It was a moment fit for a championship. Henry Josey ran for a 57-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter to lift Missouri to a 28-21 win over Texas A&M, and secure the Tigers’ first SEC East title.
Early on, it seemed a play like that might never come. The Aggies used a 29-yard touchdown run by Tra Carson to lead 7-0 in the first quarter, and Mizzou didn’t answer for 16 minutes. The response was a 38-yard strike from James Franklin to Dorial Green-Beckham to knot the score at 7-7, with just over five minutes to go in the first half.
Johnny Manziel engineered a quick response with a 32-yard TD pass to Terel Walker to make the halftime score 14-7, but the bigger story was on the ground. The Aggies were outrushing the Tigers 102 yards to 84 at intermission.
That changed on Missouri’s first two drives of the second half. A Franklin bomb to L’Damian Washington set up a Marcus Murphy touchdown plunge to tie the game again, and a touchdown catch by Washington on the Tigers’ next possession gave them a 21-14 lead with 6:26 to play in the third quarter.
A&M’s Ben Malena tied things at 21 with a touchdown run with 10:43 to play, and that’s when Mizzou kicked into a higher defensive gear. The next three Aggie possessions went for a total of one yard, which allowed Josey’s run with 3:34 left to punch Missouri’s ticket to Atlanta.
Josey finished with 96 yards on 13 carries and the key touchdown. James Franklin completed 18 passes for 233 yards and two scores, with no interceptions. He added 80 rushing yards on 18 carries. Washington caught 6 passes for 97 yards and a TD, while Green-Beckham added 7 of his own for 93 yards and a score.
Now Missouri will play Auburn in the Georgia Dome for an SEC Championship Saturday afternoon. Stay tuned to ESPN 100.5/103.1 KTGR and ktgr.com for updates on our championship coverage from Atlanta!