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September 21, 2013BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In a battle of offenses, Missouri's defense stepped out of the shadows on Saturday.
Despite giving up 423 yards to Indiana's formerly eighth-ranked offense, Missouri (3-0) defeated the Hoosiers (2-2) 45-28 because of its defense.
The Tigers held the Hoosiers to 20 first downs, shy of their 26.3 average. The Tigers held Indiana to 98 rushing yards on 26 attempts, far below its 232.33 yards-per-game average.
Most importantly, Missouri held Kevin Wilson's frenetic offense to 28 points. The Hoosiers averaged 50 points per game in their first three games.
Missouri's offense overcame three first-half turnovers to amass 623 yards, the second time in three games that the Tigers eclipsed over 600 yards this season. James Franklin threw two first-quarter interceptions but finished with 343 yards on 32-of-47 passing and two touchdowns. He added 61 yards on the ground and another touchdown.
It's the first time since Sep. 9, 2011 that Franklin finished with 400 total yards in a game.
Missouri ran out to a 14-0 lead after a seven-yard touchdown pass to Dorial Green-Beckham and a ten-yard run by Marcus Murphy. Indiana answered with a ten-yard pass from Nate Sudfeld to Cody Latimer and a two-yard run by Tevin Coleman, set-up by a 77-yard pass from Sudfeld to Latimer.
But the Tigers took the lead on a one-yard run by Franklin -- his first since the Independence Bowl in 2011 -- with four minutes to go before halftime. Missouri would never trail again. Two minutes later, Kony Ealy intercepted a pass from Sudfeld at the line of scrimmage and sprinted 49-yards for a touchdown to give the Tigers a 14-point lead before the half. From there, Missouri's defense forced two more interceptions.
Missouri led by as many as 25 late in the fourth quarter, but a final scoring drive by Indiana ended in a three-yard run by Tre Roberson, followed by a two-point conversion, to end the game with a 45-28 score.
PowerMizzou.com will have more coverage from Bloomington.