If you thought that Missouri would have an easy time with Central Michigan, you’d be wrong.

But Saturday’s opener ended well enough, with the Tigers pulling away and then holding on for a 34-24 victory.

Connor Bazelak threw 2 TDs and Tyler Badie ran 25 times for 185 yards and a TD to lead the Tigers. Bazelak also hit Badie for a 30-yard TD reception.

Bazelak finished with 257 passing yards and stretched the field at times, too. Five Tigers caught a pass that totaled at least 20 yards.

Both offenses struck early, but by the second quarter, both defenses seemed to settle into the game. Especially Mizzou’s defense, which recorded 9 sacks.

Blaze Alldredge led Mizzou with 3.5 sacks and routinely made life difficult for first-year Central Michigan starter Jacob Sirmon.

There are a few details to clean up ahead of next week’s game at Kentucky. Mizzou gave up more than 470 yards to a team playing without its head coach. Jim McElwain missed the game because of a medical situation earlier in the week.