Missouri Falls Short in a Heartbreaking 37-30 Loss at Arizona State

The Missouri Tigers traveled to Tempe, AZ to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Friday, Sept. 9 –

Following a week one victory over a less-than-intimidating Miami of Ohio squad, quarterback James Franklin was highly criticized for his underwhelming performance. The sophomore wasn’t expected to immediately fill the shoes of Blaine Gabbert, but his measly 129 passing yards and one touchdown needed improvement.

Week two couldn’t have been more different.

A Friday night matchup with Arizona State left Missouri on the wrong end of a 37-30 overtime thriller. This game, however, Franklin was the last player to be blamed.  He completed 26/42 for 319 yards and two touchdowns, adding 84 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Arizona State’s sellout crowd of 70,236 was given an incredible game for their first “Black Out” since 2008.  Neither Franklin nor Sun Devil quarterback Brock Osweiler (24/32 passing with 353 yards and four touchdowns) would be outdone, each leading one crucial drive after another.

The largest deficit of the game came with 14:23 left in the 4th quarter, when the Tigers found themselves behind 30-16.  Following suit with the rest of the game, Franklin and the Missouri offense came pounding back.  Two touchdowns later, the score was once again tied.  On the next possession, the Tigers got the ball on their own eight yard-line with 1:27 to go.  All makings were in store for a fairytale ending.

The overmatched James Franklin from week one was an issue of the past.  The new James Franklin found himself poised to lead a 92-yard drive, beginning his legacy as a competitor and capping an unbelievable comeback…but not quite.

Missouri’s seemingly unstoppable momentum was halted at the Sundevil 30.  A 48-yard field goal attempt with 17 seconds left hooked wide left, sending the game to overtime.

Overtime was an accurate reflection of the difference. Prior to the game winning 11-yard touchdown reception by Arizona State’s Jamal Miles, Aaron Pflugrad (180 receiving yards and two touchdowns) came up with a huge third down catch, a feat Missouri couldn’t master all night. The Tigers converted just 3 of 15 third down attempts.

There’s no denying that Arizona State deserved the victory, but the new James Franklin certainly would have deserved it too.

Missouri takes on Western Illinois next on Saturday, Sept. 17.

-Brian Hayes

23 Sports

Staff Writer

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