University of Missouri

Missouri beats Purdue 40-37 on late field goal, remains unbeaten with Georgia on deck

Missouri wide receiver Johnathon Johnson (12) makes a catch over Purdue cornerback Simeon Smiley (29) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Missouri wide receiver Johnathon Johnson (12) makes a catch over Purdue cornerback Simeon Smiley (29) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) AP

Mizzou football remains undefeated in the 2018 season, despite a very close call on Saturday.

Purdue gave the Tigers all they could handle, but a 25-yard field goal by Tucker McCann as time expired let Missouri escape with a 40-37 win.

Boilermakers quarterback David Blough threw for 572 yards, the most for a quarterback against a Missouri defense. Tigers quarterback Drew Lock threw for 375 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. He also had a rushing touchdown.

Missouri (3-0) got a 40-yard field goal off its opening drive and then promptly returned it four plays later. Blough, the Boilermakers’ backup, found wideout Terry Wright in the corner of the end zone, giving Purdue a 7-3 lead. Missouri cornerback DeMarkus Acy had a terrific hit against Purdue freshman Rondale Moore on the opening play of the Boilermakers’ first drive but injured himself on the play. Redshirt freshman Terry Petry came in for Acy and was burned by Purdue the rest of the drive.

Lock got Missouri back in front with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Johnathon Johnson. Facing a three-man front, Lock had plenty of time to throw, thanks to good pass protection from his offensive line. Earlier in the drive Lock found Emanuel Hall for a 42-yard catch. Hall went down with an unknown injury for most of the game but returned in the fourth quarter. His 25-yard catch got Missouri into position to set up the winning field goal.

Trailing 10-7, Purdue tried a reverse with a pitch back that went right to the Tigers’ Cam Hilton. Another field goal by McCann extended Missouri’s lead to 13-7 with 1:42 left in the first quarter.

A Purdue field goal shortly into the second quarter made the score 13-10. After that, Lock and the offense got going.

Facing a fourth and short, tailback Damarea Crockett gave Missouri a first down at its own 39. Two plays later, Lock found freshman wideout Jalen Knox on a skinny post for a 59-yard touchdown that extended Missouri’s lead to 20-10.

Missouri had a chance to run away with the game the following drive after the Tigers converted on a fourth-and-4. Lock found Johnson in front of the end zone for a 30-yard gain. The following play, Lock hit tight end Albert Okwuegbunam on a fade that made the score 27-10 with 7:10 left in the first half.

That’s when Missouri ran into trouble.

Jared Sparks caught a 16-yard pass on third down, moving the Boilermakers downfield. Moore moved the chains shortly after with a 34-yard catch and poor pass defense by Missouri led Purdue into the Tigers’ red zone. Blough walked into the end zone from 1 yard out, cutting the deficit to 10 with 2:42 left.

Missouri’s final drive of the drive got the Tigers as far as the Boilermakers’ 32 before Lock threw incomplete passes to Knox and Nate Brown.

Odom called for a 50-yard field goal, which was blocked by Purdue and returned to the Boilermakers’ 45-yard line.

With 32 seconds left in the first half, Blough exposed Missouri’s defense and found Brycen Hopkins for a touchdown that cut the lead to 27-24. The Boilermakers tied the score early in the third quarter with a 29-yard field goal.

Missouri’s run game came alive in the third quarter as a 52-yard run by Larry Rountree put the Tigers at Purdue’s 16. Lock gave Missouri the lead on his second rushing touchdown in as many weeks.

Missouri returns home to play national runner-up Georgia on Saturday. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m.

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