No. 24 Texas A&M appeared to be in good position to build on last week’s upset of Auburn, taking a 13-6 lead into the break against Missouri.
And then the tried-and-true Aggie defense showed up in the third quarter, allowing Missouri to score touchdowns on all four of its third quarter possessions to take a lead it would not relinquish en route to a 34-27 win in College Station.
Worse for A&M than the scores was the way Missouri did it, marching 77 yards in eight plays, 75 yards in six plays, 80 yards in six plays, and 80 yards in eight plays – a total of 312 yards in 28 plays. Foot, meet throat.
Missouri led 34-20 through three quarters, but Texas A&M pulled within 34-27 early in the fourth quarter and had a chance to tie it late with a 3rd-and-1 at the Mizzou 2, but Brandon Williams lost a yard on third down, and Kyle Allen‘s pass to Cameron Clear lost another yard on fourth down. Missouri took over with 2:47 to go and did not give the ball back.
Russell Hansbrough ripped the Aggie defense for 199 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries, and Marcus Murphy added 20 carries for 88 yards. The Tigers rushed for 335 yards as a team, and Maty Mauk added 23-of-40 passing for 252 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Kyle Allen completed 24-of-35 passes for 237 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, but did not get much help from a Texas A&M ground game that gained only 104 yards on 27 carries.
The win keeps Missouri’s SEC championship hopes alive; Georgia’s 34-7 win over Auburn completes the Bulldogs SEC season at 6-2, meaning a loss by the Tigers would cede the SEC East title to Georgia. Missouri must win at Tennessee next week and in the finale against Arkansas on Black Friday to claim a second straight trip to Atlanta.
Texas A&M falls to 7-4 on the season and will fight for pride and bowl positioning against LSU on Thanksgiving night in College Station.