Commodores Take Advantage of Depleted Mizzou Roster

Saturday, Oct. 6-

In their first meeting since 1958, the Vanderbilt Commodores beat the Missouri Tigers 19-15 on Saturday. The loss leaves Mizzou 0-3 in Southeastern Conference play.

The Tigers entered the game without former No. 1 recruit Dorial Green-Beckham, who was suspended from the contest as a result of drug charges.

Mizzou began with the ball in the first half and was looking strong in the first quarter behind starting quarterback James Franklin, but any momentum quickly changed. Franklin suffered a left knee sprain in the early part of the first quarter. Shortly after, Mizzou lost running back Marcus Murphy to a dislocated right finger.

Without key players Green-Beckham, Murphy, and Franklin, the Tigers turned to backup quarterback Corbin Berkstresser.

When Franklin exited the game, Missouri was leading the Commodores 6-0. The Tigers were kept from gaining a first down until nine minutes into the second quarter. Vanderbilt was able to get two points on the board after a Mizzou special teams blunder resulted in a safety.

Berkstresser came into the game to replace Franklin and had a slow start, completing just four of 14 pass attempts in the first half for a gain of only 29 yards.

Missouri came back stronger in the second half, and tied the game 9-9 at the end of the 3rd quarterback off another Andrew Baggett field goal.

The tie set up a crazy fourth quarter. Vanderbilt seized a 16-9 lead, thanks to running back Zac Stacy’s touchdown. Mizzou quickly answered with an 85-yard touchdown pass from receiver Bud Sasser, bringing the score to 16-15. Missouri was unable to tie the game after a botched extra point attempt.

On the ensuing drive, Vanderbilt stomped 78 yards down to the Missouri 3-yard line. Kicker Carey Spear hit a 21-yard field goal to give the Commodores a 19-15 lead.

The Tigers fought back to the Vanderbilt 25-yard line, but could not find a connection on 4th and 11. The Commodores took over on downs and ran out the clock, sealing their first conference victory of the season.

The Missouri Tigers have little time to lick their wounds, as they host No. 1 Alabama next weekend. The game kicks off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Faurot Field.

-Avery Franklin
23 Sports
Staff Writer