Mizzou spanks Ball State 35-7

You can believe all of the rhetoric coming from Faurot Field about the Tigers not comparing this game to last year's Bowling Green road loss if you chose to. All MAC teams aren't created equally. Thanks, we get it. However, Missouri came out as tight as a drum in the first quarter Saturday, and patiently unwound Gary Pinkel style enroute to a 35-7 rout of Ball State.

Another MAC road game?

Who schedules these things?

Given Missouri's spotty history with playing MAC teams in general, and especially on the road, this had to be a troubling game on some level for the Tigers, even before the season started.

Missouri arrived in Muncie, Indiana to find a small stadium filled with fired up fans. Thankfully, a good number of them were wearing black and gold.

The first quarter started out poorly as Brock Harvey had one of his punts blocked deep in Missouri territory. This provided the Cardinals with a very short field and an easy first score, a five-yard pass from Andy Roesch to Mark Franklin.

Brad Smith drove the team up the field later in the first quarter, and the Tigers scored on a four-yard run by Damien Nash. It was Nash's first score as a Missouri Tiger.

Perhaps the most stunning play of the game came at the 5:15 mark of the second quarter. Missouri had a fourth and short situation from Ball State's 35-yard line. The Tigers coaching staff called for a QB sweep to pick up the necessary yardage, but with the wizard running the ball, the three-yard play turned into a mad dash into the endzone.

Missouri added a Zack Abron touchdown to finish the first half with a 21-7 lead.

The second half also started out poorly for Mizzou. Smith, who apparently complained of memory loss at halftime, never returned to the game after being diagnosed has having a concussion.

It was Sonny Riccio's opportunity to shine. The untested Riccio hit Victor Sesay with a 15-yard touchdown strike at the 3:23 mark in the third quarter.

The always reliable Abron struck again in the final stanza with a five-yard touchdown run to end all scoring.

After a sluggish offensive performance vs. Illinois, the Tigers rolled up 456 net yards of total offense vs. Ball State. Perhaps the most telling statistic was the net rushing comparison in this game. Missouri had 280 yards of rushing while Ball State was held to only 35.

The win improves Missouri's season record to 2-0, while Ball State stands at 2-1.

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