Sophomore quarterback James Franklin threw for 286 yards and three touchdowns, rushed for 84 yards and two more touchdowns, Henry Josey ran for 129 yards and the Missouri defense forced three turnovers as Missouri won their fifth straight Telephone Trophy in an easy 52-17 win over visiting Iowa State Saturday for Missouri’s 100th Homecoming, the first home game in a month.
Three Missouri second quarter turnovers kept this game from getting really ugly. Missouri’s first pass didn’t come till their 11th offensive play, and their second didn’t come until the 16th play, as Missouri jumped out to 14-0 and 28-3 leads.
Missouri amassed 593 yards and didn’t punt until the fourth quarter, when they kicked it three times.
Kendial Lawrence added 78 yards rushing on 16 carries, and as impressive as MU having three guys with 75-plus rush yards, they were on pace to have three guys with 100 by halftime with Josey gaining 71, Lawrence 62 and Franklin 52. Franklin threw for 181 yards in the first half and two touchdowns, but threw back-to-back interceptions, both coming inside the Iowa State 35. The first was thrown directly to linebacker A.J. Kline, returned 78 yards for a Pick-6, cutting the score to 28-10, briefly making it a game in the second quarter. The second was behind the receiver on a crossing route and allowed Iowa State to remain in the game longer than they should have.
“He was really frustrated,” head coach Gary Pinkel said. “You could just see him, body language-wise. He was disappointed how he let the team down. Now, the good news is, how do you respond to it? We have great field position, bam, turnover, great field position, bam, turnover again. How are you going to respond to it as an athlete, especially a quarterback? I thought he did a great job of coming out of that and executing our offense.”
Josey returned the opening kickoff to midfield, and Missouri was in the endzone seven plays later on a Franklin 1-yard plunge. Fifth-year senior linebacker Luke Lambert, who had his best game since in three years with seven tackles, one for loss and two fumble recoveries, recovered Iowa State’s Steele Jantz’s fumble, setting up a quick drive with Josey plunging one in from the goalline.
Iowa State put together a solid drive and capped it off with a Zach Guyer 26-yard field goal. Iowa State, like Missouri, has struggled on field goal’s this year.
Ressel finished 1-of-2, missing a 47-yarder wide left early in the third quarter.
Missouri scored on its next two possessions, a touchdown pass from Franklin to to All-American tight end Michael Egnew where he split two defenders and raced up field for an easy 39-yard touchdown and a Lawrence two-yard run, his first TD of the season after a bomb down the seem L’Damian Washington, opening a 28-3 lead.
Missouri led 21-3 at the end of the first quarter and after another Lambert fumble recovery, had the ball inside the Iowa State 35-yard line leading 28-3 early in the second quarter when Kline picked off Franklin, leading to three straight Missouri possessions ending in a turnover — all three inside Iowa State territory. The third came on Bud Sasser’s only catch of the game over the middle where he split two defenders, but was stripped on the way down.
Despite the three turnovers, Iowa State could not gain momentum as the Missouri defense held its own.
Grant Ressel kicked a short 21-yard field goal to close the half 31-10. Missouri then scored on three of their first four drives of the second-half, leading 52-10 17 seconds into the fourth quarter. Missouri’s only empty drive was Ressel’s missed field goal.
Franklin hit TJ Moe on a 7-yarder six minutes into the half, then ran one in from 1-yard out four minutes later, and one play after defensive end Brad Madison’s interception and short return — that featured an awesome spin move — Franklin hit Wes Kemp on a 6-yard slant.
Missouri has allowed just 23 points in three home games, a shade under eight points per game. Something will give this week as they host the nation’s top scoring offense in BCS 4th-ranked Oklahoma State (6-0, 3-0) next Saturday at 11 am.
Iowa State has now lost five straight games in Columbia, five straight to the Tigers overall and eight out of the last nine.
The Cyclones (3-3, 0-3) surprised many with a 3-0 start that featured upset wins over Iowa and at UCONN but have lost by an average margin of 27 points in losses to Texas, Baylor and now Missouri. They continue to be plagued by turnovers. They fumbled five times, losing two, and backup quarterback Tim Barnett threw an interception on his first play from scrimmage.
Jantz fumbled twice in the first half and threw for 161 yards and rushed for 37 more.
Offense: B+ Its a good day offensively when you don’t punt until the fourth quarter. Missouri gained 593 yards and moved the ball at will against Iowa State, netting 35 first downs, the most since a 2005 home loss to New Mexico, and if it weren’t for three consecutive turnover, on drives that certainly would have ended with points, it would have been a perfect day for the Tigers.
Quarterback James Franklin: B-: Franklin played about as well as you can ask him to, gaining 370 total yards (286 pass, 84 rush) with five touchdowns. A good bounce back after his dismal day at the office at Manhattan last week. But just like last week, Franklin stared down a receiver, resulting in a 78-yard Pick-6 just seconds after a turnover gave Missouri GREAT field position and a chance to go up 31 or 35-3, instead it was 28-10. After moving Missouri inside Iowa State’s 30-yard line again, Franklin threw behind a receiver, for another pick. Despite those two picks, he had just five incompletions through three quarters.
“Bad throws,” Franklin said.
Running Backs: A: Henry Josey was finally given the bulk of the carries, and finished with 129 yards, a TD, on 19 carries. The carries were a career-high. Its hard to imagine that Josey entered the game as the Big 12’s leading rusher and had never got the rock more than 14 times in a game this season. Kendial Lawerence rushed for 64 yards in the first half, and finished with 78 yards on 16 carries. I can’t be the only one that thinks Missouri should be a run first team. It did wonders for the passing game when they opened up with two touchdowns off basically 10 straight runs. On a side note, De’Vion Moore, who suffered a high-ankle sprain on his first touch in week two at Arizona State, returned in the fourth quarter for his first action since, with three yards on three carries.
Wide Receivers: B+: A high grade here thanks to tight end Michael Egnew. Egnew was lost the first four games with eight catches, but was found last week by doubling his season total with eight catches for 93 yards. This week, the All-American went over 100 yards for only the second time as a Tiger, grabbing 6-for-105 and a 39-yard touchdown. He also had an impressive catch and run down the sideline where he broke four tackles and stiffed arm another run, Martin Rucker-esque to set up Franklin’s second rushing TD. L’Damian Washington was the deep threat, hauling in two for 70 yards, once helping an poor throw from Franklin, and was overthrown another time down the seem and is now averaging over 24 yards per reception. On the down side, he dropped two passes. Moe caught a 5-yard TD and finished with 58 yards, Wes Kemp 6-yard slant wrapped up Missouri’s scoring, making it 52-10. Redshirt freshman Bud Sasser fumbled in Iowa State territory and where was Jerrell Jackson? He went catchless and I never heard his name until a late fourth quarter kick return. And where is Marcus Lucas? After a five catch, 85-yard, 1 TD game at Arizona State filling in for Jackson, the sophomore has rarely been used.
Offensive Line: A: 294 rushing yards and 0 sacks. Great stats for the offensive line. Not only was Franklin not sacked, he was barely touched. The line opened who holes and committed zero penalties. Great day for the offensive line, who clearly struggled at Kansas State two weeks ago. This is the best the line has played all year.
Defense: A-: Missouri’s starting defense allowed three points to Iowa State and forced three turnovers. The Cyclones offense didn’t find the endzone until the fourth quarter. Defensive end Brad Madison registered a sack and picked off a pass, Luke Lambert had seven tackles, one for a loss, nearly intercepted a pass off his own deflection and recovered two fumbles, quarterback Steele Jantz was under constant pressure and James White, who had a big game the week prior against Baylor, had just 61 yards — 41 on one carry — in 14 attempts, and held Iowa State to just 343 yards. Sheldon Richardson had his best game as a Tiger, living in the Iowa State backfield. Its about time, Big Shel.
“That’s all it is, I’m coming into my own now,” Richardson, who had 1.5 tackles for loss, said. “It just started to get a little more familiar to me, the game is coming more easier to me. If I keep working hard, it’s going to come to me.”
Richardson’s D-line mate Dominique Hamilton had five tackles.
Coaching: A: Head coach Gary Pinkel was very upset after the 24-17 loss at Kansas State, and he let his team know it after the game. He got their attention. Also Kudos to Pinkel, David Yost and the rest of the offensive staff for a great game plan. They took a lot of pressure off James Franklin and did a great job getting the ball into the hands of their best offensive players in Josey and Egnew. Mizzou ran the ball 10 straight times to open the game, throwing just one pass in the first two possessions in establishing the tone and tempo of the game. A lot of that had to do with Iowa State starting the game in a three-man front. In the past, Yost and Pinkel would have ran the same offense. This time they adjusted. Its amazing what happens when you adjust. Then the coaches opened it up and the rout was on. Also, they FINALLY decided to give Josey the ball more than 14 times, and deservedly so.
“With the football, he’s pretty good,” Pinkel said through a laugh. “I would suggest that I would listen to you all (the media) more and make sure he touches it enough.”
One knock on Pinkel was his decision to kick a field goal and not go for a TD at the end of the first half. The Tigers had two timeouts at the 4-yard line with seven seconds left. Missouri could have ran the ball, or passed the ball, but instead Franklin kneels in the middle of the field to give struggling kicker Grant Ressel an easy field goal to build confidence. Did not agree to the decision to do so. It was 28-10 at the time, its not like it was a 30-point game. Maybe Pinkel thought the game was pretty much over.
Final Thoughts: This was the perfect scenario for Missouri. Iowa State was 6-2-2 all-time at Missouri homecoming games and although they have lost five straight games in Columbia, three of the last four have been close games for at least a half. MU grabbed a hold of the game early, jumping out 14-0 and 28-3 and cruised to victory. A great way to erase a two-game losing streak, play great and get ready for a powerful Oklahoma State offense next week. Missouri has won 10 straight games at home, their third longest home win streak in school history and it is a winnable game at home, but MU will likely have to score 40-plus to do so, but the ‘Zou is a tough place to play.
Thats just the first game of a four-game gauntlet that will make or break Missouri’s season. All four games are against current ranked teams. Following Okie State are road trips to No. 21-Texas A&M and then-No. 20-Baylor. Missouri finishes the stretch by hosting No. 22-Texas on Nov. 12.
Pinkel said he’s glad to start that stretch with a home game.
“There have been a lot of big games that have won in this place,” Pinkel said, “and the fans have been a big part of it. So we’re going to work real hard this week and come out and try to play our best, play our A-game and we’re going to go out and compete so we’re excited about it.”
MUtigers.com: Tigers Victorious in Homecoming Centennial, Rout Cyclones 52-17
The Trib: Tigers pummel Cyclones with balanced attack
The Trib: GAME NOTES: Missouri 52, Iowa State 17
The Missourian: Missouri football gets bounce-back win over Iowa State
KC Star: Mizzou takes wind out of Cyclones right away, breezes to 52-17 win
Post-Dispatch: Mizzou clobbers Iowa State 52-17
PowerMizzou: Balanced attack leads Tigers
PowerMizzou: Sunday Grade Card
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Pinkel post-game
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Henry Josey
PowerMizzou: PHOTOS: The Sideline View
The Missourian: PHOTO GALLERY: Tailgaters celebrate MU’s 100th Homecoming
The Missourian: PHOTO GALLERY: Tigers defeat Cyclones 52-17 for Homecoming victory