Missouri Tigers Henry Josey runs past the McNeese State Cowboys defense for a 62-yard touchdown in the second quarter. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Freshman tailback Henry Josey ran for three touchdowns and gained 112 yards on just seven carries as Blaine Gabbert went 26 of 31 for 220 yards and one touchdown as the Missouri Tigers handled the McNeese State Cowboys 50-6 Saturday night at Faurot Field.

Josey became the first true freshman to rush for three touchdowns since Corby Jones did it against Iowa State in 1995. There’s not much to say other than the Tigers were effective on both side of the balls against the undersized and slower McNeese State team.

Gary Pinkel Press Conference

First quarter highlights.

On Mizzou’s opening drive, freshman tailback Henry Josey broke off a 34 yard run. The Tigers used less than three minutes to put together a 76 yard drive in 8 plays, capped by Josey’s first collegiate touchdown. Tigers go up 7-0 on McNeese State.

After a three and out by the defense, T.J. Moe caught four passes on the second possession including a 23 yard gain where he broke two tackles. Josey scored on another six yard run to put Mizzou up 14-0 with 6:38 to play in the first quarter. This drive covered 9 plays and 64 yards. Blaine Gabbert hasn’t thrown an incompletion yet.

On McNeese State’s second possession, the Cowboys strung together a few first downs including a conversion on 4th and 1 at the MU 48. Then on a tailback pitch and throw, Carl Gettis got flagged for pass interference on a ball that clearly would have been overthrown giving the Cowboys a first down at the 33. McNeese drove to the 25 and on 4th and 3, attempted a 42 yard field goal that went wide right. 14-0 Mizzou…end of the first quarter.

Second quarter highlights.

Three plays into the quarter, Henry Josey broke a 62 yard touchdown run, giving him 108 yards on four carries in just over 16 minutes of action. Gabbert is 11 for 11 at this point with six of his catches going to T.J. Moe.

Kevin Rutland picked off a pass (the first of three Mizzou picks) and returned it to the McNeese State 36 yard line. After a loss of two on a screen pass to Michael Egnew, Gabbert hit Egnew for a 29 yard pass to the McNeese nine and De’Vion Moore rushed it in from there for a 28-0 lead with 11:32 to play in the first half. It was just a three play drive.

The Missouri Tigers defense smothers McNeese State Cowboys quarterback Jacob Bower in the first quarter. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Michael Sam sacked QB Jacob Bower for safety making the score 30-0. Matt Grabner punted the ball inside the Cowboy one yard line. Second week in a row he has done that. Mizzou worked with a short field after a three and out that concluded an 11 play drive that ended with a 27 yard field goal from Grant Ressel to make it a 33-0 halftime lead for the Tigers.

Mizzou outgained McNeese State 328-57. Gabbert was 24 of 27 for 190 yards. Moe had 10 catches for 79 yards and Josey had his 108 yards and three scores on the ground.

Third quarter highlights.

Michael Sam blocked the Cowboys’ punt attempt giving MU the ball at the Cowboy 15. Grant Ressel kicked a 36 yard field goal. Then Andrew Gachkar recovered a fumble at the 25. Three plays later Gabbert connected with Jerrell Jackson for a 25 yard touchdown to put MU up 43-0 with 11:54 to go in the third quarter. The defense came up with five turnovers on the night.

James Franklin came in at quarterback…while scrambling on a third down play, he fumbled and turned the ball over at the 35 of McNeese State. Franklin would rebound with an eight yard touchdown run for his first collegiate touchdown with :27 left making the score 50-0.

Fourth quarter highlights.

McNeese State broke the shutout with a 15 yard touchdown pass with 11:36 to play. The extra point was no good.