Southeast Missouri State quarterback Daniel Santacaterina took the snap, and then suddenly tried to escape the pocket. Except no pressure was coming.
Missouri dominated SEMO so much on Saturday that the Tigers had the opposing quarterback anticipating pressure when none was coming after regularly getting into the backfield in a 50-0 win.
The Tigers scored in all three facets of the game just eight minutes in and dominated both sides of the ball in a game in which MU was never threatened. Junior tailback Larry Rountree accounted for all of MU’s offense in its opening drive— by getting six carries and a catch for 85 yards — that he capped with a 3-yard touchdown run that put MU up 7-0. Rountree finished the night with 18 carries for 142 yards.
Less than a minute after the first touchdown, Missouri senior linebacker Cale Garrett picked off Santacaterina deep in SEMO territory and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown.
On Missouri’s next drive, quarterback Kelly Bryant found tight end Albert Okwuegbunam in the corner of the end zone to put MU up three scores. With 6:41 left in the first quarter, Richaud Floyd gave MU’s special-teams unit a rare highlight, returning a punt 71 yards to the end zone. It was the first time MU had a punt-return touchdown in two years, when Floyd had one at Vanderbilt in November 2017.
Missouri’s defense continued its strong play, holding the Redhawks to just 8 yards rushing and had six tackles-for-loss in the first half alone. Physically superior compared to their visitors, the Tigers had a number of vicious hits on the Redhawks and were lucky to not get called for any targeting penalties.
Rountree extended MU’s lead late in the first half with a 2-yard touchdown run that extended MU’s lead to 34-0. Sophomore wideout Jalen Knox helped set up the touchdown with a 50-yard catch. Knox had two catches for 104 yards on Saturday.
Missouri was far from flawless against SEMO, as the Tigers accumulated nine penalties for 79 yards, a season-long issue for MU. Bryant had an interception in the second quarter on a poor throw into the end zone, when he was looking for freshman Maurice Massey. Bryant threw as he was getting hit and aimed for the corner of the end zone, with Massey tightly covered.
Bryant finished 15 for 20 with 225 yards and a touchdown, in addition to his interception. Cornerback Al Young picked off Bryant, but SEMO was unable to capitalize on the drive. Tucker McCann’s 44-yard field goal at the end of the first half sent MU into halftime up 37-0.
McCann connected on a 42-yard field goal with 9:33 left in the third quarter and Tyler Badie added a rushing touchdown to extend MU’s lead to 47-0, before head coach Barry Odom pulled his starters and let MU take its foot off the gas.
McCann hit his third and final field goal of the night early in the fourth quarter for MU’s final score. The field goal was from 52 yards out.
Missouri’s next game is against South Carolina. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m. next Saturday on either the SEC Network or SEC Network Alternate.