Mizzou Sophomore Makes History in First Game of Season
COLUMBIA -- The Missouri Tigers kicked off their inaugural S-E-C season Saturday night against South-East Louisiana. The game was more about how the players viewed the game and how one sophomore made Mizzou history.
With their first S-E-C conference game against one of the nation's top teams on the horizon, it might have been easy for Missouri to overlook their game agianst South-Eastern Louisiana.
"We focus on the team at hand and so tomorrow we'll look at Georgia. But we do have reports that we do against all our opponents, and personnel offense, defense and kicking schemes," head coach Gary Pinkel said.
"We coulda played Alabama today, it doesn't matter. We come out every game like this high intense football, everybody," junior Sheldon Richardson said.
The offense got off to a quick start.
"Well it defenitely helped out because we were kind of moving the ball hitting some downfield runs and running the ball pretty good and it defenitely helped out," junior James Franklin said.
The defense got in on the scoring too, returning an interception and fumble recovery for touchdowns. Missouri built a 28 point lead before the first quarter was even over.
"Defensive touchdowns, they are huge momentum. A lot of times field position flips the scoring flips," Pinkel said.
But in the second half it was a sophomore running back who stole the show.
"Yeah he's got quickness. I think first of all the punt return he would be the first to tell you that they gotta give him some space just get one crease and get him out in the open," Pinkel said.
And get him out in the open they did, as Murphy brought home another punt return in the fourth quarter. I was the first time in Mizzou history a player has scored twice off punt returns in the same game.
"Special teams, punt return teams, you know a blocked punt, they can have huge impacts on games and field positions," Pinkel said. "They're just mammoth plays."
The Tigers will need more mammoth plays from Murphy, the defense, and the special team units as they continue their first year of S-E-C play.
The Tigers will host the sixth ranked Georgia Bulldogs next week at Faurot Field.