Grading the Missouri Tigers (while still wondering how they lost at Auburn in overtime)

Butch Dill/AP

So we’re grading Missouri’s 17-14 overtime loss at Auburn Saturday afternoon, and the outcome still defies belief.

Missing a chip-shot field goal to win it in regulation, well, that can happen. But having your best running back, who was having an excellent game, lose a fumble without contact while going into the end zone for what should’ve been the win in overtime?

What are the odds?

Play of the game

The final one. Running back Nathaniel Peat was having an outstanding game and was on his way to a season-highlight run. He finished with 117 rushing yards. He’d have been a hero if he had completed one more step. The opportunity for that yard Peat didn’t get was squandered when he fumbled before reaching the end zone on the game’s final play. Peat looked to have been trying to extend the ball over the goal line. Didn’t work. Auburn recovered. Game over.


Offense: C

Auburn’s defense deserves plenty of credit for Missouri scoring on but two of 13 possessions. Mizzou outgained Auburn by nearly 100 total yards. Quarterback Brady Cook had big completions to Dominic Lovett for 40 and 39 yards. Cook was sacked four times but put his team in a position to win the game.

Defense: A

Not much more Mizzou could do. The defense surrendered a 59-yard touchdown drive on Auburn’s first series, and a 24-yard touchdown drive after a Cook interception on the second. That was it until the game-winning field goal in overtime.

At the beginning of the second half, the next 12 drives by both teams ended in punts, with a total of four first downs. Mizzou linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper finished with 10 tackles, three for losses, including a sack. He led a fourth-and-1 stop of Tank Bigsby late in regulation that set up Missouri’s final field-goal attempt. Missouri finished with 12 tackles for losses and held Auburn to 217 total yards. This unit did more than enough to win the game.

Special teams: D

The only reason it’s not a failing grade is the performance of punter Jack Stonehouse. He averaged 48 yards on eight tries, with two traveling more than 60 yards.

But placekicking cost Missouri the game. First, Harrison Mevis, who missed two field goals last year, missed his third in the last two games — and it was stunning. From 26 yards out, on the final snap of regulation, Mevis pushed the kick right, assuring overtime. Before Saturday, Mevis had never missed a kick of less than 31 yards.

Then, in the extra period, Missouri’s defense came up big again, forcing a long field goal. But on a 44-yard attempt that was pulled, Mizzou was offsides. From 5 yards closer, Auburn’s Anders Carlson buried what became the game-winner.

Next: Georgia visits Faurot Field on Saturday for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. The Bulldogs, who entered the weekend ranked No. 1 in the AP poll, defeated Kent State 39-22 on Saturday.

Georgia has won eight straight in the series and the last five by at least 14 points.