As of yesterday, the Big 12 had four teams already eligible for a bowl game and another four on the edge. That only leaves two teams on the outside and one of those was the Missouri Tigers. Funny how 24 hours can change one’s perspective.
With today’s 17-5 win over the Texas Longhorns, the Missouri Tigers reached their fifth win of the season (to stand at 5-5 overall) with games against Texas Tech and Kansas coming up next. That’s a real good chance of 7-5 for Gary Pinkel’s squad and that means a firm bowl placement for a team ranked in the preseason top 25 in most polls.
James Franklin rose to the occasion when it was clear that the talents of Henry Josey would not be enough. Then when Josey went down with an injury in the third quarter, Franklin didn’t have any other offensive options but to become the leader. Fortunately, he performed like the team needed all day.
Franklin finished with an efficient 18 of 26 for 186 yards with zero touchdowns and interceptions. He also ran 11 times for 33 yards and a touchdown. Kendial Lawrence bolstered the running game with 106 yards on 18 carries.
The Tigers defense also deserves major credit for holding the Longhorns to five points. Kenji Jackson had an interception of David Ash and even when Texas switched QBs to Case McCoy, it still didn’t matter. The Longhorns were also held to 76 yards on 29 carries for a 2.6 yards/carry average.