By: Kane McGuire

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Louisiana Tech held the lead through the first 15 minutes, but Missouri tacked on double-digit points in the last three quarters to pull away in a 52-24 win on Thursday night at Memorial Stadium.

LA Tech (0-1) had the upper hand in the early going, taking a 3-0 advantage into the second quarter thanks to a 33-yard field goal by Jacob Barnes.  

However, Missouri (1-0) broke through on its first play of the second stanza with a 5-yard touchdown run by Cody Schrader and quickly added another touchdown off a 29-yard pick-six.  

That ended up being the theme of the night as the Tigers racked up 328 yards on the ground and nabbed three interceptions thrown by the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback Matthew Downing.  

Downing was able to get a big play in the game, finding Griffin Hebert over the middle who outran everyone for a 75-yard touchdown catch.  Sandwiched in between that though was another 5-yard TD run by Missouri and an end-of-half 31-yard field goal to make it, 24-10.

While the Bulldogs could not get the ground game going, the Tigers rushed for four more scores in the second half to put the game out of reach.  Parker McNeil came in at quarterback and delivered two touchdown strikes to Cyrus Allen – one for 64 yards and another for 37 yards.  The freshman wide receiver ended with five catches for a game-high 126 yards.

QUOTABLES

Head coach Sonny Cumbie

“The outcome is disappointing.  I am discouraged by the outcome, but not discouraged by the way the players played.  When you turn the football over three times on the road, it allows momentum to build against you.  I was encouraged by the way our defense played for two-and-a-half quarters.  They battled, created two takeaways.  I think our players have fight in them.  We understand we have 11 more football games.”

NOTABLES

·        Matthew Downing threw his first touchdown as a Bulldog, a 75-yard catch and score to Griffin Hebert.  It was the longest reception of Hebert’s career and the longest pass play by a Bulldog since November 9, 2019.

·        Griffin Hebert also had a career-high 93 receiving yards.

·        Parker McNeil also threw his first TD as a Bulldog, a 64-yard bomb to freshman Cyrus Allen (first touchdown reception of his career).

·        Cyrus Allen had a career game in his Bulldog debut, securing five grabs to a game-high 126 receiving yards and two touchdowns.  

·        The Bulldog defense forced multiple turnovers – first career interception by Maki Carabin and a forced fumble by BeeJay Williamson.  It marked the sixth straight game the Bulldogs have had an INT.

·        BeeJay Williamson registered a game-high and career-high 12 tackles.

·        Smoke Harris posted a 42-yard punt return in the first quarter.  It was the third time in his career he has had a punt return of at least 40 yards.

UP NEXT

LA Tech is back inside Joe Aillet Stadium for its home opener on Saturday, Sept. 10 versus Stephen F. Austin.  Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. CT.