NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Brady Cook threw for a career-high 395 yards and four touchdowns as No. 23 Missouri beat Vanderbilt 38-21 Saturday to continue the Tigers’ best start since 2013.
The Tigers (5-0) opened the Southeastern Conference portion of their schedule with their fifth straight victory. That puts them two victories from matching 2013 when the Tigers won their first seven games en route to the SEC Eastern Division title and a berth in the conference championship.
Peter Schrader ran for a TD that gave Missouri the lead for good early in the second quarter.
The Tigers outgained Vanderbilt 532-300 with the Commodores not reaching 100 yards of offense until 7:19 left in the third. Kris Abrams-Draine ended that drive with an interception in the end zone, and Austin Firestone had the game’s lone sack with 5:42 left at the Vandy 19 to set up Cook’s final TD pass.
Missouri won its fourth straight in this series and improved to 4-2 against the Commodores in Nashville. Luther Burden III finished with 11 catches for 140 yards receiving and two TDs. Theo Wease Jr. had 10 receptions for 118 yards and a TD.
Vanderbilt (2-4, 0-2) now has lost four straight overall.
Commodores coach Clark Lea started senior Ken Seals at quarterback to give sophomore AJ Swann time to heal up a bruised right elbow. Seals drove the Commodores 76 yards in eight plays and ran for a 6-yard TD putting Vanderbilt up 7-3 in the first quarter.
Missouri answered with Schrader’s TD early in the second, and Cook put the Tigers up 17-7 with a 12-yard TD pass to Wease just before halftime. Cook made it 21 straight points as he opened the third with an 18-yard TD pass to Burden for a 24-7 lead.
That put Burden over 100 yards receiving for a fourth straight game.
Missouri: Cook is blossoming this season after being questionable with an injured knee. He completed 25 of his first 29 passes, and he completed passes to eight different receivers. The junior quarterback, who hadn’t thrown for 300 yards in a game before this season, posted his fourth straight such game.
Vanderbilt: Seals hadn’t started since Nov. 13, 2021, a game he couldn’t finish because of injury. He led Vandy in passing in both 2020 and 2021 only to lose the starting job to Mike Wright last season. Wright transferred Mississippi State this past offseason.
Seals’ TD run in the first was the second of his career. He threw a 31-yard TD pass to Will Sheppard and a 45-yarder to Junior Sherrill in the fourth quarter trying to rally the Dores. Seals finished with 259 yards passing.
Missouri: The Tigers should move up at least one spot with No. 22 Florida’s loss to Kentucky.
Missouri: Hosts No. 13 LSU before a sold-out stadium.
Vanderbilt: Visits No. 22 Florida.