COLUMBIA, Mo. —Missouri pulled one out for the seniors. For coach Gary Pinkel, too.
James Franklin accounted for four touchdowns and got the go-ahead score on a 9-yard run with 2:22 remaining as Missouri, minus their suspended coach, rallied past Texas Tech 31-27 on Saturday night.
"I think we came together because of the foundation that Gary Pinkel has built," said defensive coordinator Dave Steckel, who filled in as head coach. "He has built it on a rock.
"If you build your foundation on a rock and the storms come, it will survive."
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Franklin rushed for a career-best 152 yards with two touchdowns to help the Tigers (6-5, 4-4 Big 12) overcome Henry Josey's season-ending knee injury last week. He was 13 for 20 for 172 yards and two more touchdowns, including a 7-yarder to Marcus Lucas earlier in the fourth that cut Texas Tech's lead to three.
Texas Tech threatened late, driving to the Missouri 6, before Dominique Hamilton tipped a pass from Seth Doege and Michael Sam intercepted at the 4.
"We knew it was going to come down to us," Sam said. "It just fell in my hands, and my first thought was to go down."
Doege threw for one touchdown and ran for another for Texas Tech (5-6, 2-6), which has lost four in a row and must beat Baylor next week to become bowl eligible for the 12th straight season. Doege was 37 of 53 for 315 yards, one week after being held to a season-low 169 yards.
Aaron Crawford had 70 yards on 14 carries, and Darrin Moore had nine catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.
"Sometimes things aren't fair. That's what life's about," coach Tommy Tuberville said. "Our guys played their tails off when they had to come in and play.
"We led all the game except for a couple minutes; just wasn't meant to be tonight."
This was a major improvement for the Red Raiders, who were whipped by an average of 42 points the previous three games and absorbed the worst loss in school history last week in a 66-6 rout against Oklahoma State.
"We know we're a good team," Doege said. "We can't let this one hurt too bad because we have a big game next week."
Pinkel can rejoin the team Thursday, two days ahead of the season finale against Kansas in Kansas City. Fans in midfield seats across from the Missouri sideline unfurled a banner that read "We (Love) You, Gary."
Offensive coordinator Dave Yost joined Steckel at the postgame podium and chatted with reporters afterward, choking back emotion several times. The team bus had an empty seat for Pinkel.
"What happened happened, but it's hard to take this, and I can't imagine how he felt as that game was going on," Yost said. "You knew he was watching it and making notes.
"When it ended I was just so happy, all the things he's done for the program — we were able to give it back."
Pinkel's wife, Vickie, attended the game.
Missouri trailed entering the fourth quarter for the seventh time, and won for the second time under those circumstances.
A week after trailing 49-0 at halftime in a 66-6 loss to Oklahoma State, Texas Tech started fast, playing with the wind on a gusty day, and led 17-10 at the break, fueled by touchdowns on two of the first three possessions — a 1-yard run by Bradley Marquez out of the wildcat formation and Doege's 3-yard run. It was only the third time Tech had led at the break all season.
Michael Egnew's first touchdown catch in five games came on a leaping grab in the back of the end zone to cut Missouri's deficit to 20-17 with 4:43 to go in the third quarter. It was the first touchdown in the third quarter in five games for the Tigers, who have totaled 40 points in that quarter all year.
Texas Tech went up 10 again on Moore's 24-yard catch from Doege with one second left in the third that made it 27-17.
The wind was such a factor early that Texas Tech called a timeout to force Missouri to punt into it. The move was foiled when Trey Barrow got a very favorable roll on a 68-yarder into the end zone.
Missouri blew a scoring chance in the first quarter when Kendial Lawrence got stripped by Cornelius Douglas at the Red Raiders 6-yard line and fumbled the ball out of the end zone.
Moore's 54-yard run to the 6 topped his season total of 39 yards the first 10 games and set up a 5-yard run by Franklin that capped a 10-play, 90-yard drive, the Tigers' longest of the year.
Missouri cornerback E.J. Gaines had two pass breakups for a season total of 16, breaking the single-season school record set by Michael Harden in 2002.
Texas Tech14 3 10 0 — 27 Missouri 0 10 7 14 — 31
TT—Marquez 1 run (Carona kick), 10:51.
TT—Doege 3 run (Carona kick), 1:25.
Mo—Franklin 5 run (Barrow kick), 4:59.
TT—FG Carona 48, :27.
Mo—FG Barrow 39, :00.
TT—FG Carona 33, 9:15.
Mo—Egnew 5 pass from Franklin (Barrow kick), 4:43.
TT—Moore 24 pass from Doege (Carona kick), :01.
Mo—Lucas 7 pass from Franklin (Barrow kick), 12:03.
Mo—Franklin 9 run (Barrow kick), 2:22.
Time of Possession31:0128:59
Rushing—Texas Tech, Crawford 14-70, D.Washington 6-41, K.Williams 5-28, Doege 4-6, Marquez 2-(minus 3). Missouri, Franklin 20-152, Lawrence 15-94, Moore 7-79, Moe 2-11, Washington 1-(minus 5), Team 4-(minus 13).
Passing—Texas Tech, Doege 37-53-1-315. Missouri,
Receiving—Texas Tech, Moore 9-88, E.Ward 7-46, Marquez 4-47, Swindall 3-23, D.Washington 3-19, James 3-16, K.Williams 2-25, Amaro 2-21, Franks 2-9, Crawford 1-15, Kennard 1-6. Missouri, Lucas 4-68, Lawrence 3-13, Kemp 2-42, Moe 2-8, Washington 1-36, Egnew 1-5.