COLUMBIA — When the first quarter ended Saturday night, the Missouri Tigers led the Southeastern Louisiana Lions 28-0.
Then rain began to pour at Faurot Field. Rainfall continued throughout the second quarter, a period where the the Lions actually outscored the Tigers 3-0.
But the game ended with a 62-10 Missouri win.
The Lions are used to the rain. But for Southeastern Louisiana, the week has not been easy. The team had to cancel practice Wednesday because of Hurricane Isaac, and practiced Thursday in the rain.
"Yeah, it was a big distraction. We lost a day of practice," Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Nathan Stanley said. "But that's just another excuse."
The Lions had to change their plans for a flight that would take them right back into the path of Isaac, the storm that brought the heavy rain to Columbia on Friday and Saturday night. They ended up flying out of Baton Rouge instead of New Orleans.
Then, the team showed up for a game in which it was overmatched. The school will benefit from the game, earning a payout of $385,ooo from Missouri for showing up. But that still did not make it easy.
"Whoo," Southeastern Lousiana coach Ron Roberts said as he took a deep breath. "That was a tough one."
It was Roberts' first game as the Southeastern Louisiana coach. He said he did see little things that the team did well.
"We did things well when we got a hat on a hat and we protected Nathan (Stanley)," Roberts said. "I thought he did pretty well."
The quarterback was not so happy about it.
"It's not at all what I wanted," Stanley said. The Lions quarterback completed 21 of 33 passes for 165 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Overall, Roberts said he was pleased with the effort level of his team, but said there were too many mental errors.
"The inconsistencies stuck out like a sore thumb," Roberts said.
Nobody on the team wanted to make excuses, but Roberts said it was an emotional week for some of the players dealing with the storm.
Lions defensive back Marice Sutton, whose mother lives in New Orleans, said he lost contact with his family for a whole day during the storm. Sutton did not want to make it an excuse, either.
"As a team we have to get tougher all around the board," Sutton said.
He said he has since contacted his family, and they are OK.
There was not much Missouri could gain from the 62-10 win over Southeastern Louisiana. The Tigers just wanted to get through the night healthy for next week's game against Georgia.
“Everybody’s been looking at this game since the schedule came out, and we’ve got it circled as well.” Missouri receiver T.J. Moe said.