COLUMBIA — The Tigers had a little more reason to celebrate after their 33-10 victory over Kentucky on Saturday's Homecoming game. The win marked Missouri's first victory over a Southeastern Conference opponent since joining the conference this summer.
An old face came into the game in the second half to help the Tigers secure their victory. After missing three weeks with a knee injury, James Franklin came into the game to replace struggling backup Corbin Berkstresser. Franklin had been listed as doubtful before the game, but head coach Gary Pinkel said he planned to put him in if Berkstresser was not getting the job done.
During Kentucky's first drive of the game, it seemed like Missouri was looking toward another home loss. However, with the Wildcats on the Tigers 13-yard line, Sheldon Richardson stripped the ball from Kentucky running back Jonathan George and returned the ball all the way back to the Wildcats 25-yard line. The fumble return set up a Kendial Lawrence touchdown and set the tone for the rest of the game.
What others are saying
Bill Connelly wrote a recap for the game on the Rock M Nation blog. In it, Connelly highlighted the great effort by the Tigers on defense, as well as freshman receiver Dorial Green-Beckham's use as something of a fourth running back. He also noted the biggest story of the game, Franklin's return to the field after three weeks on the bench.
In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the redemption of Tigers kicker Andrew Baggett was the focus in Stu Durando and Vahe Gregorian's story. Baggett had struggled at the beginning of the season, especially in the game against Arizona State. Since that game, he has made seven straight kicks, including 41- and 33-yard field goals this weekend.
High school football
Hickman and Rock Bridge each won their first round playoff games on Friday. Hickman defeated Timberland 34-14. Hickman wanted to make a statement after ending the regular season with a loss to Rockhurst. Rock Bridge shut out Troy 34-0 in the first round district game. With most of the Bruins running backs injured or suspended, linebacker Eli Caldwell-Stout lined up in the back field for Rock Bridge and scored two touchdowns before having to leave the game with leg cramps.
The victories for Hickman and Rock Bridge will set up a rematch of the Providence Bowl in the second round. Earlier this season, Hickman edged out Rock Bridge 22-21 in the annual game between the rival high schools. The winner of Friday's game will go on to the district championships on Nov. 9.
Tiger basketball suspensions
Head coach Frank Haith announced at a Friday afternoon press conference that senior Michael Dixon Jr. and freshman Dominique Bull have been suspended for violating team rules. Haith did not disclose which rules were violated, nor the length of the suspension. However, Haith did make it clear that neither player would dress for the Tigers home opener on Monday against Northwest Missouri State.