EditorsNote: fixes spelling of Rountree in hed
Missouri’s Larry Rountree III rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns as the Tigers stayed unbeaten in the SEC by defeating the Ole Miss Rebels, 38-27, in Columbia, Mo., on Saturday night.
Playing without linebacker and leading tackler Cale Garrett (pectoral surgery), Missouri beat Ole Miss for the second time in conference play since joining the SEC in 2012.
Quarterback Kelly Bryant finished 23-for-35 for 329 yards and a score, with Johnathon Johnson contributing 110 receiving yards on eight catches for the Tigers (5-1, 2-0).
The Tigers scored at least 30 points for the 11th straight game and notched their seventh consecutive home victory.
Freshman signal-caller John Rhys Plumlee rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 103 yards and two more scores, and wide receiver Elijah Moore caught eight balls for 102 yards and a touchdown for Ole Miss (3-4, 2-2).
On their second possession, the Rebels tallied when Plumlee threw a perfect 21-yard lob to running back Scottie Phillips on a wheel route.
Missouri kicker Tucker McCann booted a 31-yard field goal to make it 7-3 after a quarter, and Bryant fired a 17-yard score to Tyler Badie, who darted through the Rebels’ defense on a neatly designed play.
However, McCann’s extra point attempt was wide right to leave the home side’s lead at 9-7 at 13:23 of the second.
McCann redeemed himself on the next series in the half when he banged home a 48-yard kick for a 12-7 edge with 4:38 left in the first half.
The Tigers made a goal-line stand, stuffing running back Snoop Conner just short of the goal line on fourth-and-goal from the 1 in the half’s closing seconds.
Rountree scored on the fifth play from scrimmage in the third when he broke through the left side on a 41-yard scamper for his sixth rushing TD, but McCann clanked the ensuing attempt off the right upright to leave it 18-7.
However, the senior kicker again connected following a missed PAT, drilling a 39-yarder for a 21-7 lead at 9:30 of the third.
Dawson Downing ran for a career-long 54-yard score, and Plumlee answered by finding Moore on a 28-yard strike. But Rountree added a short plunge for a 35-14 lead with a minute left in the third.
Plumlee dashed in on a 9-yard quarterback draw and then on a 40-yard sprint, but McCann kicked his third field goal, a 38-yarder, in between to account for all the scoring in the fourth quarter.
Both teams continue conference play next Saturday as Missouri travels to Nashville, Tenn., to face Vanderbilt while Ole Miss hosts Texas A&M.
—Field Level Media