Missouri Mauls Troy State 44-7

Missouri knew that Troy State was dangerous. The Trojans had put a scare into Nebraska and Iowa State already this season. The Tigers had two weeks to prepare for this game and it showed. Mizzou dominated every phase of the game to demolish a senior-laden Troy State squad 44-7.

Who wanted this game more than Gary Pinkel?  Who was more intense than Gary Pinkel during the last two weeks?  Who wanted to wash the taste of losing to Bowling Green for the second straight year out of his mouth more than Gary Pinkel? 

The answer is a resounding "nobody."

Missouri returned to a warm, sunny Faurot Field and put on a show for the Tiger faithful racking up almost 500 yards of total offense in route to a 44 point performance.  In the process, Mizzou held Troy State to just 300 yards and one score.

An intense Gary Pinkel barks out orders to his Tigers

Freshman QB Brad Smith once again led the way with a sterling performance.  Smith passed for 213 yards, rushed for another 137 and scored two touchdowns on the day.

Smith's defining moment came on a 4th and inches play where Smith ran a QB sneak, spun off the pile of would-be tacklers and raced 40+ yards for a touchdown.  Smith described the play this way, "I was just leaning into the pile trying to get the first down. The line did a great job of pushing the defense off the ball. All of a sudden I rolled off, saw daylight, and just started running."

Smith is leading the Big 12 in total offense, averaging  317 yards per game.

Troy State coach Larry Blakeney said, "Their quarterback is the key. He's a big-time player. ... He knows what he's doing, and they're doing a great job with him. They're a well-coached program, good players. I don't know how they stack up with their conference. They're as good as anybody we've played. I'd hate to play Bowling Green, that's all I have to say."

Blakeney concluded his comments on Smith by saying, "He's as good as anybody we've seen, including Seneca Wallace. He's not quite as polished as Seneca Wallace, but Seneca's a senior, and he's played junior college and lots of football. (Smith's) pretty poised, and he looks like he's a little bigger."

Thompson Omboga caught a touchdown pass on the first series of the game, but later left with a cracked rib.  Omboga is expected to miss between four to six weeks recovering from this injury.

In his absence, redshirt freshman Sean Coffey stepped into the fore.  In his first extended action of his Tiger playing career, Coffey responded with a huge game.  He caught six balls for 88 yards.

The 6-6, 220 lbs. Coffey was more than a match for Troy State's diminuative defensive backfield.


A powerful Sean Coffey shrugs off Troy State's safety David Philyaw

Missouri's defensive front eight savaged Troy State's offensive line and backfield for most of the afternoon.  Blakeney said, "Definitely, their defensive front was bigger and quicker than we can handle. It caused us to have to get rid of the ball quick, and defensively they just seemed to make play after play after play."

Missouri offically recorded three sacks on the day.

The play of the defensive line, specifically Wright, Bynum and first-time starter, Russ Bell, forced Troy State's QB Hansell Bearden into numerous poor throws and four interceptions.  Three of the picks came courtesy of senior cornerback R.J. Jones, who tied a Missouri record for interceptions in one game.

"That's the record? Wow, that's cool. It's cool that I'll be a part of history. Hopefully next time I can get my name up there by myself," said Jones after the game. 

Kicker Mike Matheny was also a factor in the game.  Several of Matheny's kickoffs sailed out of the end zone, forcing Troy State to start on their twenty yard line. Matheny also kicked three field goals and made all five extra points.  Matheny's 28-yarder in the third quarter was his first career field goal.

Another interesting stat which was indicative of Missouri's dominance in this game was the Tigers' efficiency in the Red Zone.  Missouri converted all six Red Zone visits into points vs. Troy State.

The Tigers (3-1) must now prepare for the 3rd-ranked Oklahoma Sooners who are coming to town next Saturday for a televised evening game in Faurot.  Oklahoma's strength is its defense and special teams.  It should be a very interesting game indeed.


  • Senior All-Big 12 WR and Biletnikoff Award candidate Justin Gage had five receptions for 34 yards on the afternoon to tie Kenny Holly's all-time school record for catches. He and Holly now have 151 career receptions. With Gage's 2,020 career receiving yards, he is now 125 yards from passing Victor Bailey as MU's receiving yards leader.

  • With its three rushing touchdowns today, Missouri has 13 through four games this season. That exceeds the 11 rushing touchdowns that the Tigers had in all of 2001.
  • RJ Jones' three interceptions equalled the mark set by four others (Clayton Baker vs. North Texas in 1995; Bill Whitaker vs. San Diego State in both 1979 and 1980; Eric Wright vs. San Diego State in 1979; and Roger Wehrli vs. Oklahoma State in 1968).
  • Missouri's four takeaways bumps the Tigers' season total to 13. MU had 15 takeaways in all of 2001.
  • Junior DL Russ Bell recorded his first career sack in the third quarter. Bell (NT) and redshirt freshman Tony Palmer  (OG) made their first career starts on Saturday.

  • Box Score

    Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
    -----------------                -- -- -- --   -----
    Troy State Trojans..  0  0  7  0  -     7       Record: (1-4)
    Missouri Tigers.....   7 14 13 10  - 44       Record: (3-1)

    Scoring Summary:
    1st 12:07 MU - OMBOGA,Thomson 20 yd pass from SMITH,Brad (MATHENY,Mike kick), 6-80 2:53, TROYSTAT 0 - MU 7
    2nd 09:55 MU - ABRON,Zack 4 yd run (MATHENY,Mike kick), 15-95 5:39, TROYSTAT 0 - MU 14
        05:23 MU - SMITH,Brad 28 yd run (MATHENY,Mike kick), 9-65 3:17, TROYSTAT 0 - MU 21
    3rd 13:36 TROYSTAT - Samples, Jason 43 yd pass from Bearden,Hansell (Olmsted, Thomas kick), 4-79 1:15, TROYSTAT 7 - MU 21
        09:51 MU - ABRON,Zack 3 yd run (MATHENY,Mike kick), 9-79 3:37, TROYSTAT 7 - MU 28
        01:54 MU - MATHENY,Mike 28 yd field goal, 12-52 4:27, TROYSTAT 7 - MU 31
        00:09 MU - MATHENY,Mike 26 yd field goal, 6-21 1:19, TROYSTAT 7 - MU 34
    4th 13:15 MU - MATHENY,Mike 35 yd field goal, 6-7 1:06, TROYSTAT 7 - MU 37
        12:22 MU - KINNEY,James 14 yd interception return (MATHENY,Mike kick), , TROYSTAT 7 - MU 44

                                   TROYSTAT       MU
    FIRST DOWNS...................       18       27
    RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............    28-69   52-277
    PASSING YDS (NET).............      231      218
    Passes Att-Comp-Int...........  31-18-4  36-19-1
    TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS.....   59-300   88-495
    Fumble Returns-Yards..........      0-0      0-0
    Punt Returns-Yards............      0-0     3-27
    Kickoff Returns-Yards.........     6-93     1-11
    Interception Returns-Yards....      1-2     4-53
    Punts (Number-Avg)............   5-44.6   2-40.0
    Fumbles-Lost..................      2-1      1-0
    Penalties-Yards...............     5-42    10-90
    Possession Time...............    24:47    35:13
    Third-Down Conversions........  4 of 11  9 of 17
    Fourth-Down Conversions.......   0 of 1   1 of 2
    Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      0-1      6-6
    Sacks By: Number-Yards........      0-0     3-18

    RUSHING: Troy State Trojans-Betterson, DeW. 7-79; Cox, Chris 2-8; Fraser, Marrio 5-7;
    Skipper,Heyward 1-1; TEAM 1-minus 2; Black, LeBarron 4-minus 3; Ray, Matt 3-minus 4; Bearden,Hansell -minus 17. Missouri Tigers-SMITH,Brad 13-137; ABRON,Zack 20-98; LEON,T J 6-12; FARMER,Kirk 1-10; ROBERSON,Tyrone 5-10; MITCHELL,Shirdo 1-6; CURRY,Terrence 1-4; SCHAUFFLER,Shan 1-3; GIFFEN,Chad 2-2; OMBOGA,Thomson 1-minus 2; Team,Missouri 1-minus 3.

    PASSING: Troy State Trojans-Bearden,Hansell 16-26-2-225; Ray, Matt 2-5-2-6. Missouri
    Tigers-SMITH,Brad 18-34-0-213; OUTLAW,Darius 1-1-0-5; FARMER,Kirk 0-1-1-0.

    RECEIVING: Troy State Trojans-Samples, Jason 10-135; Skipper,Heyward 4-80; Rutledge, Toris
    2-13; Betterson, DeW. 1-4; Moore, Adrian 1-minus 1. Missouri Tigers-COFFEY,Sean 6-88; GAGE,Justin 5-34; OMBOGA,Thomson 2-41; JAMES,Marcus 2-19; ABRON,Zack 1-13; OUTLAW,Darius 1-12; FREDRICKSON,Ben 1-6; SMITH,Brad 1-5.

    INTERCEPTIONS: Troy State Trojans-Faulk, Johnny 1-2. Missouri Tigers-JONES,R J 3-39;
    KINNEY,James 1-14.

    FUMBLES: Troy State Trojans-Fraser, Marrio 1-1; Bearden,Hansell 1-0. Missouri
    Tigers-GIFFEN,Chad 1-0.

    Stadium: Faurot Fld, Memorial  Attendance: 50,220
    Kickoff time:  1:07     End of Game:  4:10     Total elapsed time:  3:03
    Officials: Referee: Ahlers, Tom; Umpire: Zerr, Richard; Linesman: Graham, Curtis;
    Line judge: Keeling, Tom; Back judge: Johnson, Mark; Field judge: Osborne, Duane;
    Side judge: Widen, Dwight; Scorer: Winter, Mark;
    Temperature: 76        Wind: S @ 10    Weather: Partly Sunny Skies

    SACKS (UA-A): Troy State Trojans-None. Missouri Tigers-BELL,Russ 1-0; BYNUM,Antwaun 1-0; KINNEY,James 1-0.

    TACKLES (UA-A): Troy State Trojans-Philyaw, David 8-1; Yamini, Naazir 6-3; Ware, Demarcus
    4-4; Moore, Deloise 4-3; Ansley, Derrick 4-1; Johnson,Leverne 4-0; Coleman, Damien 3-2; Davis, Bernard 3-1; Umenyiora, Osi 3-0; Williams,Gordon 2-2; Farmer, Robby 2-1; Johnson, David 2-0; Thomas, Eric 1-2; Adams, Arthur 0-4; Knight, Byron 1-0; Brown, Larry 1-0; Faulk, Johnny 1-1; Staple, Keith 1-0; Skipper,Heyward 1-0; Jackson, Deiric 1-1; Gamboa, Jose 1-0; Phillips,Cedric 0-2; Lankford, Torre 0-1; Cox, Chris 0-1. Missouri Tigers-DUNCAN,Antoine 6-1; FERGUSON,Tauras 5-0; BYNUM,Antwaun 5-0; SIMPSON,Jason 3-3; KINNEY,James 3-3; WRIGHT,Keith 2-1; GOODEN,Orlando 2-1; BARNES,Brandon 1-2; SMITH,Brandon 1-0; DOYLE,Sean 1-1; GROTH,Rusty 1-1; KING,Marcus 1-0; BELL,Russ 1-0; JAMES,Marcus
    1-1; KINCADE,A J 1-1; MOSLEY,C J 1-1; JONES,R J 1-1; ANTHONY,Gary 0-2; SWEAT,Henry 0-1.

    Game Starters:
    Troy State Trojans

    WR-R 5  Samples, Jason
    SL-R 83 Felton, Eric
    RT   76 Hall, Branden
    RG   70 Bostian, Donnie
    C    55 Jordan, Rodney
    LG   61 Lee, Robin
    LT   71 Curington, Stan
    QB   18 Bearden,Hansell
    TB   33 Black, LeBarron
    TE   13 Moore, Adrian
    WR-L 3  Skipper,Heyward

    LE   94 Ware, Demarcus
    NT   93 Gamboa, Jose
    DT   96 Williams,Davern
    RE   72 Umenyiora, Osi
    MLB  46 Yamini, Naazir
    WLB  11 Williams,Gordon
    SLB  28 Moore, Deloise
    SS   38 Philyaw, David
    FS   10 Ansley, Derrick
    CB   8  Faulk, Johnny
    CB   34 Miller,Jermaine

    Missouri Tigers

    WR-X 12 GAGE,Justin
    WT   76 DROEGE,Rob
    WG   52 PALMER,Tony
    C    70 RICKER,A J
    SG   57 GIANINO,Joe
    ST   78 PAFFRATH,Scott
    QB   16 SMITH,Brad
    TB   38 ABRON,Zack
    WR-H 87 OMBOGA,Thomson
    WR-Z 1  JAMES,Marcus

    DE   4  BYNUM,Antwaun
    DT   77 WRIGHT,Keith
    N    73 BELL,Russ
    DE   97 ELLISON,Atiyyah
    LB   32 DOYLE,Sean
    LB   24 KINNEY,James
    WHIP 40 SIMPSON,Jason
    ROVR 20 FERGUSON,Tauras
    FS   36 KING,Marcus
    CB   7  DUNCAN,Antoine
    CB   26 HARDEN,Michael

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