The Tigers had not beaten a ranked opponent on the road since 1997 until today.
"(Texas A&M) is a real good football team," said Coach Pinkel. "I'm very proud of our football team……………………………….. Our team just really battled. We fought. (Texas A&M) is a real good football team. They made plays. We made plays. But, we did what we needed to do to win the football game."
For the second time this season, Franklin led Missouri down the field at the end of regulation for a potential game-winning field goal attempt. And, for the second time this season, Missouri failed to convert that field goal attempt, this one a 46- yard attempt by back-up kicker Trey Barrow, who kicked the ball straight down the right hash, wide right, as time expired with the score tied at 31-31. That forced Missouri's second overtime game this season, after the Tigers had come back from a 28-17 halftime, and third-quarter, deficit.
Missouri rushed for 280 yards on 50 carries (5.6 yards/carry). Franklin was 16-24-0 passing, for 199 yards and 2 TDs. He added 98 yards and 2 TDs rushing, on 24 carries. Henry Josey led the way for Missouri's rushing attack, with 157 yards and 1 TD on 20 carries.
"(Franklin) played an extraordinary game," said Coach Pinkel. "We do a lot of stuff that James Franklin makes a lot of reads to put us in the right situation."
A quartet of sophomores carried the day for Missouri, including Franklin, Josey, Lucas, who had 5 receptions for 64 yards and the winning TD, and E.J. Gaines, who repeatedly choked down the Aggies great receiver, Jeff Fuller. Another sophomore, TE Eric Waters, chipped in with a 42-yard TD reception.
And yet another sophomore, Randy Ponder chipped in with an interception that was the result of QB pressure exerted by junior DE Brad Madison, as he hit Tannehill's arm just as the Aggie's QB attempted to deliver the football. Ponder's interception, and 45-yard return, began the comeback for Missouri. Three plays later, Franklin took it in from eight yards out to pull Missouri to within 24-28, early in the fourth quarter.
Jacquies Smith had a big day as well. He came up with a huge play, when with the score tied at 31-31 late in regulation, and A&M approaching field goal range, he knocked the ball out of Tannehill's hand, and Hamilton recovered near midfield.
Missouri jumped out to a 14-7 first-quarter lead, but struggled in the second quarter. Travis Ruth, hampered by injury, wasn't getting it done, and as a result, the Missouri offense sputtered. In the second half, the coaching staff adjusted by playing Jayson Palmgren exclusively at center, and Jack Meiners came in to play left guard. That resulted in more time for Franklin, and Missouri mounted their fourth-quarter comeback.
"We got a breath of fresh air right here," said Coach Pinkel, who admitted that things have been tough in recent weeks. "That light at the end of the tunnel is shining a little bit……………………………………… I'm just so happy to see (my players') eyes shining again, and the smiles on their faces. It means a lot to me."