Defense Fails Missouri Tigers in SEC Championship
The Missouri Tigers made an improbable run to the SEC Championship in just their second season in the conference and felt confident as they headed to Atlanta to take on the Auburn Tigers. As the game wore on, however, Auburn proved to be the superior Tiger team in this game as they looked unstoppable on the ground as they racked up an SEC title-game record 544 yards rushing on the day. That performance was a major letdown from the Missouri defense which cost them their chance at the SEC title.
Coming into the game, Mizzou had found success thanks to their strong defensive front. They came into the game ranked second in the SEC against the run after allowing just 119.08 yards per game rushing before running into the Auburn offense. Before this game, the most yards Missouri had allowed on the ground was the 185 yards given up to the Texas A&M Aggies in their regular season finale.
But Auburn took it to another level on Saturday and broke the Mizzou defense down like nobody had before. Tre Mason was unstoppable, racking up 303 yards on 45 carries with four touchdowns as he gashed the Missouri front to the tune of 6.7 yards per carry. Missouri’s inability to come up with an answer for Gus Malzahn‘s rushing attack made it impossible for them to keep pace as Auburn got rolling.
2013 was a great run for Missouri as they became a legitimate member of the SEC football family. However, Gary Pinkel and his Tigers will be haunted by the fashion in which their SEC title hopes ended with a complete flop from their previously reliable rush defense.