Mizzou stuns No. 17 LSU with goal-line stand
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mizzou Football knocked off No. 17/16 LSU in a wild shootout, 45-41, Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium as head coach Eliah Drinkwitz secured his first victory at the school in dramatic fashion. Mizzou (1-2) used an epic goal-line stop at the 1-yard line to down the defending National Champions in the final seconds. In a game that was originally slated to be played in Baton Rouge, La., and moved to Columbia due to Hurricane Delta, Mizzou ripped off 586 total yards of offense, including 406 through the air in RS freshman QB Connor Bazelak's second career start.
Mizzou's defense limited LSU to 49 total rushing yards as the Tigers (1-2) in Black and Gold overcame three turnovers to claim the heavyweight bout and beat a defending national champion for the first time since edging No. 5 Notre Dame on Sept. 9, 1978. Mizzou's 45 points marked the most scored against LSU in regulation since Florida in 2008.
Mizzou senior RB Larry Rountree III ran for 119 yards on 18 attempts, becoming just the fourth Tiger ever to rush for 3,000 career yards, and just the third running back.
Bazelak was brilliant in his first start of the season, connecting on 29-of-34 passes for 406 yards and four touchdowns, doing so down three starting wideouts. He completed 15 consecutive passes at one point.
Mizzou took a 45-41 lead with 5:18 remaining in the game on Bazelak's fourth TD pass of the game, as he found Niko Hea for five yards and his first career receiving touchdown. LSU however drove the ball down all the way down to the Mizzou 1-yard line before Drinkwitz' squad made its final stand. After stuffing the LSU run game on first and second down, junior Nick Bolton and senior Joshua Bledsoe broke up back-to-back passes with stellar defensive plays to ice the game.
The high-scoring affair saw both teams score a pair of touchdowns in the opening period. LSU pushed in front 24-14, capitalizing on Mizzou turnovers, but Drinkwitz' bunch battled back. After senior wideout Jalen Knox capped a scoring drive with a 16-yard scamper to paydirt, freshman PK Harrison Mevis drilled a 52-yard field goal, the longest field goal by a freshman in Mizzou history to knot the score back up at 24-24 at halftime.
The third quarter saw both teams trade touchdowns with LSU tacking on a late field goal to enter the fourth quarter up 41-38. That's when Bazelak struck with a big play. The savvy redshirt freshman connected with freshman WR Chance Luper for his first career catch, a 69-yard haul to put Mizzou in the red zone. Bazelak found Hea two plays later for the go-ahead score, setting up the wild finish.
Connor Bazelak earned his first victory as a starting quarterback and was phenomenal orchestrating the offense. The redshirt freshman passed for over 406 yards and four touchdowns - the first Mizzou freshman to pass for four touchdowns in a game since Maty Mauk against Kentucky in 2013 - going 29-for-34. Bazelak's completion percentage of 85.3 percent is the second-highest mark by a Mizzou quarterback, and is he highest ever by a freshman.
Senior RB Larry Rountree carried the ball 18 times for 119 yards, averaging 6.6 yards per carry. Rountree scored a touchdown and moved into fourth place on Mizzou's career rushing list, passing legend Devin West. He now has 3,018 yards in his career, while posting his 10th 100-yard rushing game.
Junior RB Tyler Badie continued to be a dual threat for the Tigers in the backfield with two touchdowns on the day. He scored his first touchdown on a 29-yard run in the first quarter, and he hauled in a 21-yard reception for a score in the third quarter. Badie finished the day with 106 all-purpose yards.
WR Tauskie Dove had a career day, as he made his first career start Saturday and hauled in six catches for 83 yards, including his first career TD grab on a first-quarter flea-flicker for 58 yards.
Senior WR and former QB Micah Wilson also made his first career start and hauled in a touchdown as part of a two-catch, 45-yard day. His touchdown went for 41 yards in the third quarter.
True freshman K Harrison Mevis connected on four PATs and hit a 52-yard field goal, the longest ever by a Mizzou freshman kicker. He is the only Mizzou freshman kicker ever to connect on his first five FG attempts. Amazingly, two of those five makes have come from 50+ yards.
Sophomore TE Niko Hea caught the go-ahead touchdown with 5:18 in the fourth quarter to hand Mizzou the victory. Hea finished the day with 19 yards on two receptions.
LB Nick Bolton was all over the field on defense, making a team-high 11 tackles. The junior added three pass breakups. Senior DE Tre Williams blocked a 45-yard field goal attempt. Trajan Jeffcoact and Devin Nicholson each had a sack for Mizzou.
Mizzou remains at home next Saturday (Oct. 17) for Homecoming, as it welcomes Vanderbilt for a 6:30 p.m. (CT) on SEC Network+.