The Missouri Tigers defense forced three turnovers that converted into two touchdowns as they won their SEC opener with a 34-14 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday afternoon on Faurot Field. In the process, the Tiger record books were re-written with a record setting interception return for a touchdown.
Watch Barry Odom’s postgame and follow @Missourisports on Twitter
— Bill Pollock (@missourisports) September 21, 2019
On a day in which the Tigers offense put up a quiet 400+ yards of offense, it was the defense that provided the spark. After being stopped on a 4th and goal from the one, the Tigers defense had USC backed up deep in their end in the first quarter. A pass from Ryan Hilinski was blocked and came right to him. Instead of batting the ball down, he caught then quickly pushed the ball towards the ground. It bounced into the endzone and was recovered by Cale Garrett.
Barry Odom talks about the head’s up play by Garrett.
The play was originally called a double pass, but after a replay review the call was reversed for a Tigers touchdown.
Late in the third quarter with the game still in the balance, Ronnell Perkins picked off Hilisnki two yards deep into the endzone and returned it for a touchdown. The play is considered a 100-yard return. The pick-6 was the longest in Mizzou history surpassing a 95-yard pick six against South Carolina in the 2005 Independence Bowl.
Ronnell talks about making big plays.
Ronnell told his roommate, wide receiver Johnathon Johnson that he would make a big play.
Hilinski, the much heralded freshman, struggled under constant pressure from the Mizzou front seven, completing just 13-of-30 yards for 166 with one touchdown and two interceptions. His touchdown came on the first play of the second half when he screen pass to Bryan Edwards that turned into a 72-yard touchdown.
Mizzou put together scoring drives of 10, 7, 10 and 14 plays, but Kelly Bryant was off in the passing game. He was just 19-of-33 for 227 yards with two TDs and an INT.