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Missouri football team ends season quietly against Texas A&M

Saturday, November 24, 2012 | 9:59 p.m. CST; updated 11:16 p.m. CST, Saturday, November 24, 2012
Missouri quarterback Corbin Berkstresser passes the ball during the first half of the Missouri football game against Texas A&M on Saturday at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Kyle Field was an exciting place to be Saturday night, just not for the Missouri football team.

Yells of "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" and "Whoop" filled the stadium throughout the night as Texas A&M put the game away early. The stadium, filled with 87,222 people, shook as fans swayed back and forth to the "Aggie War Hymn."

Johnny Manziel and the Aggies ran free up and down the field all night in Texas A&M's 59-29 victory over Missouri.

"It was kind of the perfect storm in the wrong way," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said.

Manziel only helped his Heisman campaign with another outstanding performance that included a couple of improbable touchdown passes that saw Manziel escape from the Missouri pass rush and find open receivers in the end zone.

Each of the Aggies' first six drives ended with touchdowns, while the Tigers started out with four punts and a fumble before finally reaching the end zone just before halftime.

Corbin Berkstresser started at quarterback for the Tigers in place of James Franklin, but he failed to move the offense. Franklin sat out after suffering a concussion in Missouri's loss to Syracuse last week. Pinkel said that because of his symptoms, the team could tell Wednesday that Franklin would not be ready to play.

As the game wound down, Missouri players looked on quietly from the sideline. L'Damian Washington watched on the jumbo-tron as he sat on top of a bench. He watched Marcus Murphy run for a first down and then watched Berkstresser get intercepted, but his facial expression did not change. Single plays were no longer significant, for both the game and the season.

Coaches and players hugged each other as the final clock wound down.

Missouri failed to become bowl-eligible for the first time since the 2004 season. The Tigers finished the season with a 5-7 record, winning just two of eight Southeastern Conference games.

The seniors had finally played their last game.

"It's really tough to kind of end my senior year like this," said running back Kendial Lawrence.

Elvis Fisher nodded to everyone he saw as he walked off the field one last time. Zaviar Gooden and Gahn McGaffie embraced each other before walking into the locker room. Kip Edwards walked in with his helmet on.

None of them said a word.

While the Aggies crowd was still chanting loudly, the Missouri football team left the field quietly.


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