Watson

Troy freshman quarterback Gunnar Watson (18) saw action against Missouri last week.

After picking up non-conference wins over Power-5 schools each of the last two seasons, the Troy Trojans (2-3) came into Saturday’s matchup with the SEC’s Missouri Tigers (4-1) looking for a third straight victory, but ultimately got trounced 42-10.

Missouri scored 42 unanswered points after Troy jumped out to a 7-0 lead and never looked back.

Troy sliced right through Missouri’s defense for a 12-play, 75-yard drive to open the game, and quarterback Kaleb Barker found receiver Khalil McClain on a 15-yard touchdown pass with 11:38 remaining in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead.

That touchdown was the first points the Missouri defense has given up in the first quarter for the entire season.

Former Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant quickly marched Missouri down the field on their ensuing possession with a 49-yard pass to Kam Scott down to the Troy 2-yard line. Running back Larry Rountree then cashed in a 2-yard touchdown run with 9:55 left in the opening period to tie the game 7-7.

After Troy’s next possession stalled out near midfield and the Trojans were forced to punt, Missouri marched right back down the field. This time, Bryant took it into the end zone himself on a 3-yard touchdown run with 3:27 remaining in the first quarter. Missouri led 14-7.

After a Troy three-and-out, Bryant found Jonathan Nance for a 64-yard touchdown pass with 37 seconds left in the opening period to extend the lead to 21-7.

Another Troy three-and-out began the second quarter and then the Troy defense forced its own three-and-out.

After yet another Troy three-and-out, Missouri marched back down the field only to get turned back by the Troy defense. After driving inside Troy territory, the Trojans sacked Bryant on back-to-back plays and ultimately forced another punt.

On Barker’s next possession he was intercepted at the Troy 23-yard line by Cale Garrett and he returned it all the way to the 1-yard line.

A Missouri penalty pushed the ball back to the Troy 16-yard line, but that didn’t stop the Tiger offense as Bryant found Albert Okwuegbunam for a 16-yard touchdown pass with 7:57 to extend the lead to 28-7.

On Troy’s next possession, Barker was once again intercepted by Garrett and this time he returned it 33 yards for a touchdown. With 6:13 remaining in the first half, Troy trailed 35-7.

On the ensuing kickoff, Troy’s Kaylon Geiger fumbled and gave the ball right back to Missouri at the Troy 30-yard line.

The Troy defense stiffened, however, and Missouri was forced to try a 52-yard field goal only to come up short.

Troy went three-and-out again on its next possession and then Bryant threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to close out the barrage of first half scores and extend the Tiger lead to 42-7 over Troy.

Both Troy and Missouri played their backups in the second half and the only score came on a Tyler Sumpter 43-yard field goal late in the third quarter to cut Missouri’s lead to 42-10.

The Troy offense mustered up just 211 yards of total offense – with 75 of that coming on the first drive of the game – and Missouri rolled up 443 yards of offense.

Troy’s offense was led by freshman Trevon Woolfolk with 62 yards on 18 carries.

Barker completed 15-of-26 passes for a season-low 92 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. Redshirt freshman Gunnar Watson completed 5-of-9 passes for 58 yards. Reggie Todd had six catches for 44 yards, while McClain had three catches for 44 yards and a touchdown.

Dell Pettus led the Troy defense with nine tackles, while Carlton Martial had seven tackles, 3.5 tackles-for-loss and 1.5 sacks.

Troy has the week off this week but returns home to The Vet for a rivalry game against South Alabama on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

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