Outdone by Orange
Mizzou falls to Syracuse in season's final home football game
Senior running back Kendial Lawrence put on a display in his last Mizzou home game, but the Tigers fell to Syracuse 31-27.
Lawrence ran for 119 yards on 27 carries with a touchdown as Mizzou’s 18-game winning streak to non-conference opponents came to an end. The Tigers dropped to 5-6 with the loss and Syracuse improved to 6-5 a week after knocking off previously unbeaten Louisville.
“Syracuse did the things necessary to win at the end,” coach Gary Pinkel says. “Any time you come off a game like this you can go back to a lot of different plays throughout the entire game.”
The Orange put up 21 points in the fourth quarter, led by receiver Alec Lemon. The wideout had 12 catches for 244 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with less than a minute left. Syracuse’s offense continued rolling, racking up 508 yards against what has been a stout Mizzou defense.
Mizzou lost quarterback James Franklin in the fourth quarter when a hit to the head left him feeling woozy. Backup Corbin Berkstresser led the Tigers to 10 fourth-quarter points, but they were unable to overcome Syracuse’s rally.
“I've been doing this a long time and I've never seen a quarterback have all the things happen to [Franklin] physically that he has had happen to him,” Pinkel says. “It's certainly frustrating, and we really feel bad for him."
True freshman Dorial Green-Beckham continued to make a name for himself at Mizzou. On the game’s fourth play, he took a screen pass from Franklin 70 yards for the touchdown. He became just the second Tiger ever to have at least two 70-yard touchdowns in a season, following Danario Alexander in 2009.
The game was also Mizzou’s Senior Night and Salute to Veterans Day. Seniors on the football team were honored before kickoff, and members of Marching Mizzou and Spirit Squads were recognized throughout the game. During halftime, members of the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachuted onto Faurot Field, earning a standing ovation from the black-clad crowd. The band followed the performance with a moving-picture show, forming the shapes of a tank, a ship, a submarine and an airplane in action before closing with a giant American flag.
Mizzou needs a win on Saturday at No. 9 Texas A&M (6 p.m., ESPN) to become bowl eligible for the eighth consecutive season. The Tigers have won the past two seasons in College Station, Texas, but face new coach Kevin Sumlin and Heisman candidate Johnny Manziel for the new-look Aggies.
“It's always difficult, but we have to get up and go back and battle,” Pinkel says. “Obviously we're playing a very good football team that's on a roll and has had a great year.”