Mizzou rolls Ball State, 48-0

Gary Pinkel enjoys the win (AP Photo: Patterson)

Many wondered how Missouri would respond to their recent road loss to Troy when they faced MAC opponent, Ball State. Would the Tigers suffer a home let down, or would Mizzou take out their frustrations on the Cardinals? After a slow start, Mizzou unloaded both barrels on the over matched visitors from Muncie.

Given Missouri slow start Saturday vs. Ball State, it didn't immediately appear that the Tigers were quite over their post-Troy malaise.

However, the second quarter brought four Mizzou touchdowns, and a lot of relieved Tigers fans in Faurot Field.

The Ball State win was Mizzou's eighth in a row at Faurot.

The Tigers offense was lead by Brad Smith, who passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, accounting for 296 yards. Junior running back Damien Nash rushed for two touchdowns of his own and was also on the scoring end of a pretty 43-yard pass hook-up from Smith.

Smith regained his command of the offense on both the land and in the air, toting the ball 10 times for 83 yards and completing 18 of 32 passes for 213 yards.

Smith, who is rewriting the Tigers' record books, surpassed Darrell Wallace on the all-time rushing list in this game.

While he didn't catch his first touchdown from Brad Smith, freshman William Franklin did catch a Brandon Coleman fade pass in the fourth quarter to add to the offensive explosion.

More impressive than the 48 points scored by the offense, was the shutout pitched by the Tigers defense. Mizzou forced Ball State to punt the ball 10 times, and only allowed the Cardinals inside the MU 40 yard line once.

Mizzou's defensive intensity was clearly more evident in this game, thanks in part to Henry Sweat, who started in place of Dedrick Harrington at middle linebacker. Sweat, a senior, did an excellent job plugging holes and pressuring Ball State into offensive mistakes and turnovers.

The bizarre scheduling continues this week as Missouri faces a bye next weekend, and Colorado the following weekend in Faurot for Missouri's conference opener. Missouri has not beaten Colorado since 1998, so this would be an excellent opportunity for the Tigers to erase that streak.

Insidemizzou.com will have team grades and coverage of Tiger Talk on Monday.

Enjoy your weekend everybody!

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