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Wildcats run away from Mizzou in the second half, cruise to a win

Missouri fought early through a couple of rain delays, but the Wildcat rushing attack wore them down in the second half.

Missouri v Kansas State Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Old Big 12 foes squared off in Manhattan this morning, as Mizzou ventured west to take on Kansas State. With both teams coming off easy week one wins and plenty of preseason expectations behind them, this was an incredibly important game for both programs and fanbases.

After a short rain delay, Missouri received the ball to start the game. The Tigers started things off on the ground, with Brady Cook running the ball four times. He and the trio of Cody Schrader, Nathaniel Peat and Elijah Young led the Tigers down the field, and Harrison Mevis hit a 48-yard field goal to put Mizzou up 3-0 early on. That would be the last time the Tigers led during this game.

The Wildcats responded. Adrian Martinez linked up with Malik Knowles twice for 26 yards to begin the drive, and then a pass to Phillip Brooks for 28-yards would set K-State up at the two-yard line. Deuce Vaughn punched it in, giving the Wildcats an early 7-3 lead.

A 3-and-out by the Tigers and a 32-yard Sean Koetting punt gave Kansas State the ball at the Tiger 49-yard line. Deuce Vaughn (24 carries, 145 yards, 2 touchdowns) guided the ‘Cats down the field, and Martinez scampered in from 16-yards out to extend the lead to double-digits.

Another Tiger drive stalled out as the Wildcat defensive line, led by potential NFL 1st round pick Felix Anudike-Uzomah, got constant pressure on Cook. He could find nothing downfield, and K-State began to pick up on his scrambling outside of the pocket.

Another weather delay occurred at the 11:47 mark of the second quarter, and this one lasted nearly an hour. The Missouri offense punted upon returning to the field, and Phillip Brooks got the corner and returned the punt 76 yards for a touchdown, making it 20-3. There was no sign of life from the Tiger offense to mount a comeback.

The defenses dominated the remainder of the half, and the score remained at 20-3 in favor of Kansas State at halftime. The Missouri offensive line was pushed around for much of the half, and the defense could not contain Adrian Martinez outside of the pocket. The Nebraska transfer finished with 101 passing yards, 52 rushing yards, and 1 touchdown.

Mizzou got a stop to open the half and threatened on their ensuing drive. Cook threw a well-placed deep ball to Dominic Lovett for 39 yards, and Mevis would convert a 44-yard field goal to make it a two possession game with 9:26 left in the third quarter.

The Tigers finally got a stop they desperately needed, but Brady Cook tossed an interception deep in his own territory on an under thrown ball to Lovett. The Tiger defense got stingy in the red zone, however, and forced the Wildcats to settle for a field goal, making it 23-6 halfway through the third quarter.

Jack Abraham stepped in for Cook, but he threw another interception that led to a Deuce Vaughn touchdown from 24-yards out. K-State salted the game away on the ground, scoring another touchdown and finishing with 233 rushing yards compared to Mizzou’s 85.

Mizzou added a last second Cody Schrader touchdown to eclipse double digits, but the final scoreline read Kansas State 40, Missouri 12.

The Tigers will host Abilene Christian (1-0, plays tonight) next Saturday at 11 a.m. on the SEC Network+ for Family Weekend.