Missouri steamrolls Wyoming after slow start

Drew Lock totaled 441 all-purpose yards and five all-purpose touchdowns to lead Missouri to a second-straight win.
Drew Lock looks back after scampering into the endzone on a 12-yard touchdown rush with 5:32 left in the second quarter of play against Wyoming on August 9, 2018. Lock finished the game with 51 yards rushing.

Holding onto a 3-0 lead at the Wyoming 12-yard line, Drew Lock scrambled to his left, broke a tackle and then cut inside a Wyoming defender.

Lock unleashed some rarely seen mobility and galloped across the goaline to give Missouri the first touchdown of the game late in the second quarter. The senior quarterback would finish with 51 yards and a touchdown on the ground and 398 yards and four touchdowns through the air to guide Missouri to a 40-13 win over Wyoming on Saturday night.

“I just felt the red sea split,” Lock said. “Coach Dooley was in my head the whole time saying: ‘Don’t change your angle when you leave the pocket, keep the straight angle, let the defense adjust to you,’ and then when it comes to a point where you have to make a guy miss that’s when you make your move.”

Lock’s legs kickstarted the sputtering offense and started Missouri on six straight scoring drives after it stalled offensively for the majority of the first half.

A Terez Hall forced fumble turned into a missed field goal by junior Tucker McCann and a 22-yard punt gave the Tigers the ball at midfield, but that field position was squandered after a three-and-out brought out Corey Fatony and the punting unit.

Missouri got onto the scoreboard when McCann redeemed himself by drilling a career-long 50-yard field goal to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead in the first quarter.

But Missouri’s offense would stall again. Albert Okwuegbunam had the ball ripped out of his hands to end a drive near midfield, and McCann put a 49-yard kick wide left to end another drive empty-handed.

Lock would get the offense on track at the end of the second quarter. After Lock’s rushing score, he faced a third-and-7, escaped the pocket and scampered up the left sideline before mowing over a Wyoming cornerback Antonio Hull to keep a drive alive around midfield.

After the play, Lock stood up and chirped at Hull to rile up the Missouri sideline.

“We hadn’t been playing up to our standard as far as finishing drives,” Lock said. “So I needed to kind of poke the bear, I needed to poke us to get our offense rolling, get a little fire, get a little juice behind us and if it takes me talking some smack, I’m going to do it to get us all fired up.”

That drive would end with a 19-yard touchdown pass across the middle to Okwuegbunam that gave Missouri a 16-0 lead at halftime, even after a hectic scramble on the missed extra point.

After a 28-yard touchdown pass to senior Emanuel Hall gave Missouri a 23-0 lead, the Tigers were off and running for their second blowout win in as many weeks.

Wyoming had safety Andrew Wingard roam over the top of the defense, leaving Hall with one-on-one coverage.

“A lot of teams just think our cover guys can cover your guy,” Hall said. “And I take that as a personal thing, if you can beat me one-on-one than show me.”

Hall showed more versatile route-running this week, catching a career-high 10 passes for 171 yards. Hall’s catches included slants and comebacks that added to his usual go-routes.

“It shows the myth that I can’t run routes is gone because I can,” Hall said. “I’m glad in this game it showed something different.”

The defense put together a second-straight impressive performance, limiting Wyoming to 84 yards in a scoreless first half on the way to holding the Cowboys to 248 total yards.

Senior linebacker Terez Hall led the defense with five tackles and had continuous pressure on Wyoming signal-caller Tyler Vander Waal. Hall registered two quarterback hits and added a forced fumble in the first quarter.

Senior defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. also added two tackles for loss and led a defensive line that plugged up holes in the run game.

Senior linebacker Brandon Lee added four tackles but was ejected for targeting in the third quarter after a targeting penalty. Lee will now miss the first half in next week’s game against Purdue.

Missouri will now look to avenge last season’s 35-3 loss to Purdue when it travels to West Lafayette, Indiana next Saturday.

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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