Missouri ended their brief two-game losing streak with a 45-14 win over New Mexico State on Senior Night in Week 12, with the lasting images being Senior Tigers (5-6) taking stones from the big, rock-filled “M” that sits behind one of the goalposts at Faurot Field when the clock hit three zeros.
“Congratulations to our seniors, these 21 young men who had the opportunity to carry away the stone is one of the great traditions we have here and I’m really proud of these guys,” said the Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz sHelp. “Once we got through bye week, that was our goal, to make sure the seniors had a chance to carry a rock off the field.”
wide receiver Barrett railing probably had the best game of any Mizzou senior. This comes a week after a career day in Tennessee when he had seven receptions for 74 yards. On Saturday, in his penultimate home game, Banister tied for career-high catches and had a career-high 91 yards.
“It’s great. Barrett has been a really altruistic player for us,” Drinkwitz said. “He watches other guys go out and a lot of plays get called for them and he just shows up and makes big catches on third downs. He does.” A lot of things are right, so I appreciate him a lot.”
Banister eclipsed 100 career receptions and 1,000 career receptions earlier in the season and is a semifinalist for the Wuerffel Trophy, an award celebrating college football players who have made a positive impact on society and to inspire greater service in the world.
At the 9:55 mark in the fourth quarter, Banister took a hard shot on a fast incline and then left the game. Railings along with defensive launchers Isaiah McGuire, Kris Abrams-Draine, Joseph Charleston and Ty’Ron Hopper All left the game with injuries and did not return.
The severity of the injuries to people is not known.
DJ Coleman had another solid day with four tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack.
Coleman had his third straight start and this game was the sixth straight game in which he had at least .5 sacks and it is his seventh straight game with at least .5 tackles lost.
“I think he’s an example of taking every opportunity,” Drinkwitz said. “His performance on the field was really good and gave him the opportunity to play more.”
A mixed bag of results from Sam Horn and younger players
A lot of people have been asking for some of Missouri’s younger and more experienced boys to see some play time.
There were chances against Louisiana Tech, Kansas State, Abilene Christian and Tennessee, but Drinkwitz kept his starters from start to finish for most of those games except for the senior backup quarterback Jack Abraham Sighting at the end of the Abilene Christian game.
The most wanted player of the whole season was a true four-star freshman SamHornwho made his season debut in the fourth quarter.
He missed 0 of 2 and had a rush for 10 yards. He made a decent play against Banister that would have resulted in a 30-plus yard gain and Banister’s first 100-yard receiving day of his career, but an illegal man downfield penalty resulted in that game being annulled.
Horn played one series while Abraham finished the last two series with 1 of 2 for 10 yards.
Back race Tavor Jones probably seen the most action out of any player who hasn’t typically cracked the Tigers rotation this season and that seemed to be taking the snaps Elijah Young had in the past few weeks. Young lost a fumble last week and didn’t come on the field this week. Ironically, Jones had four carries for 12 yards and one reception for 32 yards, but he also lost a fumble.
Throughout the season, defender Daylan Carnell and Jalani Williams were used sparingly on defense but their performance caught the eye of Drinkwitz while he said others were disappointing. Carnell had returned an interception for a touchdown that marked the Tigers’ first takeaway against South Carolina since week nine. Williams also got an interception, the first of his career.
“I think it’s a real opportunity for younger players to develop and see what it’s like to play in a college football environment,” Drinkwitz said. “I thought some of these guys handled it well and some didn’t. Jalani Williams did a great job when Joseph (Charleston) went down. He played pretty much the rest of the game (from the second quarter onwards) and Daylan Carnell did a good job and so did he Jalen Marshall. Carnell is a guy who is always on the ball and his production is really good.”
Max Whisner and Xavier Simmons saw their first action of the season in special teams. Marshal, Tyler Jones and Marquis Gracial saw some defensive snaps with less than six minutes to go in regulation. Marshall and Gracial each had a tackle while Jones had a pass deflection.
Close end Ryan Hörstkamp has seen more and more action over the past month and had a 32-yard touchdown, the first of his career, on his first goal of the season. He finished the game with two receptions for 32 yards.
“I think since South Carolina he’s continued to take his opportunity and ring the bell,” Drinkwitz said. “Some of these other guys need to see the same thing and they need to do it. I’m really proud of him and it was a great opportunity to finish that catch 30 meters after the catch.”
“Growing up as a kid from Missouri, I always dreamed of doing something like this,” Hoerstkamp said. “I didn’t come into the night expecting that. I just came in to win. When I saw the piece I thought the piece was dead or something because I figured there was no way there would be that much space.
Defense is recovering after a historically bad day in Week 11
After a historically poor performance in Knoxville last week, the Tigers’ defense looked more like themselves in Week 12. The Tigers held New Mexico State on 14 points, five below the season average and 259 total yards.
It was far from a master class. Mizzou still gave up 16 first downs and allowed the Aggies to go on third down 8 of 16. At the start of week 12, the state of New Mexico was 120th in third down conversion with 30%. New Mexico State was also 2 of 2 in the red zone.
“I thought they played well. I didn’t find it as clean as we wanted,” Drinkwitz said. There are a lot of things that need to be cleaned up by Friday.”
Mizzou got two sacks and seven tackles for the loss.
Luther Burden III shines again
It’s almost poetic, this true newcomer Luther Burden III shone on Senior Night. The East St. Louis product had three receptions for 35 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 12 yards on three rushes.
This was Burden’s third game in which he notched multiple touchdowns and he now has eight for his rookie campaign.
“When I get the ball I’m just trying to score and put points on the board,” Burden said.
Burden said he thinks he could have done more this season but is okay with the eight touchdowns. He said his blocking has gotten better than it was at the start of the season and that, along with maturity, is likely the reason for his increase in snaps over the past few games.
“I think the way I carry myself through the building and I’m always on time and I’m always locked in,” Burden said.
Burden shares hotel rooms with senior wide receivers Tauskie Pigeon and Banister during Game Weeks and he credits both for helping him become more professional off the field.
“It was really important for me to bring them the skirt (after the game) because they took me under their wing when I got here,” Burden said. “They mostly helped me to be self-sustaining and to be a leader. When they’re gone, I’ll have to get up and take control next year.”