Jacksonville Sports Day

COLLEGE BOWL NEWS: Golden, Murphy Lead Tigers to Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl Title

By MIKE BONTS
FLORIDA SPORTS WIRE
ORLANDO, Fla. —  No. 16 Missouri won its second-straight January bowl with a 33-17 win over No. 20 Minnesota in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.

“We battled.  We made plays on our defense.  We made plays on offense, especially in the fourth quarter,” said Missouri coach Gary Pinkel. “And at the end of the third quarter, we got some critical turnovers by our defense.  We took advantage of some of those and tried a few fakes here and there.” 

Markus Golden earned MVP honors  and the duo of Marcus Murphy and Russell Hansbrough helped the Tigers to gain 337 yards on the ground.

“It’s a blessing just to be part of the Mizzou team, just to be out here playing. But for me to get MVP, it’s amazing.  It’s one of the big days of my life.  Like I said, coming to Missouri is one of the best things that has happened to me,” Golden said.

Murphy ran for 159 yards, Hansbrough added 114 and a touchdown and Mizzou (11-3) secured its third 11-win season in the last eight years, and fourth time ever.

Mitch Leidner completed 21-of-31 passes for 258 yards and one touchdown for the Gophers (8-5), who have dropped their last seven bowl games.


Tight end Maxx Williams caught seven passes for 98 yards and a score for Minnesota, which played in a New Year’s Day bowl for the first time since 1962. David Cobb rushed for 81 yards on 21 carries.

“We played hard today. We really did.  But we just didn’t execute.  And I say all along, you run into games like this,” said Minnesota coach Jerry Kill. “They’ve had some tricks up their sleeve in the kicking game and executed it.  And the bottom line is that you can’t turn over the ball and you’ve got to win the turnover battle.”

Minnesota (8-5) pulled within two with fewer than two minutes left in the third quarter, but the Tigers pulled away on Hansbrough’s 78-yard touchdown run andMaty Mauk’s 7-yard scoring pass to Bud Sasser. 

That grab gave the senior 1,003 yards on the season, to give Mizzou its first 1,000-yard receiver since T.J. Moe in 2010. In addition, Hansbrough finished the year with 1,084 on the ground.

Tigers’ defensive tackle Harold Brantley converted a first down for the second time this year on a fake punt. Missouri’s Ian Simon recovered an onside kick from Andrew Baggett to open the second half. Baggett’s 33-yard field goal gave Mizzou a 13-7 lead.

The Golden Gophers scored a 54-yard touchdown pass from Leidner to Williams. 

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