Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel, left, leaps in celebration of his touchdown run as teammate Chase Coffman looks on during the first quarter. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Oct. 7, 2007
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Chase Daniel turned 21 a few minutes after No. 17 Missouri polished off a late-night victory over No. 25 Nebraska. His performance was one long birthday celebration.
Daniel passed for a career-best 401 yards and ran for two scores and the Tigers got a big game from their suspect defense in a 41-6 victory over No 25 Nebraska on Saturday night.
"We played our 'A' game in a lot of facets," Daniel said. "If our defense plays like that week-in and week-out and we keep scoring, the sky's the limit."
Nebraska, which entered the game averaging 36 points, was held without a touchdown for the first time since a 31-3 loss to Oklahoma on Nov. 13, 2004. Missouri's four nonconference opponents averaged 25 points, leading to anticipation of a high-scoring affair that never materialized.
"I was so proud," coach Gary Pinkel said. "It was as complete a game as we've played in a long time."
The Cornhuskers were outgained 606-297. Quarterback Sam Keller, who was 25-for-43 with 223 yards and one interception, felt responsible.
"Extremely disappointing," Keller said. "It's a horrible, horrible feeling, and I put all the blame on myself."
Daniel was 33-for-47 and also was Missouri's rushing leader with 72 yards on 11 carries. Chase Coffman and Danario Alexander each caught a touchdown pass to help the Tigers (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) beat Nebraska decisively at home for the third straight time and go to 5-0 for a second straight season.
Pinkel is 2-15 against ranked opponents in seven seasons, both victories coming at home over Nebraska. The Cornhuskers were ranked 10th when Missouri ended a 24-game losing streak in the series with a 41-24 victory in 2003, and Missouri won by the same score in 2005.
A game viewed as a key early Big 12 North matchup attracted a crowd of 70,049, Missouri's first sellout since the Nebraska game in 2003 with most fans clad in yellow for a so-called "Gold Rush" game. The Tigers had a ball and even rubbed it in to their longtime nemesis, scoring a touchdown off a fake field goal early in the fourth quarter.
"I wish it was like that every game," Daniel said. "It was an unbelievable atmosphere, unlike anything I've ever been in."
Missouri put away Nebraska (4-2, 1-1) without leading rusher Tony Temple, who sprained his right ankle in the first half. Temple had one catch for 20 yards and three carries for minus-2 yards.
Marlon Lucky had 123 yards rushing and receiving for Nebraska, held to a pair of first-half field goals by Alex Henery. Nebraska had won eight in a row against Big 12 North opponents.
"It's not our standard of football," coach Bill Callahan said. "We just couldn't get off the field on third down and we didn't convert on third down."
Missouri led 14-0 in the first quarter and 20-6 at the half, a big change from last year's 34-20 loss at Lincoln, Neb., in which the Tigers trailed 27-3 in the second quarter. Nebraska capitalized on a pair of early interceptions off Daniel in that game.
Daniel set the tone from the start on Saturday, going 12-for-14 for 127 yards while leading Missouri to touchdowns on its first two drives. One of the incompletions came on a dropped ball.
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