Key play: On the second play from scrimmage, Alabama running back Eddie Lacy broke off a 73-yard touchdown run that set the tone for the rest of the game.
Key stat: Missouri was outgained 209-36 in total offense.
Key play: Sophomore Marcus Murphy returned a kick 98 yards for a touchdown shortly after a 40-minute weather delay, which cut MU’s deficit to 28-7 and seemed to give the Tigers life the rest of the quarter.
Key stat: Missouri forced two Alabama fumbles, only the fourth and fifth turnovers of the season for the Crimson Tide.
Key play: Kicker Andrew Baggett connected on a 41-yard field goal to cut Missouri’s deficit to 28-10.
Key stat: Missouri outgained Alabama 102-85, a far cry from the first half, when Alabama outgained MU 363-31.
Key play: On third-and-7 at the MU 9, Alabama quarterback A.J McCarron found receiver Amari Cooper for a 7-yard gain that extended the drive and set up Lacy’s third touchdown of the day, which put the Tide ahead 35-10.
Key stat: Missouri finished the game with only three yards on 28 carries, thanks to negative-53 yards in sacks.
F;Offense;Alabama’s defense is tremendous, but the fact MU gained only 31 total yards in the first half is unacceptable. Running back Kendial Lawrence had some moments, but quarterback Corbin Berkstresser didn’t get much help. His receivers dropped passes, his O-line struggled to block Bama’s front seven and he was harassed for much of the game.
D;Defense;Alabama isn’t really tricking anybody with what they do offensively, but the Tide still controlled the game by overpowering the Tigers up front. Missouri’s tackling left plenty to be desired, and while the group did force two fumbles – and was often required to defend short fields – the Tigers trailed by 28 before they knew what hit them.
B; Special teams; Andrew Baggett made a field goal, Marcus Murphy netted his fourth return touchdown of the season and the Tigers tackled Alabama’s punter for a big loss. Not bad. The unit did have a punt blocked, however.
D; Coaching; No. 1 Alabama was clearly the superior team, so you have to understand there’s only so much you can do scheme-wise, especially with a banged-up offense. The staff deserves some credit for the improvement in play after the weather delay, but where was that the first 21 minutes of the game?
Player of the game: Alabama tailback Eddie Lacy gashed the Tigers for a long touchdown run on his first carry and never let up, finishing with 178 yards and three touchdowns on only 18 carries.
Reason to hope: The bye week is coming up. If you’re a Missouri fan, you hope the Tigers use it to heal up and regroup. The Tigers also showed some life after the delay, a sign there’s still some fight left in this group.
Reason to mope: The Tigers struggled mightily against the run, and were simply overpowered up front on offense. Few teams are as good as Alabama, obviously, but the SEC is loaded with stout players up front. MU has to get better there, on both sides of the ball.
Looking ahead: Missouri has two weeks to prepare for its Oct. 27 homecoming game against Kentucky. If the Tigers want to earn a bowl bid, this is a must win. But there obviously needS to be significant strides made between now and the next game, because as Vanderbilt proved a week ago, Missouri can’t afford to take any SEC opponent lightly.
| Terez A. Paylor, email@example.com