Mizzou's Murphy Already has Record for KR Scores

5 years 11 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, October 31 2012 Oct 31, 2012 Wednesday, October 31, 2012 3:59:32 PM CDT October 31, 2012 in Football
By: Associated Press

COLUMBIA (AP) -- In a season filled with as many negatives as positives, Missouri knows it has an equalizer in Marcus Murphy.

"Every time you see 'Murph' out there, everyone goes crazy," receiver Marcus Lucas said. "Everyone stands up, and everyone's into it."

And for good reason.

Murphy's four kick returns for touchdowns are a school record, one he needed only seven games to break.

He leads the nation with three punt returns and ranks 10th with an average of 15.4 yards per return. His kickoff return average of 31.4 yards would rank sixth in the country, though he hasn't returned enough kickoffs to officially qualify.

With Missouri (4-4, 1-4 Southeastern Conference) gaining its fewest yards per game since 1995, Murphy's breakout performance couldn't come at a better time for the Tigers. Establishing field position has been critical, and Murphy will likely be counted on again as the team travels to face No. 8 Florida (7-1, 6-1) and its sixth-ranked defense.

"It's great to have a player like that back there that can touch the football and change the game," coach Gary Pinkel said. "Just give him some space, and he can make people miss. And then he just does what he does naturally. I don't think you coach that. I don't think you teach it. I just think he has that gift."

Murphy's latest touchdown on special teams came on a 98-yard kickoff return against No. 1 Alabama on Oct. 13 immediately following a lightning delay. Though the Tigers lost 42-10, offensive coordinator Dave Yost credited Murphy's return for energizing the team after it fell behind 28-0 midway through the second quarter. Including Murphy's return, Missouri then outscored the Tide 10-7 for two quarters.

"That's a big spark, most of our production on offense," defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said.

Success hasn't always been easy to maintain for Murphy, though. After returning kicks during his freshman year, he missed the 2011 season recovering from a torn labrum. In addition to returning punts this year, he performed well enough to regain the primary kick returner job after playing Alabama, but promptly fumbled twice on special teams in his next game against Kentucky. He also committed a fumble as a tailback against the Tide.

Wind affected the first punt, resulting in Murphy diving forward for a ball he couldn't corral. The second was right to him, but he says he lost focus, thinking about his return before actually catching the ball first.

"The more playing time you get, the more mistakes you'll make," Murphy said. "So you can just learn from that time, just go out and play the best you can, even after you make the mistakes."

The redshirt sophomore says doubt can enter the equation, but the team has a "5-second rule" to try to prevent that from happening. Still, even after scoring his first offensive touchdown of the season later in the game, he said the drops bothered him.

In addition to fielding punts and kickoffs, Murphy is the backup at tailback. With only four carries in his previous four games, he rushed a season-high eight times against Kentucky for 43 yards. Yost said the team is hoping to give Murphy more touches, but it's been difficult given how few plays the offense has been able to run.

"It's just a part of the game plan," Murphy said. "If I get more touches, that's how it goes. But I'm just going to try to focus on making plays whenever I get the ball."

Murphy's 9-yard scamper into the end zone proved how valuable the 5-foot-9, 185-pound tailback can be as he made two cutbacks in a display of speed and misdirection.

"That's just him," tailbacks coach Brian Jones said. "It's just something that when you're out there and you're in the heat of the battle, it's an instinct. He just finds things and makes things happen and does a great job with it."

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - The FBI recently released violent crime statistics for Jefferson City. Some of the notable Jefferson City... More >>
14 minutes ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 7:33:00 AM CDT October 23, 2018 in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY (AP) — An 18-year-old Kansas City man has been found guilty of fatally shooting a man who he... More >>
53 minutes ago Tuesday, October 23 2018 Oct 23, 2018 Tuesday, October 23, 2018 6:53:30 AM CDT October 23, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - The uncle of the Columbia native who died in a car crash late Saturday night described his nephew... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 9:40:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A new reading program started by the Missouri River Regional Library encourages children to read 1,000 books... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 6:56:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Three air conditioning units were stolen from Discovery Church in Northeast Columbia Tuesday night. The pastor of the... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 6:01:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Parson appointed the new director of the Missouri Medicaid program, filling a permanent position after 22... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 5:40:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Renee Hoagenson and Vicky Hartzler are running against each other for a seat in the House of Representatives.... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 5:28:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A poster display regarding sexual orientation and gender identity at Gentry Middle School received mixed reviews from parents... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 4:06:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mizzou forward Jontay Porter will miss the entire 2018-19 basketball season after tearing both the ACL and MCL... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 3:40:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A downtown Columbia restaurant discontinued an Election Day incentive after realizing it could be violating voter laws. ... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 2:39:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
O'FALLON (AP) — A suburban St. Louis man who has served as a Cub Scout den leader has been charged... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 2:32:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
(CNN) - The United Nations' drug strategy of the past 10 years has been a failure, according to a major... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 2:17:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors filed charges Monday against the driver of a car which crashed late Saturday, killing one person. ... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 12:49:00 PM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The Missouri Republican Party says a miscommunication caused 10,000 voters in the state to receive mailers... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 10:31:00 AM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court has allowed an injunction to remain in place against part of... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 9:44:00 AM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Police say one person died and three people were injured when an off-duty Kansas City police... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 7:48:00 AM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — Three black trailblazers at the University of Missouri have been honored on the Columbia campus. The... More >>
1 day ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 7:36:12 AM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA -The next Mega Millions drawing will take place the night of Oct. 23 at 10 p.m. central time. ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, October 22 2018 Oct 22, 2018 Monday, October 22, 2018 3:57:00 AM CDT October 22, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 46°
8am 44°
9am 47°
10am 51°
11am 55°