(Missouri Football App) - Wasted first half opportunities and a rough stretch in the second quarter could not sink the Tigers, who beat Indiana 45-28 Saturday.
James Franklin threw interceptions at the end of two long drives and Marcus Lucas fumbled on another drive that had promise, prompting Tiger fans to ask what might have been early in the second quarter.
The Tigers dominated play on both sides of the ball in the early going; the defense held Indiana’s offense in check, and the offense had little trouble moving the ball, but the Tigers only led 14-0.
Indiana capitalized on the Lucas fumble, driving 59 yards after the turnover to cut the lead to 14-7. Indiana’s offense seemed to live up to its big play capability on its next drive. The Hoosiers executed a 77-yard pass play that set up the game tying touchdown with just under 7 minutes remaining in the first half.
From late in the second quarter on, it was all Tigers. Franklin scampered in on a one yard touchdown run on the drive immediately following Indiana’s tying score. The defense then added a touchdown of its own; with two minutes remaining in the half, defensive lineman Kony Ealy intercepted a pass at the line of scrimmage and sprinted 49 yards to put the Tigers ahead 28-14.
Ealy’s touchdown signaled the beginning of the end for Indiana.
In the second half, Franklin picked the Hoosiers apart. The senior quarterback stayed turnover free after halftime, finishing the evening with 32 completions for 340 yards and 3 touchdowns, two of which came through the air.
The ground game also had a big day. The Tigers compiled 231 rushing yards, averaging 4.9 yards a carry.
The defense clamped down on Indiana in second half. It only allowed 14 points after the break, all of which came after the game was out of reach.
The Tigers only have one more game before conference play begins. Gary Pinkel's squad takes on Sun Belt power Arkansas State next Saturday.