No. 5 Missouri defeated No. 21 Texas A&M 28-21 to punch a ticket to the SEC Championship game against No. 4 Auburn. Missouri improved to 11-1 (7-1 SEC), and Texas A&M fell to 8-4 (4-4 SEC).
The Texas A&M Aggies scored first on a Tra Carson 29-yard rushing touchdown at 6:34 in the first quarter. The first quarter would end with the Aggies up 7-0. It was a slow start to an otherwise exciting game.
To begin the second quarter, the Missouri Tigers were forced to punt, but recovered a fumble by De’Vante Harris. Texas A&M’s defense remained impenetrable, and forced a second consecutive three and out for the Tigers. After the Aggies put together a decent drive, they punted the ball to Missouri’s six-yard line. Missouri QB James Franklin marched down the field, and connected on a 38-yard TD pass to WR Dorial Green-Beckham to even the score at seven. On the Aggies’ next possession, Johnny Manziel matched Franklin with a four play, 75-yard drive . The drive ended on a 32-yard TD pass by Manziel to WR Derel Walker to put the Aggies ahead 14-7. The second quarter ended after a missed field goal attempt by Missouri.
Missouri scored on its first two possessions to begin the third quarter. During Mizzou’s first drive, Franklin connected on a 35-yard pass to WR L’Damian Washington making it first and goal at the two-yard line. RB Marcus Murphy capped the drive with a two-yard TD run to tie the game at 14. Missouri got the ball back after an impressive 31-yard punt return by Murphy. Franklin then completed four of five passes including an impressive five-yard TD pass to Washington to put the Tigers ahead 21-14.
To begin the fourth quarter, Missouri punter Christian Brinser pinned A&M on their own two-yard line. In the ensuing 98-yard TD drive, Manziel completed four of five passes, and RB Trey Williams rushed for 47 yards on three carries to bring Texas A&M to Missouri’s seven-yard line. RB Ben Malena punched the ball into the endzone on a seven-yard rush to tie the game at 21-21.
After Texas A&M’s tremendous drive, both teams would get the ball back twice without scoring. At 4:47, Missouri began their game-winning drive at their own 34-yard line. The drive only lasted three plays because RB Henry Josey broke through for a 57-yard TD rush with 3:34 left in the game. The touchdown put the Tigers ahead 28-21, and after a three and out for the Aggies, victory formation ensued.
Missouri’s top performers: QB James Franklin completed 18 of 28 for 233 yards and 2 TDs. Franklin also rushed for 80 yards on 18 carries. RB Henry Josey had 13 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown. WR L’Damian Washington had six receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown. WR Dorial Green-Beckham had seven receptions for 93 yards and a tounchdown.
Texas A&M’s top performers: QB Johnny Manziel completed 24 of 35 passes for 195 yards and a TD. RB Brandon Williams had six carries for 57 yards. RB Trey Williams had six carries for 48 yards, and RBs Tra Carson and Ben Malena each had a rushing TD. WR Travis Labhart had seven receptions for 81 yards.