Mizzou Improves From Week One In Road Win

On Saturday, the Missouri Tigers (2-0) went on the road and defeated the Toledo Rockets (1-1) by the final score of 49-24.

On Saturday, the Missouri Tigers (2-0) went on the road and defeated the Toledo Rockets (1-1) by the final score of 49-24.

With hundreds of family and friends from his hometown of Kenton (OH) on hand, Maty Mauk had a big day, as he threw for a school-record-tying 5 TDs passes. On the day, Mauk was 21-32-2 (66%) for 325 yards (10.2 yards/attempt) and 5 TDs (190.00 passer efficiency rating).

Missouri emptied their bench late in the 4th quarter, and amassed 502 total yards of offense on the day.

Russell Hansbrough rushed for 84 yards and 1 TD on 18 carries, in leading a Missouri ground attack that totaled 177 yards on the day.

Four different Missouri receivers found pay dirt, as Mauk spread the ball around. Bud Sasser led the way with 5 receptions for 121 yards and 1 TD, while Jimmie Hunt finished with 6 receptions for 71 yards and 2 TDs. Darius White had 5 receptions for 69 yards and 1 TD, and Marcus Murphy chipped in with 3 receptions for 41 yards and 1 TD, to add to his 56 yards rushing.

Missouri made significant noticeable improvement from week one to week two, and Coach Pinkel was pleased with the team’s progress.

“I thought we got better,” said Coach Pinkel. “And the good news is I think we can get a lot better than this, too. Toledo’s a really good football team…………………………………… (Toledo Head Coach Matt Campbell) has done a great job here.”

Missouri scored on their second possession of the game, with Russell Hansbrough bursting up the middle for 16 yards. That TD run capped off a quick-strike 4-play, 45-yard drive in which Mauk was 2-2 passing, including an 18-yard gain on a Jimmie Hunt catch and run.

After the two teams exchanged punts, Toledo took over on their own 43-yard line. Five plays later, Kareem Hunt rumbled up the middle for a 38-yard run to pull Toledo even at 7-7. From there, the rest of the first half belonged to Mizzou.

On the very next play from scrimmage, Mauk hit Darius White for 45 yards to the Toledo 30-yard line. Four plays later, Mauk scrambled to his right and found White in the end zone from 7 yards out to put the Tigers ahead 14-7.

Backed up on his own 14-yard line, Mauk forced a pass down the right seam into double coverage. He was trying to get it to Sean Culkin. Coach Pinkel would later suggest that Culkin may not have run the route correctly. The Toledo safety intercepted the pass and returned it deep into Missouri territory, where Bud Sasser peeled back and stripped the football. Jimmie Hunt recovered the fumble at the Missouri 9-yard line. Sasser’s strip and Hunt’s fumble recovery marked the 46th straight game in which Missouri has come up with a takeaway.

Early in the 2nd quarter, Markus Golden came free off the edge and pressured Phillip Ely into an errant pass that Aarion Penton picked off and returned 38 yards to the Toledo 25-yard line. On the very next play, Mauk found Sasser down the middle for a 24-yard gain. Sasser did a nice job of shielding the defender from the ball and making a nice catch in some traffic. Then, Mauk took it in from the 1-yard line on a bootleg to extend Missouri’s lead to 21-7.

Toledo put together a nice drive, and had a first-and-goal before Golden came up with a coverage sack that moved the Rockets outside of the red zone. Uncharacteristically, Jeremiah Detmer missed the 44-yard FGA.

After the two team exchanged punts, Murphy returned the punt 34 yards to the Toledo 39-yard line. Mauk quickly found Murphy down the left sideline for a 26-yard reception. On the next play, Mauk got it to Jimmie Hunt for a 13-yard TD reception. Hunt had faked the block for the bubble screen, and was wide open in the end zone on the double move. A two-play, shortened-field drive, and Missouri was up 28-7.

Missouri took a 28-7 lead to the halftime locker room. For the Tigers, who forced 2 Toledo turnovers in the 1st half, Maty Mauk was 12-20-1 for 201 yards and 2 TDs before intermission.

In the first half, Missouri held a 2-1 turnover margin, and outgained Toledo 284 yards to 212 yards.

Missouri came out to begin the 2nd half on defense, and forced Toledo into a three-and-out. Markus Golden and Shane Ray took turns pressuring Phillip Ely, the Toledo quarterback, and the Tigers took over on their own 15-yard line. Missouri ran the ball and the clock. Thirteen plays later, facing third and eight from the Toledo 13-yard line, Mauk recognized a blitz and changed the play at the line of scrimmage. Toledo brought six, and Mauk found Murphy on a screen pass to the left. Murphy broke a shoe-string tackle and was quickly in the left front corner of the end zone to put the Tigers up 35-7.

Up 35-7, about midway through the 3rd quarter, Missouri came out in a 3-3-5 stack defensive alignment. The Tigers stayed in that defense for Toledo’s next two possessions before switching back to their base four-man front.

Toledo assaulted Stec’s stack with successive scoring drives to cut Missouri’s lead to 35-21. Toledo RB Kareem Hunt ran through that 3-man front for 47 yards and 2 TDs on just 3 carries. And against the Stec stack, Ely hooked up with Alonzo Russell for 3 receptions for 55 yards on the two possessions. In fact, on those two possessions, Toledo gained 113 yards of their 408 total yards of offense on the day.

Those two possessions were sandwiched around Mauk’s second interception of the day, an ill-advised attempt that gave the Rockets a shortened field.

Toledo had pulled to within 35-21, and Missouri was facing third and seven at their own 28-yard line. The Glass Bowl was loud, and Toledo appeared to have all of the momentum. It was then that Mauk rose up and found Sasser down the middle of the field for 47 yards and a first down to the Toledo 25-yard line. On the very next play, Mauk found Sasser on the bubble screen for 25 yards and the score. Missouri had regained the momentum and their three-score lead, 42-21.

Missouri scrapped Stec’s stack, lined up in a four man front, and immediately began reapplying pressure on the QB. Five plays later, with 2:45 remaining in the 3rd quarter, and facing first and eighteen at the Toledo 48-yard line, Ely dropped back to pass and crumpled to the turf with what appeared to be a knee injury. He left the field on a cart, and Logan Woodside took over at QB for the Rockets.

Early in the 4th quarter, Mauk engineered a 10-play, 65-yard drive that resulted in a Jimmie Hunt 12-yard TD reception to put Missouri ahead 49-21 with 7:35 remaining in the game. It was game over, and Coach Pinkel emptied his bench on both sides of the football, as Eddie Printz came in with the second-team offense for his first game action at Missouri.

Toledo managed a late FG against Mizzou’s second-team defense.

Coach Pinkel seemed to like it that his team had experienced, and especially that they had overcome, that 3rd-quarter adversity and flip in momentum.

Overall, Missouri’s defense had played well enough. Afterwards, Coach Pinkel seemed pleased with his defensive front.

“We’re pretty good up front on defense,” said Coach Pinkel. “And I think our back-up players are getting better, too. So, we can keep a pretty good force out there.”

Golden finished with 6 total tackles, and 2 tackles-for-loss, 1 sack, and 1 QB hurry. Shane Ray had 2 sacks. Charles Harris and Lucas Vincent each had QBHs, and Matt Hoch had a pass-break-up, when he batted one down at the line of scrimmage. Michael Scherer led Missouri with 9 tackles, and he was credited with 2 QBHs. For the second straight week, Missouri played a lot of people, even more than in week one, as the second-team offense saw some action.

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