COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – James Franklin made crucial big plays on consecutive scoring drives in the second half and Missouri pulled away from Toledo for a 38-23 victory on Saturday.
Missouri (2-0) led 24-23 after Toledo (0-2) scored its first two touchdowns of the year but Franklin’s 21-yard keeper set up Henry Josey’s second 1-yard touchdown run of the game which extended Missouri’s lead to eight.
The quarterback later had a 6-yard carry on fourth-and-3 and an 11-yard gain on third-and-9 to set up Marcus Murphy’s 8-yard run to conclude the scoring with 10:29 to go.
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel beat the school at which he’s a Hall of Famer and the career wins leader with the help of a few goofs by the visitors.
Toledos’ David Fluellen had 111 yards on 14 carries and 10 catches for 100 yards.
Markus Golden got a gift 70-yard interception return in the third quarter when the ball squirted out of Toledo quarterback Terrance Owens’ hands and right into his arms. Jeremiah Detmer hit three field goals in the first half, connecting from 24, 46 and 41 yards, but punted a low line drive into the back of a Toledo lineman, a 9-yard net to the Rockets’ 44 that gave Missouri a short field on the Murphy score.
Owens scored on a 4-yard keeper and hit Alonzo Russell for a 41-yard score, most of it on a sideline sprint that capitalized on blown coverage, in a span of 5 1/2 minutes in the third quarter to shave the deficit to one.
Attendance was announced at 56,785 in a game that began in 90-plus degree heat. Less than half remained for the finish.
Dorial Green-Beckham beat one-on-one coverage from Jordan Martin on a 9-yard touchdown catch with 1:14 to go in the half for a 17-9 lead. Missouri got a big stop in the other end zone to end the half, with Matt White intercepting a pass from Owens that was tipped.
Levi Copeland’s 51-yard diving reception at the 7, with three defenders in futile pursuit, set up Josey’s first 1-yard run.
The officiating crew needed alternate Chad Walker after umpire David Parker sprained his left knee in the first quarter.