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Top Moments of the 2010s: Golden forces a fumble, clinches the East... again

Like the season as a whole, the 2014 Battle Line rivalry was chaotic and messy. But Markus Golden did what needed to be done, and Missouri won its second straight division title.

Missouri v Texas A&M Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

After the high of 2013, it was going to be impossible for Missouri to pull off a season to truly top it. Almost everything went the Tigers way in that second SEC year — two quarterbacks capable of leading a division champion roster; down years for perennial contenders; All-SEC performances from unlikely sources.

Yes, 2013 had it all, and few years in Missouri history will top it. But you’d be damned to not remember (and appreciate) the wild and crazy ride of the year that followed.

Going into week 3 ranked No. 18, the Tigers dropped a home game to (shivers) Indiana. They recovered well, going on the road to knock off No. 13 South Carolina. Ranked once more, the Tigers returned home to face off against Georgia, who promptly flattened them 34-0 under the cleats of Nick Chubb.

Yet even in the midst of struggle and aesthetic incoherence, Missouri found its rhythm while the rest of the SEC East continued to falter. Gary Pinkel’s Tigers ran off five straight wins, including one of the strangest you’ll ever see in the Swamp, setting up a home matchup with Arkansas with the division on the line.

Like most games that year, the Tigers were sloppy. The offense sputtered while the defense held firm. Missouri finally took the lead late in the fourth quarter on a Marcus Murphy run, and Faurot was rocking.

Murphy’s touchdown wouldn’t be the play that ultimately sealed things for the Tigers, though. On the responding drive, Markus Golden dropped Alex Collins during a fairly normal run play. While everyone else hopped to their feet for the next play, though, Golden fell on the ball and insisted he’d knocked it loose.

After that? You know the rest...

I’ll admit, I didn’t exactly remember the finer details of this 2014 Battle Line matchup. Like much of Missouri’s season, it was chaotic and not so thrilling as many of the games we all remember in 2013. However, Missouri’s grit to fight back against a solid Razorback squad culminated in its best player literally taking the game into his hands.

The result? Another shot at SEC glory and another year of taking the, “Mizzou doesn’t belong,” narrative and rubbing everyone’s noses in it.