COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Mizzou football team beat Southeast Missouri State Redhawks 59-28 at Faurot Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers kicked off the scoring early. Three minutes into the first quarter, Tyler Badie took a handoff from Connor Bazelak 49 yards into the end zone to give Mizzou an early 7-0 lead. This would be the start of a big day for the senior running back.
On its next possession, the Mizzou offense continued to find holes in the Redhawk defense. Deep in SEMO territory, Bazelak found Badie for an 11-yard touchdown to give the Tigers a 14-point lead. Wide receiver Dominic Lovett also got in on the action, catching a 42-yard pass from Bazelak to set up the Tiger touchdown.
The scoring didn’t slow down there. To cap off the first quarter, Mizzou added its third touchdown on a 46-yard pass from Bazelak to wide receiver D’ionte ‘Boo’ Smith. The Tiger offense compiled 258 total yards in the quarter compared to the Redhawks’ 42 yards.
To begin the second quarter, Mizzou would score on its fourth straight possession. The drive started with a 46-yard gain on a pass from Bazelak to Mookie Cooper. The Tigers failed to convert their first third down of the game, but kicker Harrison Mevis connected on a 43-yard field goal to extend Mizzou’s lead to 24 points.
Bazelak continued to pick apart the Redhawk defense later in the second quarter. He connected with freshman wide receiver Chance Luper down the sideline for a 52-yard touchdown (his first career touchdown pass). The Tigers would also go on to score on their sixth straight drive with one-yard touchdown run by Badie to give Mizzou a 38-0 halftime lead.
Bazelak went into the locker room with three touchdown passes for 346 yards. In addition, Badie finished the first half with three total touchdowns (two rushing and one receiving) while also gathering 81 yards on the ground.
The Tiger defense was also stout throughout the first half. While they didn’t force any turnovers and had only one sack, Mizzou allowed just 64 yards of total offense and held SEMO to 0-5 on third down. In addition, they forced a punt on every Redhawk drive and only allowed an average of 3.3 yards per play.
The Mizzou defense would continue to make their presence known in the second half. Sophomore cornerback Kris Abrams-Draine hauled in a diving interception to give the Tigers the ball back on offense. This play would set up a touchdown pass by quarterback Brady Cook, who took over for Bazelak to start the second half, to running back Elijah Young from 3 yards out to extend the Tiger’s lead to 45 points.
The Redhawk offense would end the shutout late in the third quarter after a 4-yard touchdown run by running back Geno Hess. This touchdown cut Mizzou’s lead to 38 points and ended a streak of 45 unanswered points.
The Tiger offense would respond. Redshirt freshman quarterback Tyler Macon took over for Brady Cook and immediately found wide receiver JJ Hester for a 65-yard touchdown pass. With this touchdown, all three of Mizzou’s quarterbacks on the active roster scored a touchdown in today’s game.
Cook went 4-for-4 with 25 yards and one touchdown. Macon finished his day 3-for-4 with 69 yards and one TD, as well.
SEMO did outscore the Tigers 28-21 in the second half, and MU gave up 294 yards on the ground. After the game, head coach Eli Drinkwitz said he was not concerned with the Tigers second half performance.
"We were playing freshman true freshman who literally have not been over on the defensive side of the ball all week," Drinkwitz said. "They've been running scout team. We would've had a better chance to run SEMO's defense against SEMO's offense.
He added, "I take a lot of confidence away from what we were able to do and the improvements that we made."
Up next - Mizzou will travel northeast to meet Boston College on at 11 a.m. on Sept. 25.