Tigers devour the Indians

The Tigers shot out of the gate quickly in their opener piling up 30 first half points en route to an easy win over the out-manned Arkansas State Indians.

One of the major questions facing the Missouri Tigers for 2005 is how would Brad Smith perform in game situations in Missouri's new spread offense?

Thank you for asking. Smith threw for four touchdown passes, and rushed for 95 yards in about three quarters of play. Missouri routed Arkansas State 44-17 on Saturday in Arrowhead Stadium.

Smith looked completely at ease running the no-huddle, the option and connecting on various pass routes.

Also getting into the act in a big way was junior, Brad Ekwerekwu, who caught his first two career touchdown passes for the Tigers.

Both Marcus Woods and KC native, Tony Temple, looked sharp as they produced the bulk of Missouri's 317 yards of rushing on the day.

The Tigers amassed 657 total yards in offense while playing in Kansas City for the first time in 60 years.

While Smith was providing superb senior leadership on offense, several true freshmen started their Missouri careers in this game on both sides of the ball. On offense, Chase Daniel and Chase Coffman both saw their first action for the Tigers. On defense, Ziggy Hood made his presence known early and often in this game.

The only injury of significance appears to be a separated shoulder by Sean Coffey in the first half. Coffey will likely be out for three to four weeks.

The announced attendance at Arrowhead for the game was 32,906.

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel must have liked what he saw because the Tigers dominated a weaker opponent and ran an aggressive, balanced offense (317 yards rushing, 340 yards receiving).

Smith continued his assault on the Missouri record books. He passed Brock Olivo for second place on the school's career list with 3,083 career rushing yards. Smith only trails leader Zack Abron by a mere 115 yards.

Missouri will face a much tougher test next Saturday back in Columbia when New Mexico rolls into town. New Mexico has been to three consecutive bowl games and should provide the stiffest challenge of any of MU's non-conference opponents this year.

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