Gerald Goodridge, News9.com
STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- The Missouri Tigers were rarely within two scores of Oklahoma State, but seemed on the cusp of a comeback for most of the second half. However, the Cowboys relied on their defense and the skills of sophomore running back Joseph Randle to put the Tigers away and move to 7-0 with a 45-24 win in Columbia Saturday.
After jumping out to a 21-3 lead in the first half, Missouri fought back in the second quarter and closed the deficit to just 24-17 at halftime.
The Cowboys punted on their first drive of the second half, and Missouri began a promising drive that started to shift the momentum to the home team, but defensive end Jamie Blatnick decided to put a stop to that. On first and 10 from the OSU 39-yard line, senior sacked Franklin at the 39-yard line for a loss of nine. The next play, he tipped a pass Franklin pass attempt which was intercepted by Shaun Lewis.
Three plays later, Randle took a handoff and went 16 yards for a score to move ahead 31-17.
Two drives later, Missouri was once again threatening deep in Cowboy territory, but Wilson Youman stripped Franklin and Shaun Lewis scooped it off of the turf for his second turnover of the game. Randle once again scored off of the turnover, taking his second handoff of the series 59 yards for a score to end the third quarter with a 21-point lead.
On the Tigers' first drive of the fourth quarter, they marched the ball down the field, mixing up the run and pass to keep the OSU defense off-balance. On the 12th play of the drive, Franklin called his own number and scored from three yards out to cut the lead to 38-24.
OSU was forced to punt on the next drive and Missouri looked to pull within one score, but defensive end Richetti Jones gathered in a ball tipped by Blatnick and killed Missouri's momentum. OSU gave the ball back on a punt, but the Tigers' offense looked out of synch after and went three-and-out.
The Cowboys got the ball back with 3:38 left to play and looked content to run the clock out, but Randle found some space in the defense and went 12 yards for a touchdown – his fourth score of the game –to put OSU ahead 45-24.
Randle finished the game with 138 yards and three touchdowns on just 14 carries, a nearly 10-yard per carry average, in addition to his one receiving touchdown. It was another day at the office for Brandon Weeden, who completed 33 of his 49 pass attempts for 338 yards and a score, doing it for most of the game without his two biggest offensive weapons.
Defending Biletnikoff Award winner Justin Blackmon was sidelined in the second half with concussion-like symptoms and finished with eight receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown. Hubert Anyiam missed even more time, after breaking a bone in his foot early in the game.
Oklahoma State will now head back to Stillwater for a tough homecoming matchup against Robert Griffin, III and the Baylor Bears at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 29.