The Devils You Know
Kenronte Walker clinches it for the Tigers on Family Weekend.
Down its starting quarterback, the Mizzou offense would need to rally around redshirt freshman backup Corbin Berkstresser if it was to exact revenge for last season’s 37–30 overtime loss to Arizona State in Tempe.
The unit was inconsistent, but the defense held up its end of the bargain with two critical fourth-quarter plays in the Tigers’ end zone to secure a 24–20 victory Sept. 15, 2012, at Memorial Stadium.
With less than a minute to play and Missouri clinging to a four-point lead, Mizzou senior safety Kenronte Walker intercepted a Taylor Kelly pass and returned it 49 yards to send a sold-out crowd of 71,004 into a frenzy.
On the Sun Devils’ previous drive, Walker broke up a fourth-and-goal Kelly pass in the end zone. The Tigers (2–1) ensuing drive stalled, resulting in a punt and the final opportunity for the visitors.
Junior quarterback James Franklin was a late scratch due to pain in his throwing arm. Berkstresser led the Tigers on three scoring drives in the first half, rushing for one touchdown from 6 yards out and handing off to senior running back Kendial Lawrence for another from 7 yards out. Redshirt freshman kicker Andrew Baggett started the scoring with a 46-yard field goal in the first quarter.
The defense stymied Arizona State (2–1) for most of the first half until Kelly hit running back D.J. Foster for a 33-yard touchdown strike with 2:31 left.
Mizzou built a 24–7 lead on a second rushing touchdown by Lawrence with 4:08 left in the third quarter. But with a string of fruitless Tiger possessions, the Sun Devils inched closer on touchdown drives of 36 and 59 yards.
After giving up 41 points to the Georgia Bulldogs in the previous week’s SEC opener, the Tiger defense sought vindication.
“It was fitting for those guys [on defense] because they had battled all day,” said Mizzou Coach Gary Pinkel.
Mizzou makes its first SEC road trip to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 22, 2012.