Sept. 22, 2007
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Pinkel | Daniel
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - For No. 25 Missouri, every possession is a 2-minute offense.
The Tigers used their no-huddle spread offense to take care of business by beating Illinois State 38-17 going into an off week before the Tigers' Big 12 opener against Nebraska.
Chase Daniel threw three touchdown passes for Missouri (4-0), which had 581 total yards and 38 first downs.
The Tigers scored on drives lasting 17 seconds, 3:11, 2:40, 3:33 and 2:04, and on Maclin's punt return. On 24 scoring drives this season, the Tigers' average time of possession is 2:08.
"I want to score - I'm not worried about grinding it out," said coach Gary Pinkel, who became the first-ever Missouri coach to start 4-0 in three different seasons. "Our offense is not milk the clock."
Tony Temple scored on a first-quarter pass and a third-quarter 1-yard run, and Jeremy Maclin caught a touchdown pass and scored on a 64-yard fourth-quarter punt return.
Daniel was 21-for-34 for 294 yards and threw two interceptions. He completed passes to 11 different receivers. He has thrown 13 touchdown passes this season after setting a school record with 28 in 2006 in his first year as a starter.
"We throw the ball and we attack," Pinkel said. "When we slow down, that's not good."
Temple rushed 18 times for 101 yards, his sixth career 100-yard game.
Luke Drone was 22-for-37 for 242 yards, one touchdown and one interception for Illinois State (2-2) of the Football Championship Subdivision - the former Division I-AA. Geno Blow gained 116 yards on 21 carries. Eyad Salem caught seven passes for 106 yards and a fourth-quarter 13-yard touchdown.
Daniel's receivers did most of the work on the scoring passes.
On the first play from scrimmage, Will Franklin caught a pass on a wide receiver screen at the Missouri 43 and ran the distance.
"We had no idea they were going to come and blitz like that and we had our screen called," Daniel said. "It was scripted, so it worked out perfectly."
Later in the quarter, Daniel threw a short pass to Temple, who ran in for an 11-yard score.
Missouri drove 97 yards after Illinois State failed to convert on fourth-and-goal from the 3 early in the second quarter. The 8-yard touchdown to end the drive came as Daniel appeared to run, then flipped forward to Maclin, who ran it in.
Illinois State coach Denver Johnson defended the decision to pass on the field goal that would have cut Missouri's lead to 14-6.
"When you get down there, you've got to get points," Johnson said. "Field goals weren't going to do us any good. If we wanted any chance at all to win the game, we were going to have to score touchdowns."
Illinois State's Parrish Fisher scored on a 4-yard run in the second quarter.
Jeff Wolfert had a 26-yard field goal for Missouri and Tyler Funk had a 21-yarder for Illinois State.
In many ways, the win was typical of Missouri's other games this season.
Missouri came into the game tied for seventh nationally averaging 532 yards per game. Missouri is averaging 42 points per game.
But the Tigers were ranked 97th in total defense, allowing 447 yards per game. Illinois State had 397 yards.
Maclin, a redshirt freshman, became the first Missouri player in 32 years to return two punts for touchdowns in a season. He also had a 66-yard score in the opener against Illinois.
"It's not a dream anymore," Maclin said. "I expect to make plays. Everybody else expects me to make plays. That's what I do."
Illinois State has scared other Big 12 opponents in recent seasons. Two years ago, the Redbirds were tied 15-15 with Iowa State late in the third quarter before losing 32-21. And last season, Kansas State stopped Drone on a 2-point conversion late in the game to preserve a 24-23 win.
"I don't believe in consolation or moral victories but there were a lot of people coming into the game that thought they would hang 100 on us," Johnson said.
The Redbirds' leading receiver, Jason Horton, did not play after straining his right calf in pregame warmups.