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COLUMBIA, Mo. – For a $425,000 payday Southeast Missouri expertly played the role of roadkill under Missouri’s tires in a game that was all but settled in the opening nine minutes Saturday.

Other than a couple penalties and a blocked PAT, the Tigers got off to a perfect start in their 500th game at Memorial Stadium, scoring on offense, defense and special teams in the first quarter in a 50-0 victory. Mizzou improved to 18-0 all-time against teams from the Football Championship Subdivision since the NCAA Division I split into separate levels in the 1970s. SEMO (1-2) dropped to 1-24 all-time against Football Bowl Subdivision teams and 0-8 against Power 5 opponents.

In front of a crowd of 56,620, Missouri’s offense had to work through some first-half sputters, but Barry Odom’s defense never let up and consistently smothered the overmatched Redhawks, as expected in the Tigers’ annual game against an FCS foe. By halftime, the only suspense was how long the starters would play before finding a permanent spot on the sideline. Mizzou outgained SEMO in total yardage 501-94.

Now the Tigers (2-1) can look ahead to game No. 501 at Memorial Stadium, a pivotal SEC East showdown with South Carolina (1-2), a team Mizzou hasn’t beaten in three tries under Odom. The Gamecocks hung with No. 2 Alabama for a while earlier in the day before the Crimson Tide pulled away for a 47-23 win. Missouri hasn’t beaten South Carolina since 2015 in what was former quarterback Drew Lock’s first career start. The head coaches that day: Steve Spurrier and Gary Pinkel, now both enjoying retirement. 

In a year where three SEC East starting quarterbacks have already suffered serious injuries, including South Carolina’s Jake Bentley, MU’s Kelly Bryant came back out for the first two series of the third quarter after a productive first half then watched the rest of the game while backups took over. Bryant threw for 225 yards, a touchdown and an interception, while Larry Rountree powered the offense with 142 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

The Tigers didn’t make any illusions about their intentions early, putting the ball in the hands of Rountree throughout the game’s opening series. He had the rare distinction of accounting for 85 yards on the a 75-yard drive, thanks to two penalties on the possession. Rountree jogged in for a 2-yard touchdown for the night's first score.

Then it was the defense’s turn. On SEMO's third play from scrimmage, defensive end Tre Williams slammed into quarterback Daniel Santacaterina just as he lofted a floater right to linebacker Cale Garrett. The senior captain made the interception, the fourth of his career, and 27 yards later was in the end zone, the second straight game a Missouri linebacker brought back a pick for a score. The only blemish on the series came on the PAT, when SEMO blocked Tucker McCann's kick off the edge.

Mizzou's offense broke out a passing play just for fun on its next possession, opening with a 54-yard strike from Bryant to Jalen Knox just short of the goal line. Bryant finished off the drive with his fourth TD pass of the season to tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, a 3-yarder into the back corner of the end zone. 

Then it was Missouri's special teams' turn to light up the scoreboard. After another SEMO drive stalled in its own territory, Richaud Floyd ripped off a 71-yard return down the sideline for his third career touchdown return, good for a 27-0 lead before the game was nine minutes old.

The onslaught was on, but Missouri hit a lull offensively. The Tigers punted on consecutive possessions in the second quarter then committed their first turnover in two games. Into the red zone after a Tyler Badie 49-yard run, Bryant made an unwise decision under pressure, throwing the ball up for freshman Maurice Massey in the end zone. Instead, it was cornerback Al Young who came down with the ball, the second interception Bryant has thrown this season. 

Not that it mattered. Missouri's defense held up its end of the mismatch and overpowered the Redhawks' offense the rest of the half. For the second straight week, MU had more penalty yardage at halftime (55) than yards allowed (53).

With Bryant back out for the second half, the Tigers scored on their opening two drives, getting a McCann 42-yard field goal and a 6-yard touchdown run by Badie.

McCann continued his busy night with a 52-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. By then the crowd had thinned and the countdown to South Carolina was ticking away.


After surging to a 27-0 lead, Missouri hit a lull offensively. The Tigers punted on consecutive possessions in the second quarter then committed their first turnover in two games.

Into the red zone after a Tyler Badie 49-yard run, Kelly Bryant made an unwise decision under pressure, throwing the ball up for freshman Maurice Massey in the end zone. Instead, it was cornerback Al Young who came down with the ball, the second interception Bryant's thrown this season. 

Not that it mattered. Missouri's defense held up its end of the mismatch and overpowered the Redhawks' offense the rest of the half. 

Mizzou punched in one more touchdown before the end of the half, a two-yard score by Larry Rountree for a 34-0 lead. Tucker McCann added a 44-yard field goal in the closing seconds for a 37-0 lead heading into halftime.

The Tigers outgained SEMO in total yardage 344-53 in the half. 


Other than a couple penalties and a blocked PAT, Missouri got off to a perfect start against SEMO, scoring on offense, defense and special teams in the first quarter. 

Running back Larry Rountree had the rare distinction of accounting for 85 yards on the game's opening 75-yard drive, thanks to two penalties on the possession. Rountree jogged in a 2-yard touchdown for the night's first score.

Missouri's defense quickly answered the score. On SEMO's third play from scrimmage, defensive end Tre Williams crushed quarterback Daniel Santacaterina just as he lofted a floater right to linebacker Cale Garrett. The senior captain returned the interception 27 yards for a touchdown, the second straight game a Missouri linebacker brought back a pick for a score. The only blemish on the series came on the PAT, when SEMO blocked Tucker McCann's kick off the edge.

Mizzou's offense broke out a passing play just for fun on its next possession, opening with a 54-yard strike from Kelly Bryant to Jalen Knox just short of the goal line. Bryant finished off the drive with his fourth TD pass of the season to tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, a 3-yarder into the back corner of the end zone. 

Then it was Missouri's special teams' turn to visit the end zone. After another SEMO drive stalled in its own territory, Richaud Floyd ripped off a 71-yard return down the sideline for his third career touchdown return, good for a 27-0 lead before the game was nine minutes old.


Greetings from Memorial Stadium for what the late, great Joe Strauss would call Mizzou's annual FCS blood-donor game. Southeast Missouri is the opponent. The kick-off point spread has climbed to 35 points. Wager at your own risk. 

The Tigers probably don't need one, but they have a good-luck charm in the stadium today, two-time All-American Jeremy Maclin, whose cousin, Mizzou commitment Jay Maclin is also in the house. 

Cornerback Jarvis Ware, who missed last week's game with a sprained ankle, is in uniform and going through pre-game drills. Defensive end Trajan Jeffcoat, sidelined since the first practice of preseason camp with an elbow injury, is not dressed out for tonight's game.

The Tigers are in all black uniforms tonight. 

Check back here for updates throughout the game.

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