- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
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COLUMBIA, Mo. -- It looked like the only thing that could stop the University of Alabama in the first half was the weather, and that’s exactly what happened.
With the Crimson Tide leading Missouri 27-0 midway through the second quarter, lightning strikes in the area delayed the game for 40 minutes. Alabama never really looked the same after the delay, but still won easily, 42-10.
Alabama rushed for 351 yards against the Tigers. Both Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon easily surpassed the 100-yard mark, and all six of the Tide’s touchdowns came on the ground. Quarterback AJ McCarron finished 16-of-21 for 171 yards.
It was over when: On the second play from scrimmage, Lacy broke a 73-yard touchdown run to give Alabama a quick lead. The Tide scored the game’s first 28 points, and although Missouri made it competitive in the second half, it was clear who the better team was on Saturday. Lacy finished with 176 yards and three touchdowns.
Game ball goes to: Lacy may have had more rushing yards in the game, but it’s Yeldon, a true freshman, who gets the game ball. On a day when McCarron and the offense struggled at times, especially in the second half, Yeldon kept making plays. He had 18 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns, and he helped put the game out of reach.
Stat of the game: Missouri’s lone touchdown came on a 98-yard kickoff return from Marcus Murphy. It the fourth time Murphy has returned a kick for a touchdown this season, which sets a school record. He had taken three punts back for scores through the first six games.
Unsung hero: Alabama’s C.J. Mosley set the tone early for the defense. The junior linebacker rocked Mizzou quarterback Corbin Berkstresser twice in the first quarter and seemed to make plays all over the field. As a whole, the defense held the Tigers to 152 total yards and forced three turnovers.
What it means for Alabama: The game couldn’t have started any better for the nation’s No. 1 team. Alabama jumped out to a 27-0 lead midway through the second quarter and looked unbeatable, but then the lightning struck. A 40-minute weather delay stopped the Tide’s run and gave Missouri a spark. UA didn’t score again until the fourth quarter. Still, Alabama took care of business and passed another SEC road test.
What it means for Missouri: It took a weather delay and a kick return for a touchdown, but Missouri finally started playing football towards the end of the first half. The defense clamped down in the second half. The offense struggled for the second week in a row with Berkstresser under center, but they should get a lift when James Franklin returns. For how bad the first half was, the Tigers played much better in the second half.
2dSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
3dTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney