Jeff Blake-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Missouri vs. UCF: Tigers rebound with narrow win

A third quarter punt return TD was the difference as Missouri outlasted a game UCF team for a 21-16 victory on Saturday.

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Tigers can be happy with narrow victory

The Missouri Tigers can be happy with their narrow victory over UCF on Saturday.

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The Gallery: Missouri vs. UCF

Here's the best rundown of action photos from Missouri's win on the road against UCF on Saturday.

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Mizzou's win over UCF was ugly but necessary

A third quarter punt return TD was the difference as the Tigers survived an upset scare from the Knights on Saturday.

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Missouri regains lead on punt return for touchdown

The Missouri Tigers have regained momentum in their game against the Central Florida Knights in Orlando with the Tigers taking a 14-10 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Tigers got their boost from a Marcus Murphy 66-yard punt return for a touchdown, which gave the Tigers the lead and something to hang their hat on in a game where their offense hasn't been able to do much other than pile on yardage.

Missouri quarterback James Franklin has done all he can with 257 yards passing, a touchdown and an interception, but the Tigers haven't been able to turn all of his yards into consistent red zone production.

The Tigers defense came to play in the third quarter as Knights running back Storm Johnson is still stuck on 84 yards rushing after gashing the Tigers for the same amount in the first half.

Knights quarterback Blake Bortles has 189 yards with one touchdown on 21-of-31 passing.

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Tigers trail Knights with one more half to go

After a slow first quarter, both the Missouri Tigers and the Central Florida Knights found some explosiveness in their offenses and the Knights entered halftime with a 10-7 lead at BH Networks Stadium in Orlando.

The Tigers struck first and took the lead on an 80-yard touchdown pass from quarterback James Franklin to wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham with 12:39 remaining in the half. But the Knights would answer right back with a seven-play, 86-yard drive of their own that ended on a 12-yard touchdown pass Quincy McDuffie from quarterback Blake Bortles to regain the lead they would take into the half.

Franklin has been superb with 159 yards and a touchdown on 9-for-13 passing. Bortles has 156 yards and a touchdown on 18-for-22 passing.

The major difference between to the two offenses production is that the Tigers can't run the ball and the Knights have running back Storm Johnson. The Tigers have a total of minus-5 yards on seven carries while Johnson leads a Knights attack with 84 yards on 11 carries. The Knights have 113 total rushing yards as a team.

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The Missouri offense must get going against UCF

Missouri needs to put points on the board against Central Florida before returning to SEC play.

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A shoulder injury is affecting James Franklin

The Tigers dual-threat quarterback says shoulder pain is affecting his play.

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Dorial Green-Beckham's role is growing.

Dorial Green-Beckham has just six receptions thus far in 2012, but he's becoming a larger part of the Misouri offense as the season wears on. Gary Pinkel met with the media on Monday and he had the following to say about Green-Beckham's growing role within the Missouri offense:

We had 58 plays and I think he played 26. So we are getting him in more, and we called his number a bunch of times. We intend to get him the ball more and he’s doing a lot better in practice. My message to him though, and it’s the same message I told Danario (Alexander) and J-Mac (Maclin), is you focus on becoming a better player. That’s all you focus on, instead of worrying about filling expectations. That’s all you focus on, and that is how you will fulfill your potential.

The 6'6" wideout was the No. 1 recruit in the nation for 2012 according to Rivals.com. ESPN had the Tigers' freshman ranked as the nation's No. 3 overall recruit in the 2012 class while listing him as the nation's top available wide receiver. After catching three balls in Missouri's opener, Green-Beckham has caught a single pass in each of the team's other three games.

Missouri faces UCF on Saturday, and you will be able to see how many balls are thrown his way at 11 a.m. CT.

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Missouri LB Zaviar Gooden Ruled Out Against UCF

The Missouri Tigers aren't expected to have much of a problem against the Central Florida Knights, but they will be going through their third non-conference game with a couple of injuries on their docket. Specifically, head coach Gary Pinkel mentioned in his Monday Media Quotes that the Tigers will be missing linebacker Zaviar Gooden with a hamstring problem:

"Zaviar Gooden will not play next week. He came back and tweaked his hamstring a little bit, and as everyone knows hamstrings are a sensitive injury so we need to get him healed up. Also, nobody else on the injury list is expected to return this Saturday."

Those "other injuries" alluded to by the coach mostly include a slew of injuries on the offensive line for the Tigers, a problem that has been hitting them all season long.

Gooden was originally injured during Mizzou's loss to Georgia. The senior captain has been one of the top defensive players for Missouri in the past several seasons, and his presence will be missed against a scrappy UCF offense led by quarterback Blake Bortles.

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