ATLANTA -- It wasn't, by any stretch, his first big performance of the season, but Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham introduced himself to the nation on the biggest of stages Saturday in a 59-42 loss to Auburn in the SEC Championship Game.
Green-Beckham caught six passes for 144 yards and a pair of touchdowns, helping to keep Missouri close until Auburn's dynamic rushing attack put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. He made a leaping catch for a 28-yard score for Missouri's opening points, then later reeled in a 55-yard touchdown catch from quarterback James Franklin that pulled Missouri within a 28-27 deficit just before the half.
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel indicated Green-Beckham is still developing as a player.
"He really does a lot of good things," Pinkel said. "He's gotten better and better. That's what he does -- he's a playmaker. (We) tried to get the ball to him a few other times."
Green-Beckham caught seven touchdown passes over his last four games, and Saturday, he was the primary target for Franklin, who finished 21 of 37 for 303 yards and three touchdowns. Green-Beckham posted two other 100-yard receiving games this season, against Indiana and Kentucky. His 144 yards were a season-high.
Green-Beckham is ineligible for the 2014 NFL Draft because he is a sophomore, but he figures to be a candidate for early entry in 2015 or, at the latest, 2016.