Make it three big games in a row for freshman receiver Dorial Green-Beckham.
Green-Beckham, who caught 13 passes in his previous two games, only had two catches against the Vols on Saturday, but he made them count. Both went for touchdowns – from 25- and 10-yards out – and it appears the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2012 even showed a little moxie on the first.
With MU trailing 28-21 and facing a fourth-and-12 at Tennessee’s 25-yard line late in the fourth quarter, Green-Beckham approached Franklin before the play and diagrammed the pattern he planned to run with his hands.
“I showed him that I was running like a slant and out (and would go to the) sideline and just sit. ... (I) knew my guy was going to lose me by looking on the other side,” Green-Beckham said.Green-Beckham didn’t say much about his second touchdown – which came in overtime No. 3 – but said he had to “park it and refocus” after dropping ball on previous play.
• Missouri forced a fumble for the 28th straight game on Saturday, as safety Kenronte Walker forced a fumble that was recovered by linebacker Andrew Wilson. MU entered the game with 19 forced fumbles, the most in the nation.
• Junior cornerback E.J. Gaines – a graduate of Fort Osage – appeared to get shaken during the second half. There was no update on his health provided afterward.
• The loss was a potentially devastating one for Tennessee, which dropped to 4-6 and whose coach, Derek Dooley is perceived to be on the hot seat. The Vols remain winless in the SEC in Dooley’s third year.
“We’re hurting because of the game and the kids,” Dooley said, when asked what the loss does to his future. “They played their tails off. There’s a lot of negativity and that comes with the territory.”
• The win gives Missouri a chance to become bowl eligible next Saturday, when they host Syracuse at 6 p.m. on senior night. The Orange, 5-5, are coming off an upset victory over Louisville.
“We’ve got a mammoth game next week,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “And that’s an understatement.”
| Terez A. Paylor, email@example.com