COLUMBIA, Mo. — A 21-point fourth quarter by Missouri proved to be difference as the Tigers handed the Arkansas State University football team a 41-19 loss this Saturday (Sept. 28) night at Mizzou’s Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Mo.
Arkansas State, which falls to 2-3 overall on the season, battled 4-0 Missouri throughout the first three quarters of the non-conference contest in front of 62,468 fans. The Red Wolves were behind only one point at halftime (14-13) and trailed by four points (20-16) after three quarters before Mizzou reeled off three fourth-quarter touchdowns.
The game featured productive offensive numbers as both teams eclipsed 400-yards in total offense as Arkansas State generated 425 yards while Missouri chalked up a 495-yards total. Individually, sophomore wide receiver J.D. McKissic set a school-record with 15 receptions for 117 yards while senior quarterback Adam Kennedy’s 37 completions equaled an A-State single-game mark. Kennedy would finish the night throwing for 308 yards on 46 pass attempts.
A pair of field goals by senior kicker Brian Davis gave Arkansas State an early 6-0 lead, but Missourierased the deficit on a touchdown two minutes left in the opening frame to go up 7-6. A-State turned its opening possession until a successful one as Davis’ first field goal from 41 yards at 10:41 capped a nine-play, 46-yard scoring drive, which was highlighted by J.D. McKissic’s 32-yard run on a misdirection play. A 21-yard Davis field goal with 3:35 remaining in the first quarter added to A-State’s margin as the Red Wolves marched 76 yards in 10 plays. The A-State drive was aided by a 15-yard Mizzou personal foul infraction following a four-yard completion from senior quarterback Adam Kennedy to J.D. McKissic. Mizzou’s lone first-quarter score came 1:35 later via tailback Marcus Murphy’s eight-yard run.
Missouri upped its lead to 14-6 at the second quarter’s 11:57 mark when quarterback James Franklin threw a 68-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Donal Green-Beckham. However, the Red Wolves managed to pull back to within a single point at 14-13 as senior wide out Julian Jones outmuscled a Mizzoudefender for the ball in the end zone for a 17-yard TD reception on a Kennedy pass to complete an 11-play, 56-yard drive. The score was set up as
senior defensive tackle Darius Dunaway forced a fumble which junior linebacker Kyle Coleman recovered at the A-State 44-yard marker. A-State forced the Tigers into a three and out on their next possession and started out at its own three-yard line. The Red Wolves were able to move the ball all the way down to the Mizzou one-yard line, but the Tigers’ defense made back-to-back goal-line-stands. Following its final timeout, A-State’s David Oku was stuffed at the line of scrimmage on a second-and-goal attempt. Mizzou would thwart the Red Wolves’ final attempt to get into the end zone on the opening half’s final play as Oku was tackled for a 22-yardloss on a pass reception as time expired.
Arkansas State regained the lead early the third quarter as Brian Davis booted his third field goal of the game at 11:31 on a 44-yarder to wrap up a 48-yard, nine-play Red Wolves’ scoring drive. The score remained that way until 3:39 left in the quarter when Mizzou went back on top 20-16 as James Franklin hit wide receiver L’Damian Washington on a five-yard TD pass. The Tigers’ two-point conversion attempt failed as Franklin’s pass was intercepted by junior cornerback Artez Brown in the end zone.
Mizzou put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter as the Tigers outscored the Red Wolves 21-3 in the final 15 minutes. A one-yard TD run by running back Henry Josey with 13:25 left gave Mizzou a 27-16 lead. A-State would close to 27-19 as Brian Davis split the uprights for the fourth time on the nightwith a 33-yard field goal at 7:31 to cap a 14-play, 59-yard drive. However, the Tigers would net a pair of TD’s to close out the scoring as James Franklin scored on a nine-yard keeper just over five minutes to go and then tossed a five-yard TD aerial to Donal Green-Beckham with 2:56 left on the scoreboard.
The Red Wolves, who generated 25 first downs to Mizzou’s 23 in the game, compiled 308 yards passing and 117 yards on the ground. The Tigers ran for 239 yards to go with 256 yards in the air. Individually for A-State, Julian Jones contributed 136 receiving yards on 10 grabs. Mizzou was led by James Franklin, who completed 20-of-29 passes for 255 yards, which included six to L’Damian Washington for 67 yards and four to Dorial Green-Beckham for 95 yards. Tailback Russell Hansbrough rushed for 96 yards on eight carries to lead all rushers.
Leading the way for the A-State defense was junior linebacker Qushaun Lee, who totaled seven tackles (four solos) and Kyle Coleman contributed six tackles to go with a fumble recovery. Mizzou middle linebacker Andrew Wilson made a game-high 17 tackles (eight solos)
A-State are back on the gridiron Saturday, Oct. 12, as the Red Wolves play host to the Idaho Vandals at Liberty Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, Ark. A 6 p.m. (CT) opening kickoff is scheduled for the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) matchup