COLUMBIA — The Tigers were able to hold on to a victory Saturday night when the Arizona State Sun Devils came to Columbia. Missouri beat Arizona State 24-20 despite nearly losing the lead twice late in the fourth quarter.
Missouri was led by redshirt freshman quarterback Corbin Berkstresser, who started over junior James Franklin who was nursing a shoulder injury. Rumors of Franklin's injury had been growing all week, but the Tigers did not release whether he was going to be fit to play until their first offensive drive.
Berkstresser was decent under center, going 21/41 and throwing for 198 yards, but it was the Tiger defense that drove the team to victory. Missouri's defense recovered two fumbles and picked off ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly twice. The second interception came with 1:20 left in the fourth quarter as the Sun Devils were threatening to score and take the lead. Missouri safety Kenronte Walker snatched the pass in the end zone and ran it back to the 49-yard line to seal the Tiger victory.
What others had to say
Bill Connelly wrote for the Missouri blog, Rock M Nation, about the youth of this year's Tiger squad. "When you have a thin, brutally young team, you struggle to play at a constantly decent level for four straight quarters," Connelly wrote, referring to the up-and-down play of the Tigers.
The biggest pre-game story line revolved around the decision of who was going to be starting at quarterback. Bryan Burwell from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote a column discussing what went into the decision and why Franklin ultimately chose to sit out.
High school football
The Tigers were not the only team that needed a late game interception to save the game. Hickman High School defeated Helias High School 21-14 on Friday night after senior defensive back Devon Larry intercepted a pass in the end zone with 7 seconds left. The Kewpies are now 4-0 for the first time since 2000.
Rock Bridge High School could have used some late-game heroics Friday night when the Bruins played the Raymore-Peculiar Panthers. The Bruins lost 27-14 in their first loss of the season. Rock Bridge is now 3-1 as it prepares for the annual Providence Bowl against Hickman. That game starts at 7 p.m. Friday night and will be played at Faurot Field.
Other sports news
MU has warned fans about purchasing tickets to the football game through uncredited means. According to a news release, more than 400 fraudulent tickets were used to try to enter the game against Georgia. The university wants fans to be extra careful when purchasing tickets, especially for games against big-time schools such as Alabama.
Supervising editor is Maggie Walter