Missouri had a slow start to the first game of the 2013 football season, but raced to the finish. The Tigers hung 45 unanswered points on the Murray State Racers to coast to a 58-14 win.
It was nearly a banner night for the Mizzou offense. The Tigers ran 87 plays for 694 yards of total offense… just 50 yards short of the school record. Quarterback James Franklin threw for 318 of them, completing 26 of his 38 attempts, and connecting for three touchdowns with no interceptions. Darius White, Jimmie Hunt, and L’Damian Washington were the targets on Franklin’s three scores.
The night also belonged to a pair of running backs. Henry Josey’s return to the field from a devastating knee injury was all Tiger fans could hope for, highlighted by a 68-yard touchdown run. The junior finished with 13 carries for 113 yards and the score. Russell Hansbrough also shone brightly, with a 51-yard touchdown run among his eight carries for 104 yards and two TDs.
After giving up 14 points in the first quarter, Missouri’s defense buckled down, and got consistent pressure to Racer quarterback Maikhail Miller. The Ole Miss transfer threw three interceptions: two to E.J. Gaines and one to Braylon Webb. Webb could have had a pick-six in the first quarter, but a defensive holding penalty negated that play. The Racers struggled for first downs in the second half, recording only 16 to Mizzou’s 33 in the game.
Missouri’s next game is at home on Saturday, Sept. 7th, when the Tigers host Gary Pinkel’s former team, the Toledo Rockets. Pregame coverage begins with Tiger Gameday at 11:30 AM on KTGR.