University of Missouri

Missouri-Arkansas State game report

Updated: 2013-09-29T04:23:12Z

First quarter

Key play: Missouri senior cornerback Randy Ponder was penalized and ejected for targeting late in the quarter when he stood up Arkansas State wide receiver J.D. McKissic on a 4-yard gain. The 15-yard penalty led to Arkansas State’s second field goal and a 6-0 lead.

Key stat: One week after dominating an explosive Indiana squad in the first quarter, Missouri’s defense allowed 148 yards in 22 plays. The bright side was that the Tigers kept Arkansas State from reaching the end zone, forcing a pair of field-goal attempts.

Second quarter

Key play: With all day to throw, quarterback James Franklin sat in the pocket as Dorial Green-Beckham raced past the Arkansas State secondary before unleashing a 68-yard touchdown bomb over the top.

Key stat: During the first half, Arkansas State’s Adam Kennedy, a Utah State transfer, completed 20 of 24 passes for 190 yards. That included a 22-yard loss on the final play of the half when he lobbed a pass to running back David Oku out of desperation with defensive end Markus Golden closing fast.

Third quarter

Key play: Franklin capped a 94-yard march with a 5-yard touchdown pass to L’Damian Washington for a 20-16 lead. Washington had dropped a pass earlier in the drive.

Key stat: After being gashed for 285 yards in the first half and giving up 53 yards on Arkansas State’s opening drive in the quarter, Missouri’s defense buckled down and permitted only 24 yards on the Wolves’ next two drives.

Fourth quarter

Key play: It was still a one-score game before Franklin, who finished with five carries for 33 yards, kept the ball on an option right, red the cutback lane perfectly and darted upfield between Arkansas State defenders for a 9-yard touchdown run with 5:06 remaining.

Key stat: The obvious one is 21-3, which is how much Missouri outscored Arkansas State in the fourth quarter. The Tigers scored in a variety of ways too, including an 87-yard march, a 14-play grind and with the short field thanks to E.J. Gaines’ late interception.

Player of the game: MU senior linebacker Andrew Wilson had a career night with 17 tackles, including 11 in the first half. With Missouri struggling to make tackles, especially against Arkansas State wide receiver J.D. McKissic, Wilson’s beastly play and leadership was critical as the Tigers righted the ship after halftime.

Reason to hope: Missouri continues to produce on the ground. Entering play with the top rushing attack in the SEC, the Tigers added 239 more yards in 28 carries for a robust 8.5-yard average. Sophomore Russell Hansbrough led the way with eight carries for 96 yards, while Marcus Murphy found the end zone for the fourth straight game.

Reason to mope: The defense struggled once again with the short passing game and couldn’t tackle in space, giving up unnecessary yards and first-down conversions that kept drives alive. The offense didn’t help, keeping the defense on the field thanks to three three-and-outs and a fumble among the first seven possessions.

Looking ahead: SEC play begins next Saturday against Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. As confident as Missouri surely felt coming out of the Indiana game, which wasn’t nearly as close as the 45-28 final would indicate, there has to be some doubt about the Tigers’ chances after a closer-than-advertised 41-19 win.

| Tod Palmer, tpalmer@kcstar.com

Report card

B OffenseThe final numbers are rock solid, including 8.5 yards per play and terrific balance with 256 yards passing and 239 rushing. The offense continues to make plays when it absolutely needs to make them. Still, consistency was lacking and too many three-and-outs left the defense overexposed.
B- DefenseGiving up 285 yards in the first half shows how much Missouri’s defense struggled at times, but Arkansas State only managed 140 yards after halftime, and the Tigers were great in the red zone once again, allowing only one touchdown in five trips for the Red Wolves. Plus, the turnover streak continued.
C- Special teamsPunter Christian Brinser dropped a snap. Kicker Andrew Baggett yanked a 24-yard field goal try wide left in the first quarter. There also was a delay of game penalty on an extra point and Marcus Murphy got buried inside the 10 on a punt return. Eventually, such mistakes will cost Missouri a game.
B- CoachingThe two-point conversion attempt was questionable, but it’s a defensible decision. Otherwise, it’s hard to see any major missteps by the coaching staff. It’s easy to say the Tigers stuck with the zone defense too long, but players were in position to make plays and missed tackles.

First quarter

Key play: Missouri senior cornerback Randy Ponder was penalized and ejected for targeting late in the quarter when he stood up Arkansas State wide receiver J.D. McKissic on a 4-yard gain. The 15-yard penalty led to Arkansas State’s second field goal and a 6-0 lead.

Key stat: One week after dominating an explosive Indiana squad in the first quarter, Missouri’s defense allowed 148 yards in 22 plays. The bright side was that the Tigers kept Arkansas State from reaching the end zone, forcing a pair of field-goal attempts.

Second quarter

Key play: With all day to throw, quarterback James Franklin sat in the pocket as Dorial Green-Beckham raced past the Arkansas State secondary before unleashing a 68-yard touchdown bomb over the top.

Key stat: During the first half, Arkansas State’s Adam Kennedy, a Utah State transfer, completed 20 of 24 passes for 190 yards. That included a 22-yard loss on the final play of the half when he lobbed a pass to running back David Oku out of desperation with defensive end Markus Golden closing fast.

Third quarter

Key play: Franklin capped a 94-yard march with a 5-yard touchdown pass to L’Damian Washington for a 20-16 lead. Washington had dropped a pass earlier in the drive.

Key stat: After being gashed for 285 yards in the first half and giving up 53 yards on Arkansas State’s opening drive in the quarter, Missouri’s defense buckled down and permitted only 24 yards on the Wolves’ next two drives.

Fourth quarter

Key play: It was still a one-score game before Franklin, who finished with five carries for 33 yards, kept the ball on an option right, red the cutback lane perfectly and darted upfield between Arkansas State defenders for a 9-yard touchdown run with 5:06 remaining.

Key stat: The obvious one is 21-3, which is how much Missouri outscored Arkansas State in the fourth quarter. The Tigers scored in a variety of ways too, including an 87-yard march, a 14-play grind and with the short field thanks to E.J. Gaines’ late interception.

Player of the game: MU senior linebacker Andrew Wilson had a career night with 17 tackles, including 11 in the first half. With Missouri struggling to make tackles, especially against Arkansas State wide receiver J.D. McKissic, Wilson’s beastly play and leadership was critical as the Tigers righted the ship after halftime.

Reason to hope: Missouri continues to produce on the ground. Entering play with the top rushing attack in the SEC, the Tigers added 239 more yards in 28 carries for a robust 8.5-yard average. Sophomore Russell Hansbrough led the way with eight carries for 96 yards, while Marcus Murphy found the end zone for the fourth straight game.

Reason to mope: The defense struggled once again with the short passing game and couldn’t tackle in space, giving up unnecessary yards and first-down conversions that kept drives alive. The offense didn’t help, keeping the defense on the field thanks to three three-and-outs and a fumble among the first seven possessions.

Looking ahead: SEC play begins next Saturday against Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. As confident as Missouri surely felt coming out of the Indiana game, which wasn’t nearly as close as the 45-28 final would indicate, there has to be some doubt about the Tigers’ chances after a closer-than-advertised 41-19 win.

| Tod Palmer, tpalmer@kcstar.com

Report card

B OffenseThe final numbers are rock solid, including an 8.5-yard average per play and terrific balance with 256 yards passing and 239 rushing. The offense continues to make plays when it absolutely needs to make them. Still, consistency was lacking and too many three-and-outs left the defense overexposed.
B- DefenseGiving up 285 yards in the first half shows how much Missouri’s defense struggled at times, but Arkansas State only managed 140 yards after halftime, and the Tigers were great in the red zone once again, allowing only one touchdown in five trips for the Red Wolves. Plus, the turnover streak continued.
C- Special teamsPunter Christian Brinser dropped a snap. Kicker Andrew Baggett yanked a 24-yard field goal try wide left in the first quarter. There also was a delay of game penalty on an extra point and Marcus Murphy got buried inside the 10 on a punt return. Eventually, such mistakes will cost Missouri a game.
B- CoachingThe two-point conversion attempt was questionable, but it’s a defensible decision. Otherwise, it’s hard to see any major missteps by the coaching staff. It’s easy to say the Tigers stuck with the zone defense too long, but players were in position to make plays and missed tackles.

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