Lock, Moore, Johnson lead the way in Missouri’s commanding victory over UConn

Lock connected with nine different receivers in the victory, Missouri’s first on the road since 2015.

Maneater File Photo

In practice this week, junior quarterback Drew Lock said he wasn’t thinking about the potential for a monster game in his team’s contest against the University of Connecticut Huskies. Sure, UConn entered the game with the worst pass defense in the Football Bowl Subdivision, but Lock said he was just focused on getting the win.

The Tigers did that, and then some.

Lock threw for 377 yards and five scores in three quarters of play, Missouri’s defense recorded a season-high five sacks and redshirt senior wide receiver J’Mon Moore and redshirt freshman tight end Albert Okwuegbunam each hauled in two touchdown catches as Missouri crushed the Huskies 52-12 on Saturday.

The win was Missouri’s first on the road since Sept. 12, 2015, when the Tigers squeaked out a 27-20 victory over Arkansas State.

On Saturday, Lock had the most efficient day of his career. The junior from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, completed 31 of his 37 passes, giving him career highs in both completions and completion percentage. His 83.8 percent completion rate tied Chase Daniel for third in team history in a single game. Lock also tied West Virginia University’s Will Grier for most touchdown passes in the country with 28.

Continuing a season-long trend, Missouri did not get off to a fast start. After the team’s first drive stalled deep in Missouri territory, a poor snap sailed over junior punter Corey Fatony’s head, forcing him to dive on the ball in the end zone and resulting in a safety for the Huskies, giving them an early 2-0 lead. Missouri’s defense then picked up the slack. The Tigers forced a punt on the Huskies’ first possession, relying primarily on a pass rush that pressured Huskie quarterback Bryant Shirreffs all night long. Junior defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. once again led the way, recording a team-high 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack.

Shirreffs entered the contest with the sixth-highest pass rating in the country, but Missouri’s secondary was able to keep him in check, as he failed to throw a touchdown pass. The Tigers’ secondary had one of its best games of the season, tackling well in the open field.

On the offensive side of the ball, Missouri stayed red hot. Okwuegbunam’s two touchdown catches brought his total on the year to seven, good for best in the country amongst tight ends. Moore, who did not start, had one of his best games of the year, recording eight catches for 96 yards and two touchdown receptions. Redshirt sophomore slot receiver Johnathon Johnson caught five passes for 128 yards and a score, torching the Huskies’ secondary on multiple occasions. The Tigers also ran the ball well, registering 175 yards on the ground.

Next for the Tigers will be a Nov. 4 contest in Columbia against Florida. Kick off is set for 11 a.m.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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