COLUMBIA, MO – The Missouri Tigers improve their early season record to 3-0, downing the Western Michigan Broncos 52-24 in Mizzou’s home opener before a crowd of 53,480 Saturday afternoon at Faurot Field in Columbia.
The Tigers wasted little time putting points on the board, scoring on their first possession, going 72 yards in 6 plays in a series that ended with a 24 yard touchdown pass from Chase Daniel to Jeremy Maclin. Jeff Wolfert’s extra point gave Missouri a 7-0 lead.
The Boncos went nowhere in their first possession, giving the ball back to the Tigers, who drove down field, but failed to score as a Jeff Wolfert 43 yard field goal attempt sailed wide right.
The Broncos next possession ended at their own 46 as Brock Christopher picked off a Tim Hiller pass. It didn’t take Mizzou long to convert as The Tigers scored on a 4 play, 46 yard drive capped by their first rushing touchdown of the season, a 1 yard run by Tony Temple. Jeff Wolfert’s PAT made it Mizzou 14, Western Michigan 0. That’s how the 1st quarter ended.
In the 2nd period, a Western Michigan drive stalled in Missouri territory. Mizzou then got the ball back and proceeded to take the ball down the field for the team’s third major of the afternoon. A 7 play, 86 yard drive was capped by a Jeremy Maclin 17 yard touchdown run – the second straight touchdown drive completed in 1:04. Wolfert’s conversion made gave Missouri a 21-0 lead.
The Broncos put their first points on the board with 6:11 to go in the half, as Mike Jones connected on a 25 yard field goal that capped a 12 play, 59 yard drive to make the score Missouri 21, Western Michigan 3.
Missouri’s next drive ended with an interception of a Chase Daniel pass – his first interception since the Tigers played the Nebraska Cornhuskers last season in Lincoln. But the Broncos failed to score, giving up the ball on a 4th down incomplete pass. Mizzou took advantage of the change of possession to drive down the field, scoring its fourth TD on a 25 yard touchdown pass from Chase Daniel to Tommy Saunders, completing a 6 play, 70 yard drive. Missouri 28, Western Michigan 3. Missouri’s four scoring drives in the 1st half consumed a total time of only 5:05.
With less than a minute to go in the half, Ziggy Hood recovered a Bronco fumble at the Western Michigan 43. That gave the Tigers the opportunity to put 3 more points on the board before the end of the half. Jeff Wolfert split the uprights with a 47 yard field goal to cap a 5 play, 14 yard drive. The half ended with the score Missouri 31, Western Michigan 3.
The Broncos struck first in the 2nd half as C.J. Wilson picked up a Chase Daniel pass, returning it 46 yards for a touchdown. Mike Jones’ extra point made the score Missouri 31, Western Michigan 10.
Missouri scored its first points of the 2nd half on a 2 yard run by Tony Temple to cap a 6 play, 29 yard drive to put the Tigers on top 38-10. Missouri led 38-10 at the end of 3 quarters.
Western Michigan made it a little closer as Mark Bonds took the ball into the end zone on a 9 yard run to put the finishing touch on a 10 play, 52 yard drive. Jones’ extra point made the score Missouri 38, Western Michigan 17.
The Broncos weren’t finished. They scored again on a 7 play, 63 yard drive capped by a 27 yard TD pass from Tim Hiller to Branden Ledbetter. The Jones PAT made it Mizzou 38, Broncos 24.
Missouri responded on the next series of downs as they drove 72 yards on 7 plays, with quarterback Chase Daniel running it in from 35 yards out. Wolfert’s convert made it 45-24 for the Tigers.
The Broncos took the ball to the 6 yard line on their next possession, but a 4th and goal effort fell short and the Tigers took over with less than 7 minutes to play.
The change of possession meant a change of quarterback for the Tigers. Chase Patton took over from Chase Daniel as Mizzou’s signal caller and took the Tigers down the field for their final score. And, it was Patton who took it in on an 18 yard run to end a 14 play, 94 yard drive. Wolfert’s kick ended the scoring for the day with Missouri winning 52-24.
Mizzou’s offense was firing on all cylinders, generating 619 yards, compared to 372 for Western Michigan. Chase Daniel completed 27 of 46 passes with 2 interceptions. His passes went for 2 touchdowns on 328 yards. Chase Patton, who relieved Daniel late in the 4th quarter, was 3 for 5 in the passing department, picking up 19 yards in the air. Martin Rucker caught 11 passes for 115 yards. Tony Temple led all rushers with 97 yards on 16 carries with 1 touchdown.
The 3-0 Tigers get back into action next Saturday afternoon at Faurot Field, hosting the Illinois State Redbirds.