COLUMBIA – The Tigers honored their seniors before Saturday's game against the Syracuse Orangemen. The celebration was the start of what seemed to be a good game for the Tigers.
With 1:52 left in the fourth quarter, Missouri's Andrew Baggett kicked a 46-yard field goal to take a 27-24 lead. On Syracuse's next drive, the Orangemen were able to score a touchdown in seven plays. The touchdown clinched the victory for Syracuse, 31-27.
The Tigers came out firing at the start of the game. Quarterback James Franklin was playing one of his best games of the season, but in the fourth quarter, an injury knocked him out of the game for the fifth time this year. Backup Corbin Berkstresser came into the game and drove the Tigers down the field for a touchdown on his first drive. However, after the Orangemen took the lead late in the fourth quarter, and Berktresser's Hail Mary heave into the end zone was picked off.
What others had to say
Bill Connelly's article for the Rock M Nation blog focused on the mismatch between Syracuse receiver Alec Lemon and Missouri defensive back Randy Ponder. "Lining Alec Lemon up in the slot opposite Randy Ponder, the Orange scored 21 points in the fourth quarter," Connelly wrote. Lemon had 12 catches for 244 yards on Saturday.
The Tigers were desperate for their sixth win this season as they needed it to attain bowl eligibility. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Missouri was part of a group of teams vying for a spot in the Liberty Bowl. However, the loss on Saturday made a postseason appearance anything but a certainty. The Tigers will need to beat No. 8 Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel to get into a bowl.
Missouri men's basketball
Missouri beat Nicholls State on Friday, 74-54. After a slow first half, the Tigers were only up 32-25. However, the Tigers began the second half on a 17-5 run and never let up after that. Junior transfer Alex Oriakhi led the team in points with 17 to go along with his 10 rebounds. The No. 14 Tigers are now 3-0 and will face Stanford on Nov. 22.
This year's team has high expectations, and the players understand this. Junior guard Phil Pressey was named Southeastern Conference Preseason Player of the Year, and the team is expected to contend with Kentucky for the conference championship. Thursday's game against Stanford will be part of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in Nassau, Bahamas.