HOUSTON ó Texas junior Michael Dickson won the Ray Guy Award, given to the nationís best punter, for a reason.
On Wednesday night, Missouri experienced why.
Thanks to Dickson, the Tigers only found themselves starting a drive past their own 25-yard line once during the first half. The Sydney, Australia, native knocked the ball inside Missouriís 20-yard line six times before the halftime whistle blew.
The placement of his punts were crucial, contributing to the conservative nature of Missouriís offensive play-calling for much of the first half. The Tigers were forced to run the ball to inch away from their own goal line, stalling out on drives in the process. The result was Missouri (7-6, 4-4 SEC) having its lowest offensive output in three months, as the Tigers fell 33-16 to Texas (7-6, 5-4 Big 12).
Dickson continued his performance in the second half when he evaded a Missouri rusher before dropping the ball at the Tigersí 2-yard line. He finished the game with 10 punts inside the 20-yard line and zero touchbacks.
The Aussieís efforts earned him the Texas Bowl Most Valuable Player Award.
Witter goes over 1,000 rushing yards
Diminutive Missouri running back Ish Witter eclipsed a massive mark in his final game.
For the first time in his career, he ran for more than 1,000 yards in a season. He ends the 2017 campaign with 1,049 yards rushing.
Lock sets Texas Bowl record
For the majority of the first half, Missouri didnít use its most potent weapon: the deep ball. Joe Jon Finley, the Tigersí tight ends coach who assumed play-calling duties with Josh Heupel departed for UCF, and Drew Lock changed that trend with the first play of the second half.
The Missouri quarterback unleashed a perfectly placed pass down the middle of the field into the outstretched hands of Johnathon Johnson, who ran the ball into the end zone for a 79-yard score. The play was the longest touchdown in Texas Bowl history.
Herman, Texas players mock Lockís celebration
After said longest touchdown in Texas Bowl history, Lock celebrated by pulling an imaginary backpack over his back and securing the straps. Itís a celebration known as ď securing the bag.Ē (tncms-inline)946231245536677888(/tncms-inline)
After Texasí Davante Davis intercepted Lock with just more than three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, he and several members of the Longhorns defense ran to midfield and mocked the QBís celebration. After wide receiver Armanti Foreman scored the gameís final touchdown with less than two minutes to go, Texas coach Tom Herman joined in on the sidelines, too. (tncms-inline)946252373210656774(/tncms-inline)
Garrett surpasses 100 tackles
Missouriís defense remained stout for the entire game, thanks to its centerpiece in sophomore Cale Garrett.
The middle linebacker was impressive against the Longhorns, making 11 total tackles ó five solo ó on his way to a 100-tackle season. He is the first Missouri player to account for 100 tackles since Kentrell Brothers accomplished the feat in 2015.
Longhorns defense continues streak against top quarterbacks
Being in the Big 12 means facing numerous quarterbacks who put up big numbers on a weekly basis. However, those numbers tend to take a hit against Texas.
The Longhorns faced four quarterbacks who threw more than 30 touchdowns during the regular season. Those four only accounted for four passing touchdowns against the them. Lock became their latest victim in the Texas Bowl.
The nationís leader in touchdown passes only mustered one touchdown Wednesday night. It was the first time since Missouri played Auburn on Sept. 23 that Lock failed to throw for over two touchdowns.
Missouri goes winless against winning teams
The Texas Bowl was Missouriís chance to show critics that the win streak wasnít a fluke. It was a chance wasted.
Missouri ends the season with a 7-6 record. All six losses came against teams with winning records, while all of MUís wins came against teams with losing marks.
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