Oct. 9, 2004
By DENNE H. FREEMAN
AP Sports Writer
WACO, Texas (AP) - Brad Smith's three touchdown passes, Joe Tantarelli's
three field goals, and a strong defense lifted Missouri to a 30-10 victory over
Baylor on Saturday night and a lead in the Big 12 North.
The Tigers (4-1, 2-0) grabbed first place after Texas Tech whipped Nebraska
70-10. Missouri, which snapped a six-game road losing streak, returns to Texas
next Saturday to play the Longhorns. It's the first time Missouri has ever been
alone in first place in the division.
Smith surprised Baylor (2-3, 0-2 Big 12) with two touchdown passes to
redshirt freshman tight end Martin Rucker. He also tossed an 8-yard scoring
pass to Sean Coffey early in the fourth quarter as the Tigers turned a close
game into a blowout.
The Tigers, favored by 20 points, struggled in the first half of the
nationally televised game. The Bears beat back threat after threat to trail
13-3 at halftime. Safety Jason Simpson's 46-yard interception return gave
Missouri momentum before halftime. He sped all the way to the Baylor 9-yard
line after picking off Dane King.
Three plays later, Smith found Rucker with a 7-yard scoring pass. Rucker
also caught a 17-yard touchdown toss in the third period.
Baylor allowed field goals of 22 and 20 yards by Tantarelli in the first
half. The second came after Smith completed a 24-yard pass on 4th-and-21 to
Thomson Omboga. Tantarelli's third field goal was a 31-yarder in the fourth
Missouri, 8-2 against Baylor, showed why it has the second best defense in
the Big 12.
It took a roughing-the-kicker penalty to set Baylor up for its only points
in the first half, a 30-yard field goal by Kenny Webb, who was knocked down on
a previous attempt.
Shawn Bell threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Trent Shelton for Baylor with
6:42 to play.