No. 19 Texas A&M falls at No. 5 Missouri, 28-21
Kevin Sumlin set the scene tersely after walking off the field
”There’s not a whole lot of positives when you lose,” the
Texas A&M coach said.
The 19th-ranked Aggies held the ball with 8:59 remaining against
No. 5 Missouri, but only managed one yard in their final three
possessions en route to a 28-21 loss.
”It’s a pretty tough pill to swallow right now,” wide receiver
Travis Labhart said.
Quarterback Johnny Manziel was held in check for the second
straight week, throwing one touchdown pass and rushing for 21 yards
on 11 carries. He was 24 for 35 for 195 yards. He threw for less
than 200 yards for the first time since gaining 94 through the air
in the opener against Rice.
Manziel appeared to be shaken up in the second quarter after a
hit by Missouri’s Andrew Wilson, and received attention with his
knee on the sideline. He had been dealing with a thumb injury in
recent weeks, but didn’t miss any time Saturday.
”He’s had better performances, he’s had worse performances,”
Sumlin said. ”There’s pressure on him to perform at a high level
all the time. . Whenever you don’t win, everything focuses on that.
There’s a lot of people out there playing besides him.”
The Aggies (8-4, 4-4 Southeastern Conference) allowed 225
rushing yards, including a 57-yard game-winning touchdown run by
Henry Josey with 3:34 remaining. The team has one of the worst
defenses against the run in the nation, allowing 221 yards per game
entering the night. Until Josey’s breakaway run, the Aggies had
done a nice job.
”We sold the ranch and tried to win the game, but missed the
hit in the hole,” defensive coordinator Mark Synder said.
Starting from Missouri’s 34-yard-line, Josey carried for four
yards and quarterback James Franklin ran for 5 yards. Josey then
busted free up the middle on third-and-1.
Texas A&M never threatened the rest of the game.
The loss gave Sumlin his first two-game losing streak with the
school in two seasons.
Missouri (11-1, 7-1) rode its strong second half to wrap up the
SEC East in just its second season in the league.
The Tigers advance to the conference championship game against
Auburn – a matchup of schools very lightly regarded before the
season. Missouri has made a six-win improvement from its initial
SEC season and fourth-ranked Auburn (11-1, 7-1) has topped last
year’s total by eight after stunning No. 1 Alabama.
Thousands of fans among a sellout crowd of 62,197 – nearly all
of them clad in black, stormed the field after the game ended. The
field wasn’t cleared for at least 20 minutes.
Missouri had been 11-44 under Pinkel when trailing at the half.
Pinkel has 101 wins in 13 seasons at Missouri, tied for Don Faurot
for most in school history.
Texas A&M’s Tra Carson broke two tackles on a 31-yard
scoring run that was also the first touchdown allowed by Missouri
in the first quarter in six games. Derel Walker’s 32-yard reception
made it 14-7 late in the half.
Walker’s score came just 1:10 after Franklin’s 38-yard touchdown
pass to L’Damian Washington. Manziel rolled out to buy time and
Michael Sam tackled him a beat too late.
Early in the second quarter, Missouri failed to capitalize on a
lost fumble by punt returner De’Vante Harris at the A&M 36.
Backup Maty Mauk got his usual early series at quarterback and
Missouri lost a yard on three plays before punting.