JONESBORO, Ark. – Mizzou Football (2-0) earned a hard-fought 27-20 victory at Arkansas State (0-2) on Saturday evening at Centennial Bank Stadium. Mizzou was paced by LB Kentrell Brothers, who tied a career-high with 16 tackles for the second straight week to go along with two fourth-quarter interceptions. QB Maty Mauk threw three touchdown passes in the win.
The Tigers extended a school-record regular season road victory streak to 11 games, dating back to Sept. 21, 2013.
Mizzou’s defense limited A-State to 217 total yards and outscored the Red Wolves 17-3 in the second half. The Tigers picked off three passes on the evening and recorded 15.0 tackles for loss (-60 yards).
“You never know what’s going to happen. As always, our team battled,” head coach Gary Pinkel said. “There’s a lot of things we can improve on, but there were also a lot of outstanding efforts. We worked well with the defense, but the offense executed better in the second half. We utilized field position well.”
Mauk completed 16 of 36 passes for 148 yards and added another 75 yards on the ground as the team’s leading rusher. For the sixth time in his career, Mauk threw at least three TD passes and also moved into sole possession of fourth place in program history with 41 career TD throws.
Mizzou rushed for 140 yards on 34 attempts, averaging 4.1 yards per carry as a team. RB Ish Witter added 50 yards on 12 carries.
Leading the field position battle, P Corey Fatony averaged 49.8 yards per punt and placed two inside the opposing 20-yard line.
The Tigers took an early 3-0 lead on a 30-yard field goal by PK Andrew Baggett with 8:00 remaining in the first quarter, capping a 12-play, 60-yard drive in 4:14.
Arkansas State pulled ahead 10-3 in the second quarter on a 7-yard TD pass from QB Fredi Knighten to WR Tres Houston and a 20-yard field goal by PK J.D. Houston as the Red Wolves turned two Mizzou interceptions into points.
On the play following CB John Gibson‘s second career interception that he returned 35 yards to the Arkansas State 11-yard line, Mauk connected with WR Nate Brown on a TD pass for the second consecutive week. Baggett’s PAT tied the game 10-10 with 4:08 left before halftime.
The Red Wolves answered with a second TD pass from Knighten to Houston from five yards out with eight seconds remaining in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, Mauk threw a 32-yard TD pass to WR Wesley Leftwich to tie the score at 17-17 with 5:25 on the clock and then gave Mizzou a 24-17 lead with a 21-yard scoring strike to TE Sean Culkin with 44 seconds left in the quarter. With five receptions for 46 yards on the evening, Culkin set new career-highs.
A-State PK Drew White cut the deficit to 24-20 on a 40-yard field with 11:30 remaining. Baggett gave Mizzou a 27-20 advantage with a 41-yard field goal with 7:10 left. Brothers’ second pick with 1:17 remaining sealed the victory.
LB Michael Scherer added 10 tackles (six solo), including 3.0 tackles for loss (-9 yards). DE Charles Harris recorded six tackles (five solo), 2.0 sacks (-17 yards), 4.5 tackles for loss (-24 yards) and two QB hurries.
Mizzou returns home for an 11 a.m. CT matchup on Sept. 19 vs. UConn on ESPN during the Tiger Stripe game at Faurot Field.