Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

73-0 Mizzou Visit to Texas A&m Ends in Aggie-Nizing Defeat

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

73-0 Mizzou Visit to Texas A&m Ends in Aggie-Nizing Defeat

Article excerpt

If the University of Missouri football team indeed turned a corner in its opening game against Illinois, it proceeded to meander like a lost tourist into a savage neighborhood.

On Saturday at Kyle Field, Mizzou was left cringing by a mob of Aggies in the school's second-most humiliating defeat in 103 years of football.

"You come off a big win and you start thinking that you're there," defensive coordinator Skip Hall said. "And then a few things go wrong on the road and, bang-o, the roof falls in."

The epitath will read Texas A&M 73, Missouri 0.

The Aggies, propelled by dual three-touchdown, 100-yard rushing performances by tailbacks Leeland McElroy and Rodney Thomas, inflicted a 101-point swing on MU. The Tigers defeated Illinois 31-3 last week.

Saturday's game was decided well before A&M scored its final touchdown on an 8-yard run by Trey Hardin, a walk-on not even listed on the Aggies' roster; a final touchdown so redundant that game officials Billy Walters and Frank Gaines didn't even bother to signal it.

A&M (2-1) is undefeated in its last 20 games at Kyle Field, known for traditions such as the 12th man, a k a 51,778 enthusiastic fans. But with the Tigers turning the ball over six times and being jackhammered on both sides of the line of scrimmage, the Aggies probably would have been OK with 10 men.

"It was kind of like Murphy's Law," senior guard Mike Bedosky said. "Anything that can go wrong, did go wrong."

The only game in MU history that more went wrong was the "Norman Conquest" - a 77-0 loss at Oklahoma in 1986.

Like that game, exactly when the "competition" ended Saturday was hard to gauge. But it was shortly after Mizzou won the coin toss - arguably its only achievement - and deferred possession to the second half.

A hint of the avalanche ahead began with the Aggies marching 78 yards for a touchdown to open the game with their first first-half points in four games. Mizzou initially showed resolve, moving back down the field, only to sputter deep in Aggies territory and come away with nothing after Kyle Pooler missed a 33-yard field goal.

MU held A&M on the next sequence, but the Aggies scored on five of their next six possessions to go up 38-0 at halftime.

"I went up to one of their guys in the second quarter and said, `The game is over,' " A&M linebacker Steve Solari said. "And he said, `Yeah - nice game.' "

The Tigers made that possible by coughing up four fumbles in the half and presenting A&M with the ball seven times inside MU territory. The Aggies' defensive line resembled Godzilla shredding papier mache as it tore up MU's line.

"Their defensive line is probably the best defensive line I've seen in college football," MU tailback Joe Freeman said.

It didn't hurt that A&M repeatedly was able to anticipate MU's snap count. …

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