COLUMBIA, Mo. – Behind 32 second-half points and the arm and legs of QB Jayden Daniels, No. 23 LSU rallied past No. 21 Missouri, 49-39, in front of MU’s second straight sellout crowd at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field.
Daniels bedeviled Mizzou (5-1, 1-1) all day, completing 15-of-21 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns and running 15 times for 130 yards and a score. Three times in the second half he made big plays that gave LSU (4-2, 3-1) the lead.
Missouri led by 15 points, 22-7, midway through the second quarter and took a 32-27 advantage into the final frame. However, LSU scored 22 points in the fourth, including two touchdowns in the final three minutes, to earn the 49-39 victory.
But Mizzou’s Brady Cook was not to be outdone. He completed 30-of-47 passes for 395 yards, equaling his career high and going over 300 yards for the fourth straight week. But he also threw his first two interceptions of the season, and LSU turned both into touchdowns. His SEC record streak of consecutive passes without an interception came to an end at 365.
The first, by Harold Perkins Jr., came in the second quarter and led to a Daniels-to-Mason Taylor three-yard touchdown pass. The second came with less than a minute to play and LSU leading 42-39. Trying to hit Luther Burden III to keep alive a drive for a potential game-tying field goal, safety Major Burns nabbed the pass and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown that produced the game’s final points.
Two prolific offenses produced 1,060 total yards – LSU 533, MU 527 – and the lead changed hands five times in the second half.
Missouri got off to a quick start, forcing an LSU punt and scoring on its first possession for the fourth straight game, driving 87 yards on nine plays. Cook threw a 18-yard touchdown pass to Theo Wease Jr. in the back left corner of the end zone, then ran two yards for a two-point conversion that put MU ahead, 8-0.
LSU responded with a 75-yard march, keyed by Daniels. He completed a 39-yard pass over the middle to Malik Nabers that got the ball into Mizzou territory. Then, after being flushed from the pocket by Ty’Ron Hopper, he scrambled 19 yards down to the eight-yard line. Mizzou’s defense stiffened, but eventually, LSU’s Logan Diggs, who ran for 134 yards on the day, dove over the top for a one-yard TD that narrowed the score to 8-7.
Cook took the Tigers right back down the field, completing two passes to Burden and one for 16-yards to Daniel Blood, the true freshman’s first Mizzou reception, that put the ball on the LSU 21. Cody Schrader then broke off left tackle for a 21-yard TD run and MU increased its lead to 15-7. On the day, Schrader rushed 13 times for 114 yards and three scores.
On Mizzou’s next drive, Cook got the tight ends involved, hitting Tyler Stephens for 20 yards to the LSU nine, then Brett Norfleet for a nine-yard touchdown, the first of his career.
LSU’s Damian Ramos kicked a 48-yard field goal before the Perkins interception that led to the Daniels-to-Taylor touchdown that made the score 22-17. But in the final two minutes of the half, Cook led his Tigers down the field, hitting Burden for an 11-yard pass to the LSU 33 that positioned Harrison Mevis for a 50-yard field goal that he hit on the half’s final play to increase MU’s lead to 25-17.
Burden caught nine passes for 110 yards in the first half – his fifth straight game over the century mark – and finished with 11 receptions for 149 yards.
Mizzou got the ball first in the second half, and drove to the LSU 27, but Mevis missed a 44-yard FG. A 30-yard run up the middle by Daniels and a 21-yard pass to Nabers put the ball at the MU 12-yard line. But a big tackle of Diggs for no-gain by Nyles Gaddy and a potential TD pass to Nabers that was broken up by Kris Abrams-Draine forced the Bayou Tigers to kick a field goal that narrowed the Mizzou lead to 25-20.
LSU forced MU to punt for the first time in the game and got the ball at the MU 45-yard line after a short kick. On second down, Daniels threw a play-action pass down the middle for a 42-yard touchdown pass to Brian Thomas Jr. that gave LSU its first lead at 27-25.
The Tigers retook the lead moments later. After Schrader gained 52 yards on a stretch play to the left, and Wease caught a 17-yard third-down pass to the two-yard line, Schrader burst into the endzone for a 32-27 MU advantage.
Mizzou dodged a bullet on LSU’s next possession. After getting inside the MU 10-yard line, Daniels bobbled a shot-gun snap, but recovered and scrambled into the end zone for an apparent touchdown. But a holding penalty negated the TD, and Daniels had to leave the game after being hit at the goal line. Garrett Nussmeier came in to replace him, misfired on a pair of passes and Ramos missed a 29-yard field goal attempt.
Mizzou went three-and-out, but Luke Bauer boomed a 73-yard punt that pinned LSU deep in its own end. But hemmed in 3rd-and-9 at the nine, Daniels avoided pressure and scrambled 14 yards for a first down. He then hit Nabers over the middle for a 35-yard gain, and three plays later he ran a quarterback draw for a 35-yard touchdown. Nabers caught a conversion pass and LSU went on top, 35-32 with 7:45 to play.
Cook went back to work. He hit Burden for 42 yards and Mookie Cooper for 14. Schrader then carried the next three plays and scored on a one-yard run to give the Tigers a 39-35 lead with 5:40 left.
But Daniels continued to give Mizzou fits. On third-and five at the 40, he squirted through traffic for a 31-yard gain to the MU 29, then hit Nabers wide open on a wheel route down the right sideline for a touchdown that gave LSU the lead for good at 42-39 lead.
The Tigers travel to Lexington, Kentucky to take on the Kentucky Wildcats in a SEC East battle at Kroger Field. Game time on Saturday, Oct. 14, will be either 6 p.m. CT on ESPN, or 6:30 p.m. on the SEC Network. Final determination will be made after all of today’s SEC action.
Group and single-game tickets for Missouri’s remaining home games are available for purchase now by calling 1-800-CAT-PAWS or buying online.
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