Mizzou Snaps Losing Streak, Defeats BYU 20-16 in Kansas City


Where was this team the whole season? The entire team just seemed to click. Sure, there were some typical Mizzou screw-ups, but this team looked like what everyone thought they were going to be; RB Russell Hansborough ran all over the BYU defense, and QB Drew Lock did very well passing the ball.

The game started out very typically for the Tigers. The Tigers started out at their own 27, but were forced into a three-and-out after two consecutive incompletions. On the next two drives, Missouri’s offensive and defensive lines took hits, as both DT Terry Beckner Jr. and LG Nate Crawford were injured and carted off the field; Crawford’s injury came after a touchdown was called back due to offensive pass interference. The play after Crawford’s injury, DL Bronco Kaufasi forced RB Ish Witter to fumble the ball, although Missouri’s defense was able to hold BYU to a three-and-out.

The next drive, Drew Lock drove the offense down the field, only for the ghosts of the red zone to haunt the Tigers. Despite getting to the BYU 18, Missouri was unable to run it past the BYU defense, settling for a field goal from kicker Andrew Baggett.

The second quarter would be dominated by two long drives on both sides. BYU would use 3:03 to put themselves in a position to tie the game with a field goal. Trevor Samson put it through the uprights from 23 yards out to tie the game at three apiece. Mizzou would respond with a 6:30, 18 play drive. The highlight of the drive was a pair of consecutive first downs; Drew Lock rushed on fourth and one to set up a 20 yard pass to WR J’Mon Moore the next play. Then a very familiar thing happened.

The Tigers reached the end zone, only for Drew Lock to overthrow his receivers twice, and they ended up sending the kicking team out for a field goal.

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The sense that this would be yet another failure continued into the third quarter. Kentrell Brothers stifled BYU’s opening drive by forcing a fumble on the Missouri 17…only for Drew Lock to throw an interception three plays later. That interception led directly to a BYU touchdown; QB Tanner Mangum slung a pass into RB Algernon Brown‘s hands. The next Mizzou drive, the offense would receive help from a defensive pass interference call that would put them well into the red zone to start the fourth quarter.

Things would take a turn for the better in the fourth. On the opening play of the quarter, BYU LB Sae Tautu was disqualified for targeting. The Tigers then put their excellent field position to good use; Drew Lock lobbed a touchdown pass to J’Mon Moore, putting Missouri up 13-10. The very next BYU offensive play went the Tigers’ way, as Tanner Mangum was sacked, and fumbled the ball at the Missouri 16. The Tiger offense would push down the field, leading to a one-yard rush from Tyler Hunt to put the Tigers up 20-10.

Nov 14, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers tight end

Sean Culkin

(80) catches a pass during the second half against the Brigham Young Cougars at Arrowhead Stadium. Missouri won 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Cougars would respond the next drive; with seven and a half minutes left in the game, Tanner Mangum passed to Francis Bernard for a touchdown. What happened next would be crucial. Trevor Samson would miss the PAT. This turned what could have been a one possession game with plenty of time remaining into a two possession game.

Even though the Tigers went on a three-and-out the next drive, their defense turned around and forced the Cougars into the same situation. From there, it was an exercise in clock-wasting, and the game ended with a series of spikes from Drew Lock.

This win shows the Mizzou people thought they would see throughout the year. Russell Hansborough is fully healthy, and the defense has regained it stride after falling apart against the Bulldogs. It remains to be seen whether or not they will be able to keep this up against Tennessee and Arkansas.

Maybe SEC defenses are just that good.

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