After a sluggish start, No. 23 Missouri surged ahead in the second quarter and maintained control to secure a 38-21 victory over Vanderbilt at FirstBank Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday. The Tigers improved their season record to 5-0, setting the stage for a highly anticipated showdown with No. 13 LSU next weekend.
Missouri Took Care of Business
The Tigers scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, creating separation from the Commodores. MU quarterback Brady Cook had an outstanding performance, throwing for 401 yards and four touchdowns. He also connected with wide receiver Theo Wease Jr. for a 23-yard play. Shortly after, running back Cody Schrader rushed for a one-yard touchdown, giving Missouri a 10-7 lead. With only 55 seconds remaining in the first half, Cook found Wease in the endzone to extend MU’s lead to 17-7.
WR Luther Burden III led Missouri receivers with 140 yards and two touchdowns, both occurring in the second half. Cook connected with Burden for an 18-yard touchdown, increasing the Tigers’ lead to 24-7 lead at the start of the third quarter. Burden added another TD to make the score 38-21 with 4:23 left in the game. Freshman WR Marquis Johnson scored an early fourth-quarter touchdown on a 44-yard reception. Wease was the second-leading receiver for Missouri with 118 yards and a touchdown.
Cook also made history by breaking the all-time SEC record for most pass attempts without an interception, reaching 326 on Saturday.
Photo Cred: Rock M Nation
MU’s ground game played a significant role in their offensive success on Saturday. Nathaniel Peat rushed for 71 yards on 12 carries. He had multiple big plays for the Tigers, including a crucial 19-yard gain up the middle in the fourth quarter. Schrader recorded 60 yards and a touchdown.
Blake Baker’s defense put on an impressive performance against the Commodores’ offense. Defensive back Daylan Carnell and linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper were the standouts, with Carnell making seven total tackles (two solo) and Hopper recording six tackles (five solo). DB Kris Abrams-Draine secured his third interception of the season by picking off VU QB Ken Seals in the endzone with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter. Defensive lineman Austin Firestone registered Missouri’s sole sack of the contest in the fourth quarter.
Vanderbilt Kept Fighting
Vanderbilt displayed resilience, scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Seals would connect with WR Will Sheppard for a 31-yard touchdown. On the Commodores’ next offensive possession, the QB threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to freshman WR Junior Sherrill to cut their deficit to 31-21 with 9:36 left in the game.
Seals, who filled in for the injured AJ Swann at QB, finished with 259 yards and two touchdowns. Sheppard led VU receivers with 98 yards and a touchdown. Sherrill contributed 43 yards on three receptions, along with a touchdown. WR Quincy Skinner Jr. also played a pivotal role in Vanderbilt’s offense, with a 22-yard reception in the first quarter. RB Jayden McGowan led VU in rushing with 24 yards on three carries.
Photo Cred: The Vanderbilt Hustler
Nick Howell’s defense put forth a strong effort throughout Saturday’s contest, with three defensive backs leading the way. Jaylen Mahoney recorded eight total tackles (six solo), while De’Rickey Wright contributed seven tackles (four solo). DB Martel Hight also had seven total tackles (four solo). Lastly, LB Aeneas DiCosmo had six tackles (four solo).
Missouri will host the LSU Tigers next Saturday at 11 A.M. at Faurot Field, with the game broadcast on ESPN.
Photo Cred: ESPN