The Missouri Tigers(5-3, 1-3) came to Colorado looking to end a three game losing streak and they did just that as the Tigers scored 33 unanswered points in the first half and knocked off the Colorado Buffaloes (2-6, 1-3) for their fist Big 12 win of the season, 36-17.
Missouri's offense came alive in this game thanks to a 73-yard pass from Blaine Gabbert to Danario Alexander in the first quarter and a fake field goal which turned into a 24-yard touchdown.
The Tigers have now won four straight against Colorado and are now one win away from being bowl elgible as they try to come back and win the Big 12 North after starting Big 12 play with three losses.
Missouri started the game with the ball and their offense started out on fire as they drove the ball 80 yards down the field for a touchdown. This drive included two runs by Derrick Washington of eight and 18 yards, an 11-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Blaine Gabbert to wide receiver Danario Alexander that brought the ball across midfield, and a 12 yard pass to running back De'Vion Moore bringing the ball into the red zone. Washington finished the drive off with a two yard run into the endzone which gave Missouri a 7-0 lead. The Tigers would then make it 14-0 on Alexander's 73 yard pass reception.
After driving into the red zone on the following drive but failing to score on a 4th and one from Colorado's one yard line, Moore rushed 31 yards on the first play of the next drive before he was stopped at Colorado's two yard line. This was followed by Alexander's second touchdown of the game, a two yard catch in the endzone which gave Missouri a 21-0 lead after one quarter.
The Tigers drove deep into the Colorado zone again in their first drive of the second quarter. This drive included a sensational one hand leaping catch by Jerrell Jackson. All this seemed negated as Colorado's Jimmy Smith intercepted the pass from Gabbert at the Colorado 16 yard line. However, Colorado's quarterback Tyler Hansen fumbled the ball on the first play after the pick and Smith recovered the fumble for the Tigers at Colorado's nine yard line. Missouri ended up settling for a 29 yard field goal by Grant Ressel and Mizzou had a 24-0 lead.
Colorado was forced to start the following drive from their seven yard line and the Tigers would make the Buffaloes pay. On Colorado's first play of the drive, Hanson was forced into his own end zone before being sacked by Missouri's Jarrell Harrison for the safety and a 26-0 lead for Missouri. Mizzou would finish the first half scoring off with the an impressive fake field goal pass from Forrest Shock to defensive end Jacquies Smith.
But then Colorado came roaring back. It started late in the second quarter with a 40-yard field goal by Aric Goodman that cut MIzzou's lead to 33-3. The Buffaloes started the second half with the ball and they showed immediately that the third quarter would be different from how they played in the first half. Hanson threw a 28 yard pass to Scotty McKnight that brought the ball to Missouri's 30 yard line. Hanson would later find McKnight again for a 12-yard pass that would put the ball at the three yard line. Rodney Stewart followed the play with a three yard TD rush, cutting Missouri's lead to 33-10.
Later in the third quarter, Colorado continued their rally with a 78-yard interception for a touchdown by Benjamin Burney. The Tigers' seemingly insurmountably lead was cut to 33-17. Colorado's offense kept on rolling as Missouri again let Colorado drive the ball deep into their zone.
But this was when Missouri made their biggest stop on defense of the game. Colorado had a third and one at Mizzou's 13-yard line and Stewart failed to convert on the one yard run and Colorado was forced to try to convert on fourth and one. The Buffaloes would give the ball to Stewart again on the 4th down play and he failed to convert again as he was tackled by Missouri's Sean Weatherspoon and the Tigers took over after the turnover on downs.
Weatherspoon's tackle brought Missouri's defense alive as Hanson would get intercepted by Kevin Rutland on their next drive. Ressel added a 33-yard field goal for Missouri in the fourth quarter to extend their lead to 36-17.
Gabbert finished with 192 passing yards and two touchdown passes. Alexander, the receiver of both of Gabbert's touchdowns, finished with 123 yards. After struggling on takeaways all season, The Tigers got four on this day including three fumble recoveries.
The Tigers look to make it two in a row next Saturday when they take on the Baylor Bears at 1 p.m. in Columbia.