“We expected to play better,” said Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel, following his team’s poor performance. “But I think you’ve got to give Alabama credit……………………………. I’m really disappointed in how we played. You know, we played a great football team. And when you play a great football team, you’ve got to play well…………………………………… I’m just very disappointed.”
Alabama took the game’s opening possession, and drove 68 yards on 10 plays, with T.J. Yeldon taking it over from the 1-yard line to put the Crimson Tide ahead to stay at 7-0 with 11:24 remaining in the 1st quarter. Alabama had deviated from their usual offensive identity by throwing the ball on first down, and from sideline to sideline. That approach caught Missouri off- guard and kept the Tigers off-balance.
Missouri was unable to get much going offensively throughout the 1st half, and Alabama took a 21-3 lead into the halftime locker room.
Missouri took the opening 2nd-half kick-off and drove 75 yards on 10 plays, with Maty Mauk hitting Bud Sasser for a TD on a slant from the 1-yard line. Earlier in that drive, on third and 10 from the Missouri 36-yard line, Mauk had scrambled out of the pocket and found Jimmie Hunt down the left side for a 63-yard reception to the Alabama 1-yard line. The Tigers failed to punch it in on three tries, but after a timeout, they went for it on fourth down. With Hunt lined up inside of Sasser on the left side, Hunt ran a rub route that freed up Sasser on the slant.
Nearly six-and-a-half minutes later, a Missouri drive stalled, and Andrew Baggett hit a 33-yard field goal to cut Alabama’s lead to 21-13 with 4:37 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
But that was as close as Missouri would get. Alabama answered with touchdown drives on their next three possessions, while Missouri mounted just a single excursion into Alabama territory the rest of the game. That was on a 23-yard completion from Mauk to Darius White for a first down to the Alabama 38-yard line, before White was hit and fumbled the football, and Alabama recovered.
On the game, Alabama out-gained Missouri 504 yards to 313 yards of total offense. Alabama racked up 242 yards rushing on 49 carries, an average of 4.9 yards/carry. On the other side of the football, Missouri managed just 41 yards rushing on 23 carries. The Tiger never did get anything going on the ground, as the Alabama defensive front seven controlled the line of scrimmage.
Maty Mauk finished 16-34-0 for 272 yards and 1 TD. Jimmie Hunt finished with 6 receptions for 169 yards.
It was a dominant performance by Alabama. And, a disappointing one by Missouri.