The Missouri Tigers were 3-0 as they walked into this mid-September Saturday afternoon, with a matchup against the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia, South Carolina looming. All seemed to be ripe for the taking, with the rest of the East Division looking relatively mortal thus far.
Then, the Indiana Hoosiers happened.
On the back of a 241-yard rushing performance by the lowly Hoosiers, Indiana obtained their first victory over a ranked opponent since 2006 with their 31-27 victory at Faurot Field over Missouri.
The run defense that has been gashed by the likes of Auburn and South Dakota State was once again torn apart as junior running back Tevin Coleman rushed for 132 yards on 19 carries, adding a touchdown to boot. Missouri's defense, without premier pass rusher Markus Golden, looked out of whack for a majority of the afternoon as Indiana sliced and diced their way up and down the field. And when the defense was called upon after kicker Andrew Baggett kicked a then go-ahead field goal, the Hoosiers marched right back down the field, aided by crucial mistakes by Missouri defenders, eventually leading to D`Angelo Roberts' three-yard scamper into the end zone in the waning moments.
Although sophomore quarterback Maty Mauk threw for over 300 yards again, 334 to be precise, the offense was simply sluggish. Center Evan Boehm had several high snaps, and the offensive line as a unit was ravaged for almost the entirety of Missouri's 33 minutes and 21 seconds of possession. Bud Sasser had an incredible performance, catching 12 passes and going for 153 yards, but in the end it was all for naught.
Also of note was the fact that Missouri's longstanding streak of forced turnovers was busted on Saturday afternoon at an eye-opening 47 games.
It would have been difficult to feel good about the Tigers' performance had they squeaked out a victory here in mid-September against Indiana. Now that they did in fact lose? It's an abhorrent one, to a team that lost by Bowling Green who, if you missed it, got torn apart by the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday afternoon. In regards to losses that Missouri has had since joining the Southeastern Conference, only the home defeat to the Syracuse Orange is in the company of this performance, which still may beat that loss in 2012 by a country mile.