Sunday, October 14, 2007

No. 6 Oklahoma hands No. 11 Missouri first loss

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Chris Brown ran for three second-half touchdowns, Curtis Lofton returned a fumble for a touchdown and No. 6 Oklahoma knocked No. 11 Missouri from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 41-31 victory Saturday night.

Brown put the Sooners (6-1, 2-1 Big 12) ahead to stay with his 1-yard touchdown run with 12:26 remaining, and Lofton scooped up a botched handoff and returned it 15 yards for a score 46 seconds later as Oklahoma kept the Tigers from entering the national title picture.

Brown, who finished with 67 yards on 13 carries, sealed the win with a 23-yard TD run with 2:39 remaining.

Missouri (5-1, 1-1) had lost 16 straight games in Norman dating back to 1966, but put up fight in this one.

Quarterback Chase Daniel, who ranks third in the nation in total offense with a 380-yard average, was more of a setup man for the Tigers after throwing for a career-high 401 yards the previous week in a 41-6 win against Nebraska. He delivered key blocks on both touchdown runs by NCAA all-purpose yardage leader Jeremy Maclin, and then pitched the ball to Jimmy Jackson on a 4-yard option run that put Missouri up 24-23 late in the third quarter.

After that, Brown and Oklahoma's running game - which had totaled only 40 yards in the first three quarters - took over.

Brown finished the ensuing drive with three rushes for 23 yards and the go-ahead score.

Daniel botched a handoff to Maclin on Missouri's second play from scrimmage, and it resulted in disaster for the Tigers, looking for their fifth 6-0 start in school history.

Missouri's next drive fizzled after a 5-yard loss on a reverse and the second sack of the game by Auston English - the Big 12's sack leader - and Daniel threw his second interception of the game to wash away any remaining hope.

Daniel still threw for more than 300 yards for the eighth time in his last nine games. He finished with 361 yards on 37-for-47 passing with his only touchdown coming on a 5-yard toss to Martin Rucker with 12 seconds remaining.

The Tigers, who'd had at least 195 yards rushing in their previous four games, managed only 57 with starting running back Tony Temple sidelined by a sprained ankle.

Sam Bradford completed 24-of-34 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns for Oklahoma, which won its 15th straight home game. He hooked up with Juaquin Iglesias on a 4-yard play-action toss in the middle of the end zone to tie it at 7 and later found tight end Jermaine Gresham beyond the Missouri defense for a 30-yard score down the left hash for a 17-7 lead.

A series of turnovers then turned momentum back and forth through the second half.

Missouri was driving for a potential tying score when Maclin lined up at quarterback instead of Daniel and rolled to his right before throwing an interception to Reggie Smith. Oklahoma responded with a 56-yard drive and extended its lead to 23-10 on Brown's first TD run from 4 yards. Garrett Hartley bounced the extra-point try off the left upright.

That left the door open for Missouri to take the lead when Iglesias fumbled for the second time while returning a kickoff following Maclin's second touchdown run.

Jackson converted that takeaway into a score and Jeff Wolfert's extra point gave the Tigers a brief lead.

Source: ncaasports; Photo Credit: OU Athletics Department