Temple’s absence felt in Tigers’ lopsided loss

An ailing ankle kept the MU tailback out of action against Texas.
Monday, October 3, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:18 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

One game after Tony Temple busted a career long 59-yard touchdown run, the sophomore was held to 0 yards on Saturday; not by a stifling Texas defense, but by an ankle injury.

Temple, a key element of Missouri’s running game and special teams, saw no action in the team’s 51-20 loss to No. 2 Texas at Memorial Stadium and his status for the Tigers’ next game at Oklahoma State is uncertain.

“Pregame he was limping,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “It was a during the game decision. He wanted to go in but we weren’t going to risk it.”

The Missouri rushing game, which is ranked No. 10 nationally with 250 yards per game, eked out only 139 without Temple.

Temple was also missed on special teams. Four Tigers had a kickoff return average of 17 yards, almost 10 fewer than Temple’s 26-yard average and the Tigers started several drives inside the 15-yard-line.

One of Temple’s probable replacements at running back, redshirt freshman Earl Goldsmith, was sidelined after suffering ligament damage to his left knee Sept. 17 against Troy. Of Missouri’s four running backs on the depth chart, only two were ready for action on Saturday.

“That four deep that looked pretty good a few weeks ago,” Pinkel said. “It’s amazing how things can change, but you have to adjust.”

Part of Pinkel’s adjustment included giving redshirt freshman Jimmy Jackson the first test of his career, a carry in the red-zone against a top defense.

The carry came with about 10 minutes left in the first quarter and Jackson responded with a 12-yard touchdown run that, with an Adam Crossett point after, tied the game at 7.

Jackson finished with five carries for 40 yards and three receptions for 12 yards.

Missouri’s most prolific runner, quarterback Brad Smith, gained just 2.3 yards per carry, his worst performance of the year, and the Tigers were held to just one touchdown in the second half.

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