The Missouri Tigers (10-1, 6-1) kept their hold on the SEC East with a solid 24-10 road win against the Ole Miss Rebels (7-4, 3-4) Saturday. In just their second season playing in the mighty SEC, the Tigers are a win against Texas A&M, or a South Carolina loss, away from winning the SEC East, and playing the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship game.
If it weren’t for that one bad fourth quarter against South Carolina a few weeks ago, Missouri would already have the division locked up.
The win was Gary Pinkel’s 100th for the Tigers.
The win against the Rebels was no easy task. Mississippi is a solid team. Read on to get a taste of…
THE RUNNING GAME: Do you want a recipe for how to control the clock on the road against a tough conference rival. You run the ball. That is exactly what the Missouri Tigers did Saturday night. Missouri ran the ball 55 times for 260 yards, a 5.1 average, and controlled 33 minutes of game clock.
Henry Josie led the way with 15 carries for 95 yards, and Marcus Murphy racked up 67 yards on 16 rushes. The rest of the Tigers running back by committee had 24 carries for 98 yards. Two of the official carries, for -4 yards, came in the victory formation at the end of the game. All three of Missouri’s touchdowns came on the ground with Josie scoring two of them.
JAMES FRANKLIN: Although he didn’t play exceptionally well (didn’t play poorly either), it was good to see James Franklin out of the field, leading the offense. He completed 12 of his 19 for 142 yards, and he picked up another 42 on the ground. Maty Mauk did a fine job leading the Tigers in Franklin’s absence, but this team is better with Franklin at the helm. Mauk will still be a big contributor to this team going forward, and the team should have plenty of faith in him.
RED ZONE DEFENSE: The Tigers did a great job keeping the Rebels out of the end zone most of the day. Ole Miss had three opportunities within the red zone but came away with just three points total. Sure, Mississippi missed two field goals, but if the defense allows them touchdowns, there is no chance for the Rebels to miss those field goals. The Missouri defense buckled down when they had to.