Nov. 30, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The score that sealed No. 5 Mizzou's Southeastern Conference Eastern Division crown fittingly came on the legs of junior TB Henry Josey (Angleton, Texas), who sprinted 57 yards to the end zone to put away No. 21 Texas A&M, 28-21, on Saturday night at Faurot Field. Senior QB James Franklin (Corinth, Texas) helped his class finish strong in front of their home crowd, as the signal caller passed for 233 yards (18-for-28) and two touchdowns with 80 rushing yards.
The win gives the Tigers (11-1, 7-1 SEC) the outright SEC Eastern Division crown, and a berth in next Saturday's SEC Championship Game against (current) No. 4 Auburn. It also was a significant milestone for head coach Gary Pinkel, as the Tiger leader guided his group to the 101st of his 13-year tenure in Columbia to match legendary head coach Don Faurot, who claimed 101 victories from 1935-42, 46-56.
The Tigers battled the Aggies, headed by 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, deep into the fourth quarter, with the visiting squad knotting the game up at 21-21 with 10:43 left the contest. The two teams then played keep-away, both punting twice. Mizzou took over at 4:47 in the fourth quarter and Josey did the rest to continue his remarkable comeback story, crossing the goal line with 3:34 left after his mad dash. The Tiger has now accounted for 951 yards and 13 scores on the ground after returning from his catastrophic 2011 knee injury vs. Texas.
Franklin's night included two impressive touchdown throws, the first to tie the game up in the second quarter. Mizzou yielded at 7-0 advantage to Texas A&M after the first quarter, but a 38-yard strike to sophomore WR Dorial Green-Beckham (Springfield, Mo.) with 5:16 remaining in the half evened the game.
Mizzou needed to play catch-up again in the third quarter and did more than that, capturing the lead with two impressive scoring drives. The first was on the opening driving of the second half, with the Tigers only needing 2:45 to get a 2-yard scoring run from junior TB Marcus Murphy (DeSoto, Texas). The ninth rushing touchdown of the season tied the game again at 14-14 with 12:15 on the third quarter clock.
Franklin's next scoring toss came on an acrobatic leap and snag from senior WR L'Damian Washington (Shreveport, La.) at 6:26 in the third quarter. The score kept Mizzou in the lead, 21-14, until the game tightened again the exciting fourth quarter finish. Franklin finished 18-of-28 for 233 yards and two TD's for the Tigers.
Mizzou continued its nation-leading streak of forcing a takeaway to 42 games when redshirt freshman TB Morgan Steward (Kansas City, Mo.) forced an Aggie fumble on a Mizzou punt at the beginning of the second quarter. Redshirt freshman CB John Gibson (Missouri City, Texas) pounced on the ball to give the Tigers possession.