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Columbia, MO

Missouri falls to Middle Tennessee in offensive battle

2532 days ago
Missouri Athletics

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Four rushing touchdowns from freshman Damarea Crockett (Little Rock, Ark.) and 629 yards of offense weren't enough to lead Mizzou to a Homecoming win Saturday night at Faurot Field, as Brent Stockstill's four passing touchdowns led Middle Tennessee to a 51-45 victory.

Crockett tallied his fourth score of the day to give Mizzou a 35-34 lead on Mizzou's opening possession of the second half, becoming the first true freshman in Mizzou history to post a four-touchdown performance, and just the fifth Tiger, regardless of class, to ever rush for four touchdowns.

After Middle Tennessee (5-2) stalled a Mizzou drive on its opening possession, the Blue Raiders went five plays in 84 yards for a score. The key play was a third-down conversion on a QB draw by Stockstill that went for 63 yards, setting the Red Raiders up in the red zone. Stockstill hit Dennis Andrews for a 15-yard strike to take an early 7-0 lead. Middle Tennessee then turned a Drew Lock (Lee's Summit, Mo.) fumble into a 39-yard field goal, extending the lead to 10-0.

Mizzou (2-5) countered with a seven-play, 79-yard drive, capped by a four-yard TD plunge by Crockett, who broke two tackles at the goal line, refusing to go down. The key play came on a fourth-and-two as Lock ran for 24 yards on a QB keeper.

TE Kendall Blanton (Blue Springs, Mo.) made a highlight reel catch to give Mizzou a 14-13, hauling in a one-handed grab for a 15-yard strike. Crockett's second four-yard TD run gave Mizzou a 21-13 lead before MTSU ran off 14 consecutive points to open a 27-21 lead late in the second quarter.

Mizzou regained the lead on Crockett's third rushing touchdown with 4:02 remaining in the half. But a costly penalty on a long punt by Fatony forced Mizzou to kick again late in the quarter and a bad snap led to a turnover on downs and set Middle Tennessee up inside the 10. The Blue Raiders took advantage of the field position and scored on the first play to take a 34-28 lead into the intermission.

After Crockett's fourth score, the Blue Raiders took the lead for good on the following drive on a four-yard pass from Stockstill to I'Tavius Mathers. Twice the Tigers pulled within three points, but were unable to overcome the deficit.

Mizzou concludes its two-game homestand next Saturday vs. Kentucky. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. on SEC Network.