Missouri sputters at Alabama 39-10 in Dixieland demolition

The Alabama defense kept Missouri to just 212 yards and forced three turnovers.
Sophomore running back Larry Rountree is wrapped up by Alabama defenders during Missouri's 39-10 loss at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018.

For 15 minutes, there was a glimmer of a hope for Missouri.

A 28.5 point underdog coming into the night, Missouri fell to top ranked Alabama 39-10 on the road in Tuscaloosa, Alabama Saturday night.

After one quarter, Missouri football (3-3) trailed No. 1 Alabama 13-10. Crimson Tide phenom Tua Tagovailoa was just 6-12 and – outside of an 81 yard touchdown pass to Jerry Jeudy on the second play of the game – the Tigers defense had done its job, making three stops in Alabama territory, including a strip sack by sophomore Kobie Whiteside.

Missouri’s offense, while not fantastic, had driven down the field on consecutive drives, resulting in a Tucker McCann field goal and a 20 yard touchdown catch by Albert Okwuegbunam.

Then came the second quarter.

Within five minutes, linebacker Terez Hall was ejected for targeting against running back and Alabama’s ended the same drive in the endzone in front of its student section, igniting a crowd, that never stopped roaring.

From there, the Tide rolled.

“[Alabama] was as good and maybe even better,” coach Barry Odom said after the game, referring to what he expected from Alabama. “The speed, the strength in every area. You look at their ability to go play, it’s really impressive.”

The Tide’s defense overwhelmed the Tigers, resulting in second quarter drive results of a fumble and two punts.

On the other side of the ball, Nick Saban’s offense was relentless. The Tide scored on its next two possessions in the quarter, finishing the first half with a 30-10 lead.

The Alabama offense took a hit in the third quarter when Tagovailoa slid close to a first down, untouched, but stayed on the ground clutching his knee. Coming out of the game, Tagovailoa finished the night with 265 yards and three touchdowns.

His replacement, Jalen Hurts, continued his starter’s success with 115 yards passing, going 7-8.

Missouri’s counterpart, Drew Lock, did not have the same success. Under pressure all game, Lock was sacked four times, including once in the endzone for an Alabama safety. He ended the game with just 142 yards, throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble.

“We weren’t efficient enough offensively to sustain drives, but that’s on all 11 guys,” Odom said.

While the offense struggled, the Tigers defense held its own against a powerful Alabama offense. Along with the strip sack in the first quarter, the Tigers had four tackles for loss and only gave up nine points after halftime.

Saturday night’s game was also the first time the Crimson Tide scored less than 40 points in a game this season. After the game, linebacker Cale Garrett talked about what went well on defense.

“Only 39,” linebacker Cale Garrett said chuckling. “I thought we were physical and stepped up to the challenge. We played hard and came with a purpose.”

Despite the struggles, Odom is confident that the team will continue to improve.

“The opportunity for us to continue to move forward offensively; we’re going to keep moving that direction,” Odom said.

Missouri will be back at home next Saturday for homecoming against Memphis at 3 p.m. CST.

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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