Missouri defensive lineman Matt Hoch (89) and Missouri linebacker Kentrell Brothers (10) are unable to bring down Indiana running back Tevin Coleman (6) on a screen pass on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri. Coleman had 19 carries for 132 yards rushing in Indiana’s 31-27 win.
Story By Brandon Kiley, KBIA Sports
Photos by Tim Leible and Christian Clark, KBIA Sports
Indiana has the football at its 41-yard line with 1:08 left in the game. A field goal ties the game at 27. A touchdown gives Indiana the lead against the defending SEC East champion Missouri Tigers.
Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld catches the snap, looks to his left,
turns to his right and flings a screen pass to Tevin Coleman. The junior running back breaks two would-be tackles by Missouri defenders on his way to a 44-yard gain. A facemask penalty on the play sets Indiana up with a first and goal at the Missouri seven-yard line.
The crowd at Faurot Field goes silent. Fans are stunned.
This wasn’t supposed to happen. The last time Missouri lost to an unranked non-conference opponent was against Syracuse in 2012. That was the year the Tigers finished the season 5-7 after being decimated by injuries.
This isn’t the same team. These aren’t the same circumstances.
The Hoosiers would take care of business. Senior running back D’Angelo Roberts scored going over-the-top from three yards out to give Indiana the lead with 22 seconds to go. The score would hold at 31-27 and Indiana (2-1) completed the improbable upset over the No. 18 Missouri Tigers (3-1).
“We haven’t lost around here in a long time,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “Our guys, they are suffering right now. And that’s okay. This isn’t a fun part of this business.”
Missouri failed to force a turnover for the first time since October 30, 2010, 48 games ago. The longest active takeaway streak in the nation had become a point of pride for the Tigers.
“It’s our job as a defense to go get that ball out and give it back to the offense so they can put it in the end zone,” Missouri defensive end Shane Ray said. “Today, the streak broke, but it’s time to start it up again and get back to doing what we do.”
Markus Golden had been a key cog in Missouri’s turnover streak this past year, but the senior defensive end was not able to play in Saturday’s game because of a hamstring injury.
“Just like when Kony and Mike and Sheldon left, it’s the next man up,” Ray said. “When a guy goes down, it is your job to be ready and prepared to do the best that you can do. (Charles Harris) and (Marcus Loud) were ready to do their jobs today.”
Anthony Gatti joined Golden on the sidelines after the first quarter. The senior offensive guard has battled injuries throughout his career at Missouri and the struggles continued on Saturday. Pinkel announced after the game the starting offensive guard tore his ACL. Brad McNulty replaced Gatti at left guard for the final three quarters.
“With all (Gatti’s) gone through, losing him like that was really rough for all of us,” Missouri offensive lineman Mitch Morse said. “I’m going to spend most of my time this week with Brad McNulty. I told him we’re going to be attached at the hip this week.”
Gatti’s injury was a sign of things to come for the Tigers. Murphy’s Law was in full effect.
The Tigers’ offensive line didn’t commit a single false start penalty through the first three games of the season; they committed three such violations on Saturday.
“This is our coming to Jesus moment,” Morse said. “I promise you this is going to be the best week of practice we’ve ever had. We’re going to be attached to the hip with the guys who need help.”
Missouri will have a chance to correct its mistakes next week when they travel to Columbia, South Carolina and face South Carolina for their first SEC game of the year Saturday at 6 p.m.