Henry Josey broke loose for the go-ahead score on a 57-yard run with 3:34 to go and No. 5 Missouri wrapped up the SEC East, riding a strong second half to a 28-21 victory over No. 19 Texas A&M on Saturday night.
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.
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.
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. Until Josey's breakaway run, the Aggies had done a nice job.
Starting from its 34, Josey carried for 4 yards and quarterback James Franklin ran for 5 yards. Josey busted free up the middle on third-and-1.
Texas A&M never threatened the rest of the game.
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.