Missouri football looking to get back on the winning track against Purdue
Mizzou Football (1-1 overall) plays host to the Purdue Boilermakers (1-1) Saturday, with kickoff set for 3 p.m. (CT).
The game, which will be broadcast on the SEC Network, is the third of four straight contests at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium to begin the season for Mizzou.
•Mizzou is looking to rebound from a 31-13 loss Saturday evening in its SEC opener against South Carolina.
The Tigers took a 10-0 lead early with 13:07 left in the second quarter on a 61-yard touchdown pass from junior QB Drew Lock to senior TE Jason Reese, but Carolina seized momentum like a bolt of lightning, as it scored 14 points in just 30 seconds of clock time to take a lead it never relinquished.
The first blow came on the kickoff following Reese's score, when USC WR Deebo Samuel returned the ensuing kick 97 yards for a touchdown that quieted the Black & Gold clad crowd.
On Mizzou's first snap following that, Lock was intercepted, and the Gamecocks were in the endzone one play later, on an end around by Samuel at the 12:37 mark that made it 14-10, which is where the score stood at half. Carolina drew first blood in the second half on an 80-yard touchdown drive, but a short field goal by sophomore PK Tucker McCann (his second of the game) got Mizzou back to within one score, at 21-13, midway through the third. But Carolina drove for a field goal and played keep-away in the fourth quarter to prevent Mizzou's quick-strike offense from coming back.
•Mizzou outgained South Carolina by a 423-to-359 margin in total offense, but the Tigers were done in by losing the turnover battle, 3-0 (two interceptions, one fumble that USC converted into 21 points), while the Gamecocks owned the ball for 37:36 of possession time.
Mizzou was also hurt by numerous miscues on special teams that likely played a deciding factor in the game – including a blocked field goal, a fumbled punt giving Carolina an extra possession in the fourth quarter that it converted into a TD, Samuel's long kickoff return score, and a handful of penalties that went against MU and hurt the field position battle.
Week 3 Storylines
•Purdue comes to CoMo fresh off a solid 44-21 home-opener win last Friday over Ohio.
The Boilermakers broke open a 10-7 game with a 24-point second quarter and never looked back as it evened its season record to 1-1, following a season-opening 35-28 loss to 16th-ranked Louisville on Sept. 2.
•Mizzou and Purdue have not met since the 1980 Liberty Bowl (Purdue won, 28-25) while the Tigers and Boilermakers have met eight times over the years. Purdue leads the all-time series, 6-2, and has won three straight since Mizzou's 14-7 win in 1953.
•Through two weeks of action, Mizzou is fourth in the nation in total offense (619.0 yards per game) and is averaging 8.60 yards per play, the nation's second-best mark.
•The Tigers are also coming off of a strong defensive performance last week as the 31 points allowed is somewhat misleading as many of South Carolina's scores came with the aid of turnovers and special teams miscues. Mizzou's defense allowed just 359 total yards last week, the fewest it has allowed to an FBS team since Nov. 27, 2015, when it held Arkansas to just 310 yards in the season finale that year. It is the fewest total yards allowed since holding Delaware State to 140 in a 79-0 win on Sept. 24 of last year.
•Mizzou is again limiting the amount of negative plays allowed this year with just four through two weeks, tied for the nation's best mark. Mizzou led the nation in that stat a year ago (just 2.92 per game).
•Mizzou has been sacked just twice through two games this season as well.
Mizzou Owns Nation's Top Backfield
•Through two weeks of play, Mizzou's backfield duo of Drew Lock and Damarea Crockett has been the most explosive of any group in FBS.
Lock has 766 passing yards while Crockett has 299 rushing yards, giving them a combined mark of 1,065, the most in the nation (technically Colorado State leads the nation, but it has played three games and has 1,168 yards).
Among teams that have played three games, Mizzou just edged Louisville, which has 1,010 through two weeks with reigning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson at the helm.
•Mizzou is the only team in the nation with a passer and a rusher ranked in the national top 10 in passing/ rushing yards per game. Below is a look at the nation's top backfields by yardage:
For more information go to www.MUTigers.com