Jimmie Hunt punctuates his Missouri career with big SEC Championship performance
In Missouri’s 42-13 SEC Championship loss against Alabama this past weekend, there wasn’t much to cheer about.
The Crimson Tide dominated Missouri by racking up 504 total yards of offense and kept Missouri from developing any rhythm throughout the game.
But if there was one bright spot for the Tigers, it was senior receiver Jimmie Hunt, who saved his best game for one of his last in a Missouri uniform.
There’s wasn’t much happening for the Missouri offense on Saturday.
Until Hunt’s first big reception from Maty Mauk’s trademark scramble and heave, the Tigers amassed just 48 yards of total offense. Nothing was working.
And then it happened.
And one more time.
On all three of Missouri’s scoring drive, Mauk and Hunt connected on a pass of at least 32 yards or more. Give credit to Mauk for some great passes downfield, but if it wasn’t for Hunt’s spectacular catches, the Tigers may just have been shut out in the SEC Championship.
His 169 receiving yards was both a career-high and a team-high on the season.
Although Missouri lost, there probably couldn’t have been a better ending for Hunt, whose Missouri career was uneventful to say the least. The senior wideout had just managed 34 receptions, 506 receiving yards and five touchdowns prior to this season.
For college football players, the dream is to come up with big plays in the biggest moments. And despite not having much of an impact in his first three seasons, Hunt saved his best performances for last.
After fully recovering from an injury in the middle of the season that significantly hampered his production, Hunt exploded in those must-win games for Missouri during November.
In those three-games, he caught a combined 13 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns. And the SEC Championship was simply just the cherry on top.
Gary Pinkel always says “those who win in November will be remembered.”
Well, for Jimmie Hunt, he’ll always be remembered by Missouri fans. The 6-foot-0, 215-pound receiver provided the only spark all game for the Tigers on Saturday.
“Jimmie was just that guy that really made himself open,” Mauk said following the game to the media. “He was working with me — not only with me, but deep. You usually don’t have people guarding you 50 yards downfield, but Jimmie just did a great job finding that open area.”
Missouri was a team that prided itself this season on finding a way to win ballgames. It wasn’t always pretty for the Tigers, who clawed their way to a 10-2 regular-season record, but it was always effective. And it seemed like there were always different players stepping up in the big moments for Missouri.
Well, when the Tigers needed the big plays in these monumental games, Hunt was the player that stepped up.
Forget about his past three seasons of ineffectiveness.
It will be his final stand as a senior that will define his Missouri career and what Missouri fans will remember him by.