University of Missouri

Mizzou 72, Missouri State 43: Key moments, players and grades

Barry Odom reacts to Mizzou's season-opening win

University of Missouri coach Barry Odom broke down the defense's struggles during a season-opening 72-43 victory Saturday against Missouri State at Memorial Stadium in Columbia.
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University of Missouri coach Barry Odom broke down the defense's struggles during a season-opening 72-43 victory Saturday against Missouri State at Memorial Stadium in Columbia.

Keys to the game

First quarter

The key: Missouri’s defense couldn’t get a stop and sophomore kicker Tucker McCann missed an extra point (and booted a kickoff out of bounds) in a sloppy mess of a quarter. Missouri State led 21-20 after totaling 210 yards, including 145 yards rushing on 14 carries.

Second quarter

The key: Junior quarterback Drew Lock tossed three more touchdowns, including a pair of 50-yard scores to senior J’Mon Moore, helping provide a 48-35 halftime lead. Lock tied the Mizzou record for passing touchdowns in a game by halftime with five.

Third quarter

The key: Lock became the first quarterback in program history with six touchdowns in a game when he lobbed a 27-yard touchdown to redshirt freshman tight end Albert Okwugbunam late in the third quarter. Chase Daniel threw five touchdowns on four occasions, while Lock and Maty Mauk had each done it twice.

Fourth quarter

The key: McCann tacked on two more extra points in the second half, finishing 9 of 10 overall with a 35-yard field goal on his only other attempt. After the rocky start, McCann also finished with nine touuchbacks on 12 kickoff attempts, though he did boot a second out of bounds.

Missouri key players

Despite the defense’s struggles, two junior-college transfers on the interior of the defensive line shined. Run-stuffing junior tackle Walter Palmore finished with a team-high six tackles, which was tied with linebackers Terez Hall and Cale Garrett and freshman safety Jordan Ulmer, while junior tackle Rashad Brandon finished with five tackles, including 2 1/2 for a loss with his first sack. Garrett also recovered a fumble, and senior cornerback Logan Cheadle had an interception for the Tigers.

Missouri State key players

Sophomore quarterback Peyton Huslig scorched Missouri’s defense for 353 yards passing, completing 24 of 35 attempts with two touchdowns and an interception. Senior running back Calan Crowder eviscerated the Tigers in the first half with eight carries for 121 yards and touchdown runs of 75 and 34 yards. But he was limited to three carries for 3 yards in the second half.

The grades

Offense

A+

Missouri has never totaled more than the 815 yards it put up against Missouri State on Saturday. No Tigers quarterback has ever thrown for more touchdowns (seven) or more yards (521) in a game than junior Drew Lock did Saturday. Sophomore Damarea Crockett was unstoppable, too.

University of Missouri junior quarterback Drew Lock discussed his single-game records for passing touchdowns (seven), passing yards (521) and total offense (515) on Saturday in a 72-43 win over Missouri State at Memorial Stadium in Columbia.

Defense

F

The first half was an F — and not like a 57-percent-almost-a-D either. It was as big and fat an F as is possible. Missouri was much better in the second half, allowing only eight points and 112 total yards, but the first half was so bad there was no way to pass the season’s first class.

University of Missouri beat writer Tod Palmer breaks down a 72–43 win for the Tigers on Sept. 2, 2017 Saturday against Missouri State at Memorial Stadium in Columbia.

Special teams

C

Two kickoffs out of bounds and a missed extra point plus Cam Hilton’s targeting ejection made for an uneven special-teams performance, but there were no game-changing gaffes to drag the grade down further.

Coaching

C-

The defense wasn’t ready to play, and that’s on Barry Odom’s shoulders. He even admitted as much in the postgame press conference. The offense’s performance was every bit as good as the defense’s was poor, but that’s what the Tigers should do to an FCS squad.

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