Jackrabbits drop opener at Mizzou, 38-18
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri used big plays in all three phases of the game to defeat South Dakota State, 38-18, in the football season opener for both teams Saturday afternoon at Farout Field.
Each team scored a touchdown in the game’s first 63 seconds. Mizzou, ranked 24th in the Football Bowl Subdivision, took the opening kickoff and drew first blood on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Maty Mauk to Darius White to cap a three-play, 65-yard drive.
The Jackrabbits, ranked 10th in the Football Championship Subdivision, needed only one play to answer. Walter Payton Award candidate Zach Zenner ended up with a bobbled snap and rambled 75 yards through the Tiger defense on his first carry of the season.
The rest of the first quarter belonged to the Tigers, who scored a pair of touchdowns 1 minute and 7 seconds apart midway through the stanza. Mauk again hooked with White on a touchdown, this time from 39 yards, which was followed by a 10-yard run by Russell Hansbrough, who reversed field after being stacked up at the line of scrimmage. Hansbrough’s touchdown came immediately after a 19-yard interception return by Duron Singleton that put the Tigers at the Jackrabbit 10.
SDSU starting quarterback Austin Sumner left the game late in the first quarter due to injury, but backup Zach Lujan led the Jackrabbits on the lone scoring drive of the second quarter. The Jackrabbits moved 41 yards on 11 plays, culminating with a 39-yard field goal by Justin Syrovatka which made the score 21-10 heading into halftime.
The Jackrabbits drew to within 21-18 on the opening drive of the second half, putting together a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive. Lujan was 4-of-5 passing for 60 yards on the drive, which ended on Zenner’s second touchdown of the game – a 3-yard run.
Mizzou quickly wrested the momentum away from the Jackrabbits on the ensuing kickoff. Marcus Murphy fielded the ball in his own end zone and weaved his way through SDSU defenders for a 100-yard touchdown, giving the Tigers a 28-18 lead.
SDSU threatened to score two more times in the final 25 minutes, but a pair of red-zone turnovers – an interception in the third quarter and fourth-quarter fumble – kept the Jackrabbits from closing the gap.
The Tigers further put the game out of reach on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Mauk to Bud Sasser, followed by an Andrew Baggett 44-yard field goal to provide the final margin.
Mauk finished the game 13-of-21 for 178 yards and three touchdowns, while Hansbrough tallied a game-high 126 yards on the ground on 20 carries. Mizzou held a 393-365 advantage in total offense.
Zenner crossed the 100-yard mark for the 22nd time in his career, gaining 103 yards on 17 carries. He also recorded a game-high seven receptions for 41 yards. Redshirt freshman Jake Wieneke tallied six catches for 107 yards in his collegiate debut.
Lujan ended the game 21-of-28 passing for 239 yards. Sumner was 2-for-4 for seven yards prior to his injury.
T.J. Lally led the Jackrabbit defense with 11 tackles. Markus Golden recorded 10 tackles, including a pair of sacks, to pace Missouri.
NOTES: Saturday’s game marked the first meeting between South Dakota State and Missouri in football, and the Jackrabbits’ first game against a Southeastern Conference opponent … Zenner upped his career rushing total to 4,632, putting him 114 yards away from tying the Missouri Valley Football Conference career record held by Herb Donaldson of Western Illinois (4,746 yards from 2005-08) … Zenner has scored a rushing touchdown in 16 of his last 18 games, dating back to the 2012 regular season finale against South Dakota … SDSU held a 35:24 to 24:36 advantage in time of possession, including a 10-minute advantage in the third quarter … the Jackrabbits committed five penalties for 25 yards, while Mizzou was flagged five times for 27 yards … SDSU dropped to 0-7 against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents since moving to the FCS level in 2004 … attendance was 60,589