Indiana 2.0 was averted thanks to another stellar performance from the Missouri defense.
"We have some starters that are playing really well, and we've got these freshmen and redshirt freshmen defensive linemen playing at a really high level." said head coach Gary Pinkel, "That gives us a chance to match up in the back seven. I thought the back seven played their best game as a group today. I thought the defense deserves a lot of credit, and I think that they are going to be better next week."
The Tigers had nine tackles for loss, three sacks, and forced two fumbles. When the offense put the defense on the spot, they answered, loud and clear, that they were up to the challenge.
"It's not like it's unwanted pressure," said defensive end Charles Harris, "We love to play great games and make big plays. When it comes down to it, it wasn't anything new."
"We're playing really well.", said safety Anthony Sherrils, whose last minute interception on a UConn fake field goal sealed the game for the Tigers. "When the offense is not on their 'A' game, the defense is always there to pick them up and get them back on the field."
Along with reeling in the game winning interception, Sherrils forced and recovered a fumble in the first half.
Kentrell Brothers had double-digit tackles once more and is still on pace to break the record for tackles in a season at MU. Up front, redshirt freshman Walter Brady spearheaded the defensive line presence this week. Brady finished the day by picking up two tackles for loss and his first two career sacks.
"I'm not complacent with where I'm at", said Brady. "I still have a lot of work to do. We all have a lot of work to do and look forward to next week's practice, and Kentucky."
Beyond the consistent pressure by the front line and excellent coverage among the back seven, the highlight of the day came from Clarence Green mid-first quarter. The Huskies were punting deep in their own territory when Green split the defense and blocked the UConn punt, which rolled out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
That was the first safety for the Tigers since October of 2010 against Colorado.
When all is said and done, a win is a win. The Missouri offense left plenty to be desired, with seven of its 13 drives going for 15 or fewer yards, but the defense stepped up huge once again to push the Tigers to another victory.
"Just another day," according to Gary Pinkel.