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
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
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