Missouri Tigers E.J. Gaines runs the football back for a touchdown after a fumble in the fourth quarter. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

It wasn’t pretty, but it was still a win. In a game that featured ten fumbles and two interceptions, the Missouri Tigers did grab their first win in the Southeastern Conference with a 33-10 win over the Kentucky Wildcats during Mizzou’s Homecoming.

The Tigers defense held Kentucky to 59 total yards after the Wildcats’ first two possessions of the game. Mizzou also forced six fumbles and recovered three of those, including a 13 yard recovery for a touchdown by E.J. Gaines and a strip and recovery by Sheldon Richardson, who returned it 60 yards in the first quarter. The Tigers also did a good job of staying off the field, holding Kentucky to 1 for 12 on third down conversions.

There was a lot of ugly in this game too for the Tigers. They fumbled the ball four times, and lost one when Marcus Murphy muffed his second punt of the game. That set Kentucky up at the Tigers 35, but they were unable to come away with points. Gary Pinkel seemed to be frustrated the most by poor special teams play, which also had an extra point attempt blocked and allowed a 50 yard kickoff return.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Corbin Berkstresser got pulled midway through the third quarter when he threw consecutive interceptions on consecutive passes to start the half. On both throws, Berkstresser missed his intended receiver bad. Both throws were also into a stiff breeze. That prompted Pinkel to insert James Franklin as quarterback. Franklin didn’t start running until Tuesday of this week, but the playcalling was very conservative. Franklin attempted nine passes and completed six of them (many parallel to the line) for 16 yards. Berkstresser also fumbled a snap under center and third and 2 in the first half.

AUDIO Gary Pinkel’s press conference (16:00)

After the game I was on the field and overheard an assistant on the team ask Franklin how he felt and he replied with one word… “sore.” I asked Franklin after the game what his plan was for next week and he said he was starting at Florida.

Victory formation and the fight song