COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The gold standard of quarterbacks at Missouri is Chase Daniel, who holds most of the school's passing records. Drew Lock grabbed a few of his own Saturday, setting single-game marks for touchdown passes and passing yards as the Tigers beat Missouri State 72-43 in the season opener.
Lock threw for 521 yards and seven touchdowns.
"It's really cool to break these records," said Lock, a junior. "Thinking about all the guys that played quarterback in my position that I grew up watching, idolizing. . I was tied with them last year, now I get to bump up ahead of them."
The previous passing touchdown record was five, shared by Daniel, Maty Mauk and Lock. The previous yardage record was 480, set by Jeff Handy against Oklahoma State in 1992.
When Lock threw his sixth touchdown pass, Daniel, Missouri's starting quarterback from 2006-08 and now a backup for the New Orleans Saints, tweeted, "Records are meant to be broken!!"
While Lock's exploits were a nice bonus for Missouri, the fact he was still piling up statistics in the fourth quarter was a troubling sign that the MU defense couldn't get enough stops to turn a game against an FCS opponent into a blowout. The Bears hung right with the Tigers for most of the first half, leading 35-34 in the second quarter, and piled up 492 yards.
"We've got a lot of work to do," Missouri Coach Barry Odom said. "I don't want to have a lot of Arena Football scores as we keep going on this deal. We've got to get it fixed on that side."
Odom, who calls the defensive signals, said he greatly simplified things at halftime, sticking almost entirely with the base defense. Missouri State scored just one touchdown in the second half after trailing 48-35 at the break.
Missouri, which racked up a school-record 815 total yards, never slowed down after scoring on the first play from scrimmage. Lock threw a quick perimeter pass to Johnathon Johnson, and Johnson veered around a downfield block from Dimetrios Mason and raced 65 yards down the right sideline to the end zone. Lock completed 21 of 34 passes and spread the touchdowns to five receivers.
J'Mon Moore had four catches for 187 yards and two touchdowns, and Johnson had five receptions for 116 yards and two scores. Damarea Crockett, who surpassed 1,000 rushing yards last year as a true freshman, carried 18 times for 202 yards and two TDs.
"I feel like that's the best part of this offense -- how many weapons we've got out on the perimeter, in the backfield," Johnson said. "We've got a lot of weapons that we can use, a lot of stuff we can do with them."
Missouri State showed off its playmakers, as well. The Bears scored touchdowns on their first three drives -- including scoring runs of 75 and 34 yards by Calan Crowder. With 5:32 left in the second quarter, Malik Earl's 89-yard tackle-breaking touchdown reception on a third-and-24 play gave Missouri State a 35-34 lead.
Earl had eight catches for 163 yards, and Crowder rushed 11 times for 124 yards. Sophomore quarterback Peyton Huslig completed 24 of 35 passes for 353 yards and two touchdowns in his first start.
"He did a really good job," Missouri State coach Dave Steckel said of Huslig. "He's got this calm confidence about himself that really helped guide the offense to keep coming back and answering."
Missouri State: The Bears lost the game but found a quarterback. Huslig, a sophomore making his first start after guiding Garden City (Kan.) Community College to the junior college national championship last season, was sharp in his debut.
Missouri: It was a bad defensive day for Missouri, which ranked 118th nationally in total defense last season and hoped to show improvement in the second year of Odom's coaching tenure. The Bears averaged 6.6 yards per play.
POINTS OFF THE BOARD
Crockett seemingly scored on a 75-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, but he unnecessarily dived from the 2-yard line into the end zone and drew a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct. It was considered a live-ball foul that took the touchdown off the board and moved Missouri back to Missouri State's 17-yard line. The Tigers wound up settling for Tucker McCann's 35-yard field goal.
"I was looking at big board and saw two guys behind me," Crockett said. "One guy grabs my ankle, and I jumped out of it. I just know the second guy is coming up, and I was like, `I gotta score, I gotta score.' The No. 1 rule is do not get tackled inside the 5, so I just dove."
Crockett insisted he wasn't celebrating. Odom wasn't so sure.
"I saw the replay, and there was a touch of celebration there," Odom said. "It was a good call."
Missouri safety Cam Hilton was ejected for a targeting personal foul on a blindside block on a punt return in the third quarter. Hilton, a backup safety, will have to sit out the first half of next week's game against South Carolina.
After the game, Missouri announced that senior nose tackle A.J. Logan will be held out of the first six games as a disciplinary measure stemming from the NCAA's review of MU's athletic tutoring program. In November, a former tutor went public with allegations that she cheated for athletes, whom she did not name.
"While I am saddened I will miss six games of my senior year, I know in my heart that I have told the truth, cooperated with the university and the NCAA, and taken full responsibility," Logan said in a prepared statement.
Missouri State: The Bears will visit FCS opponent North Dakota.
Missouri: The Tigers open Southeastern Conference play at home against South Carolina.
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|North Dakota State||7-1||14-1|
|South Dakota State||6-2||11-3|