Saturday was a more than emotional day for Tigers running back Henry Josey, who returned after almost two years of rehab to rush for 113 yards and this touchdown against Murray State.
Doctors called Josey’s torn left patellar tendon, torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments, a “one in a million” injury when he suffered it in November 2011. Now the redshirt junior out of Angelton, Texas is making just as improbable a comeback.
Coach Gary Pinkel awarded Josey the game ball after the win Saturday for his courage and strength along such a long and tumultuous road back.
Click above to watch Josey’s biggest play from the weekend, a 68-yard score with just more than six minutes left in the third quarter that put the Tigers up 50-14.
Josey is handed the ball in a draw by quarterback Maty Mauk and deftly cuts through a right side hole, off tackle. Soon he’s passing wide receiver Darius White and up the sideline.
Once there, Josey outruns four defenders, two with favorable angles on him, making it past midfield and into the red zone. After sprinting past a Murray State safety inside the ten, Josey dives into the endzone and screams.
He points up to heaven and is mobbed by teammates Jimmie Hunt and White.
As Mizzou fans on all sides of the stadium cheer, the celebration continues when offensive lineman Justin Britt lifts Josey in his arms and brings him to his team. The Tigers had been waiting a long time for the dynamic tailback to return–and return he has–with his signature explosiveness and speed.
Back on the sideline, Josey is congratulated by all his teammates, including E.J. Gaines, who knows something about explosiveness and speed. The cornerback intercepted two passes Saturday and was a big reason Missouri held Murray State to just 14 points.
Josey had rushed for 1,168 yards and nine touchdowns before injuring his leg in 2011. Coach Pinkel will rely on Josey and sophomore Russell Hansbrough (104 yards Saturday) to take pressure of quarterback James Franklin and lead an effective, balanced ground attack this season.