GAMEDAY College Football

Missouri 52, Louisiana Tech 24

By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Heralded recruit Luther Burden III reached the end zone twice in his debut, Missouri's new-look defense showed progress against Louisiana Tech, and the Tigers rolled to a 52-24 victory over the Bulldogs at Faurot Field.

Joseph Charleston returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown, and Brady Cook, who won the starting job early in fall camp for Missouri, threw for 196 yards with an interception and a touchdown run.

Cody Schrader, Nathaniel Peat and BJ Harris also had touchdown runs for the Tigers.

Yet it was Burden, the five-star prospect from St. Louis, who delivered on the hype. He caught a swing pass from Cook before making one defender miss and splitting two more for his first score, then he took a direct snap and ran for another.

Burden's only real gaffe came on a sharp throw that bounced off his hands for an interception.

Louisiana Tech's Matthew Downing threw for 184 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions in new coach Sonny Cumbie's version of the Air Raid offense. Downing didn't get much help from the Bulldogs' ground game, though, which ran 22 times for 11 yards against what was one of the worst rush defenses in the Football Bowl Subdivision last season.

Indeed, most of the focus around Missouri has been on the defense, which was rebuilt for new coordinator Blake Baker around a slew of Division I transfers. And they got into the act right away: Florida arrival Ty'Ron Hopper and Charleston, a newcomer from Clemson, had two of the Tigers' three first-half interceptions.

It was the first time Missouri picked three passes in a first half since Sept. 4, 1982, against Colorado State.

Charleston's pick-six early in the second quarter came two plays after Schrader, who transferred in after leading Division II in rushing last season for Truman State, had catapulted into the end zone to give Missouri an early 7-3 lead.

It wasn't a perfect performance by any means for the Tigers, who nonetheless led 24-10 at the break.

They were on the move after Charleston's score when tight end Tyler Stephens fumbled the ball away inside the Louisiana Tech 10. The Tigers also blew coverage on a simple slant that Griffin Herbert turned into a 75-yard TD reception, and twice spanning halftime the Tigers were stuffed on fourth-and-short conversions.

Burden's short TD run and Cook's 20-yard scoring scamper late in the third quarter put the game away.

THE TAKEAWAY

Louisiana Tech kept slinging the ball, even when the game was out of reach, and backup QB Parker McNeil was rewarded with a pair of late touchdown passes. It was a positive sign for the future of an offense designed around the pass.

Missouri will need much better offensive line play beginning with next week's trip to Kansas State. Along with failing to push the pile on fourth-and-short, the Tigers' front struggled to protect Cook and committed far too many penalties.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter LaTechMissou
LaTech FG 5:48 Jacob Barnes 33 yard field goal 3 0
Second Quarter LaTechMissou
Missou TD 14:56 Cody Schrader 5 yard TD run (Harrison Mevis Extra Point) 3 7
Missou TD 14:25 Joseph Charleston 24 yard interception return for TD (Harrison Mevis Extra Point) 3 14
Missou TD 7:05 Luther Burden III 5 yard TD run (Harrison Mevis Extra Point) 3 21
LaTech TD 6:53 Griffin Hebert 75 yard TD pass from Matthew Downing (Jacob Barnes Extra Point) 10 21
Missou FG 0:04 Harrison Mevis 31 yard field goal 10 24
Third Quarter LaTechMissou
Missou TD 8:18 Luther Burden III 1 yard TD run (Harrison Mevis Extra Point) 10 31
Missou TD 0:40 Brady Cook 20 yard TD run (Harrison Mevis Extra Point) 10 38
Fourth Quarter LaTechMissou
LaTech TD 13:52 Cyrus Allen 64 yard TD pass from Parker McNeil (Jacob Barnes Extra Point) 17 38
Missou TD 10:49 Nathaniel Peat 34 yard TD run (Harrison Mevis Extra Point) 17 45
Missou TD 3:35 BJ Harris 2 yard TD run (Harrison Mevis Extra Point) 17 52
LaTech TD 0:50 Cyrus Allen 37 yard TD pass from Parker McNeil (Jacob Barnes Extra Point) 24 52
Team Stats
  Louisiana Tech Missouri
First downs 18 31
  Rushing 3 17
  Passing 12 10
  Penalty 3 4
3rd Down Efficiency 6-16, 38% 7-12, 58%
4th down efficiency 0-0, -% 1-2, 50%
Rushes-Yards 23-13 52-346
Passing Yards 327 215
Return Yards 57 72
Completions-Attempts-Int 26-45-3 18-27-1
Sacks-Yards Lost 4-28 1-4
Punts 7 4
Fumbles Lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties - Yards 7-60 10-105
Louisiana Tech Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
M. Downing 19 34 185 1 3
P. McNeil 7 11 142 2 0
Missouri Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
B. Cook 16 24 181 0 1
J. Abraham 2 3 34 0 0
Louisiana Tech Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
M. Crosby 7 23 3.3 0
T. Harris 2 6 3.0 0
G. Garner 4 6 1.5 0
C. Thornton 2 5 2.5 0
P. McNeil 1 -3 -3.0 0
S. Harris 2 -10 -5.0 0
M. Downing 5 -14 -2.8 0
Missouri Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
N. Peat 9 84 9.3 1
C. Schrader 17 74 4.4 1
B. Cook 7 61 8.7 1
E. Young 2 37 18.5 0
L. Burden III 4 31 7.8 2
M. Cox 6 28 4.7 0
B. Harris 4 19 4.8 1
D. Lovett 1 18 18.0 0
T. Dove 2 -6 -3.0 0
Louisiana Tech Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
C. Allen 5 122 24.4 2
G. Hebert 3 93 31.0 1
S. Harris 5 43 8.6 0
T. Harris 5 27 5.4 0
G. Garner 3 14 4.7 0
T. Magee 1 12 12.0 0
M. Crosby 2 7 3.5 0
J. Lewis 1 6 6.0 0
K. Maxwell 1 3 3.0 0
Missouri Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
D. Lovett 6 71 11.8 0
B. Banister 3 43 14.3 0
T. Dove 2 40 20.0 0
T. Stephens 2 33 16.5 0
M. Miller 1 17 17.0 0
L. Burden III 2 12 6.0 0
N. Peat 1 6 6.0 0
C. Schrader 1 -7 -7.0 0
Louisiana Tech Interceptions
Player Int Yards
M. Carabin 1 11
Missouri Interceptions
Player Int Yards
J. Charleston 1 24
T. Hopper 1 15
J. Carlies 1 10
Louisiana Tech Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
P. Rea 4 139 34.8
A. McCready 3 103 34.3
Missouri Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
S. Koetting 4 185 46.3
Louisiana Tech Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
S. Harris 1 44 44.0
Missouri Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Louisiana Tech Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
A. Walker 1 2 2.0
Missouri Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
K. Abrams-Draine 1 23 23.0
Louisiana Tech Missed FG
Player Length
J. Barnes 50
Missouri Missed FG
Player Length




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