COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri scored 42-unanswered points in the first half and defeated Troy 42-10 Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium in non-conference action.
"We didn't take advantage of some of the opportunities, missed some guys and missed a protection or two and just couldn't get back in rhythm,” Troy head coach Chip Lindsey said. “Hats off to Missouri, they have a really good football team."
Missouri meanwhile has concerns at quarterback. Kelly Bryant's last throw of the game was a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Knox late in the first half. The Tigers (4-1) hope it isn't the last pass of Bryant's college career.
After he released the throw, Bryant was hit low from behind by Troy defensive tackle Travis Sailo and immediately clutched his left knee. Sailo was penalized for a personal foul on the play. The senior quarterback, a transfer from Clemson, eventually walked to the locker room but didn't return to the game or the sideline. Missouri didn't immediately specify the diagnosis other than calling it a left leg injury.
Bryant completed 12 of 19 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns ran for another touchdown. Taylor Powell, a sophomore, took over at quarterback in the second half and completed 6 of 8 passes for 57 yards but didn't guide the Tigers to any points. Jonathan Nance and Albert Okwuegbunam joined Knox with touchdown catches, and Larry Rountree III rushed for a touchdown.
Missouri linebacker Cale Garrett intercepted passes on consecutive drives in the second quarter and returned the second one 33 yards for a touchdown. Garrett has scored touchdowns in three straight games. The Tigers, who entered the game ranked third nationally in total defense, held Troy to 211 total yards.
Troy (2-3) marched down the field on 12 plays on its opening possession of the game and took the early lead on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Kaleb Barker to Khalil McClain. It was the first points allowed by Missouri (4-1) in the first quarter all season.
McClain has now caught a touchdown pass in four straight games and leads the Trojans with five TD receptions on the season.
Missouri responded with touchdowns on its next three possessions and added three more scores in the second quarter aided by two Troy turnovers.
Barker finished the game 15-of-26 for 92 yards and a score in limited action as he didn’t play in the second half. Gunnar Watson finished the game, completing 5 of 9 passes for 58 yards.
Tyler Sumpter added a 42-yard field goal for the Trojans in the third quarter to improve to 6-for-8 on the season. It was his first field goal of more than 30 yards this season and was his 31st career field goal, leaving him tied for fifth in Troy history. He is now 9-of-11 in his career from 40-49 yards and 10-of-12 from 40-plus yards.
Carlton Martial continued to wreak havoc on opposing defenses as Troy’s sophomore linebacker recorded 3.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, including 1.5 sacks. The former walk-on entered the week fourth nationally with 1.9 tackles for loss per game, and he now has 11 through Troy’s first five games.
Troy returns to Sun Belt Conference action on Wednesday, Oct. 16, when its host state rival South Alabama in the annual “Battle for the Belt.” The game is set to played at Veterans Memorial Stadium, starting at 7 p.m.