Blaine Gabbert was solid going 34-48 (70.8%) 281 yards and 2 TDs with 0 interceptions as Mizzou marched past Illinois out scoring them 20-0 in the second half to win 23-13 after a shaky start where the Illini lead 13-3 after the first half.
Blaine Gabbert was a rock in the second half leading Mizzou from a 10 point deficit to a 23-13 win while the defense, which was gashed on the ground in the first half, was very good all round shutting down the pass and the rush and the Mizzou team that finished Illinois looked more like the team that we expected to see from the opening snap. A lot of people will make assumptions based on game one especially considering that CFB is a playoff from game one of the season. In the second half of the game against the Illini the Tigers made spectacular plays, Ala Carl Gettis one handed interception, to Gabbert’s ability to avoid pressure and find TJ Moe in the back of the end-zone on a broken play that results in the go ahead and game winning score.
Illinois played well in the first half not allowing the Tigers into the endzone and even starting Mizzou off with a 3 and out on the very first drive of the game. The game was very defensive and the Illini would score twice with 2:10 or less on the clock to go from a dead heat of 3-3 tie to take a 13-3 lead into halftime with ALL of the moment being in their direction. It looked like the Tigers wouldn’t be able to stop the run as they allowed more than 150 yards on the ground in the first half as Red-Shirt freshman Scheelhaase from Rockhurst High school in Missouri ran for 82 yards on 13 carries in the first half and 5-9 passes for 37 yards and a touchdown. He also had a fumble and an interception in the first half.
In the second half Mizzou does what all good team do, make adjustments. Missouri played four defensive ends at some points and they continually got pressure on the freshman qb playing his first game, and he looked like a rodent caught in a stampede. He completed just 4 of 15 passes with 2 interceptions and ran the ball three times for a MINUS 6 yards to end his day at 9 for 23 for 81 yards in the air and 1 touchdown to 3 interceptions while rushing 16 times for 76 yards and a fumble.
Missouri made the plays at the right times and played shutout defense in the second half to push Missouri’s winning streak in the Arch Rivalry to 6 games in a row. This will be the last Arch Rivalry game between Mizzou and the Illini for sometime as the Illini have decided not to renew with Missouri to meet in St. Louis at least for the next few years, and who can blame them after the punishment they have endured the last few years where they just cannot seem to beat the Tigers no matter what they do.
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Written by Sean Griffith