Johnny Football and Texas A&M are now the only team standing between Missouri and its first SEC East title. Gary Pinkel earned his 100th win as Mizzou's head coach with a 24-10 win in Oxford over the No. 24 Ole Miss Rebels.
The Tigers' defense twice held Ole Miss scoreless in the red zone and kept the Rebels under 400 yards for the game; meanwhile, with the game on the line, Missouri ran and ran and ran and ran and ran. Henry Josey, Marcus Murphy, and Russell Hansbrough combined for 39 carries, 195 yards, and three touchdowns (two by Josey, one by Murphy); after a fourth-and-goal stop by the defense with 8:05 left, Mizzou simply played keep-away, running 15 straight times and running out the clock.
James Franklin completed 12 of 19 passes for 141 yards and a pick in his return as Mizzou's starting quarterback; he also ran for 42 yards. L'Damian Washington and Dorial Green-Beckham struggled, catching just four passes for 61 yards with some drops, but Bud Sasser and Marcus Lucas came up with some big plays, catching five passes for 131 yards.
Maty Mauk engineered a field goal drive in his lone possession behind center, but Mizzou was fine with Franklin and a defense that bent a little but never broke. And every Mizzou defensive tackle made a great play at some point, from Josh Augusta's blocked field goal, to Lucas Vincent eating up a screen and a reverse, to Matt Hoch joining in on a sack, to Harold Brantley rumbling for 26 yards on a fake punt.
This is a really, really good team, you guys. And now it's one win away from the SEC title game. Celebrate.
LSU lost in Oxford. Texas A&M needed a 4th-quarter comeback. Mizzou dominated from the start and will win by 14. They're just damn good.— Jerry Hinnen (@JerryHinnen) November 24, 2013