Mizzou gets down to business in second half, beats Kansas in border war

Story by Mike Anderson
Photos by Sherman Fabes

Dominique Hamilton (90) and Beau Brinkley share the Border Showdown drum with fans after beating Kansas in the yearly rivalry game.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Tigers successfully battled back from an early 10-point deficit against Kansas to win the 120th — and possibly final — Border Showdown on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium.

Mizzou quarterback James Franklin looks disgusted with himself after throwing three interceptions in the first half.

Self-inflicted wounds initially put Missouri in an unexpected hole against the 26-point underdogs from Lawrence. Sophomore quarterback James Franklin threw three first-half interceptions in a span of only four pass attempts. The first came on a Tiger first down play from the Kansas 40-yard line when Jayhawk sophomore cornerback Tyler Patmon intercepted a deep Franklin pass at his own 15-yard line. Patmon nearly turned the play into immediate points but Tiger senior right guard Austin Wuebbels made a diving right-handed tackle. Prior to that, Franklin had completed 124 consecutive passes, a streak that started after an interception versus Oklahoma State on Oct. 22.

This was coach Gary Pinkel's first game back since his suspension following his arrest for DWI.

The Tiger defense stiffened, forcing a Kansas punt, but it would take only three plays for Franklin to throw a third-down interception in the arms of junior cornerback Greg Brown. The Missouri defense held KU to a field goal and only a 3-0 advantage.

The Tigers would then start their next drive at their own 35-yard line and after three rushes and an incomplete pass, Jayhawks’ junior safety Brad McDougald took a third MU interception 57-yards for a 10-0 Kansas lead. The score marked Kansas’s first interception return for a touchdown since Sept. 19, 2009 against Duke and first three-interception game since Nov. 1, 2008 versus Kansas State.

The Tiger offense then stuck to the ground game on its next drive, marching 59-yards in 5:15 for a field goal that cut the Kansas lead to a touchdown. The drive, Missouri’s sixth of the game and first to end in points, included only four yards through the air. Junior placekicker Trey Barrows’ 23-yard field goal represented the final points of the first half, but only because Tiger left tackle Justin Britt recovered a Franklin fumble at the MU 32-yard line with under a minute remaining.

The Tiger defense, after only allowing 60-yards of total offense and two Kansas first downs in the first half, forced a three-and-out by the Jayhawks to open the second half. Punting from its own 32-yard line, Kansas’ long snapper Justin Carnes lifted a snap high and off the hands of sophomore Ron Doherty and Missouri recovered the ball at the Kansas 14-yard line.

Missouri would again produce from a powerful rushing attack, as junior running back Kendial Lawrence carried for 14 yards on the next three plays, culminating in the game’s tying touchdown just over three minutes into the half.

Kansas started from their own 25-yard line on their next possession and turned to a new quarterback to change their offensive efficiency. Sophomore Christian Matthews took over for the majority of the snaps in the second half, as fellow sophomore and Union, Mo., native Jordan Webb completed four passes for 23-yards in the first half, including an interception by MU’s Xaviar Gooden. The Jayhawk drive quickly went 31-yards into MU territory where second-year Kansas head coach Turner Gill was forced with a difficult decision: whether or not to go on fourth-and-1 at the Tiger 44-yard line with the game tied. Gill ultimately decided it was worth the risk, but a crucial false start by Jayhawk tight end AJ Steward backed the Jayhawks up five yards and forced another KU punt.

With 8:44 left in the third quarter Franklin made up for his early mistakes by leading the Tigers 93-yards down the field for a go-ahead touchdown. Franklin’s 25-yard pass to Wes Kemp completed a nine-play drive that took just over three minutes and saw the Tigers rush for 33 yards, pass for 60 and gain positive yardage on all but one play.

Tiger defense held the Jayhawks’ on their possession, including an 8-yard sack by junior safety Kenronte Walker, the first of his career. After a booming 62-yard punt by Doherty that was largely aided by a constant howling wind, the Tigers took over at their own 18-yard line.

Franklin ran a drive that would only take five plays in 2:08 for another touchdown and a 24-10 lead. Three De’Vion Moore rushes went for 14-yards, a crucial third down completion to Jerrel Jackson went for 15-yards and the knockout blow came when Franklin hooked up with sophomore wide receiver Marcus Lucas for a 53-yard touchdown on second-and-one.

Missouri recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff at the Kansas 12, but only gained a net total four yards on three plays and Barrow missed the 27-yard field goal attempt. The positive of the drive was Britt’s first career pass reception, a lateral that the 6 foot 5 inch, 295-pound Lebanon, Mo., native carried for seven yards.

Down 14 points with 13:13 remaining, the Jayhawks used 18 plays and 8:52 to drive 43-yards to the MU 37. Faced with fourth-and-27, Kansas’s Webb threw his second interception of the game, this one a 37-yard touchdown attempt that senior safety Kenji Jackson picked off on the one-yard line.

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One response to “Mizzou gets down to business in second half, beats Kansas in border war

  1. Pingback: KC SportsNation » Border Snore: MU rallies past lifeless Kansas as rivalry and Gill’s tenure ends and more (links) » KC SportsNation

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