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Missouri 51, Vanderbilt 28: Tigers roll from start to finish

Frederick Breedon

In the end, statement wins count just the same as any others. If Missouri had beaten Vanderbilt, 10-7, while benefiting from 26 straight awful calls, it would still have gone down as a win. But wow, are statement wins fun. A year after perhaps Mizzou's most frustrating loss (well, there was competition for that title), the Tigers went to Nashville and absolutely pasted the host Commodores.

James Franklin completed 19 of 28 passes for 278 yards and four touchdowns, the three-headed running back of Russell Hansbrough, Marcus Murphy, and Henry Josey combined for 182 yards on 27 carries, and the Mizzou defense sacked Vandy quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels repeatedly and shut down the VU run game throughout the first half. Missouri outran, outhit, and outmuscled the Commodores. This time, Vandy players were the ones limping off the field, and Mizzou was the one dominating in the trenches.

The best part? Despite dominating from start to finish, and despite winning in such a fashion that the Tigers should be ranked in tomorrow's polls (my goodness, if they aren't, polls are dumber than I even thought), Mizzou still struggled to move the ball on first down at times, still gave up some big pass plays in the second half, and still missed some tackles, especially in the backfield. Mizzou just won its SEC road opener by 23 points against a team that had won 10 of its last 12 games, and the Tigers are not yet approaching their ceiling.

If that's not reason for a celebration thread, I don't know what is.