(Saturday, November 1st)
Final Score: (14) Missouri 31, Baylor 28
Waco, TX (Sports Network) - Jeff Wolfert kicked a 34-yard field goal with 2:31 left in the fourth quarter as 14th-ranked Missouri avoided the upset and edged Baylor, 31-28, in Big 12 play at Floyd Casey Stadium.
Heisman Trophy hopeful Chase Daniel completed 30-of-38 passes for 318 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions for Missouri (7-2, 3-2 Big 12), which has won two straight games after dropping the previous two.
"I wouldn't say that was a great team effort that we gave out there today, but we got it done on the road against a great team," Daniel said. "You have to give them all of the credit in the world. Coach (Art) Briles had them ready to play and that quarterback is something else. They were able to make big plays at big times, but so were we. We were able to make a couple more, and that helped us win."
Derrick Washington led the Missouri ground attack with 97 yards on 14 carries, while Jimmy Jackson added a rushing score. Chase Coffman caught 10 passes for 75 yards with a pair of touchdowns, while Tommy Saunders had seven grabs for 109 yards in the win for the Tigers.
Robert Griffin turned in a solid performance, completing 26-of-35 for 283 yards with two touchdowns and a pick for Baylor (3-6, 1-4), losers of three straight and five of its last six. Griffin also ran for a score.
"Every game is important, whether it is a ranked team or not," Griffin said. "For us to come out and beat Missouri, a team that was like us a couple years ago, that would have showed people that we are turning things around. Even in the loss, and I don't believe in moral victories, we showed people that we are coming to play everyday."
Jay Finley had 73 yards on the ground, while Ray Sims chipped in with a TD run for the Bears.
With Missouri holding a 21-7 lead after one half of play, the Bears were not about to go quietly. Starting on from its own 31, Baylor used a steady dose of the ground game behind Griffin to get near midfield. Then staring at a 4th- and-1, Griffin ripped off 34 yards, taking in all the way down to the Missouri 14-yard-line. Four plays later Sims hammered in from two yards out to make it a 21-14 game.
After Missouri went three-and-out on its ensuing possession, Baylor was able to tie the game after mounting a 12-play, 66-yard drive. Griffin hit Thomas White for a 14-yard pass on a key 4th-and-1 play from the Bears 43. That led to a 16-yard touchdown strike from Griffin to Brad Taylor with 3:39 left in the third.
The game then went back-and-forth with Daniel connecting with Coffman for the second time of the afternoon, this time for a 13-yard TD strike to put the Tigers up by a 28-21 margin, but the lead wouldn't last.
On the ensuing drive, Griffin hooked up with Finley for a 36-yard score to re- tie the contest with 9:54 left in the fourth. However, Missouri wouldn't be denied the win from the upset-minded Bears.
After Baylor was forced to punt, Derek Epperson's 41-yard effort pinned Missouri back to its own 10 with 6 1/2 minutes remaining. Daniel completed a pass of 19 yards, then scrambled for 15 more to move the offense near midfield. The visitors would eventually pick up three more first downs to get to the Bears 15, but the drive stalled and Wolfert came on and drilled a 34- yarder to make it 31-28.
The Bears got the ball back on their own 21, and after two marginal gains, Griffin was picked off by Brock Christopher. Missouri then ran out the clock to end the game.
Daniel got Missouri off to a great start when the senior signal-caller hit Coffman with a three-yard touchdown pass on the Tigers' first possession of the contest. Starting on their own 35, the visitors quickly got the ball into Baylor territory at the 38. Then facing a 3rd-and-6 from the 20, Daniel hooked up with Saunders for 17 yards, taking it to the three and followed that by finding Coffman in the end zone for the score.
Baylor was unable to answer on its first try on the offensive side of the ball and the Tigers went back to the attack. From its own 20, Missouri need only six plays and 1:29 to cover the 80 yards. Daniel capped the drive by tossing a 19-yard strike to Saunders to make it a 14-0 game with 6:50 left in the opening quarter.
The Bears were able to close the gap with 9:45 left in the half when Griffin scored on a four-yard run, putting the finishing touches on a 13-play, 80-yard drive to get Baylor within seven.
However with 1:26 left in the opening half, Missouri stretched its lead to 21-7. Daniel, who completed 6-of-7 passes on the 93-yard drive, marched the offense down to the Baylor five, and two plays later Jackson kept it on the ground for a two-yard score. The Tigers would take the 14-point advantage into the intermission.
Missouri will host Kansas State on November 8, while Baylor will play at Texas...Missouri is now 10-2 versus Baylor in the all-time series and has won all seven meetings since the formation of the Big 12 in 1996.
11/01 20:47:36 ET