Tigers embarrased in Lawrence

Missouri was ambushed Saturday in Lawrence, Kansas, 35-14 in front of a capacity crowd. While Kansas played inspired football all day, Missouri looked ill-prepared, flat and disorganized.

LAWRENCE, Kan.—Broken down, battered and embarrassed.

The Missouri football team dragged off the field at Kansas' Memorial Stadium to jeers from its own fans and hordes of Kansas fans rushing the field after the Tigers' 35-14 loss to the Jayhawks.

"Sick," Brian Smith screamed.

As the Kansas fans rushed to a nearby lake to sink the torn-down goalposts, Missouri's unbeaten record, its national ranking and its pride would drown with them.

"I feel awful about it," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. "I feel bad for Missouri fans. It's my responsibility, and obviously, I got outcoached today. We just didn't play real well, and that's my job to do the coaching."

Missouri didn't score in the last 24 minutes of the game, and the Tigers watched the Jayhawks score three consecutive times in the fourth quarter for the win. Missouri's seemingly-unstoppable quarterback Brad Smith was stopped, gaining only 82 yards of total offense.

Kansas quarterback Bill Whittemore threw for only 111 yards, but the majority of his 76 rushing yards came in the second half, and they came at some of the most important times. Combined with running backs Clark Green and John Randle, the Jayhawks ran the Tigers into the ground until there was no time left.

"He did a real good job, especially in the second half," Pinkel said. "We were concerned about their passing game, and I thought we did a good job controlling that. They did a great job with ball control and running the football at the end of the game."

Field position and third-down efficiency allowed Kansas to control the tempo. The Tigers had an average starting spot of their own 19-yard line, the Jayhawks their own 47.

"You gotta have all aspects of the game," cornerback Calvin Washington said. "Special teams, that's where a lot of field position comes from. As a defense, we gotta be used to that by now.

"It was attitude. We have to stress that bring-it-on attitude. We were just sitting back taking everything they threw at us. That's going to beat you every time. Individually, we have to show up together. This is what happens when you don't show up."

Kansas converted nine-of-15 third downs, including eight-of-nine on its five touchdown drives. Anytime the defense got momentum, the Kansas offense was quick to take it back.

"We have to execute," linebacker James Kinney said. "We want them in third and long. If we just made some stops, it's a different game."

With 9:49 left in the third quarter, the Tigers scored on a 9-yard Smith pass to Darius Outlaw, who was wide open at the line of scrimmage. Smith flipped it to Outlaw, who beat safety Tony Stubbs to the end zone to give Missouri a 14-13 lead.

"I was surprised I was that wide open," Outlaw said. "We had already come out of the huddle, and they were still in the huddle, and Brad and I just looked at each other. We got it for six."

After that, though, the Tiger offense could get nothing, and the Tiger defense could not get the stops it needed. After trading punts following the touchdown, Kansas received the ball with 5:51 left in the half. Whittemore ran five times on the following drive for 32 yards, and Green ran left for a 6-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter to give Kansas a 28-14 lead.

Missouri could only muster the next drive to the 30-yard line, and punter Brock Harvey, in one of his worst games as a Tiger, punted the ball out of bounds at only the 50. Helped by a 15-yard facemask penalty on Washington, the Jayhawks drove for another score. Whittemore ran in for 4 yards with 7:35 left, and it seemed the Tigers would have to pull off another miracle to get out of this one.

There was no miracle in sight.

On the fifth drive of the day that began inside the Missouri 20-yard line, Missouri managed to get only to the 18-yard line on the next drave. On third-and-five at the 18, Smith was sacked for a loss of eight yards.

Smith had at least one spy on his on every play, and many times the Jayhawks had two guys on Smith to avoid him from running for a big gain. It worked – Smith only had one long run, a 20-yarder on Missouri's last drive with the game out of reach.

Smith was 12-of-24 passing for only 62 yards. Missouri only attempted one pass of 25-yards or more, a deep ball that flew over Outlaw's head.

"It was frustrating the whole game," receiver Thomson Omboga said. "We never could get anything going. We're going to have a lot of work. Everyone just has to look at themselves."

The only thing Missouri really had going for it Saturday was running back Zack Abron, who ran 17 times for 112 yards. Abron carried the Tigers on both touchdown drives, but even he couldn't get anything going on the last drives, although he didn't see the ball much at the end.

"We did a good job of running the ball in the first half, but they were prepared to stop it in the second," Abron said.

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