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No. 1 Alabama runs over Missouri


COLUMBIA, Mo. - A pair of Alabama running backs exceeded 100 rushing yards and the Crimson Tide defense contained an explosive Missouri offense as Alabama (6-0 overall; 3-0 in the Southeastern Conference) defeated the Missouri Tigers, 42-10, Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. The game was delayed for 40 minutes by lightning in the second quarter with Alabama leading, 27-0.

Alabama's Eddie Lacy rushed for a career-high 176 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries while T.J. Yeldon gained 144 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 18 attempts as the Tide rushed for 362 yards in the game. Overall, Alabama amassed 533 yards of total offense, adding 171 passing yards to its rushing total.

Other than a kickoff return for a touchdown and a drive to a field goal, Alabama controlled the game by limiting Missouri (3-4 overall; 0-4 SEC) to 129 total yards, including just three rushing yards. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron passed for 171 yards while completing 16 of 21 attempts without an interception. C.J. Mosley led the Alabama defense with 12 tackles including a sack for nine yards and a fumble recovery.

Lacy took a handoff off the right tackle on the game's second play from scrimmage and raced across the field from the left sideline to the right on a career-long 73-yard touchdown run to give Alabama a 7-0 lead just 45 seconds into the game.

After forcing a Missouri punt, Alabama started its next possession at its own 8-yard line and drove to the Missouri 36 before being forced to punt. Cody Mandell's punt was downed at the Missouri 13-yard line. After Kendall Lawrence started the possession with a 17-yard run to the Missouri 25, Alabama halted the drive when Vinnie Sunseri intercepted a deflected third-down pass at the 50-yard line with 7:19 remaining in the first quarter.

On the first play of the next series, McCarron play-faked and threw deep to Kenny Bell on a post pattern. Bell hauled in the pass as he fell at the Missouri 6-yard line. Two plays later, Lacy leapt over a pile for three yards and a touchdown to give Alabama a 14-0 lead with 6:07 left in the first period.

The Tide's Landon Collins blocked Missouri's punt on the Tiger's next possession, giving Alabama the ball at the Tiger 17-yard line. Yeldon took a handoff around the right end on the first play and raced 16 yards to the Missouri 1. After Yeldon was stopped for no gain on the next play, he followed a block by Jesse Williams off left guard for a one-yard touchdown run to give Alabama a 21-0 lead with 1:42 left in the first quarter.

Missouri's Trey Barrow boomed a 61-yard punt on the next possession, back to the Alabama 20-yard line, where Christion Jones fielded it and returned it 30 yards before being flipped on the tackle. That set up the Tide at the 50 and ended the first quarter of play.

McCarron started the second half from the shotgun formation, hitting wide receiver Kevin Norwood for 15 yards to the Missouri 35. Lacey carried for one yard before eclipsing the 100 rushing yards mark for the game on the next play, a nine-yard rush to the Missouri 25 with 13:45 left in the second quarter. After an incomplete pass, Lacy carried for six yards to the Tiger 19 to set up third and four. McCarron scrambled from the pocket and fumbled as he was tackled with the Tigers recovering at the Missouri 12 with 12:17 remaining.

After forcing another punt, the Tide put together another scoring drive, which was capped by Yeldon taking a handoff to his right, breaking through a tackler as he turned the corner and diving the last four yards over the pylon for a touchdown on a 15-yard scamper. That run gave Alabama a 27-0 lead with 8:40 left in the second quarter. At that point, the game was suspended due to a lightning strike near the stadium. After a 40-minute delay, play resumed with Jeremy Shelley's extra-point kick giving Alabama a 28-0 lead.

Missouri's Marcus Murphy returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown to narrow the Alabama lead to 21 with 8:24 remaining in the second quarter. Alabama's next possession ended with a dropped snap by punter Cody Mandell that gave Missouri the ball at the Alabama 34-yard line with 1:56 remaining in the second quarter. On second down, Missouri's LaDainian Washington caught a 24-yard pass from quarterback Corbin Berkstresser to the Alabama 11. After a Kendall Lawrence run gained one yard to the Crimson Tide 10, Berkstresser kept for a yard to the 9 to set up a third down and eight with 18 seconds left in the half. On the next play, the Tide's Adrian Hubbard blasted Berkstresser as he set to pass, causing a fumble that eventually ended up at the Alabama 49, preserving the 28-7 Alabama lead heading into halftime.

With impending severe weather predicted for the remainder of the day, officials chose to reduce the halftime break from the customary 20 minutes to a 5-minute break before resuming play.

Missouri took the kickoff to open the second and marched 51 yards in seven plays to a 41-yard field goal by Andrew Baggett with 11:50 left in the third quarter to narrow the Alabama lead to 18 points. The drive was highlighted by pass completions of 16 and 29 yards on successive plays, moving the ball from the Missouri 25 to the Alabama 30 before the march stalled.

On the next possession, McCarron was sacked as he dropped back to pass on third and four and was injured on the play that lost eight yards and set up a punt. He was assisted to the sideline by trainers with an apparent right knee injury, but was walking on his own.

After the Tide punt, Missouri set up at the Alabama 44 but the Tigers could not mount a drive and punted the ball to the Alabama 10 with 8:49 left in the third quarter. Fitted with a brace on his right knee, McCarron returned to action on the Tide's next possession, during which he scrambled for a short gain before Missouri forced an Alabama punt.

Early in the fourth quarter a short Missouri punt set the Tide offense up at the Tiger 41. From there, the Alabama offense ground out a touchdown march that encompassed 11 plays and consumed 5:59 of game time. Lacy capped the drive with a one-yard dive for a score with 8:05 remaining to give Alabama a 35-10 lead. Lacy keyed the drive with a seven-yard run on a fourth-and-one play to the Missouri 25 and McCarron hit Amari Cooper for a seven-yard pass completion on a third-and-seven play to the Missouri 2.

The Alabama reserves capped the scoring in the late stages following an interception, driving 54 yards in seven plays to a score after safety HaHa Clinton-Dix intercepted a Missouri pass at the Alabama 46-yard line. Kenyan Drake scored on a three-yard run with 2:28 left to end the scoring.



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