No. 1 Tigers Tumble; OU Too Much Again, 38-17
Missouri's magical week atop the BCS standings ended with an unceremonious thud Saturday night. So too, it seems, did quarterback Chase Daniel's longshot quest for the Heisman Trophy.
Hurried and harried for most of the night, the junior had a homecoming to forget for the No. 1 Tigers, who fell 38-17 to No. 9 Oklahoma. Daniel finished 23-for-39 for 219 yards and an interception, and failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season.
aniel particularly struggled in the fourth quarter, completing just two of six passes for nine yards as the Sooners (11-2) broke open a game that was tied at 14 at halftime.
It wasn't that the Sooners surprised him with coverage schemes, Daniel said. Rather, Missouri simply failed to fully capitalize on its scoring chances, settling for three field goals by kicker Jeff Wolfert inside the 20-yard line.
"We just didn't execute on offense," he said. "We settled for field goals. Against a great team like Oklahoma, you just can't do that."
Missouri (11-2) failed to score 30 points for the first time this season. Daniel entered the game with 33 touchdowns, nine interceptions and an average of 329.2 yards passing per game.
Even with the loss, Missouri is still in the running for a Bowl Championship Series game, or a non-BCS bowl game with considerable prestige, such as the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day. But in a season of unprecedented success, the loss left Daniel and his teammates bitterly disappointed.
"We definitely didn't accomplish our goals," said defensive tackle Lorenzo Williams. "This is not a fun time right now."
An impressive late season surge by Daniel -- capped by an Arrowhead Stadium win over undefeated archrival Kansas to capture the Big 12 South division -- vaulted the quarterback into the Heisman conversation.
He still could be invited to the Dec. 8 awards ceremony in New York. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and Arkansas running back Darren McFadden are considered the favorites to win the trophy as college football's top player.
Missouri will learn their bowl fate when the BCS bids and the Cotton Bowl selections are announced Sunday night. The Tigers won 11 regular season games for the first time in school history and earned a No. 1 ranking in The Associated Press poll for the first time since 1960.
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