There are dirty hits, and there’s what transpired in the Troy-Missouri game Saturday afternoon.
With just over a minute left in the first half, Mizzou quarterback Kelly Bryant threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Knox to put the Tigers up 42-7 on the Tigers. On the play, Bryant was hit a little late and a lot low by Troy defensive tackle Travis Sailo, drawing a roughing-the-passer penalty on the suspension-worthy blow.
It looked as if Bryant left knee or ankle, or both, were injured on the play.
As the Tigers returned to the field for the second half, Bryant reportedly came out on a pair of crutches; it was subsequently clarified that it was another Mizzou player who was on crutches. Given the score, Bryant likely would’ve been out for the remainder of the game anyway, but it was officially announced that the quarterback would be held out of the second half because of an unspecified left leg injury.
What kind of update we can expect in the postgame remains to be seen.
Bryant was a ballyhooed transfer from Clemson who landed at Mizzou in the offseason. In his first season with the SEC East Tigers, Bryant is connecting on just over 65 percent of his passes, with 11 touchdowns (including three today) and three interceptions.
With Bryant out, backup Taylor Powell will guide the 3-1 (soon to be 4-1) Tigers for the remainder of the Week 6 game.. and perhaps longer, depending on the severity of the injury.
It’s been a day full of upsets in the top 10 of the polls, could top-ranked Alabama also fall prey to a surprise upset? No, not at all.
Even with their star quarterback throwing more incompletions than he has in the past two weeks combined, the Crimson Tide jumped out to a 30-10 lead over visiting Missouri in what is well on its way to becoming yet another rout at Bryant Denny Stadium.
Tua Tagovailoa was a measly (by his standards) 12-of-20 in the first half for 265 yards and three touchdowns going to the locker room, continuing his assault on a number of school records in the process. Jalen Hurts actually saw action earlier than normal in the first quarter as he threw a pass for 11 yards and then wound up catching a pass for seven yards in another nod to his versatility when not running the second-team offense.
Damien Harris led the way in the backfield with 44 yards on the ground as the Tide racked up a robust 9.3 yards per play but only recorded three touchdowns in six trips to the red zone.
There were a few bright spots for the Tigers despite the lopsided score. Quarterback Drew Lock had all day to throw a 20 yard touchdown to Jalen Knox and finished with 110 yards and a pick in a game that NFL scouts will certainly be examining closely for the potential first rounder. Tyler Badie rushed for 38 yards but two turnovers for the offense overall and an inability to sustain drives kept this one from being more interesting than it should be.
To add to the issues facing head coach Barry Odom, linebacker Terez Hall, one of the team’s best defenders and a senior, was ejected for targeting in the second quarter.
There’s plenty for Nick Saban to nitpick in that first half overall but the bottom line remains the same: Alabama is good and does not appear to be threatened in this SEC test.