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12/01/2013 12:33 AM EST
No. 5 Missouri wins SEC East
MISSOURI 28, TEXAS A&M 21

By R.B. FALLSTROM
AP Sports Writer

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Henry Josey watched helplessly from the
sideline last fall, rehabbing from a serious knee injury, while
Missouri was getting pushed around in its first SEC season.

The senior running back's legs produced the go-ahead score in a
win that put the fifth-ranked Tigers in the SEC championship
game.

"Those guys were 5 yards away from me before I could even get
close to them," Josey said of his breakaway 57-yard run that
helped Missouri wrap up the SEC East with a 28-21 victory over
No. 19 Texas A&M on Saturday night. "A big hole opened up and I
took it."

Missouri (11-1, 7-1 SEC) advances to the conference championship
game against Auburn - a matchup of schools very lightly regarded
before the season. Missouri has made a six-win improvement from
its initial SEC season and fourth-ranked Auburn (11-1, 7-1) has
topped last year's total by eight after stunning No. 1 Alabama.

"This tells everybody in the whole United States that Mizzou's
the real deal," said wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who
caught seven passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. "Last year was
just last year.

"It's not about that, it's just about what we're capable of
doing and what we're going to do and how we did it."

Missouri beat its fourth ranked opponent and reached 11 wins for
the third time in school history, twice under Pinkel. Another
win matches the school record set in 2007.

Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel was held in check for the second
straight week, throwing one touchdown pass and rushing for 21
yards on 11 carries. He was 24 for 35 for 195 yards.

"In the second half, we all calmed down and we communicated,"
linebacker Kentrell Brothers said. "We were all on the same page
and got it done."

Coach Kevin Sumlin didn't make Manziel available for the
post-game. Reports have indicated Manziel, a redshirt sophomore,
is close to making a decision whether to enter the NFL draft
next April.

"He's had better performances, he's had worse performances,"
Sumlin said. "There's pressure on him to perform at a high level
all the time."

Sumlin discounted a report Manziel, also held to one TD pass
last week in a loss at LSU, has been hampered by a thumb injury

"If he wasn't healthy enough to play, he wouldn't have played,"
Sumlin said.

The Aggies (8-4, 4-4) have lost consecutive games for the first
time under coach Kevin Sumlin, who the school said earlier in
the day agreed in principle on a new six-year contract that
could keep him on the job through 2019. He's 19-6.

Thousands of fans among a sellout crowd of 62,197 - nearly all
of them clad in black, stormed the field after the game ended.
The field wasn't cleared for at least 20 minutes.

Missouri had been 11-44 under Pinkel when trailing at the half.
Pinkel has 101 wins in 13 seasons at Missouri, tied for Don
Faurot for most in school history.

Texas A&M has one of the worst defenses against the run in the
nation, allowing 221 yards per game. Missouri totaled 225 yards
with a 5.1-yard average, but until Josey's breakaway run, the
Aggies had done a nice job

Starting from its 34, Missouri's decisive string began
innocently with a 4-yard carry by Josey and a 5-yard carry by
quarterback James Franklin. Josey busted free up the middle on
third-and-1.

"What a great play," coach Gary Pinkel said. "What a great kid."

Texas A&M never threatened the rest of the game and has lost
four of the last five in the series. The exception was a
showcase for Manziel, who threw for three touchdowns and ran for
two scores in a 59-29 rout last year that was a 35-point rout by
halftime.

Tra Carson broke two tackles on a 31-yard scoring run that was
also the first touchdown allowed by Missouri in the first
quarter in six games. Derel Walker's 32-yard reception made it
14-7 late in the half.

Walker's score came just 1:10 after Franklin's 38-yard touchdown
pass to L'Damian Washington. Manziel rolled out to buy time and
Michael Sam tackled him a beat too late.

Early in the second quarter, Missouri failed to capitalize on a
lost fumble by punt returner De'Vante Harris at the A&M 36.
Backup Maty Mauk got his usual early series at quarterback and
Missouri lost a yard on three plays before punting.

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