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Columbia, MO (Sports Network) - Blaine Gabbert threw for 308 yards and a touchdown on 30-of-42 passing, and 18th-ranked Missouri remained as the only unbeaten team left in the Big 12 after scoring 16 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to upend third-ranked Oklahoma, 36-27.
Jarrell Jackson was Gabbert's primary target, catching nine passes for 139 yards and scoring the go-ahead touchdown for Missouri (7-0, 3-0 Big 12), which beat Oklahoma for the first time after seven straight losses to the Sooners. In fact, Oklahoma had won 19 of the last 20 in the series.
The Tigers may have used some homecoming magic to pull off the enormous victory. The last time Missouri faced Oklahoma during homecoming week was 1998, which was also the last time the Tigers won in the series.
Missouri, which scored on its first three possessions of the fourth quarter to move ahead for good, celebrated in a wild party on the field after topping the top-ranked team in the BCS standings.
With Oklahoma's loss, Oregon is likely to take over the top spot in the BCS, and the Ducks also came into the week ranked No. 1 in each human poll. Boise State or Auburn are the favorites to slide into the coveted No. 2 position.
Landry Jones completed 32-of-50 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions for the Sooners (6-1, 2-1), who were looking for their first 7-0 start since 2004. Ryan Broyles caught eight passes for 110 yards in defeat.
Missouri trailed by one to begin the fourth, but gained possession in the early moments following a punt.
A 15-yard run by Henry Josey put the Tigers in Oklahoma territory, and a Gabbert seven-yard run put them on the 38. The next play saw Gabbert hit Jackson near the 20, and the receiver spun away from two defenders en route to the end zone for a 26-21 lead after the two-point conversion failed.
Jones' next pass was intercepted, leading to Grant Ressel's 23-yard field goal for an eight-point Missouri lead with just under 10 minutes to play.
Oklahoma couldn't gain a first down on its next touch and punted the ball away with nine minutes left. On the second play of the ensuing Missouri series, De'Vion Moore carried several defenders on his back during a 39-yard run up the middle to gain the Sooners' 37.
Gabbert found T.J. Moe for 19 yards on the next play, and Josey's 15-yard run set up James Franklin's three-yard touchdown run for a 15-point advantage with just over six minutes to go.
The Sooners didn't give up, however, as a Mossis Madu 77-yard kickoff return led to Trey Millard's two-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to nine after the two-point conversion failed.
Oklahoma's onside kick attempt was recovered by Missouri, and the Tigers ran the clock down inside three minutes before punting. The Sooners' offense failed once again, though, and they punted the ball away for a final time, as Mizzou ran off all but two seconds of the clock on its ensuing series.
Missouri got started without ever putting its offense onto the field, as Gahn McGaffie returned the opening kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown.
Oklahoma, though, tied the game after a turnover. The Sooners went three-and- out on their first touch, but Carl Gettis fumbled the punt away, giving Oklahoma the ball on Missouri's 45. Four players later, Jones' 27-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Stills made it 7-7.
The Tigers went back in front after Aldon Smith halted a Sooners drive with an interception at Mizzou's 14, returning it 58 yards to the Oklahoma 28. Moore capped the ensuing six-play drive with a one-yard scoring run for a 14-7 game in the opening moments of the second quarter.
After Madu fumbled the ball away on Missouri's 14, the Sooners regained possession and tied the game again. Aided by a 31-yard completion to Broyles on 3rd-and-16 from their own 17, the Sooners ended a 14-play, 89-yard series with Jones' four-yard touchdown pass to Murray with 4:08 left.
Missouri, however, was able to surge in front, 17-14, on the last play of the first half on Ressel's 36-yard field goal. He hit another field goal from 30 yards away midway through the third quarter for a six-point lead, but Oklahoma answered with James Hanna's three-yard touchdown reception, and Jimmy Stevens' extra point provided the Sooners with a slim 21-20 lead heading to the fourth.
Missouri's last 7-0 start was 1960...The Tigers improved to 9-6 all-time against the Sooners on homecoming, though are still just 24-66-5 against them overall...Missouri came into the game 11th in the BCS poll...Moore led the Tigers rushing with 73 yards on 10 carries, while Josey finished with 64 yards on 14 carries...Broyles crossed the 100-yard receiving mark for the ninth time in 10 games.
Oklahoma had the ball, down nine, with no timeouts in hand and a fourth down mere feet from their own end zone. Clearly, the play was ... to punt?
Indeed, Oklahoma chose to kick away in that situation, and it made a nearly impossible comeback one that the Sooners declined to even attempt. Granted, there hadn't been much done in the first three downs of the series, but if any Sooner diehards need a hook to begin a postgame tirade, Bob Stoops definitely gave them one with that punt.
Missouri ran three times, then punted, and a final Oklahoma play went nowhere, securing the Tigers' 36-27 victory. It's Missouri's first win against Oklahoma since 1998.
And the Tigers, of all teams, are the only remaining undefeated team in the Big 12. So this is probably one of the sweeter wins in school history, too.
Mossis Madu fumbled a kickoff, then made Missouri wish he hadn't.
Madu took advantage of a bit of overpursuit to rip off a 77-yard kickoff return, and that and some timely Missouri penalties enabled Oklahoma to score and cut the Tigers' lead to 36-27 while only draining 30 second from the clock.
It could have been a seven-point margin, too, but an Oklahoma receiver couldn't quite snag a deflected pass on the two-point conversion, and so Missouri will be able to defend a two-possession lead for the last six minutes of this one.
Of course, Missouri was helped by an Oklahoma onside kick that featured both an offside player and a touch before the ball traveled 10 yards.
It sure seems like there's going to be another top-ranked team going down tonight in Columbia.
That's because it finally seems like Missouri is taking control of their upset bid against Oklahoma.
First, De'Vion Moore made one of the more impressive runs in recent memory, dragging multiple Sooners on a 39-run up the middle. Then, Missouri got down to the goal line and punched in a score, turning to the Wildcat and wide receiver James Franklin to get a one-yard touchdown run.
The score now stands at 36-21, and though Oklahoma certainly has the offense to erase that sort of deficit, the Sooners have less than seven minutes to do so. Landry Jones, who has tossed two picks tonight, will have to be razor-sharp to stave off this upset and keep Oklahoma atop the BCS rankings.
First, Mizzou got a pick. Then the Tigers hit a trick play. But it only produced three points.
Landry Jones was intercepted on an athletic play by Missouri's Zaviar Gooden, and Mizzou appeared to take care of business with a short field, pulling out a hook-and-ladder for a score. But replay confirmed that Kendial Lawrence did not get in, instead stepping out at the Oklahoma 3, and the Sooners shut down the Mizzou offense in a goal-to-go set of downs.
The Tigers had to settle for a field goal, and lead 29-21. It's got to be maddening for every fan in Columbia that Mizzou has led almost all night, but never by more than a possession.
For the faithful in crimson and cream, that's heartening.
Or maybe Missouri's just going to pip Oklahoma at the end after all.
The Tigers trailed for the first time all night after an Oklahoma touchdown, but Missouri responded quickly and emphatically. Blaine Gabbert hit Jerrell Jackson for a 38-yard touchdown strike, and even though Missouri fumbled on its two-point conversion attempt, the Tigers' 26-21 lead seems like a sign this game might be headed for a classic ending.
It won't sound quite as quaint as it could have, though: ABC's restored the TV audio feed, which means that it doesn't quite sound like Brent Musburger is trapped in a smoky booth in 1974 anymore. And I was just getting used to it, too.
It didn't take long for Oklahoma to erase Missouri's lead and take their first.
Landry Jones led the Sooners on a 12-play, 69-yard drive that took 3:48 off the game clock and seemed to last only slightly more than that in real time.
That's the power of the Oklahoma no-huddle attack, which can score points in blurs and bunches, and if Oklahoma really has it revving, it could be curtains for Mizzou in Columbia. Despite a couple of turnovers by the Sooners, this has seemed like a game that Oklahoma will inevitably win by a touchdown or two almost the entire night.
And given the continued audio problems, Brent Musburger saying "That will be curtains for Mizzou in Columbia" might not sound that odd.
Missouri responded to a missed Oklahoma field goal by making one of their own.
It was still a bit of a letdown, as Missouri had first and goal, but couldn't punch it in to make this a two-possession game, but, hey, the Tigers are scoring points. That's more than can be said for Oklahoma this half.
Meanwhile, ABC's TV audio feed is having problems, so the broadcast has switched to the radio audio feed. It's a bit surreal to hear Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit doing this game for television but hearing it as it would be mixed on the radio, and it's especially weird to be hearing a broadcast that could have been from 1975 while watching it on an HDTV in 2010.
Then again, Oklahoma didn't have to worry about maintaining the top spot in the BCS rankings in 1975.
Again, Missouri dodges an Oklahoma chance to score points.
This time, after a fumble by Michael Egnew, Oklahoma had great field position, but did little with it, and had to settle for a Jimmy Stevens field goal attempt. But Stevens missed, and with the rain coming down in Columbia, it seems like it just might be Oklahoma's night to fall.
It's hard to put this on any specific thing for Oklahoma but poor third down execution: the Sooners are 3-of-8 on those chances to move the sticks, but have rolled up over 300 yards with less than five minutes gone in the third quarter and put together five drives of 30 or more yards.
Eventually, though, that yardage will have to translate to points, and preferably touchdowns. If not, another top-ranked team will go down in a season already pockmarked by upsets.
Missouri nearly failed to get a timeout in at the end of the first half. It would have cost the Tigers three points.
An effective drive got Missouri into field goal range, but the Tigers stalled just before the Oklahoma red zone, then called a run to get a better shot for Grant Ressel. That was almost a big mistake: Missouri only got its final timeout called with one second remaining.
Ressel drilled the 31-yarder after that, but the Tigers are living on the razor's edge against Oklahoma, and should the Sooners clean up their turnover issues and convert all of their red zone trips to points, the Tigers might have trouble keeping up.
And they may be losing the lead shortly, in any case: Oklahoma will receive the ball to begin the second half.
DeMarco Murray has scored a lot of touchdowns at Oklahoma. His 57th tied this game up.
Murray took a swing pass from Landry Jones in for a four-yard touchdown late in the second quarter, and Jimmy Stevens tied this game up at 14-14 with his extra point.
For Oklahoma, it's more evidence that if the Sooners can avoid miscues and turnovers, they should survive their trip to Columbia; they're outgaining Missouri by a nearly 2-to-1 clip, but have coughed up the ball in Missouri territory twice.
For Murray, it's a record-tying touchdown: with the score, Murray is now tied with Steve Owens for first all-time on Oklahoma's touchdowns list. That's a healthy total for a player who still has several games left in crimson and cream.
It didn't take long for Missouri to get its go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter.
After coming out with five wide receivers, Missouri put De'Vion Moore in motion, and Blaine Gabbert gave to him on a zone read. Moore followed blockers off right tackle for a one-yard touchdown to put the Tigers ahead of the top-ranked Sooners.
Grant Ressel kicked the extra point to put Missouri ahead 14-7. Clearly, this isn't going to be a runaway win for Oklahoma, but the Sooners have gotten used to gritting out tight games this season.
Oklahoma seemed poised to score a go-ahead touchdown. Then Aldon Smith interrupted the inevitable.
The Missouri defensive end faked a rush, dropped back in coverage, and snagged a red zone interception. More impressively, he shook a tackle or two, cut back, and got deep into Oklahoma territory before Kenny Stills caught him from behind and made the tackle.
It wasn't quite the back-breaking momentum shift that a pick-six would have been, but Smith has given Mizzou a heaping helping of good fortune and a chance to retake the lead. Blaine Gabbert and the Tigers offense will begin the second quarter in the red zone.
Oklahoma made quick work of tying their game against Missouri.
After a muffed punt by the Tigers, Oklahoma had great field position in Missouri territory, and spent just four plays covering the 45 yards and tying the game. Landry Jones made up for a bad first drive by finding Kenny Stills on a 27-yard touchdown pass, and an extra point tied the game in Columbia at 7-7.
And with that, we now know that this game will not follow the script of the Wisconsin upset of Ohio State exactly. With 14 points in the first 2:32 of this one, though, we can hope for an old-fashioned Big 12 shootout from these two potent spread offenses.
Missouri certainly wanted to start their showdown against Oklahoma well. A kickoff return for a touchdown followed by a three and out on defense should have been a good way to do that.
Freshman Gahn McGaffie fielded a bouncing kick, cut back, and outran every Sooner on the field on an 86-yard kick return touchdown.
It's the second straight week that a primetime game on ABC has been started by a home team returning the kickoff for a touchdown. Wisconsin did the same to Ohio State last week.
The Tigers were set to repeat more of Wisconsin's build-an-early-lead blueprint with a three and out, too, but a muffed punt gave the Sooners the ball back in Missouri territory. Landry Jones will have a chance to atone for a bad incompletion and a sack on Oklahoma's first drive.
SB Nation's Rock M Nation discusses the importance of getting out in front of Oklahoma early:
Who wins the first 15 minutes?
Oklahoma is quite possibly the best team in the country in the first quarter. They have outscored opponents, 73-20, in the opening 15 minutes, and their advanced stats play out in a similar fashion -- they rank second in Offensive Q1 S&P+ and 23rd in Defensive Q1 S&P+. Even in the games that ended up close, they built up a big lead almost every time.
Mizzou, meanwhile, is solid out of the gates (56-10 scoring margin, 15th on offense), but the defense takes a little while to get rolling. Mizzou ranks 60th in Q1 Defensive S&P+, meaning OU's biggest advantage will unfold at the start. If Mizzou is tied or ahead as the second quarter begins, they have dodged a major bullet. Mizzou's defense gets better as the game advances, but "getting better" won't mean as much if they give up two touchdown drives to start the game.
SB Nation's Crimson and Cream Machine scouts the Missouri defense:
The old saying goes, "Stats don't lie" and the stats show that Missouri is the best team in the Big 12 in scoring defense. The Tigers are only allowing 10.8 points per game through the first the first six games of the season and are gaining more and more attention to a defensive unit that traditionally has been the cause of scrutiny. However, its also an in-depth look at the stats that helps to build a confident offensive game plan against the Tigers.
Bob Stoops' Sooners are undefeated on the season at 6-0 and sit on a lofty perch, as the initial BCS poll came out this past Sunday with Oklahoma ranked number one. The Sooners certainly looked worthy of that ranking with last weekend's 52-0 shutout of Iowa State. With the win, the Sooners moved to 2-0 in conference play.
Gary Pinkel's Tigers sport identical records at 6-0 overall and 2-0 in- conference. The team was in College Station this past weekend, where Missouri made light work of Texas A&M in a 30-9 lopsided affair.
Pinkel knows this week will be a real challenge.
"We're excited about playing Oklahoma, a very good Oklahoma football team. They're always good. Bob Stoops does a great job there, I have great respect for Bob. We're excited about playing in "The Zou" here in Columbia. It's a great opportunity for us. Other than that we're just going to work hard to try and improve and get better this week and play our best football game."
Missouri has lost seven straight and 19 of the last 20 in this series and hasn't beaten Oklahoma since 1998. Overall, the Sooners hold a 66-23-5 advantage in the series, including a 31-15 edge in games played in Columbia.
Oklahoma has the luxury of a balanced attack that is generating 36.0 ppg on 458.3 yards of total offense. The ground game is averaging 155.3 yards per game, but is set up nicely by a potent aerial assault netting 303.0 yards per outing.
Sophomore QB Landry Jones has played as well as any signal-caller in the Big 12 this year, converting 67.4 percent of his throws for 1,791 yards and 14 TDs against just three INTs. It certainly helps to have All-American talent on the outside in junior WR Ryan Broyles. The 5-11 standout has been unstoppable for the most part, pacing the team with 61 receptions, for 700 yards and five TDs.
Although the passing game is rarely held in check, tailback DeMarco Murray (663 yards, 110.5 ypg, 11 TDs) is more than capable of handling the workload when needed.
Defensively, Oklahoma has not been as dominant as in years past. The team is giving up 19.0 ppg in 2010, while allowing 373.5 yards of offense per game. The unit has generated 18 sacks and 14 takeaways, so big plays are still commonplace for the Sooner defense.
Senior LB Travis Lewis is as good as it gets at the position. The 6-2, 235- pounder is relentless in pursuit and leads the team with 59 total tackles. Jonathan Nelson (42 tackles, one INT), Tony Jefferson (37 tackles) and Quinton Carter (30 tackles, two INTs) give the team plenty of talent in the secondary, while senior DE Jeremy Beal (27 tackles, 8.5 TFLs and six sacks) is regarded as one of the nation's premier pass rushers.
Missouri will certainly present a challenge for Oklahoma's defense this week, with the Tigers averaging 34.5 ppg, on 414.7 yards of total offense. Like the Sooners, the passing game (282.8 ypg) sets everything up.
Quarterback Blaine Gabbert is having a strong season. The 6-5 junior is completing 66 percent of his throws, for 1,591 yards and 10 TDs. Although his receiving corps is not exactly household names, T.J. Moe (50 receptions, for 589 yards, three TDs), Michael Egnew (49 receptions, for 437 yards, three TDs), Wes Kemp (23 receptions, for 231 yards, three TDs) and Jerrell Jackson (18 receptions, for 246 yards, two TDs) are more than capable of stretching out the coverage and making plays.
There is a lot to like about Gabbert's play this year according to Bob Stoops.
"I see him operating as efficiently as Chase Daniel did. I know Chase was there for a longer period of time so Blaine is still working on that. What you've seen to this point is a guy, just like (Daniel) was, is just very efficient, smart on where he wants to go with the football. They understand their offense and he executes it well. He throws a good ball, he has good pocket presence, all of those things."
The Missouri defense has definitely been a strength this season, with the Tigers yielding just 10.8 ppg on 328.7 yards of total offense. The team has thrived in terms of making plays up the field, with 48 TFLs and 20 sacks thus far. The pressure has resulted in nine INTs this season.
Sophomore LB Zavier Gooden paces the team in tackles (40 stops, one sack, two fumble recoveries). He is followed closely by senior free safety Jarrell Harrison (39 tackles). Defensive end Jacquies Smith (18 tackles, 5.0 TFLs, 2.0 sacks) has been productive up front.
The Tigers certainly have the ability to win this game, but the Sooners are clicking on all cylinders and the Jones to Broyles combination has been lethal. In a hostile environment, expect Oklahoma to get the job done and leave Columbia with a hard-earned victory.
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