(Saturday, October 11th)
Final Score: (17) Oklahoma State 28, (3) Missouri 23
Columbia, MO (Sports Network) - Zac Robinson threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score as the No. 17 Oklahoma State Cowboys knocked off third-ranked Missouri, 28-23, in a pivotal cross-divisional clash with both Big 12 and national championship implications.
Robinson was 19-of-28 passing for 215 yards with an interception, and Kendall Hunter ran for 154 yards, including a 68-yard TD, on 24 attempts for Oklahoma State (6-0, 2-0 Big 12), who are now one of three unbeatens left in a stacked conference.
Damian Davis caught both of Robinson's TD passes, part of a three-catch, 76- yard performance and an unheralded Cowboys defense produced three turnovers against the vaunted Missouri offense.
"I am very proud of our defensive staff, for the plan they put together - mixed up coverage, mixed up blitzes to try to get him (Daniel) off-balance," head coach Mike Gundy said. "Our defense just rose to the occasion. The players believe in each other -- you never know what you can accomplish if you just believe in yourself."
Heisman Trophy contender Chase Daniel was frustrated and struggled in moving the ball with Missouri's normal relative ease. Having only one interception coming into the game, Daniel was picked off three times on 39-of-52 passing for 390 yards. He threw for one score and ran for 46 yards on seven attempts. Derrick Washington and Jimmy Jackson both had rushing touchdowns.
Chase Coffman had 11 receptions for 104 yards while Jeremy Maclin hauled in eight passes for 120 yards for the Tigers (5-1, 1-1), who missed a golden opportunity to keep pace in the polls and their own conference standings.
Fifth-ranked Texas knocked off No. 1 Oklahoma earlier Saturday in another Big 12 battle with lasting implications. With one loss, Oklahoma and Missouri now sit behind unbeatens Texas, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech in the conference, while No. 4 LSU also fell to No. 11 Florida to further shake up the national polls. Missouri, however, will get a chance to climb the ladder again next week with a showdown in Austin against Texas.
"We'll evaluate everything, the lessons that we learned and then we focus on the task at hand, obviously we're playing a great Texas team," Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel said. "We just haven't been in this situation in a while, we haven't lost in this stadium in a while so this is really difficult on our players. Your guts feel just like they were torn out if you are a competitor, which those guys are, and like I am."
OSU started the second half with the ball and on the second play Hunter streaked up the right sideline, cut back to the middle, and went the distance for a 68-yard TD and a 14-10 lead just 57 seconds in.
OSU's defense buckled down and forced another punt from Missouri and then intercepted Daniel on the second play of its next drive. OSU's drive went for naught, however, and the Tigers proceeded to march 95 yards in 11 plays. Jackson gave Mizzou the lead, 17-14, on a one-yard score with 3:14 left in the third.
OSU was not deterred, though, and Robinson floated a 40-yard TD pass to a wide-open Davis just over a minute later to retake the lead at 21-17; an advantage the Cowboys took into the final stanza.
Shortly into the fourth, the Cowboys' Dez Bryant fumbled after a short reception and the Tigers took over at their own 48. The OSU defense tightened again, however, and picked off Daniel for the second time. Andre Sexton, the recipient, ran it back 39 yards and a personal foul by the Tigers on the return set up the Cowboys on Missouri's 29-yard line.
OSU was forced into a 3rd-and-12 and Robinson couldn't find an open receiver. He escaped the pocket and rolled back and to the left, then let one go 31 yards to the back of the end zone. Davis hauled it in while fighting off a defender, giving the Cowboys a 28-17 lead with only 6:30 to play.
Daniel lived up to his Heisman billing in leading the Tigers back downfield, 84 yards in just 1:55. On the ninth play of the series Dana Alexander hauled in a seven-yard toss to make it a 28-23 game. The two-point conversion failed, leaving 4:27 on the clock.
OSU was forced to punt with 2:46 left, giving Daniel and Missouri time to execute a comeback. A roughing-the-passer penalty on 2nd-and-1 gave the Tigers a fresh set of downs on the OSU 41, but two plays later Patrick Lavine stepped in front of a Daniel offering and picked off the pass with 1:41 to go. OSU ran the clock down to 10 seconds but was faced with a 4th-and-21.
Punter Matt Fodge calmly stepped to his right for the boot, which was narrowly missed by a pair of streaking Tiger defenders. A dangerous Maclin received and a series of laterals ensued -- but one was ruled illegal and the game was over.
"I was proud of our football team, we battled, we got ourselves back in it in the fourth quarter and had an opportunity to possibly get a comeback win and we just fell short," Pinkel said. "They (Oklahoma State) did a good job, but they didn't do anything different than we expected. We just weren't executing as well as we should have and I think you give them credit for that."
The Tigers opened the contest with an explosive drive that spanned 83 yards, but Washington was stopped on 3rd-and-goal from the Cowboy one-yard line and Missouri had to settle for a Jeff Wolfert field goal from 18 yards.
Oklahoma State responded by moving the ball 71 yards in 4:19, and on the 13th play of the drive, Robinson took it in himself from six yards out for the early 7-3 lead.
Missouri, which continued a streak of scoring on each of its opening drives this season, had another impressive streak snapped on its next possession, resulting in the Tigers' first three-and-out of the season.
In the second quarter, the Cowboys tried a fake punt on 4th-and-17 from their own 24 after an unsuccessful turn, but came up short on a 12-yard run from Fodge. That gave the Tigers excellent field position, and Washington eventually scored on a five-yard run for a 10-7 Mizzou lead that lasted until halftime.
Texas, Oklahoma State and No. 7 Texas Tech are all 6-0 atop the South Division...Despite the loss, Missouri has dominated this series since the inception of the Big 12, winning five of the seven meetings since 1996. However, all but one of the games over that span have been decided by seven points or less, with three overtime affairs...Oklahoma State hosts Baylor next Saturday...Cowboys tight end Brandon Pettigrew was held out of the game with an undisclosed injury...A potent part of the Cowboys' offensive attack, Bryant took a shot up under the chin on a deep ball during OSU's initial drive of the game and was also laid out later in the contest along the sideline. He came back each time, however, and finished with seven catches for 47 yards...Missouri was outgained in rushing, 187-64, but gained more total yards (454-402)...Wolfert's 18-yard field goal broke the school career scoring record. He entered the game tied with former quarterback Brad Smith (2002-05) with 287 points.
10/12 02:51:56 ET