CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Missouri erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter. It survived being down with 25 seconds to go. An improbable 56-yard field goal sent the game into overtime, and none of it mattered.
As Connor Bazelak’s overtime shot to the end zone came down in the hands of Boston College defensive back Brandon Sebastian, the result in the standings became no different than any other defeat. Missouri dropped to 0-2 against Power Five opponents in a whirlwind of a 41-34 loss.
Down a field goal with 25 seconds left in regulation, it took Missouri (2-2) six plays to go 36 yards and get barely into kicker Harrison Mevis’ range. Bazelak hit Barrett Banister for a gain of 19 on the drive’s second play then again to pick up 5 yards and stop the clock on a sideline throw in the final seconds. Mevis’ kick cleared the crossbar by inches.
BC scored on its lone possession of overtime on a pass from quarterback Dennis Grosel to Zay Flowers.
“Any time you lose in general, it hurts,” linebacker Blaze Alldredge said. “This is something you work all year for, and just to have it come to a climax like that and kind of dip off on us, it definitely hurts.”
Bazelak’s interception came on Missouri’s first offensive snap. Sebastian came down with the ball on a pass intended for Keke Chism in the front corner of the end zone. Bazelak said after the game that the Tigers would have gone for two if they had scored.
Bazelak finished 30-for-41 for 303 yards and a touchdown, with a passer rating of 133.5, but his two interceptions were costly. The first was on Missouri’s first possession of the second half. Banister was open on the intermediate left side of the field, but Bazelak released the pass too late.
Missouri looked dead in the water that third quarter as BC (4-0) pounded its way to a two-possession lead, using its ground game and the pick to dominate time of possession. The Eagles had drives lasting 6:40 and 7:02, respectively, running the ball 18 times for 94 yards.
It was the most effective quarter in a game where the Eagles trampled the Tigers’ 126th-ranked rushing defense, racking up 275 yards on the ground. Patrick Marwo ran for a 67-yard score on his second touch of the game, the first of two consecutive Eagle touchdowns. Marwo had five attempts for 96 yards in the first quarter and finished with 175 yards and two touchdowns. BC went into the fourth quarter up 27-17 and had outscored Missouri 20-3 since the first quarter.
“We have who we have, and we have to adjust our scheme to make it match, but we can’t repeatedly give up 275 yards and be successful,” Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz said. “Next week is gonna present a whole other challenge.
“We gotta work that out. That’s the job.”
Needing desperately to respond, MU pieced together a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to stay alive. The march included a third-down conversion on a 40-yard Tauskie Dove reception down the left sideline to get into Eagles territory. Michael Cox punched the ball in from a yard out on his only carry of the game.
Missouri’s defense responded with its only stop of the second half, giving Bazelak the ball back with 11:38 left in the game.
Another methodical drive brought the Tigers into Boston College territory. Badie converted a third-and-9 with a shoestring catch to gain 14 yards. He scored three plays later. His second touchdown of the game gave Missouri its first lead since the second half.
As was the case for much of the afternoon, MU’s defensive deficiencies reared their ugly head. A clock-chewing drive from the Eagles saw four third-down conversions. Travis Levy scored with 25 seconds left, bouncing off Jaylon Carlies and into the end zone on a 5-yard run.
BC kept Missouri’s first drive of the game alive with a running-into-the-kicker penalty in its own field, turning a fourth-and-6 into fourth-and-1. The Tigers’ offense came back onto the field and converted. Badie ran 24 yards around the left side on the next play, and Bazelak capped off the drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Banister.
The loss drops Missouri to 0-2 in games decided by seven points or fewer. The Tigers went 3-0 in such games in 2020.
“There’s a lot of areas — this is a work in progress,” Drinkwitz said. “This whole thing is a work in progress.”