Oct. 27, 2007
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:: Postgame - Pinkel | Daniel
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -
Coming off a pair of routs over ranked opponents at home, Missouri struggled to put away one-win Iowa State on Saturday.
Given the current climate in college football, however, the Tigers' postgame locker room seemed just as noisy as ever.
Lorenzo Williams recovered a fumble in the end zone at the start of the second half, giving No. 13 Missouri breathing room and momentum in a 42-28 victory over the Cyclones. The Tigers, who entered the game seventh in the nation in total offense at 518 yards per game, won despite being held to a season-low 366 yards.
"A win is a win, man," quarterback Chase Daniel said. "You see everyone losing, all these upsets, games a lot closer than they should be.
"If we can get a win any day of the week, I'll take one."
Jimmy Jackson, Tony Temple, Martin Rucker and Jeremy Maclin each scored for Missouri (7-1, 3-1 Big 12), a four-touchdown favorites against the downtrodden Cyclones (1-8, 0-5). The Tigers had been punishing teams at Faurot Field, beating then-No. 22 Texas Tech 41-10 last week and then-No. 25 Nebraska 41-6 three weeks ago.
"You want to win all these games 40-6 and go eat hot dogs in the fourth quarter, but that's not football," coach Gary Pinkel said. "There's going to be battles out there and we were in a battle in the fourth quarter to keep this game and that's OK, as long as we won."
Missouri lost safety Cornelius "Pig" Brown for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon in the fourth quarter. Brown, twice named Big 12 defensive player of the week, has been a big factor in the Tigers' improving defense.
Backup Alexander Robinson had 149 yards on 21 carries with a 37-yard scoring run for Iowa State, his first career 100-yard game, and Devin McDowell had a 25-yard interception return. The Cyclones had 389 yards total offense and played their second straight Top 25 opponent tough after holding down No. 4 Oklahoma in a 17-7 loss last week.
Robinson hadn't played much since a key lost fumble against Nebraska Sept. 29.
"I just waited my turn and tried to do what I could to help the team," Robinson said. "I had a lot of great holes and I just tried to hit the hole hard."
Daniel was 28-of-37 for 250 yards with one touchdown and the interception on a high throw that Martin Rucker tipped.
Missouri's play at the end of the half and right after the break was instrumental in winning for the 14th time in the last 15 home games. Iowa State's Bret Meyer scored on a 1-yard run with 24 seconds left in the half to cut the deficit to 17-14, and Missouri got downfield fast enough for Jeff Wolfert's 48-yard field goal on the final play.
Stryker Sulak stripped Meyer on a sack inside the 5 on the third play of the second half. Williams fell on the ball in the end zone and Missouri added a 2-point conversion for a 28-14 cushion.
"We just had a miscommunication as an offense and it may have cost us the game," Meyer said. "That changed the momentum. That was terrible, I killed the team on that play."
Williams beat Sulak in a footrace to the ball.
"It looks like I kind of tried to knock him out out of the way," Sulak said. "It let our offense feed off of it and it felt good to do it."
Iowa State scored on its next drive on a 1-yard pass from Meyer to Marquis Hamilton before Missouri put the game away on Rucker's 10-yard reception and Maclin's 17-yard run on a reverse, the latter coming early in the fourth quarter to make it 42-21.
Meyer became the second quarterback in Big 12 history to pass for 9,000 yards, also setting a school record with 33 completions in 48 attempts. Todd Blythe caught six passes for 54 yards to become the school's career reception leader with 168, four more than Lane Danielson from 2000-03.
Daniel was 11-of-11 for 103 yards on Missouri's first two drives, which ended on touchdown runs by Jackson and Temple, for a 14-0 lead with 6:52 to go in the first quarter. Missouri didn't face a third down until its 18th play, and Daniel also tied a school record with 15 straight completions set by Kent Kiefer in 1990 before throwing the ball away on the next-to-last play of the first quarter.
Missouri had dominated before McDowell's 25-yard interception return on a ball off Rucker's hands midway through the second quarter.