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Josey, Missouri overwhelm Western Illinois 69-0

Josey, Missouri overwhelm Western Illinois 69-0

September 18th, 2011 by ALAN SCHER ZAGIER, Associated Press in News

Missouri running back Henry Josey leads a brigade of Tigers down the field on a 68-yard touchdown run during the second quarter of Saturday night's game against Western Illinois at Faurot Field.

Photo by The Associated Press /News Tribune.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri football record book is filled with oddities, from the 1918 influenza outbreak that scrapped the season to World War II-era wins over Navy pre-flight squads from Iowa.

Add some more weirdness to the Tigers' 121-year history after Saturday night's 69-0 drubbing of Western Illinois - a lopsided victory that had Coach Gary Pinkel apologizing for the team's final score, an inadvertent 44-yard punt return by backup E.J. Gaines.

Missouri (2-1) set a school record with 744 yards of offense, tied a school record for most points scored and broke an 83-year-old mark for largest victory margin. The previous record: a 60-0 win over Centre (Ky.)

"What I should have done is told him to signal fair catch for that last ball," Pinkel said. "We did not want that last touchdown."

Henry Josey rushed for three touchdowns and 263 yards - all in the first half- as Missouri built a 42-0 halftime lead against the overmatched Leathernecks of the Football Championship Subdivision. Western Illinois (1-2) managed just one first down and 44 total yards in the game.

"You have to play perfect football when you play against a team like this," said Western Illinois quarterback Josh Hudson, who was far from perfect, completing just 4 of 15 passes for 20 yards with one interception. He was sacked four times and harassed all night by a Missouri defense that had only one sack in an overtime loss at Arizona State one week ago.

Josey scored on rushes of 6, 21 and 68 yards, breaking his career high of 112 yards before the first quarter ended. He didn't play in the second half, missing a chance to top Devin West's school-record 319 yards against Kansas in 1998.

"He's kind of deadly," Pinkel said of Josey, who carried the ball just 14 times, an average of nearly 19 yards per touch. He started his first game of the season after injuries to De'Vion Moore and Kendial Lawrence.

Now it's on to Norman next week for the Big 12 opener against top-ranked Oklahoma - even as the conference teeters on the brink of survival, with Oklahoma and Texas regents meeting Monday to discuss possible departures. The Tigers upset the Sooners 36-27 last year in Columbia.

"Everybody's blood will be rushing for this one," said Missouri defensive back Robert Steeples.

James Franklin was 18 for 25 for 246 yards and three TDs, playing just two series in the second half before Pinkel summoned reserves Jimmy Costello and later Ashton Glaser. Franklin threw touchdowns of 10 and 37 yards to Wes Kemp and 30 yards to T.J. Moe. Costello added his first career scoring toss, a 54-yarder to Jimmie Hunt.

The outcome was never in doubt, as Missouri scored on its opening possession for the first time this season and 11 of the 14 times it had the ball. Missouri had nearly 500 yards of offense in the first half. The overall offensive outburst broke the previous school record of 665 yards against Kansas in 1949.

Missouri's 69 points matched a mark set against Kansas in 1969 and tied against Nevada in 2008.

Bryce Flowers led Western Illinois with 28 yards rushing on 14 carries. He replaced starter Caulton Ray, suspended before the game for an unspecified violation of team rules. First-string left tackle Enock Presendieu was also suspended.

Jared Culver had 11 carries for 86 yards and one touchdown in relief of Josey, with Greg White adding 10 carries for 36 yards.