University of Missouri

MU receiver Darius White off to fast start in senior year

Missouri Tigers wide receiver Darius White (8) looks over his shoulder as he heads into the end zone to score in the first quarter during the University of Missouri and South Dakota State University football game at Faurot Field on Saturday, August 30, 2014, in Columbia, Missouri.
Missouri Tigers wide receiver Darius White (8) looks over his shoulder as he heads into the end zone to score in the first quarter during the University of Missouri and South Dakota State University football game at Faurot Field on Saturday, August 30, 2014, in Columbia, Missouri. Kansas City Star

In 2013, wide receiver Darius White caught seven passes for 76 yards with a touchdown.

White, now a senior and starting flanker for Missouri, surpassed his season totals in one game Saturday with 83 receiving yards and two touchdowns during a season-opening 38-18 win against South Dakota State at Memorial Stadium.

“That put my confidence level really high,” White said.

It also put him in the Tigers’ record books as only the sixth MU wide receiver with two receiving touchdowns of at least 39 yards in the same game.

The others are Danario Alexander and Jared Perry in 2009, Jeremy Maclin in 2008, Linzy Collins in 1990 and Bob Orf in 1939.

Sophomore Maty Mauk added a 29-yard touchdown to Bud Sasser in the fourth quarter, marking the fourth time a Tigers quarterback has thrown three touchdowns of at least 29 yards in the same game (Corby Jones, 1997; Chase Daniel, 2007, 2008).

Friendly fire

One of the game’s funnier moments came late in the first quarter when Andrew Baggett missed a 34-yard field goal, but the cannon in the northwest end zone popped off a round anyway.

The Missouri Army ROTC instructor could be seen after the mishap instructing the cannon crew to watch for the game officials to signal the kick is good before firing a shot.

Baggett later missed on a 55-yard field-goal try early in the second quarter, but he connected on a 44-yard kick from the right hash with 1:13 remaining to salvage the day.

“There’s nothing worse than being in those (scoring) zones and then coming out without any points,” Pinkel said. “Later on, we got a chance at the end of the game, to have a chance to kick that field goal, so I’m glad we did that.”

He also booted five of six kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks.

Injury report

As expected, sophomore tailback Morgan Steward (hip) did not play after being listed Monday as doubtful. Steward hasn’t practiced for more than three weeks.

“We’re going to find out more maybe in a week or so,” Pinkel said of Steward’s injury.

He also said sophomore cornerback John Gibson “tweaked his knee, but I don’t think it’s serious,” while senior wide receiver Bud Sasser suffered a hyperextended left knee after taking a helmet to the knee and flipping head over heels.

Sasser returned to the game and later caught a 29-yard touchdown.

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at @todpalmer.

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