Mizzou's goal-line stand helps beat No. 17 LSU, 45-41
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Connor Bazelak threw for 406 yards and four touchdowns, and Missouri's maligned defense stopped No. 17 LSU four times at the 1-yard line in the final minute, allowing the Tigers to escape with a 45-41 victory on Saturday in a shootout moved from Baton Rouge because of Hurricane Delta.
Larry Rountree added 119 yards rushing and Tyler Badie scored touchdowns on the ground and through the air for Mizzou (1-2), which gave new coach Eli Drinkwitz his first win in thrilling fashion at Faurot Field.
LSU had taken a 41-38 lead when Cade York hit a 51-yard field goal on the final play of the third quarter. But when York tried to extend the lead midway through the fourth, his 45-yarder was blocked, and Missouri needed just four plays — the big one a 69-yard pass to Chance Luper — before Bazelak hit Nico Hea with the go-ahead touchdown with 5:18 to go.
Myles Brennan, who threw for 430 yards and four TDs, quickly moved LSU the other direction. Terrace Marshall Jr. had four catches on the drive, the last a completion to the 1-yard line with 44 seconds left. But after Tyrion Davis-Price was stuffed twice up the middle, Missouri batted down two straight passes to preserve the upset.
The defending national champions, who were 0 for 10 on third down, fell to 1-2 for the first time since 1994.
Marshall finished with 11 catches for 235 yards and three scores. Arik Gilbert added six catches for 97 yards and a TD.
The game was tied 24-all at halftime thanks to some trickery by Missouri's offense — and no thanks to the Tigers' miscues, including a pair of muffed punt returns and Bazelak's fumble that turned into an LSU score.
Missouri struck first when Bazelak took a pitch from Badie on a flea-flicker and threw downfield to Tauskie Dove for a 58-yard TD reception. But the Bayou Bengals answered with back-to-back touchdown passes from Brennan to Marshall, part of an opening salvo in which the LSU quarterback was 7 of 7 for 114 yards passing.
Brennan cooled off, though. He was 6 of 15 for the rest of the half while LSU managed a single yard on the ground.
That gave Mizzou a chance to turn a 24-14 deficit into a tie game. Jalen Knox took an end-around 16 yards for a score, then Rountree ran right out of his shoe to help set up Harrison Mevis's 52-yard field goal before halftime.
The storylines of the first half continued in the second: Missouri made mistakes — Rountree fumbled at his own goal line and Tyrion Davis-Price promptly ran in for an LSU touchdown — and LSU kept blowing defensive assignments, which led to Bazelak answering with a 41-yard touchdown toss to wide open Micah Wilson.
The back-and-forth continued with Brennan hitting Marshall on the next play for a 75-yard go-ahead score, and Missouri answering a couple series later when Badie caught a slant pass and took it 21 yards to make it 38-all.
LSU allowed 586 yards of total offense, including 180 yards on the ground, and were unable to get off the field when it mattered the most. Part of the problem was a winded defense — LSU only managed 49 yards rushing to help it out.
Missouri showed incredible resilience in surviving three lost fumbles, a bunch of players out due to COVID-19 and injuries and the sudden change of venue to give Drinkwitz his first victory since he was hired away from Appalachian State.
Mizzou confirmed six players were out because of the virus or contact tracing: wide receivers Damon Hazelton, Keke Chism and Dominic Gicinto; defensive tackle Akiel Byers; and defensive backs Stacy Brown and Tyler Jones.
Along with Byers, the Tigers were missing defensive linemen Darius Robinson (right ankle) and Kobie Whiteside (right leg) to injuries. Another defensive lineman, Isaiah McGuire, was shaken up after hitting Brennan on a scramble early on.
Things get no easier for LSU, which heads to fourth-ranked Florida next Saturday. Missouri plays host to Vanderbilt.