Second-quarter rush boosts Sooners over Tigers

For a moment, it seemed Missouri could compete with the No. 1 Sooners, with the game tied at 10 seven minutes into the second quarter. From then on, though, Oklahoma used its usual second-quarter domination to break free from the Tigers on its way to an easy win.

In six minutes, Missouri's hard-fought game turned into an Oklahoma blowout.

In that span, Oklahoma scored on two long passes and a punt return to open up a tie game, and the No. 1 Sooners went on to a 34-13 win against the No. 24 Tigers.

Missouri had tied the game at 10 with 9:39 with a 26-yard Brad Smith touchdown run, and then had its biggest chance to change the game when Terrence Curry almost intercepted a slant pass from Jason White on third down. Curry clearly had nothing but open field ahead of him, but the ball went through his hands.

From then on, it was nothing but Oklahoma. On its next drive, White throw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Mark Clayton. It was a jump ball between Clayton and Missouri free safety Nino Williams, and it wasn't clear from replays who really came out with the ball, but the officials gave it to Clayton to give the Sooners a 17-10 lead.

After Missouri punted on its next drive, Oklahoma drove the ball to the Missouri 30, where it had a fourth-and-6. With the Tigers using a zone blitz, White found the hole in the coverage on an in-route to Jejuan Rankins, and Rankins broke four tackles on his way to the end zone.

Missouri went three-and-out on its next drive, and Antonio Perkins returned Todd Gohsler's punt 69 yards for a touchdown, with hardly an MU player touching him on the way to the end one with less than a minute left in the second half, sucking the life out of the Tigers.

White, who entered the game as one of the Heisman frontrunners, completed 20-of-34 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns. Smith went 15-for-31 for 180 yards with an interception. He also had 17 rushes for 52 yards and a touchdown.

Missouri barely went to the run, with Zack Abron rushing 10 times for 11 yards. Damien Nash had eight carries for 15 yards.

Down 7-0 on its second drive, Missouri drove to the Oklahoma 7, but couldn't get in the end zone. Mike Matheny kicked a 24-yard field goal to pull the Tigers within four.

Early in the second quarter, Oklahoma drove from its own 8-yard line to the Missouri 3, where it had a first-and-goal. The Tigers stopped the Sooners from there, and Trey DiCarlo's field goal gave Oklahoma a 10-3 lead.

It didn't last long, though. On first down of the ensuing drive, Smith threw a 40-yard pass to Brad Ekwerekwu on first down and then completed a third-down pass to Marcus James for 13 yards. On first-and-10 from the Oklahoma 26, Smith ran right, got a good block, and then burst down the sideline for a touchdown. It gave Missouri hope, tying the game at 10, but that hope wouldn't last long, with Oklahoma running off 24 consecutive points. It shouldn't have been too much of a surprise, with Oklahoma outscoring its opponents by a combined 99 points in the second quarter entering the game.

DiCarlo had the first score of the second half with a 30-yard field goal with 3:17 left in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Sooners' No. 3 defense stymied Smith and the Tigers in the second half, with Missouri barely getting a sniff of the Oklahoma side of the field. Missouri didn't get a first down until the three-minute mark of the third quarter.

Missouri outside safety Dedrick Harrington intercepted White late in the fourth quarter and returned it to the Missouri 10. Pinkel substituted backup quarterback Sonny Riccio for the drive, which resulted in a 25-yard Matheny field goal.


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