Two touchdown passes in the final four minutes by James Franklin brought the Missouri Tigers to within three points with less than two minutes to go, but Baylor got the ball back on a short onside kick attempt and held off Mizzou to win 42-39 on their homecoming in Waco, TX. The Tigers drop to 4-5 overall and 2-4 in Big 12 play. Mizzou was fourth in the nation in fourth quarter points coming into this game and added another 25 to their total, but the defense wore down against Robert Griffin III and the Bears explosive offense.
Baylor amassed 697 total yards including 406 passing yards from Griffin and another 196 from 256 pound running back Terrance Ganaway who had TD runs of 38 and 80. Ganaway’s 80 yard run came right after Mizzou got a 25 yard scoring catch from Marcus Lucas, making it a 35-25 Baylor lead.
Down 42-25, James Franklin found T.J. Moe on a 17 yard pass on fourth down to cut into the lead once again. After a three and out, Baylor backed Mizzou up to their 13 after the punt. Franklin went 6 of 7 hitting Lucas with two passes of 23 and 22 yards, setting up their last score to La’Damian Washington. That 15 yard TD pass gave Mizzou one more chance, but Trey Barrow’s onside kick only went nine yards and Baylor was able to run out the clock.
I’m not about to give the Missouri defense a bad rap. Oklahoma State allowed over 650 yards against Baylor, but the Bears shot themselves in the foot with too many turnovers in that game. It started out that way again in the first half. Baylor fumbled, missed a field goal and had an extra point blocked leaving potentially 11 points off the board. This Baylor offense can put up a lot of yards, so I expected a shootout. What I’m critical of is the offensive playcalling. I thought Tigers got away from trying to control the clock and took the ball out of Henry Josey’s hands in the second half.
Mizzou was up 14-13 at the half and after Baylor scored on their opening drive with a TD and two point conversion to go up 21-14, Mizzou ran Josey just five more times the rest of the half. It didn’t help that the Tigers fell behind by two touchdowns after Michael Egnew (12 catches) had the ball stripped near midfield giving Baylor a short field to work with to go up 28-14.
It just felt like Mizzou went with more zone read calls for Franklin to run when he wasn’t dropping back to pass. Josey finished with just 15 carries for 132 yards. His fifth game of going over 100 yards this season. I would have liked to have seen Missouri try to keep Josey involved a little more and take a little pressure off Franklin running.
Franklin ran 16 times for 57 yards. Kendial Lawrence gained 64 on nine carries.