their final drive of the third quarter started at their own nine, and resulted in a three-and-out.

To start the fourth quarter, an Ashton Shumpert TD was called back because of a holding call; that penalty would stifle the first Bulldog drive of the quarter. The Bulldogs sent out the kicking unit, but Westin Graves would fail to convert the 49 yard field goal attempt. Mississippi State DE Tavese Coleman was injured on the next Missouri drive, but came back in to the game.

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Mississippi State decided to try an…interesting…play once the game was firmly in their grasp. The Bulldogs lateralled Logan Cooke’s punt not once, but twice to relegate the Tigers to their one-yard line.

Tyler Hunt laughed at this chicanery, and promptly took the ball 72 yards to the Mississippi State 27. Drew Lock decided to give Hunt the ball twice more to put the Tigers at 3rd and six. A pass to J’Mon Moore gave the Tigers a first down. Kivon Coman gifted Missouri a pass interference penalty to sit them on the one… and then a false start set the Tigers back five yards. Then Drew Lock was sacked for the fifth time. Another false start killed the drive and any chance Missouri had of winning the game.

Uncharacteristically, the defense was what failed the Tigers. A defense that usually gives up 12 points per game was torn apart for 31. The Tigers’ best hope is a now a must-win scenario vs BYU, and winning one of their SEC games against Tennessee or Arkansas to gain bowl eligibility.

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