Mizzou grounds Rockets with diverse rush attack and timely turnovers

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COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri Tigers got double-digit touches from three separate rushers and scored three times on the ground en route to a  38-23 win on Saturday over the Toledo Rockets. Quarterback James Franklin led the way both on the ground and in the air, racking up 289 all-purpose yards and throwing for one touchdown.

Despite the comfortable margin of victory, the Tigers didn’t pull away until the fourth quarter and were actually out gained by the Rockets in terms of total yards, 389-384. Toledo utilized good field position throughout the game and pulled to within a point of a tie when Rockets’ QB Terrance Owens found Alonzo Russell for a 41-yard touchdown with 4:22 to play in the third quarter.

Missouri answered on the following possession, taking the ball 44 yards on 10 plays for a touchdown. Missouri rushed the ball on eight of those plays, running backs Russell Hansbrough, Marcus Murphy and Henry Josey all got touches, capped by a Josey touchdown.

Toledo may have stood a better chance at the upset if not for two crucial turnovers. The first came on the final play of the first half, with Toledo in the red zone. Rockets’ QB Owens was flushed from the pocket and threw the ball up for grabs. The play was covered and the ball was tipped by corner E.J. Gaines and picked off by Matt White, negating a chance for Toledo to score. Missouri went to the half leading 17-9

The second turnover came when Mizzou lineman Markus Golden had a free rush on Owens. The quarterback managed to throw the ball, but right at Golden, who caught it and scampered 70 yards for a Missouri touchdown.

Missouri is now 2-0 and has a bye next week before they travel to Bloomington, Indiana to play against the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday, September 21.

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