Henry Josey scored a late fourth quarter touchdown on Saturday night to help Mizzou beat Texas A&M 28-21 and clinch the SEC East title.
The win gives Mizzou the outright SEC Eastern Division crown and a berth in next Saturday’s SEC Championship game against Auburn.
After both teams traded stops to start the game, the Aggies put together a 65-yard scoring drive to get on the board first.
The score remained 7-0 until midway through the second quarter. A nice defensive stand highlighted by a sack by Matt Hoch and Michael Sam stopped Texas A&M’s first drive of the quarter at the Mizzou 40, forcing them to punt.
Mizzou took over at its own 6-yard line, and James Franklin connected with L’Damian Washington for 23 yards on the first play to give the offense some breathing room. Franklin then broke off a 13 and an 8-yard run to bring Mizzou to midfield. Another 8-yard scamper by Josey gave Mizzou a first down, and then Franklin found Dorial Green-Beckham in the end zone two plays later for a 38-yard score to tie the game.
After an touchdown by the Aggies, Mizzou got the ball to start the second half and wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. Franklin hit Washington down the middle of the field for 35 yards to put Mizzou on the two, and Marcus Murphy finished off the seven play, 75-yard drive on the next play to even the score at 14.
The Mizzou defense forced an Aggie punt on their next possession, and Murphy spoiled the 58-yarder with a 31-yard return in which he broke four tackles. Riding newfound momentum, Mizzou took over from its own 43 and drove it down to the five on just seven plays. That’s when Franklin threw a perfect jump ball to Washington, who made a miraculous play to haul it in, hang on, and give his team the lead 21-14.
The Mizzou lead stayed intact until the beginning of the fourth quarter. A beautiful 50-yard punt by Christian Brinser pinned Texas A&M down at the 2-yard line.
The Mizzou defense responded brilliantly and forced two straight three-and-outs after a touchdown from the Aggies.
Mizzou took over with 4:47 left at its own 34 after the Texas A&M punt. A 4-yard rush by Josey and 5-yard keeper by Franklin set up the play that Mizzou fans will remember forever. On third and one from the 43 with 3:34 left in the game, Josey took the handoff from James Franklin, hit the hole, and sprinted 57 yards into the end zone untouched to put Mizzou up for good.
The Mizzou defense came up huge one last time and forced another Texas A&M three-and-out, and then a 16-yard play action pass to Eric Waters and an 11-yard run by Russell Hansbrough sealed the victory.
Franklin finished the game with 233 yards passing and two touchdowns. The senior quarterback was also very effective with his legs, rushing for 80 yards on 18 carries. Josey led the rushing attack with 96 yards of his own on 13 carries. Hansbrough ran the ball eight times for 48 yards, and Murphy gained 9 yards on two carries, including his 2-yard touchdown run.
Washington and Green-Beckham each had big games receiving. To go along with their respective touchdown grabs, Washington hauled in six balls for 97 yards, and Green-Beckham corralled seven catches for 93 yards.
In total, Mizzou outgained the high-octane Texas A&M offense 463-379.