This game didn’t really mean anything. It was another opportunity for the Tigers to get in some work in a stress-free game. Troy shocked the Missouri defense driving right down the field on their first possession but the Tigers quickly figured it out and held Troy to just a field goal the rest of the day.
The biggest concern after the game was the health of quarterback Kelly Bryant who left the game injured. Bryant was hit low from behind after he threw a touchdown pass. It initially looked like a serious knee injury but when Bryant stood up and walked off the field on his own those fears were relieved. We still don’t know how bad the injury is but I would be surprised if he missed any games.
Player of the Game:
Senior linebacker Cale Garrett was the easy choice for Player of the Game. Garrett intercepted two passes int the game. He returned the first one to the one yard line. The second one he took one yard further and scored a touchdown. The interceptions themselves didn’t look like they were anything special but when you have two interceptions in a game and three consecutive games with a touchdown you are doing something very special on defense. Garrett had a special game against Troy. In addition to the interceptions he had five solo tackles, two of them for a loss and two quarterback hurries.
The turning point of the game came on Troy’s second offensive possession. On their first possession the Trojans marched 75 yards on 12 plays for a touchdown. Troy’s second possession lasted just five plays and ended with a punt. The Missouri defense adjusted and dominated Troy for the rest of the game.
The Tigers defense as a whole gets a good job for this game. Although the Tigers should dominate Troy, they did more than could have been expected. The defense held Troy to just 150 yards passing and 61 yards rushing on 31 rushing attempts. Of the 150 yards passing, 64 of them came on Troy’s opening drive. That means that Troy had just 86 yards passing the rest of the game!
QB Kelly Bryant was really good for as long as he was in the game. Bryant completed passes for a lot of yards, not by throwing the ball a long distance, but by hitting his receivers in stride and allowing them to blow by the defense. Bryant’s accuracy was terrific in this game. Bryant ended 12-for-19 for 221 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran six times for 20 yards and a touchdown.
RB Larry Rountree only gained 56 yards but he ran over the Troy defenders in his nine carries. Rountree added a touchdown.
WR Cam Scott had five receptions for 88 yards .
Missouri hosts Mississippi next Saturday. Mississippi is 2-3 as of this writing and currently lead Vanderbilt 10-3 in the second quarter. Missouri is the better team and should be favored in the game. The game against Mississippi is the Tigers last home game before starting a stretch of three consecutive road games at Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Georgia.