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  The Missouri Tigers made it a clear priority to get wide receiver Luther Burden III more involved in the team's final tuneup before entering SEC play, and the move paid immediate dividends in Saturday's 34-17 victory over Abilene Christian. After the Tigers' defense forced a three-and-out on the Wildcats' opening drive of the game, Burden received the ensuing punt on a bounce along the left sideline at his own 22-yard line, then followed his blockers across the field before racing down the right stripe for a 78-yard score. That was exactly the spark the Tigers (2-1) were hoping for from Burden, according to quarterback Brady Cook. "That's huge when you open up the game with that," Cook said. "It just gives us a layer of confidence going out for that first drive, so it was huge." The Tigers struggled finding ways to get Burden the ball a week ago in a 40-12 loss at Kansas State when he finished with just two touches for 9 yards.

Coach Eliah Drinkwitz on Saturday inserted the freshman in as a punt returner and wildcat quarterback as a means of getting Burden more touches. Late in the first quarter, Burden returned a punt 22 yards before a hard tackle from Wildcats punter Logan Burke, who grabbed Burden by the shoulder pads in pulling him toward the sideline. There was no foul on the play after officials picked up a flag for a facemask penalty, but Burden left for the locker room after an examination on the sideline. He returned in the second quarter showing no ill effects, however, finishing the contest with 177 all-purpose yards. - Ball State/AP College Football

Jr/2026 WR Luther Burden IIIMissouri
News Source: Ball State/AP College Football

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