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Mizzou becomes bowl eligible with win over Vandy

The Tigers finally close out a game to knock off Vanderbilt in a wild one

Vanderbilt v Missouri Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Missouri just never makes it easy do they? Drew Lock threw for two touchdowns and ran in another, while the defense got a stop on the last play of the game for the Missouri Tigers to upend the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Kickoff temperatures were frigid, and while it may have been freezing, Kyle Shurmur and the Vanderbilt offense came out hot. On the fourth play of the game, Ke’Shawn Vaughn took the ball 65 yards to put Vanderbilt up 7-0 early. Missouri was able to respond with an eight-play drive that covered 76 yards and Damarea Crockett punched it in from eight yards out to tie things up.

The Tigers defense was porous again on the next drive as Shurmur completed five passes and found Vaughn again for a four-yard touchdown, Lock was intercepted by Jordan Griffin on the next drive and Vandy had prime field position. They were unable to do anything with it. when Ryley Guay missed a 41-yard field goal.

The teams traded punts until Mizzou was able to drive and have 1st and goal at the Vanderbilt 8-yard line. A couple negative plays and a sack by Josh Smith forced them to take a field goal and Tucker McCann drilled a 33-yarder to make it 14-10. Looking to gain some momentum again, the Missouri defense faltered when Shurmur threw a touchdown pass to Jared Pinkney to put Vandy up by two scores.

The Tigers were able to get a field goal before the half and Vandy was up going into the locker room 21-13.

The Tigers pushed their way down the field and Lock found Crockett on a screen pass for an 11-yard touchdown. After some confusion, Missouri went for two and was unable to get it, and the score sat at 21-19. Like clockwork though, Vandy responded and Shurmur threw his third touchdown pass of the game to Kalija Lipscomb and it was 28-19.

Missouri showed some fight and came right back on a 20-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Parker and it was 28-26. This is where the game changed. The Commodoes looked to go back up two possessions and had first and goal on the four yard line. A couple of runs led to third and goal at the one where Khari Blasingame was stuffed. Derek Mason decided to go for it on fourth and goal and Vaughn was stopped and Missouri took over.

The Tigers went 99 yards on 14 plays to take their first lead of the game on a three-yard run by noted dual-threat quarterback Drew Lock. The Vanderbilt came out and couldn’t do anything and had to punt. The Commodore defense came up with a huge interception of Lock. Again though, the Tiger defense held, forcing three Shurmur incompletions including one on fourth down and it was Missouri ball.

Mizzou was unable to move the ball and Tucker McCann came out for a field goal and missed it, keeping it a five-point game. For Missouri fans, this had to feel familiar. Vanderbilt took the ball at the 20 yard with 1:48 left. They took it all the way down to the Missouri 25-yard line, with five seconds left. Shurmur lofted a pass to Pinkney but it was broken up by Cam Hilton and Missouri didn’t blow it on the last play of the game like they had twice already this season.

Ke’Shawn Vaughn had a big game on the ground taking the ball 15 times for 182 yards. Shurmur had a productive game going 24-for-35 for 249 yards and three touchdowns.

On the Missouri side, Crockett and Larry Rountree lll had good games on the ground. Crockett had 22 carries for 122 yards and Rountree had 21 carries for 92. Lock finished 22-for-33 for 253 yards and two touchdowns but did throw two interceptions.

The win gets Missouri bowl eligible with two weeks left, while Vanderbilt falls to 4-6. but has two home games left against Ole Miss and then Tennessee. So there is still opportunity to get to a bowl.