Badie and Hall surprise on decisive drive for Missouri over Purdue

Missouri took the game’s final 3:28 on a drive that ended with a walk-off field goal by Tucker McCann.
Players on the Purdue University football team walk off the field as Tucker McCann and the Missouri Tigers celebrate his walk off field goal, which cemented Missouri's 40-37 win over the Boilermakers on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. Jared Fisch

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Drew Lock walked onto the field with Missouri tied 37-37 and with 3:28 to work a game-winning drive to beast Purdue. Walking out with him wasn’t a usual suspect.

It wasn’t sophomore Larry Rountree III, who led Missouri with 168 yards on the ground, or junior Damarea Crockett, who led Missouri with over 1,000 yards rushing as a true freshman. It was freshman Tyler Badie.

Running backs coach Cornell Ford had told Badie that he would take the field for the final drive moments earlier when Purdue tied it up with a field goal.

“Tyler is going to be something special for real; he knows what to do in every situation,” Rountree said. “I just said: ‘Do you.’ I know he’s smart. He’s probably smarter than me as a freshman. I was just everywhere. I was like a deer about to get hit.”

Badie would unexpectedly spearhead Missouri with 46 total yards on the final drive to set up Tucker McCann for a walk-off 25-yard field goal as time expired. Missouri had escaped Ross-Ade Stadium with a 40-37 victory over Purdue.

On the first play of the drive, Lock was faced with pressure from the defense and was forced to throw the ball away, leaving Missouri with a second-and-10.

The next play, he took the snap in shotgun received the same pressure.

“It was just one of those plays,” Lock said. “I looked at it; both sides, I wasn’t a huge fan of.”

Badie was set to be in pass protection, but as Lock was chased, the freshman soon became a safety valve.

“I cut the [defender], and the funny thing is he got back up faster than I thought,” Badie said. “So I was just like: ‘I just need to be out there for Drew.’”

Looking and seeing nothing, Lock backtracked, rolled right then went back to his left re-approached the line of scrimmage. He spotted an open Badie along the same line and fired across the field as he was brought down.

“I was like ‘Alright, I’m going to sit in the pocket. I’m gonna sit and see the side I feel best about, and then work myself across the field,’” Lock said. “That’s what I did, I stepped up and kind of had a guy on me and I was like: ‘Alright, where’s my back?’”

Badie was on Lock’s left side, slipping away from pass protection before catching the ball with green grass in front of him and Missouri blockers surrounding him. He raced up the left side for a 20-yard gain, giving Missouri a first down and possession just short of midfield.

It was a moment veteran poise in just his third collegiate game.

“It’s different [with Badie],” Lock said. “You normally see young guys eyes light up in situations like that, and his eyes stay the same. He’s really just narrow, level-headed the whole time, and for the situation you’re in, a young me might have been bright-eyed.

“But he was a stone-cold killer the whole time.”

Missouri then rode Badie for two straight eight-yard gains, giving the Tigers another first down and possession into Purdue territory at the Boilermaker 39.

“I was like: ‘Just win the game, just win the game,’” Badie said. “That’s all we gotta do.”

After the first down, Lock went back to the air to his favorite receiver, Emanuel Hall.

Missouri’s leading receiver had managed an impressive first quarter, with 63 yards on three receptions, but was seemingly out of the picture after he went out in the second quarter with a mysterious injury.

When the final drive came along, he couldn’t stay on the sideline.

“I had to approach [the coaches] and say: ‘I’m going in. It’s not even an option,’” Hall said. “At the end of the day I’ve gone through three years of losing and I was like: ‘Dude, there is no way we’re losing this game.’”

Hall was given a big cushion by a Boilermaker cornerback on the left side on first down, the defense making sure he wouldn’t use his ability as a deep threat to win the game with a long score. So the receiver who had expanded on the route tree this season came off the snap and used the cushion to immediately get open by cutting inside. He was found by Lock on a quick pass outside the left hashmark.

Using the speed he had left, Hall looped inside the corner and scooted down to the Purdue 14-yard line.

“I think we just executed and on that last drive, we had confidence and were just a totally different team,” Hall said.

Missouri had a first down and was deep in field goal range as the clock ticked under two minutes to play.

As the Tigers drove down the field, McCann watched knowing he was going to be called on for a late kick.

“A bunch of people are coming up to me and telling me: ‘It’s going to come to you,’ but I kind of knew given how close we were throughout the whole game,” McCann said.

After Missouri went back to Badie for two more carries that got 10 yards and another first down, Purdue was forced to start using its timeouts.

With a Purdue offense that had accumulated 614 yards of total offense, Missouri was content stalling inside the Boilermaker 5-yard line and playing for a game-winning field goal attempt to be the last play of the game.

“I did not want them to have another snap offensively if we could help it,” coach Barry Odom said. “So we took our chances on not scoring and not running a play, because I didn’t want to kick off to them and have time on the clock.”

Drew Lock ran to his right and slid down on the right hash to force the Boilermaker’s last timeout before another kneel down at the Purdue seven. Missouri waited and called its last timeout with three seconds left and put the game at the feet of McCann, leaving him alone to focus on his kick.

“No one came up to me because they have confidence that I know it’s gonna be a situation where I’m going out there to kick the field goal,” McCann said. “They just let me be and let me do my thing.”

A missed kick, like the one McCann had blocked earlier, might have loomed large, but McCann has gained a short term memory over the past season-plus.

“We practice this so much that it really is just like any other kick,” McCann said. “I think I’ve come a long way in being able to refocus on every kick, and I did that on the last one.”

Coming out of the timeout, McCann stood in the middle of the field behind the Purdue 15-yard line and to the left of holder Corey Fatony.

After the snap from Drew Wise and hold from Fatony were both good, McCann put his foot through the ball and it sailed in between the uprights, Missouri had survived at Ross-Ade Stadium and would go back to Columbia winning its first three games and going undefeated into conference play.

“It’s just a big weight lifted off your shoulders,” McCann said. “I knew if I had the opportunity to go kick it, I was going to make it.”

Edited by Adam Cole︱acole@themaneater.com

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