COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Markus Golden had trouble describing what went through his mind during one of the greatest moments of his college career.
But he still remembers how he forced Toledo quarterback Terrance Owens to lose control of the ball before snatching it in the air and sprinting 70 yards for a touchdown.
"I can't sit here and tell you exactly how I felt," the Missouri defensive end said, smiling. "But I know when I got to the end zone and set that ball down and looked at the crowd, it felt good."
His teammates felt good, too.
Golden's score increased the Tigers' lead to 24-9 over Toledo on Sept. 7 and gave Missouri its first defensive score against a Football Bowl Subdivision team since 2008.
It was Missouri's fifth interception of the year, and another by safety Ian Simon left the Tigers (2-0) with just one fewer pick than they had all of last season.
"There's nothing — nothing — in my business that determines winning or losing more than that stat," coach Gary Pinkel said. "Turnovers and turnover margin. There's no stat that comes close to that."
Pinkel said luck may be a factor with the interceptions, which obscure two bend-but-don't-break performances from his defense this season.
After Golden's return, the Rockets got two quick touchdowns to get within a point, but the Tigers stiffened and pitched a shutout in the fourth quarter to win 38-23.
In its opener against Murray State, the team trailed 14-13 after the first quarter before scoring the final 45 points of the game.
Part of the problem lies with the defense's struggles to apply pressure.
Missouri has failed to force a fumble and has three sacks, all against Murray State.
Last year, opponents fumbled 28 times and the Tigers ranked first in the Southeastern Conference with 16 recoveries. The team also had 21 sacks.
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