Powered by freshman RB Henry Josey, Missouri rolls to easy victory

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Freshman Henry Josey scored on three of his first four carries and Blaine Gabbert completed his first 15 passes in Missouri's 50-6 rout of McNeese State on Saturday night.

Josey had 112 yards on seven carries, 105 coming in the first half. He was untouched on a 62-yard scoring run, had a 34-yarder for his first carry of the game, and scored twice -- both times untouched -- from 6 yards for Missouri (2-0).

Josey began the game as the third-string tailback, a position already minus leading rusher Derrick Washington, who was kicked off the team before the opener against Illinois. Josey, who had one carry for 10 yards in the opener, became Missouri's first freshman to score three touchdowns since quarterback Corby Jones in 1995 against Iowa State.

Gabbert was 15 for 15 for 129 yards before his first incompletion early in the second quarter. He finished 26 for 31 for 220 yards and a touchdown. Gabbert threw a 24-yard scoring pass to Jerrell Jackson on his lone series of the third quarter for a 43-0 lead before being relieved by freshman James Franklin.

Missouri scored touchdowns on its first four drives and added a safety for a 30-0 cushion with 10:03 left in the half en route to its fifth straight home opening victory. Michael Sam tackled quarterback Jacob Bower for the safety and blocked a punt in the third quarter to set up one of Grant Ressel's two chip shot field goals.

Even the Tigers' first punt was a success, downed at the 1 in the second quarter. Missouri led 43-0 with 11:54 to go in the third quarter against a school ranked 13th in the FCS, and is 10-0 against teams from the lower division.

Jacob Bower was 11 for 19 for 99 yards and three interceptions for McNeese State (1-1), co-champions of the Southland Conference last year. Wes Briscoe caught a touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter for the Cowboys, who trailed 33-0 at halftime.

The Tigers' T.J. Moe reached double figures in receptions for the second straight game, catching 10 passes for 79 yards. Franklin scored on an 8-yard run.