When senior tailback Zack Abron carries the ball, 1-yard runs often become 3- or 4-yard gains. On Saturday, Abron got two for one.
With a 2-yard run in the first quarter, Abron broke Missouri’s all-time scoring record and touchdown record. Abron has scored 234 points in his career, passing Corby Jones’ 228. Abron also passed Jones on the touchdown list, scoring his 39th.
“It probably isn’t going to settle in until later on tonight,” Abron said. “Right now, I’m just happy with the win.”
Abron had 141 rushing yards to lead the Tigers’ running attack in their 45-22 win against Texas A&M. Missouri rushed for 362 yards.
Senior center A.J. Ricker said Abron’s records make the offensive line look good too.
“Zack’s going to get his yards by himself, but the offensive line really helps the running backs out,” Ricker said. “He always finds a way to give us a little credit here and there. It means so much for him to get that record and know that we’ve done a little bit for that record.”
Abron gave ample credit to the linemen.
“For me to make that accomplishment, I know that they’re really proud,” Abron said. “They did a lot for me to accomplish that record.”
One more school record, career rushing yards, is in sight for Abron. He needs 11 yards to move into second on the list ahead of Devin West, and he needs 82 yards to break Brock Olivo’s record of 3,026.
Offensive tackle Rob Droege said he wasn’t sure how close Abron was, but he is glad he can assist Abron.
“We don’t know what the records are, we don’t really know what the stats are,” Droege said. “It’s our job to help them get more yards. When he breaks it, it’ll be a nice surprise.”
REACHING REVISITED: Tailback Damien Nash followed his touchdown last week against Colorado with two scores on Saturday, including a 14-yard run that ended with a jump for the goal line.
On the run, Nash did what Pinkel said he had forbidden his players to do after quarterback Brad Smith fumbled reaching for the goal line against Colorado. After Nash scored, Pinkel pulled him aside.
“He’s like, ‘Don’t do that. It cost us last game,’” Nash said.
Pinkel said he would discuss the play with Nash in further detail today.
Nash scored again on a 9-yard run later in the fourth quarter.
“The offensive line, they’re creating good blocks and I’m just sitting there being patient and then going,” Nash said.
TIGERS vs. HOGS?: Two representatives from the Independence Bowl attended Saturday’s game. Pesky Hill, a member of the Independence Bowl selection committee, said if the committee chose its teams on Saturday they would pick Missouri and Arkansas.
“We’re excited about the prospect of (Missouri) being in the mix,” Don Jagot, the selection committee chairman, said. “We wanted to test the excitement of the fans, and they seemed to be really pumped up about the possibility of going to a bowl game.”
A representative from the Holiday Bowl also attended the game.
HULA BOWL PICKS RICKER: Ricker has been invited to participate in the Hula Bowl, a senior game in Maui on Jan. 17.
Ricker said he was also invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game. He has not decided which he will play in but is leaning toward the Shrine Game.
A GRAND TIME (TWICE): Sophomore quarterback Brad Smith’s 136 rushing yards put him over 1,000 yards rushing for the second straight season.
He had to do it twice.
Smith reached the milestone with an 11-yard run in the first quarter. He lost 7 yards on his next rush, but gained 8 early in the second quarter to go past 1,000 yards again.
Smith is the first player in Missouri history to have rushed for 1,000 yards in two seasons. Last season, he ran for 1,029 yards.
CURRY STARTS: Senior defensive back Terrence Curry, who has played several positions in the secondary this season made his first start on Saturday at cornerback.