Sept. 23, 2006
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Ohio football team gained just 31 yards in the second half as the Bobcats finished up a grueling three-game road trek with a 31-6 loss at the hands of Missouri Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
"Our kids gave a great effort, but we've got to play smarter and execute better," Head Coach Frank Solich said. "We had our moments, but we also had moments we didn't play very well on both sides of the ball. We also left about nine points on the field on special teams."
Senior quarterback Austen Everson (Brentwood, Tenn.) finished the day 13-of-23 for 110 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown pass was the fifth of the season for Everson, setting a new career-high. He now has 16 career touchdowns, tying him for 10th in Ohio history. Everson also moved into seventh place in Bobcat history with 223 career completions. Junior Kalvin McRae (Decatur, Ga.) finished with 25 yards on just 10 carries as Ohio was forced to pass for much of the game. McRae led the team with six receptions, a career best, and 43 yards while junior Justin Fitzgerald (Richmond, Va.) finished with five catches and 33 yards.
Defensively, senior T.J. Wright (Beaumont, Texas) recorded six tackles, one for a loss, while intercepting a pass and breaking up three more. Wright now has 40 passes defended in his career, moving him into sole possession of second place in Ohio history. Sophomore Jordan Meyers (Harrison, Ohio) finished with a team-high eight tackles while senior Matt Muncy (Miamisburg, Ohio) set a new career-high with three tackles for a loss. The Bobcat defense limited the high power Missouri offense to 428 yards after the Tigers had averaged 485 yards in their first three games. Missouri was 5th in the country in total offense coming into the game.
"As the game went on we wore down on both sides of the ball," Solich said, "and it ended up costing us late in the game."
Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel finished 18-of-34 for 258 yards and two touchdowns. Tony Temple paced the running game with 60 yards on 15 carries while Will Franklin caught four balls for 99 yards and two touchdowns.
The Bobcats started fast and forced a turnover on the opening drive for the second straight week. On the second play from scrimmage, senior Tyler Russ (Stetsonville, Wis.) forced a Missouri fumble and senior Michael Graham (Cincinnati, Ohio) was there for the recovery. The turnover set up a 38-yard field goal attempt by senior Matt Lasher (Copley, Ohio), but the Tigers blocked the attempt to keep the game scoreless.
On the following drive, Missouri showed quick-strike capability as Daniel connected on a 68-yard touchdown pass to Franklin that gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead. The touchdown came on a third-and-seven to give Missouri the advantage. The 68-yard play was the longest play that Ohio has allowed this season.
The Bobcats answered the touchdown early in the second half with a seven-play, 80-yard scoring drive capped off by an eight-yard touchdown pass from Everson to senior tight end Thomas Christy (South Euclid, Ohio). The touchdown was the second of Christy's career after earning his first touchdown reception last week against Rutgers. Everson threw for 38 yards on the drive and ran for 17 more. The big play was a 27-yard completion to freshman Taylor Price (Hilliard, Ohio). Lasher's point-after attempt was blocked so the Bobcats settled for only six points and Missouri retained a 7-6 lead.
The Tigers fired right back after the score, marching 75 yards on 13 plays to take a 14-6 advantage. Daniel hit Franklin for their second touchdown hookup in the game, this time from eight yards out for the score. The Bobcats were unable to take advantage of an interception by Wright with 2:58 remaining in the half as a Lasher 45-yard field goal attempt sailed wide and Ohio trailed 14-6 at the half. The interception was the 11th of Wright's career, tying him for fifth in Ohio history.
The second half belonged to the Tigers as Ohio managed only 33 total yards of offense. After the Bobcats went three-and-out to start the second half. Missouri drove into Ohio territory and extended the lead on a 44-yard field goal by Jeff Wolfert. On the ensuing possession, Missouri forced and recovered a fumble to gain excellent field position. Four plays later, Daniel snuck in from five yards out to put the Tigers on top 24-6. Missouri finished the scoring late in the fourth quarter on a two-yard touchdown run by Jimmy Jackson for the 31-6 final.
The Bobcats finally return home next Saturday for a MAC contest against Bowling Green. The game will be Ohio's first home game since the season-opener Sept. 2 against Tennessee-Martin. Game time is set for 2:00 p.m. at Peden Stadium.