Carson Hanover- 23 Sports

Mizzou took an early lead against Southeast Missouri State on Saturday and didn’t look back from there. The Tigers won 59-28. 

Quarterback Connor Bazelak had one of his best games as a Tiger. He threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns in the first half before sitting the entire second half. Running back Tyler Badie continued his strong season with three touchdowns and 81 rushing yards on only nine attempts, a staggering nine yards per attempt. 

The first quarter of the game was the type of statement that the Tigers needed after last week’s loss to the Kentucky Wildcats. Badie uncorked a 49-yard touchdown run with 12:16 remaining in the first quarter. That was the first of his three touchdowns on the day. Badie’s second score, an 11-yard pass from Bazelak, put the Tigers up 14-0 with 6:50 left in the first.

Bazelak’s second touchdown pass was a 46-yard strike to wide receiver D’ionte ‘Boo” Smith with 3:10 left in the first. That showed fans that a rout was on. 

On all six of their first-half possessions, the Tigers were able to score the ball. Kicker Harrison Melvis converted on a 43-yard field goal with 12:41 left in the second quarter. The field goal was followed by another deep ball from Bazelak, a 52-yard pass to receiver Chance Luper at the 8:32 mark in the second. 

The Tigers went on a long drive towards the end of the quarter that culminated with a fourth-down conversion in the red zone and a 1-yard touchdown run by Badie. The Tigers finished the first half with 38 points, the most in Elijah Drinkwitz’s time as the head coach. 

The second half was slower for the Tigers but brought about opportunities for Mizzou’s backups. MU Redshirt freshman quarterback Brady Cook was able to orchestrate a 12 play, 57-yard drive that culminated in a 3-yard touchdown pass to running back Elijah Young with 6:55 remaining in the third quarter.

SEMO finally got on the board with a 4-yard touchdown run from running back Geno Hess with 2:54 remaining, despite working against Mizzou’s backup defense. Cook was quickly supplanted by true freshman quarterback Tyler Macon, whose first pass attempt as a Missouri Tiger was a 65-yard touchdown to receiver JJ Hester with 1:54 left in the third. 

In the fourth quarter, SEMO was able to gain some ground against the defensive backups for the Tigers. SEMO Running back Rucker Shamenski had two touchdown runs as a result of a couple of long drives by the Redhawks. Mizzou still managed to get on the board in the fourth, with backup running back Michael Cox breaking out for a 55-yard touchdown run with two minutes remaining in the game. 

SEMO finished the scoring with a 75-yard touchdown run by Q’Nairies Anderson. Mizzou only punted once the entire game, which took place in the fourth quarter. 

Mizzou had 440 passing yards and 235 rushing yards, for a total 675 yards. That compared to SEMO’s 373 total yards, most of which was in the second half when Mizzou had their backup defense in.

Next week Mizzou travels to face Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. The Tigers will look to keep their momentum rolling when they kick off on September 25th at 11 AM CT.