The 19th ranked Missouri Tigers left the state for the first time this season and, in their first road game facing Texas A & M, answered several questions about their team in a 30-9 win over the Aggies. First, the Tigers defense is for real. Second, regardless of what Blaine Gabbert’s injury is (high hip pointer, sore ribs?), it didn’t affect his ability to throw the ball.
The Tigers’ defense held A & M to just over 100 total yards in the first half and sacked quarterback Jarrod Johnson six times (three from Brad Madison) and held the Aggies to 6 of 19 on third down conversions. The Tigers gave up the nine points late in the second half and some garbage yards, but really dominated A & M when the game mattered.
It took the offense some time to get going, but Gabbert distributed the ball to all of his receivers as four guys had four or more catches, as he went 30 of 46 for 361 yards and three touchdowns.
Wes Kemp had two touchdowns on 10 receptions for 89 yards. T.J. Moe held to one catch in the first quarter finished with six catches and 110 yards. Michael Egnew set the tone with nine first half catches and finished with 10 for 87.
The Missouri Tigers move to 6-0, 2-0 setting up a showdown with Oklahoma next weekend for Homecoming.
1st quarter highlights
After Blaine Gabbert got sacked, he threw a bullet to Jerrell Jackson on 2nd and 22 from midfield to get the Tigers to the A & M 22. Then Gabbert showed some touch to Michael Egnew who had a big first quarter, (five catches, 53 yards) and got the ball down to the two, before a bubble screen to Wes Kemp put the Tigers up 6-0 after a blocked PAT.
A & M was double teaming T.J. Moe and he had his first catch at the end of the quarter. Gabbert was showing no ill-effects from the flak jacket and sore ribs. Gabbert was 12 of 15 for 118 yds. The MU secondary did a great job on coverage. A & M QB Jarrod Johnson just 3 for 8, 31 yards.
2nd quarter highlights
The Tiger defense is really impressing me up to this point. They’ve held the Aggies to 0 for 5 on third down conversions and Johnson is just 3 for 11. Missouri finally found the running game after opening it up with throws downfield. Henry Josey, three carries, 25 yards, Kendial Lawrence, six carries, 23 yards. Lawrence scored on a three yard run capping off a 12 play, 77 yard drive. Gabbert, 18 of 25 for 172 yards. 13-0 Mizzou.
A & M’s Johnson missed on a third and fourth and five from MU’s 38 giving the Tigers the ball with over a minute and half. The Tigers wasted little time driving down the field with :42 seconds left on a pass to Moe for 21 yards and then Gabbert hit Brandon Gerau for 20 yards down to the 11. MU threw another bubble screen to Kemp who was ruled down at the one.
The Tigers left points off the board. On second down, Gabbert fumbled the snap after going under center. Then on third and goal from the three, De’Vion Moore was stopped at the line and Grant Ressel kicked a 20 yard field goal to take a 16-0 lead into the locker room on what should have been a touchdown.
3rd quarter highlights
1967 was the last time a Missouri defense shutout opponents for six quarters. (OU and OSU)
The Missouri defense kept the pressure on Johnson sacking him three times on A & M’s opening drive. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an 11 play drive next just 21 yards, but that was the case as Mizzou took over at their 24. Gabbert went 4 for 6 on the drive capped off by a ten yard pass to Wes Kemp. The highlight of the drive came on a 45 yard completion to T.J. Moe. Mizzou was up 23-0 with 7:25 to play in the third. Kemp, had nine catches, 72 yards and two TDs up to that point.
A & M ended the shutout streak with a field goal, but Gabbert brought the Tigers back for his third TD pass of the game on a six play drive capped by Moe’s 20 yard score. In the third quarter, Missouri ran 12 plays, gaining 132 yards and scoring two touchdowns. 30-3 after the third quarter.
4th quarter highlights
Johnson hit Jeff Fuller for a touchdown on 4th and 2 from the MU 26. Tigers gave up 62 yards on a screen pass from the A & M 10 yard line.