COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – Connor Bazelak cut a full day of production to a half on Saturday as he led Missouri to a 59-28 victory over Southeast Missouri.
Bazelak completed 21 of 30 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns for the Tigers (2-1). He distributed the ball to 10 receivers and connected on a 46-yard touchdown pass to D’onte Smith and a 52-yard touchdown pass to Chance Luper.
Missouri running back Tyler Badie entered the game as the national leader in scrum yards with 392. He played sparingly on Saturday against an outmatched FCS opponent, but he made the most of his limited chances, rushing nine times for 81 yards and two touchdowns and catching two assists for 14 yards and another score.
Missouri built a 38-0 halftime lead. In the second half, Brady Cook and Tyler Macon played the Tigers quarterback. On his first career passing attempt, Macon joined JJ Hester in the middle on a 65-yard touchdown.
Quarterback CJ Ogbonna carried 12 times for 96 yards for SEMO (0-3). Shamenski Rucker scored two rushing touchdowns for the Redhawks.
Take it away
Southeast Missouri: The Redhawks lost main receiver Aaron Alston when called up for a target in the first quarter. Alston hit the Missouri Smith punt turner with the crown of his helmet. Passing game SEMO, who had struggled against opponents from FCS the first two weeks of the season, could not afford to lose their best weapon against an opponent from FBS.
Missouri: After giving up 604 combined rushing yards to Central Michigan and Kentucky in the first two games of the season, the Tigers defense needed a confident constructor – if not a hug – against SEMO. Missouri allowed just 56 rushing yards in the first half as the starters played. But the reserves struggled mightily, allowing 238 rushing yards in the second half and not even hitting Q’Nairies Anderson on a 75-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.
Missouri: The Tigers visit Boston College next Saturday.
Southeast Missouri: The Redhawks open the Ohio Valley Conference home game against Tennessee State next Saturday.