Rapid Reaction: Fast start quickly fizzles for Missouri in shocking loss at Wyoming
The Kelly Bryant era couldn’t have started much better for Missouri as the Clemson transfer got off to a crisp start. Then everything crumbled around the Tigers.
Throwing from the pocket and on the run, Bryant was 6-for-8 passing for 83 yards and a touchdown, as he avoided a sack, in the first quarter alone. But it quickly turned the other direction as Wyoming made a field goal and then forced a Bryant fumble that resulted in a touchdown.
After a largely disappointing stretch of two-plus quarters, Bryant tried to pull Missouri back in when he found Jonathan Nance for a 53-yard TD to pull within a touchdown with 6:19 remaining. But it wasn’t enough as Wyoming controlled the line of scrimmage.
Bryant had a chance to stage a comeback with 2:19 remaining from his own 25-yard line. He drove the Tigers to the Wyoming 20-yard line, but a fourth down pass toward the end zone fell incomplete as Wyoming held on, 37-31.
Wyoming largely leaned on a rushing attack that churned out more than 300 rushing yards as the Cowboys controlled the clock down the stretch. Missouri was left to call timeouts on defense to preserve a chance at a comeback.
A key turning point came early in the game when Xazavian Valladay scored on a 61-yard touchdown in the second quarter for Wyoming as the Cowboys poured on 17 unanswered points. Wyoming scored 27 points in the second quarter and by halftime, the Cowboys had defensive returns of 30 and 84 yards, and touchdown runs of 61 and 75 yards.
That 75-yard play was a touchdown run by QB Sean Chambers.
“Get outta my way” -Sean Chambers to Mizzou pic.twitter.com/ZBo2UY4xi3
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 1, 2019
The last play from scrimmage before the half was a fumble by Larry Rountree that was nearly returned 95 yards by Wyoming until Bryant was flagged for a horse collar tackle. Wyoming then kicked a field goal for a 10-point halftime lead.
It was a troubling start for Missouri in what many expected to be a big season for Bryant as he took over a solid offense from Drew Lock. And while Bryant had solid numbers, turnovers were especially costly for the Tigers. He lost a fumble and had an interception.
Early in the third quarter, things went from bad to worse for Missouri as Bryant appeared to find TE Albert Okwuegbunam for a touchdown, but the play was flagged for offensive pass interference. On the next play, after Bryant scrambled out of the pocket, he threw an interception into the end zone. That erased a would-be 14-play scoring drive.
Struggles continued throughout the second half as Missouri chose to punt with two minutes left in the third quarter trailing 34-17. The Tigers started 3-for-4 on third down, but then slipped to three for their last 10.
— Mizzou Football (@MizzouFootball) August 31, 2019