A football game is played for four quarters, and the Missouri Tigers realized this and were able to turn things on offensively in the second half of the game to score 21 unanswered points to come back for a 24-10 boarder war win over Kansas at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
After playing probably their worst first half of football offensively all season and trailing only 10-3 heading into the locker room, the Tigers came out looking like a different team and were able to turn it on enough offensively as the defense was strong all game long.
Kansas came out playing on emotion and the Tigers looked flat. Mizzou made mistakes and could not find a rhythm on offense early. Then the turnover problems hit.
QB James Franklin threw 3 consecutive interceptions on drives in the first half, but the Jayhawks could only score 10 points off of that, including a pick which was returned for a TD.
Franklin was somehow able to put that first half behind him and come out to lead the team to three touchdown drives, including two very nice touchdown passes to Wes Kemp and Marcus Lucus.
Kendial Lawrence scored on a rushing touchdown for the other score. He finished with 67 yards rushing on 17 carries.
Franklin finished the day 14 of 22 for 187 yards and 2 TDs to go along with his 3 INTs. He also ran for 67 yards on 17 carries.
Kansas helped run out the clock with a long sustained drive that resulted in a Kenji Jackson interception on 4th and 28. Missouri ran out the clock the rest of the way backed up on their own goal line.
Afterwards, Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel shared some of his thoughts.
"I told my team after the game that I'm so proud of them," said Coach Pinkel. "We reflected back to three weeks ago, when we were sitting there at 4-5. You never know when greatness is around the corner. You never know……………………………………. I'm really proud of them, because we hit a lot of adversity, and we battled back through it."
Coach Pinkel talked about the adversity that his QB battled through.
"The thing about James Franklin is, he regained his composure," said Coach Pinkel. "He threw the three picks. He knew that he was directly responsible for the lead that they had (at halftime). And, for him to be able to come back and play a great second half was really good."
The win really belongs to the defense who played possibly their best game of the season holding KU to only 137 yards total offense and a field goal on the day.
Junior LB Zaviar Gooden had his best game of the year co-leading the team in tackles on the day along with Kenji Jackson as each had 7.
The defensive front provided pressure, and we saw some new wrinkles, including Jacquies Smith roaming around at linebacker, and some more blitzing then usual.
"Without question, our defense just had an outstanding day," said Coach Pinkel. "I mean, it was an absolutely outstanding day! I'm certainly proud of those guys. If you can play that kind of defense, it's a lot easier to win football games."
Missouri improves to (7-5) overall,( 5-4) in their last season in the Big 12 conference.
Coach Pinkel talked about how his team finished the season.
"When we lost to Baylor, we were down and out," said Coach Pinkel. "I tell them, that's when you get tested. We were sitting there at 4-5, what's going to happen to Mizzou? You've got the integrity of the program to protect, us winning, you know, sustaining bowls. There's a lot of things out there. I just thought that week by week……………………………………. We did the right things."
Kansas falls to (2-10) to finish the season and winless in the Big 12 (0-9).
Missouri leads the all-time series with Kansas 57-54-9, or if you're a Jayhawk, 56-55-9.