Rapid Reaction: Bazelak, Mizzou stun Brennan and LSU
LSU’s passing game is just fine.
The defense is another matter.
Missouri came up with a last-minute goal-line stand to shock defending national champion LSU 45-41 on Saturday in Columbia, Missouri.
Missouri went ahead 45-41 with 5:18 left in the game on Connor Bazelak’s 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Niko Hea.
Myles Brennan passed for more than 300 yards for the third consecutive game and threw four touchdown passes for No. 17 LSU in a game that was scheduled for Saturday night in Tiger Stadium before being moved midweek because of the threat from Hurricane Delta.
Terrace Marshall Jr. caught 3 of the touchdown passes and Arik Gilbert caught the other. Marshall has caught seven of Brennan’s 14 touchdown passes.
LSU (1-2) just could not slow down Missouri (1-2).
Missouri used lots of misdirection and a few trick plays to take advantage of LSU’s lack of discipline and gain 586 yards. Bazelak threw for 406 yards and 4 touchdowns on 29-of-34 passing.
Missouri also had consistent success blocking and breaking tackles against the confused LSU defense.
LSU ran for just 1 yard in the first half and started the second half determined to run it more and better.
Tyrion Davis-Price ran for 24 yards on the first play of the third quarter, but LSU stalled and punted.
On Missouri’s first play of the quarter, Larry Rountree fumbled and Jabril Cox recovered for LSU at the Missouri 5.
Davis-Price ran 4 yards, then 1 yard for the tie-breaking touchdown.
Then the LSU defense reverted to its first-half form.
Missouri had pass completions of 15 and 10 yards, a 9-yard run, then a 41-yard touchdown pass from Connor Bazelak to Micah Wilson, who was uncovered.
On the first play after the kickoff Brennan found Marshall for a 75-yard touchdown and a 38-31 lead.
Missouri came right back with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Bazelak to Tyler Badie to tie the score.
Cade York kicked a 51-yard field goal as time expired to give LSU a 41-38 lead at the end of the third quarter.
LSU didn’t convert a third down during the first three quarters.
Missouri had a chance to tie early in the fourth quarter, but Harrison Mevis was short on a 56-yard field-goal attempt.
Bazelak threw a 69-yard completion to Chance Luper to set up the touchdown pass to Hea to give Missouri the lead for good.
LSU drove to the 1-yard line in the final seconds but Mizzou held firm and denied LSU on two final pass plays.
The LSU defense and special teams managed to take the ball way 3 times. LSU coach Ed Orgeron said during the week that he planned to get the ball to Gilbert more.
He wasn’t kidding.
Brennan found Gilbert, the most highly-touted tight end ever to arrive at LSU, five times for 84 yards and a touchdown in just the first half. But Gilbert appeared to injure a shoulder in the second quarter and saw limited action after that.
When Brennan wasn’t finding Gilbert he was generally finding Marshall, who had 2 touchdowns among his three first-half catches for 40 yards.
Missouri, which scored a total of just 31 points in its first two games, showed right away that this game was going to be much different than the last two.
It took a 7-0 lead on the first possession when Bazelak threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to Tauski Dove.
LSU responded on its first possession as Brennan threw a 6-yard score to Marshall.
After Missouri failed on a faked punt, Brennan drove LSU to a 2-yard touchdown pass to Marshall for a 14-7 lead.
Badie ran 29 yards for a Missouri touchdown that tied the score at the end of the first quarter.
LSU took advantage of two Missouri turnovers as Brennan and Gilbert teamed on a 25-yard touchdown and York kicked a 42-yard field goal for a 24-14 lead early in the second quarter.
Jalen Knox ran 16 yards for a touchdown and Mevis kicked a 52-yard field to pull Missouri even at halftime.