The Missouri Tigers were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Rodney Thomas and Leeland McElroy each rushed for three touchdowns and quarterback Corey Pullig regained his passing touch Saturday as 16th-ranked Texas A&M; humiliated the Tigers, 73-0.
The Aggies, who lost to Oklahoma 44-14 in Norman last week, were in no mood to treat their Big Eight visitors kindly.
They turned six turnovers, the accurate passing of Pullig, and the runs of Thomas and McElroy into a blowout. Texas A&M; improved to 2-1. Missouri fell to 1-1.
“We took a lot of shots after what happened in the Oklahoma game,” said offensive coordinator Bob Toledo. “Corey responded to all the criticism he had. A lot of people who gave up on him are going to be jumping back on the bandwagon.”
It was the second-worst loss in Missouri history, topped only by a 77-0 win by Oklahoma in 1986. It was the Aggies’ biggest win since a 77-0 rout of Sam Houston in 1925.
“We were just like A&M; was against Oklahoma last week,” Missouri Coach Bob Stull said. “We just keep shooting ourselves in the foot. Turnovers killed A&M; in Norman and it killed us this time.”
Pullig, who had five passes intercepted in the first two games, completed 15 of 22 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns.
The tone of the game was set early as Pullig completed four consecutive passes, finishing with a five-yard touchdown pass play to tight end James McKeehan to end an opening 78-yard drive.
Aaron Glenn’s 43-yard punt return set up a 26-yard touchdown run by Thomas.
Freshman McElroy ran 26 yards for another touchdown and a 21-0 lead.
It quickly got worse.
Solari recovered a fumble on the Tigers’ next possession and Terry Venetoulias kicked a 40-yard field goal. End Sam Adams recovered a Missouri fumble at the Tiger 15 on the next possession and Pullig passed to wide open Tony Harrison for a a touchdown on the next play.
The second half didn’t start any better for Missouri as Glenn returned a punt 76 yards to make the score 45-0.
Thomas scored once and McElroy scored twice in the fourth quarter.