No. 16 Missouri falls to No. 1 Alabama in Atlanta
ATLANTA - The No. 16 Missouri Tigers fell to the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide 42-13 in the SEC championship game. The Tigers were within a possession until Alabama scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to roll to victory.
The Crimson Tide opened up the scoring with a one-yard touchdown run from T.J. Yeldon on the opening possession. This was the lone score of the opening quarter.
The Tide doubled their advantage early in the second quarter when Blake Sims found DeAndrew White for a 58-yard touchdown strike. On this play, Missouri lost star defensive end Shane Ray to a targeting call.
The Tigers finally responded with a 33-yard field goal from Andrew Baggett. However, Missouri's defense couldn't prevent Alabama from getting another touchdown before the half. Yeldon ran in from two yards out for his second score of the day and Missouri went into the locker room down 21-3.
Mizzou got back into the game on the opening drive of the second half. Maty Mauk, who was out of sync in the first half, found Jimmie Hunt on a third down for a 63-yard gain. The Tigers converted on a fourth-and-goal when Mauk found Bud Sasser from one yard out to cut Alabama's lead to 21-10.
The Tigers added a field goal after stopping the Crimson Tide to pull to within one possession. The comeback effort ended there.
Alabama marched 64 yards for a touchdown to create breathing room. Sims found Christian Jones for a six-yard touchdown pass and the Crimson Tide had a 28-13 lead early in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers could not get a score on the ensuing possession and Alabama began to put the game away. Derrick Henry came in for Yeldon and made an impact right away with a 26-yard touchdown run. Alabama now led 35-13 and had complete control of the game.
Missouri needed a touchdown to have any chance of a comeback, but Darius White fumbled on a long reception over the middle of the field. Alabama's Landon Collins recovered to put the game on ice. Henry made sure of that by accounting for all 62 yards on Alabama's ensuing drive to bring the final score to 42-13.
The Tigers drop to 10-3 with the loss and will await their bowl game destination. That announcement will come at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.