COLUMBIA, Mo. – With the final seconds ticking off the clock, University of Missouri kicker Harrison Mevis booted a Southeastern Conference-record 61-yard field goal over the crossbar and sent the Tigers to a field-storming, come-from-behind 30-27 victory over No. 15 Kansas State at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field.
The Tigers moved to 3-0 in front of a sold-out crowd of 62,621. Mevis’ kick is the second longest in MU annals to Tom Whelihan’s 62-yarder against Colorado in 1986.
In a back-and-forth game that saw five lead changes, Brady Cook had the best game of his career, completing 23-of-35 passes for a career-high 356 yards and a pair of touchdown passes to Luther Burden III. Cook was hobbled by a knee injury late in the second quarter, but only missed two plays and played the rest of the game wearing a brace. He also rushed for a touchdown on a fourth-down play in the second quarter – the first rushing TD allowed by Kansas State this season. Cook has now thrown 281 consecutive passes without an interception over MU’s last nine games, topping Chase Daniel’s school record of 254.
Mizzou is off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2018 and has now won 16 straight nonconference games at home, two shy of the school record. The Tigers last beat a ranked non-league opponent on Sept. 21, 1990, a win over No. 21 Arizona State.
The Missouri defense gave Cook a chance to put Mevis in position for his game-winning kick. With 3:46 to play, K-State moved from its 39-yard line to midfield before a false start penalty moved the ‘Cats back to the 45. On third-and-15, Treshaun Ward caught a short pass from Will Howard but was swallowed up by Joseph Charleston who tackled him for a one-yard gain and forced a punt.
MU took over at its own 18. Cook completed five passes for 36 yards and Nate Peat ran for seven yards as the Tigers got into Kansas State territory. A delay of game penalty, though, moved the ball back to the KSU 44-yard line, before Mevis’ heroics.
The defending Big 12 Conference champion Wildcats took the lead at 24-17 late in the third quarter on a three-yard jump pass from Howard to fullback Ben Sinnott. The Tigers missed a chance to tie the score on their next possession when Cook hit Theo Wease Jr. for 26 yards, then true freshman Marquis Johnson for 46 down to the seven. The drive stalled, though, and on third and goal, KSU’s Will Lee III broke up a quick out to Wease at the goal line and Mevis had to kick a 25-yard FG to close within 24-20.
But the Mizzou defense stuffed K-State on its next two possessions. Missouri got the ball at their own 23-yard line and on the first play Cody Schrader broke a draw play for a 36-yard gain that doubled MU’s number of rushing yards to that point. While tackling Schrader, VJ Payne grabbed Schrader’s helmet and was flagged for a personal foul that moved the ball to the KSU 26. On the next play, Cook swung a pass out to the left to Burden who, aided by a terrific block by TE Tyler Stephens, scooted down the sideline for a touchdown to move Mizzou back on top, 27-24.
Burden finished the game with seven pass receptions for 114 yards, while Wease caught six for 72 and Mookie Cooper four for 79.
Kansas State moved back down the field and appeared to score a touchdown on a run by Ward, but the ‘Cats were called for delay of game, and on third-and-goal from the eight, Daylan Carnell pressured Howard and forced an incomplete pass and Chris Tennant kicked a 26-yard FG to tie the score, 27-27.
On K-State’s first drive of the game, after driving 65 yards, the Wildcats had 3rd-and-goal from the 10-yard line when Will Howard’s pass to the endzone was tipped up in the air by Jaylon Carlies and Phillip Brooks just happened to be in the right spot and caught the ricochet for a TD. It was the first time this season MU’s defense allowed points in the first quarter. On the day, Howard completed 25 of 39 passes for 270 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He ran 10 times for 17 yard and was sacked three times.
Missouri had an immediate response. On a six-play, 75-yard drive, Cook ran three times and completed three passes, the last a 47-yard streak down the middle to Burden – the longest reception of his career – for a game-tying touchdown.
Three plays later, Kris Abrams-Draine intercepted a Howard pass on third-and-10 for MU’s first forced turnover of the season. The pick set up a 35-yard drive that featured a 16-yard pass to Burden on which he juked two Wildcats out of position then broke a tackle to get to the 14-yard line. The drive stalled and Mevis kicked a 30-yard field goal to put the Tigers ahead, 10-7.
MU forced a three-and-out and moved into scoring position again. Mevis missed a 53-yard field goal short and left, and the ‘Cats took over at the 36-yard line. On a third-and-six at the MU 24-yard line, Howard hit Jadon Jackson on a crossing pattern down to the three. On third-and-goal, Howard found Sinnott for a touchdown that put KSU back in front, 14-10.
Missouri responded quickly again. Cook hit Cooper with a 41-yard gain on first down, followed by a 27-yarder to TE Brett Norfleet who made a leaping catch along the sideline while being hit. With fourth down and a long yard to go at the 1, Cook faked a reverse to Burden then dashed into the endzone to regain the lead, 17-14.
Kansas State tied the game at 17-17 on its first possession of the third quarter on a 46-yard FG by Tennant.
Missouri outgained Kansas State, 430-408, and had 20 first downs to KSU’s 19. Charleston led MU’s defenders with nine tackles and a pass breakup. Ty’Ron Hopper made eight tackles, one for loss, broke up two passes and had a pair of QB hurries.
The Tigers will travel to St. Louis next week to face off against the Memphis Tigers in the “Mizzou to the Lou Classic.” Game time on Saturday, Sept. 23, is 6:30 p.m. CT at The Dome at America’s Center. The game will be televised on ESPNU and air on the Tiger Radio Network. It will be Missouri’s first football game in St. Louis since 2010.
Tickets for next week’s game are available for purchase online.
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