Missouri’s 42-10 win over Troy on Saturday had Tiger fans holding their breath on their way out of Memorial Stadium after starting quarterback Kelly Bryant injured his left knee shortly before halftime.
On a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Knox with 1:12 left in the first half, Bryant was tackled on a late and low hit by Trojans defensive tackle Travis Sailo.
The injury, which Missouri head coach Barry Odom didn’t have an update on in his postgame press conference, put a grim feeling on an outstanding performance by MU, which improved to 4-1 for the first time under the fourth-year head coach. Missouri’s win over Troy was Odom’s first against an FBS team with more than a week to prepare.
Missouri’s defense was dominant after an rough opening drive, which resulted in the first touchdown the Tigers allowed in the first quarter all season. Troy quarterback Kaleb Barker capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive with a 15-yard score to wideout Khalil McClain to put the Trojans up early.
After that, it was all MU.
Bryant led MU as the Tigers took control. The former Clemson quarterback found wideout Kam Scott for a 49-yard completion to the Troy 2-yard line. Larry Rountree scored the following play to tie the game at 7-7.
Bryant gave MU the lead with 3:27 left in the first quarter with his first career rushing touchdown to put the Tigers up 14-7.
Jonathan Nance added to MU’s lead with a 64-yard touchdown at the end of the first quarter, and Bryant found Albert Okwuegbunam in the second quarter, for the most impressive touchdown of the tight end’s career.
After Cale Garrett intercepted Barker deep in Troy territory, Bryant found Okweugbunam for a 16-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone. Okwuegbunam managed to keep a foot inbounds, putting MU up 28-7.
Garrett picked off Troy’s Barker the following drive and returned it 33 yards for his third touchdown in as many weeks.
Missouri’s defense held Troy to just 32 yards of offense after Troy’s initial drive and forced three turnovers, as the Tigers’ defense continued to dominate.
MU’s Kobie Whitesides had two sacks to increase his team-high, and Jordan Elliott added a key tackle-for-loss on an early third down for the Trojans.
Odom got conservative with his play calls in the second half and held starters such as Nance and Okwuegbunam out of the game. Backup quarterback Taylor Powell took over for Bryant in the second half and finished 6 for 8 for 57 yards.
Bryant finished 12 for 19 on passing with 221 yards, three touchdowns and a rushing touchdown.
Missouri’s homestand concludes next Saturday, when the Tigers host Mississippi. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. on ESPN2.