COLUMBIA, Mo., Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Zack Abron scored on three short runs Saturday night, two of them coming in a 27-point third quarter, and quarterback Brad Smith ran for a touchdown and passed for another to lead Missouri to a 41-6 victory over Ball State.
Behind Abron and Smith, Missouri (2-0) has won its first two games for only the fourth time since 1983.
Abron gave the Tigers a 7-3 lead late in the first quarter with a one-yard touchdown, then scored twice in an 80-second span in the third period. He carried 15 times for 75 yards.
Smith gained 105 yards on just nine rushes and started the big third quarter with a 39-yard keeper. The Tigers needed just 3:17 to score three touchdowns, turning a one-point halftime lead into a 27-6 cushion.
Smith capped the big period with a two-yard touchdown toss to Justin Gage and completed 14 of 27 passes for 176 yards in his second college start.
Marcus Merriweather ran for 115 yards on 26 carries but had two of Ball State's four fumbles. The Cardinals (0-1) were limited to two field goals by Mike Langford.