Tigers rout Redhawks, go undefeated out of conference

The Missouri football team had seven different players score touchdowns in the victory.
Defensive end Kip Edwards holds back Miami of Ohio linebacker Evan Harris making a hole for tailback Marcus Murphy who carried the ball within inches of a touchdown. Seven Missouri players scored touchdowns to acheive the 51 to 13 victory of Miami of Ohio.

The No. 24 Missouri football team was firing on all cylinders Saturday, defeating the Miami of Ohio Redhawks 51-13. Seven different players scored a touchdown for the Tigers in the victory.

Missouri started the scoring early, with senior cornerback Carl Gettis taking a fumble recovery to the end zone for the touchdown only eight seconds into the game.

Coach Gary Pinkel said he was pleased with the team's performance early in the game.

“We’re just very fortunate,” Pinkel said. “We get the ball out and scoop and score. It’s a great way to start the game. When you’re playing games like this you need to keep focused and I think for most of the game we did.”

The early score set the tone for the Tigers, who punished the Redhawks on the ground despite Miami of Ohio coming into the game with the fifth best rushing defense in the nation. Missouri had three different tailbacks reach the end zone in the first half.

Sophomore Kendial Lawrence pushed the lead to 14-0 with a 39-yard rush midway through the first quarter, his first touchdown of the season. Freshman Henry Josey joined in on the scoring minutes later, using pure speed to slice through the defense for a 28-yard touchdown. Junior De’Vion Moore then pushed the Missouri lead to 28 with a seven-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter.

Senior center Tim Barnes noted the different style that each tailback brings to the team.

“Our guys do a real good job, and the coaches do a really good job of mixing it up,” Barnes said. “Each guy brings a little bit of a different dimension. Henry Josey’s got speed, De’Vion (Moore) has more power, and Marcus Murphy is real shifty too. Each guy brings a new dimension to the offense.”

The Redhawks would finally get on the board with six minutes left in the half. Miami of Ohio stormed downfield but couldn’t get in the end zone, settling for a 23-yard field goal.

The Tigers picked up where they left off in the second half. Junior quarterback Blaine Gabbert found junior wide receiver Wes Kemp wide open for a 33-yard touchdown reception. Junior kicker Grant Ressel missed the extra point, snapping a streak of 252 consecutive PATs by Tiger placekickers. The last miss was in 2005 against Colorado.

Ressel redeemed himself minutes later, hitting a career-high 50-yard field goal to put the Tigers up 37-3. After a Redhawk fumble deep in their own territory, the Tigers quickly tacked on another score as Gabbert dove forward for the 1-yard touchdown run, putting Missouri up 44-3.

After another field goal by the Redhawks, freshman tailback Marcus Murphy became the fourth Tiger tailback to reach the end zone, scoring on a one-yard rush with under a minute left in the third quarter.

The Tigers took advantage of the huge lead in the fourth quarter, resting most of the starters. The Redhawks would score once more, and the Tigers came away with the 51-13 rout.

Gabbert said the key to the team's success was balance and the play of the offensive line.

“We had a balanced attack this week,” Gabbert said. “They were giving us the run early on, and we capitalized on that advantage and the offensive line did a great job. They won the war in the trenches and our running backs did a great job following lanes and making big plays out there.”

The Tigers improved to 4-0 with the victory and now get a chance to rest with a bye next week before entering conference play. The Tigers will square off against the Colorado Buffaloes in the Big 12 opener on Oct. 9 at Faurot Field.

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