Skyler Howard (Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports)

Missouri Loses Season Opener At West Virginia

Missouri traveled to West Virginia for the season opener on Saturday but lost 26-11.

The first game of the Barry Odom era of Missouri football didn’t go very well on Saturday afternoon at West Virginia. 

The Tigers struggled to get going offensively, couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities and the defense got pushed around by the host Mountaineers, who rolled to a 26-11 victory at Milan Puskar Stadium. 

Mizzou, coming off a 5-7 season a year ago, showed some signs of life on offense but could not get into the end zone. 

The Tigers finished with 462 total yards (282 passing, 180 rushing). 

http://www.scout.com/college/missouri/story/1701917-game-week-central-mi...

Sophomore quarterback Drew Lock completed 23 of 51 for a career-high 280 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for 29 yards on nine carries. 

Senior running back Alex Ross, the graduate transfer from Oklahoma, finished with a team-high 67 yards rushing on 18 carries. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Marvin Zanders, who saw some time in place of Lock, gained 47 yards on seven runs. 

Junior wide receiver J'Mon Moore had eight catches for 104 yards. Senior wide receiver Chris Black, the graduate transfer from Alabama, had six catches for 102 yards and a touchdown.   

The defense snagged three turnovers — junior safety Anthony Sherrils and senior cornerback Aarion Penton both intercepted passes and junior defensive end Marcell Frazier recovered a fumble — but the Tigers weren’t able to turn any of those into points. 

West Virginia racked up 494 total yards (253 passing, 241 rushing) and kicker Mike Molina converted four field goals. 

Quarterback Skyler Howard, who was knocked out of the game in the second quarter but returned for the second half, completed 23 of 35 passes for 253 yards, with one interception, and ran for 35 yards on seven carries. 

Justin Crawford had 101 yards rushing and a touchdown on 21 carries, while Rushel Shell gained 90 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Wide receiver Daikiel Shorts had eight catches for 131 yards.

West Virginia led 13-0 early in the second quarter after a 19-yard field goal from Molina, a 23-yard touchdown run from Shell and a 26-yard field goal from Molina. 

Tucker McCann's 24-yard field goal with 7:02 left in the second quarter got Missouri on the scoreboard, but the freshman kicker also missed a 24-yard attempt late in the first half after a Mountaineers turnover inside their own 10-yard line.

West Virginia made it 20-3 with a 1-yard touchdown run from Justin Crawford to cap off the Mountaineers’ first series of the second half.

Molina added a 21-yard field goal with 3:07 left in the third.

McCann had a 42-yard field goal attempt blocked early in the fourth quarter, the second miss of the day for the newcomer.

Molina kicked a 33-yard field goal to make it 26-3.

Lock and Black connected for an 8-yard touchdown reception with 1:49 remaining. Lock then hit J’Mon Moore for the 2-point conversion. 

The Tigers recovered the ensuing onsides kick — junior kicker Turner Adams executed it perfectly — but Missouri couldn’t score again after getting down inside the 10-yard line. 

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You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com.

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