No. 19 Texas A&M falls at No. 5 Missouri, 28-21

Kevin Sumlin set the scene tersely after walking off the field

Saturday night.

”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.