KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The fourth-quarter comeback fell short for BYU football, falling 20-16 to Missouri at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday night.
Francis Bernard scored a touchdown with 7:19 left in the game to put the Cougars within striking distance. Despite one more chance on offense, BYU could not find the end zone again. The Cougar defense was unable to get a stop on the other end and time ran out on the Cougars.
The loss snaps a five-game win streak for BYU (7-3) and ends a four-game losing streak for Mizzou (5-5, 1-5 SEC). The Tigers outgained the Cougars in yards 434 to 290. Penalties played a major role in this game as BYU had six for 42 yards while Mizzou had eight for 91 yards, with both sides benefitting from extended drives due to penalties.
"I think our team was resilient, we fought hard, but had a few critical mistakes," head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "A few penalties and turnovers at the wrong time. In a close game, you expect those things to make the difference.”
Tanner Mangum went 23 of 41 for 244 yards and one touchdown. Mangum became the school's freshman record holder in passing yards and touchdown passes with 2,442 yards and 16 touchdown passes on the season.
Wide receiver Nick Kurtz led the Cougars with 67 yards on three catches. Freshman running back Bernard added 56 receiving yards and one touchdown. The other Cougar touchdown scored came from Algernon Brown, who led the team with 42 rushing yards.
Bronson Kaufusi led the defense in the game with a career-high 10 tackles, three tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Harvey Langi also had a career-high 10 tackles in the game while Jherremya Leuta-Douyere tied a career high with nine.
Both teams came out of the gate playing stingy defense. Mizzou had a potential touchdown catch, but an offensive pass interference overturned the reception. On the following play, Kaufusi forced and recovered a fumble.
The Cougar offense was unable to convert points off the turnover and punted the ball away after three plays. Mizzou scored the only points in the first quarter with a 23-yard field goal with 0:56 remaining.
A 32-yard reception by Kurtz and 36 yards from Bernard sparked the offense into the red zone. With 7:29 left in the second quarter, Trevor Samson kicked a 23-yard field goal to tie the score at 3-3.
Another field goal from the Tigers took back the lead, 6-3, with a 34-yard field goal with less than a minute until the break and took the lead into halftime.
The Cougars got the ball at the start of the second half. Despite a penalty keeping the drive alive, a fumble at the Mizzou 15-yard line stalled BYU's drive. Micah Hannemann returned the favor by creating a turnover of his own as he intercepted Missouri and returned it 29 yards three plays later.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, Mangum marched the offense down the field. BYU set up for a field goal, but a delay-of-game penalty on the Tigers gave the Cougars first and goal. With 6:21 left in the third, Brown rushed 11 yards to score the first touchdown of the game and help BYU take the lead for the first time, 10-6.
Later on, BYU penalties kept the Mizzou offense on the field, leading to an eventual touchdown late. The Tigers took back the lead 13-10 after a 4-yard reception in the end zone with 13:03 left in the game.
On the ensuing Cougar drive, a costly fumble by Mangum on the only sack given up by BYU gave the ball back to Mizzou in the red zone, setting the Tigers up for its second touchdown in as many possessions. The Tigers went up 20-10 with 10:03 to play.
After two receptions for 27 yards by Colby Pearson and a 19-yard catch from Remington Peck, BYU found itself in position to score. On third down, the pass was incomplete in the end zone, but a taunting penalty gave a first down to the Cougars. They capitalized as Mangum hit Bernard for a 6-yard touchdown reception to close the gap, 20-16, with 7:19 in the game.
BYU’s defense forced a three-and-out to get the offense back on the field. However, the Cougars had just one first down in the drive and had to punt the ball back to the Tigers. Mizzou never gave the ball back and was able to run out the clock after converting two third downs. Missouri converted 13 of 20 third downs in the game.
BYU returns to LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 21, to face Fresno State in the last home game of the season. The game will kick off at 1 p.m. MST and will be broadcast live on BYUtv and ESPN3. It will also be broadcast on the Cougar IMG Sports Network, KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM.