The Missouri offense looked as impressive as its looked all season in Saturday’s 34-27 win over Texas A&M in College Station. The Tigers posted 587 yards of total offense, the most they’ve put up in an SEC game this season. They ran for 335 yards at 6.8 yards per carry, and quarterback Maty Mauk completed 23 of his 40 pass attempts for 252 yards, the most he’s thrown for in an SEC game this season. The Tigers had two players rush for at least 88 yards, and four players catches at least five passes apiece in the 34-point effort. All in all, the Tigers overwhelmed an undermanned A&M defense, resulting in perhaps their biggest win of the season.


The Tigers defense held its own against a streaking Texas A&M offense, limiting the Aggies to just 27 points and 237 yards through the air while also recording an interception in the victory. A&M averaged fewer than four yards per carry, and it allowed Missouri’s Shane Ray and Markus Golden to combine for three sacks by game’s end. The Tigers limited A&M to 14 fewer first downs and 26 fewer plays than their own offense ran, and as a result the Aggies came up 10 points short of their scoring average for the season. Missouri’s defense never silenced the Aggies, but it did a fantastic job of slowing them down, allowing the Tigers offense to win the game in the second half.


Missouri’s special teams were relatively quiet Saturday night, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Tigers had just one kickoff return for 22 yards and two punt returns for a total of two yards, but A&M wasn’t much better in the return game. The Aggies’ Speedy Noil returned one kickoff 70 yards, eventually resulting in a Josh Lambo field goal, but otherwise A&M had three kickoff returns for an average of just 19.7 yards per return without returning a single punt. Missouri punter Christian Brinser landed one of his two punts inside the Aggies 20 without any touchbacks, and although kicker Andrew Baggett missed a 47-yard kick in the rain, he did make two others as well as all four of his extra points. The Tigers special teams held their own, resulting in a solid B for their performance Saturday night.


Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel and his staff managed Saturday’s game wonderfully, especially against an explosive team playing in nasty weather conditions. The Tigers remained balanced on offense, allowing Mauk to throw 40 times while Russell Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy combined for 40 rushes, and they stuck to their guns on defense, allowing their top-flight defensive line to control the line of scrimmage in the victory. There were no questionable play calls or substitutions, and the Tigers were never out of reach even in a sloppy first half, thanks to the coaching staff’s ability to play damage control on the sidelines.


Missouri didn’t dominate the game as much as the numbers might indicate, but it did control the game for most of the second half in recording its best win of the season thus far. The Tigers took down a ranked opponent for the second time this season, and this particular win came on the road in bad weather under must-win circumstances as Mizzou aims to clinch another SEC East title. The win wasn’t “excellent” but it was above-average, earning a solid B on this week’s report card. But, as is always the case with a winning team, the most important letter of the night is W, as in a win.