The Missouri Tigers fall to 5-4 overall and 1-4 in the Big 12 as a lack of scoring in the 2nd half did in the Tigers in a 40-32 loss to the Baylor Bears Saturday afternoon at Faurot Field in Columbia.
The Tigers scored 27 points in the 1st half and it appeared as though the offense was clicking, but Mizzou could only muster 5 points in the final 30 minutes, with 2 of those points scored by the defense.
The Tigers wasted no time getting on the board as they took the opening kick-off and Blaine Gabbert marched the team down the field, scoring the game’s opening points as Derrick Washington ran it in from a yard out to cap a 7 play, 64 yard opening scoring drive in 2:33. Grant Ressel’s extra point made it Missouri 7, Baylor 0.
Baylor responded with a score of its own as quarterback Nick Florence drove his team down to the Mizzou 5 yard line, settling for a 22 yard Dary Stone field goal to narrow the score to Tigers 7, Bears 3.
The Bears went up on top on their second possession as Florence ran it in from the 7 yard line to put the finishing touches on an 8 play, 71 yard TD drive. The PAT attempt was blocked by Andrew Gachkar and the Bears led 9-7. The 1st quarter ended with the Bears leading 9-7 and Mizzou knocking at the door with the ball on the Baylor 15.
Missouri regained the lead early in the 2nd quarter as Ressel drilled a 33 yard field goal to make the score MU 10, Baylor 9. Ressel booted another field goal, this one from 46 yards out, on Mizzou’s next series of downs to put the Tigers up 13-9.
The Missouri defense came alive on the Bears’ next possession as quarterback Nick Florence was sacked by Sean Weatherspoon for an 8 yard loss, failed to pick up a first down, and was forced to punt. The Tigers took full advantage of the defense’s good work as Gabbert took only 2 plays to take Missouri to the end zone as he completed an 84 yard pass to Danario Alexander for the major. It marked a career longest TD pass and completion for both Gabbert and Alexander. Ressel’s extra point made it Missouri 20, Baylor 9.
The Bears’ next series saw another Missouri defensive gem as Florence was sacked for a second time – this time by Aldon Smith for a 9 yard loss. But it wasn’t enough to stop Baylor from scoring as Florence fired an 8 yard TD pass to Lanear Sampson to cap a 6 play, 42 yard scoring drive. Stone’s conversion cut the Missouri lead to 20-16 with just over a minute to go in the half.
Mizzou did not let the remaining time go to waste as the Tigers used up all but a second of that remaining time to score another touchdown as Gabbert tossed a 7 yard pass to Wes Kemp. Ressel’s PAT made it Missouri 27, Baylor 16. That’s how the 1st half ended.
The halftime statistics showed Blaine Gabbert having a great day at the helm, as he completed 21 of 27 passes for 322 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Nick Florence had a 1st half that was nothing to sneeze at, either, completing 21 of 26 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown.
Baylor narrowed the Mizzou lead to 27-23 on the opening drive of the 2nd half as Florence connected with Dendall Wright for an 8 yard TD pass to complete a 9 play, 67 yard drive and Stone aced the extra point.
Baylor’s next set of downs saw the Bears reduce the lead to a point at Stone drilled a 35 yard field goal to make the score Missouri 27, Baylor 26. The defense came up big again as Dominique Hamilton recorded Mizzou’s third QB sack of the afternoon.
Mizzou picked up 2 points as the Hamilton registered a safety after the Tigers pinned the Bears inside their 1 yard line. Missouri 29, Baylor 26. That was how the 3rd quarter ended.
Baylor jumped into the lead with 13:11 to play in the 4th quarter as Florence completed a 59 yard touchdown pass to Kendall Wright and Stone booted the PAT. The TD capped a 5 play, 83 yard drive that ate up only 1:34. Baylor 33, Missouri 29.
The Bears put it away with 5:46 to play in the 4th quarter as Terrance Ganaway scored on a 1 yard run to cap a 7 play, 46 yard scoring drive. The Stone extra point gave the Bears an 11 point lead, 40-29.
Mizzou did manage a Grant Ressel 46 yard field goal, but that was all the scoring Missouri could muster as a final stab at evening the score came to a stop as the Bears held on a fourth down with just seconds to play and the Tigers on the Baylor 18.
In the passing department Blaine Gabbert went 30 for 51 for 468 yards and a pair of touchdowns. But Baylor QB Nick Florence racked up 427 yards in the air as he completed 32 of 43 passes. Mizzou did not do particularly well on the ground, rushing for a net gain of 10 yards.
Next up for the Tigers is a trip to Manhattan and a showdown with the Kansas State Wildcats, a team that moved to 4-2 in the Big 12 North with a win over the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday.