The Missouri Tigers had a record setting night as they dismantled the Western Illinois Leathernecks from start to finish giving playing time to a lot of back-ups in their 69-0 blowout on Saturday night before a good crowd of over 63,000 fans.
The Tigers amassed a school-record 744 yards of total offense (previous record was 665 yards in 1949 vs. Kansas) – and held Western Illinois to just 44 yards (the third-lowest single-game output by an opponent in MU history) on the way to the biggest margin of victory in MU history (old record was 60-0 vs. Centre [Ky.] in 1928.
Mizzou's 69-point outburst also tied the single-game scoring record, accomplished twice previously – 2008 vs. Nevada (W, 69-17) and 1969 vs. Kansas (69-21).
The Tigers tallied 9 touchdowns overall, as a 4th-quarter punt return went for a score to account for the final score. The 9 TDs tied a single-game MU record as well (vs. Nevada, 2008).
Mizzou burst to a 42-0 halftime lead, and the 42 1st-half points tied the school record for most points in the opening half (vs. Furman in 2009, vs. Southeast Missouri in 2008).
Henry Josey put his name in the record books by having the 4th best single game rushing in Tiger history with his 263 yards on 14 carries while only playing one half of football. Devin West holds the record with 319 yards rushing.
Mizzou's defense was just as dominant, holding the Leathernecks to just 44 yards and 1 first down on the night overall (via rush in the second quarter). Western Illinois' 16 possessions went like this: 12 ended in three-and-out punts (with five of those netting negative yardage); 1 ended in a five-play and punt; 1 ended on the first play with a Tiger interception; 2 ended in 2 plays to end both the second quarter and the fourth quarter.
Overall, it was a fun game for fans and players alike, and it gave the coaches a chance to get some valuable playing time to a lot of players.
Here is a break down of the game as I saw it.
- Henry Josey: It was suppose to be a break out season fro running back Kendial Lawrence who had a great pre-season camp. However, injuries to both he and back-up Devion Moore opened the door for Josey to be able to showcase his ability, which he has done to the tune of 400 yards rushing on 29 carries and 3 TDs in 3 games for a per carry average of 13.8. Josey could have probably run for 400 yards on the day if he had played a full game. As it is he put his name 4th on the single game rushing record in just a half of football. If he kept up his current pace he would have a 1,600 yard season. That isn't likely, but he gives the Tigers a much needed playmaker and run option.
- James Franklin: James followed up his very good performance against Arizona State with another strong game by completing 18 of 25 passes for 246 yards and 3 touchdowns with 0 interceptions before giving way to back-up Jimmy Costello. His single-game passer rating of 194.26 was a season best and he now ranks 6th in the Big 12 and 40th nationally with a season passer rating of 147.42. In his last 2 starts, Franklin is a combined 44-of-67 passing for 565 yards, 5 TDs and no interceptions – good for a QB rating of 161.13. Franklin enters Saturday's game at Oklahoma ranked 5th in the Big 12 and 24th nationally in total offense, averaging 283.67 yards per game…While Franklin had an easy night of it, there were a couple of passes he got lucky on and he wasn't as sharp as he had been the previous game. All part of the growing process as a QB and I am sure he will recognize this. Western Illinois seemed to be keying on taking his running ability away from him and did a pretty good job on that, although it wasn't really needed this game.
- Jared Culver & Greg White: Culver (who had 1 carry for 2 yards before this season), ran 11 times and netted 86 yards and his first career TD, on an 8-yard score in the 3rd quarter. That score was set up by his own 60-yard run on the first play of the 3rd quarter. While he is not your typical Missouri back, Culver has put in a lot of work to help this team and it's nice to see him get rewarded like this. The Tigers played to his strengths on calls to him and he continues to show that he can continue be a valuable player on this team. White got his first career carry in the game Saturday, and he ended with 10 carries in all for 36 yards, including a long of 17 yards. Greg started slowly and looked a little tentative on his first few carries, however, he got better with each one and looked really nice on the swing pass. Something he showed he could do well in pre-season camp.
- L`Damian Washington: L'Damian Washington appears to be coming into his own as a receiver. He has put back to back games together being a factor and really showed me something on the long pass play that was a sure interception that he took away from the defensive back. He was the second leading receiver on the night behind Moe with 3 catches for 61 yards. He also carried the ball a couple of times for positive yards and did a nice job blocking on the night. This team needs playmaking receivers and if Washington can continue to help fill that role it will bode well for the Tiger offense.
- Jimmie Hunt: It was great to see Jimmie Hunt make the most of his first career pass by utilizing his playmaking ability and taking it for his first career touchdown of 54 yards. Hopefully, this will lead to more playing time for the talented red-shirt freshman.
- Andrew Wilson: Wilson seems so at home as the Tiger middle linebacker and he just continues to make plays sideline to sideline being the Tigers most consistent player on defense so far this season leading the team in tackles with 21.
- Brad Madison: The Tiger defensive end spent a good deal of time in the Leathernecks backfield disrupting plays and harassing the QB. Madison finished with with 4 tackles, a forced fumble and a QB hurry in only 2 quarters. Three of his tackles went for loss, including a QB sack.
- The Entire Defense: Kudos to the Tiger defense as a whole as even back-ups were able to hold the Leathernecks to only 44 yards total offense. Players such as Marvin Foster, Tony Randolph, Xavier Smith, Braylon Webb, Kenronte Walker, Darvin Ruise, Matt Hoch and others came in and got some good game experience and continued to hold the Leathernecks down. Sheldon Richardson got his first career sack and did a nice job,as did Lucas Vincent in the middle.
- Getting Healthy: It was good to see players such as Travis Ruth and Jerrell Jackson return even though they were in on limited plays. The Tigers will need all hands on deck for the brutal Big 12 schedule coming up.
- Penalties: Not many downs to be found in a 69-0 victory where you hold an offense to 44 yards and 1 first down, however, you continue to see a problem with penalties from this team early in 2011. This is uncharacteristic of a Gary Pinkel team and needs to be corrected as they enter Big 12 season.
- Kick Return Coverage: I know it is a bit knit-picky, but the Tigers could have done a better job on kick return coverage on the night. The Leathernecks had a few good run backs including a 43 yard return.
Offensive Player Of The Week: Henry Josey
Defensive Player OF The Week: Brad Madison
Special Teams Player Of The Week: EJ Gaines
Offensive: A+ I don't know what more you can say about 744 yards total offense and 69 points on an offensive record setting night. Everything they did was pretty much gold. Regardless of who the opponent was I think they exceeded expectations for the game.
Defense A+ Again, you hold your opponent to 44 total yards and 1 first down on the night and you are as dominant as you get. The great thing was that the back-ups continued to hold the Leathernecks to a goose egg on the night.
Special Teams B+ I had some issue with the return coverage, but overall you have to be pleased. I would like to see more EJ Gaines at punt returner, as he showed some of the same skill on special teams that I saw watching him in high school.
Up Next: The Tigers need to put this funfest behind them quickly and prepare to go on the road to play the number one team in the nation at their place in Norman. OU is coming off a big victory against top 10 Florida State and looked very physical doing it.
Game Stats Here