Missouri downs Texas Tech, 31-27

Sunday, November 20, 2011

— Missouri pulled one out for the seniors. For coach Gary Pinkel, too.

James Franklin accounted for four touchdowns and got the go-ahead score on a 9-yard run with 2:22 remaining as Missouri, minus their suspended coach, rallied past Texas Tech, 31-27, on Saturday night.

“I think we came together because of the foundation that Gary Pinkel has built,” said defensive coordinator Dave Steckel, who filled in as head coach. “He has built it on a rock.

“If you build your foundation on a rock and the storms come, it will survive.”

Franklin rushed for a career-best 152 yards with two touchdowns to help the Tigers (6-5, 4-4 Big 12) overcome Henry Josey’s season-ending knee injury last week. He was 13 for 20 for 172 yards and two more touchdowns, including a 7-yarder to Marcus Lucas earlier in the fourth that cut Texas Tech’s lead to three.

Texas Tech threatened late, driving to the Missouri 6, before Dominique Hamilton tipped a pass from Seth Doege and Michael Sam intercepted at the 4.

“We knew it was going to come down to us,” Sam said. “It just fell in my hands, and my first thought was to go down.”

Doege threw for one touchdown and ran for another for Texas Tech (5-6, 2-6), which has lost four in a row and must beat Baylor next week to become bowl-eligible for the 12th straight season. Doege was 37 of 53 for 315 yards, one week after being held to a season-low 169 yards.

Aaron Crawford had 70 yards on 14 carries, and Darrin Moore had nine catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.

“Sometimes things aren’t fair. That’s what life’s about,” coach Tommy Tuberville said. “Our guys played their tails off when they had to come in and play.

“We led all the game except for a couple minutes; just wasn’t meant to be tonight.”