For the third straight week, the number one ranked team in the country has fallen, as Oklahoma couldn't turn away from the thousands of fans that rushed the field as the final play culminated. The Missouri Tigers, who had lost 19 of the last 20 meetings with OU, sought sweet revenge Saturday night with a 36-27 win in front of a rowdy home crowd.
The Tigers were ignited by an electric 86-yard kick off return for a touchdown by Gahn McGaffie on the opening play of the game. After a three and out, it seemed Mizzou was off to a great start until they muffed a punt, which led to a Kenny Stills 27 yard touchdown for the number one Sooners. While the first half never saw Oklahoma lead, OU managed to stay close despite two turnovers and a field goal nailed by Missouri's Grant Ressel at the halftime buzzer.
Despite Oklahoma taking a 21-20 lead late in the 3rd quarter, Mizzou kept its composure, and had an enormous fourth quarter, scoring 16 points. While the offense thrived at times, the defense was just as impressive. Forcing a fumble and two interceptions enabled the Tigers to control nearly the entire game. The first interception occurred when Oklahoma was on the Mizzou 12-yard line, when Missouri's Aldon Smith intercepted Landry Jones' pass and took it back 58 yards into Oklahoma territory. The last takeaway came deep in Sooner territory in the fourth quarter, which led to an important Grant Ressel field goal.
While big play threat receiver T.J. Moe was held to just 36 yards, it was the upperclassman Jerrell Jackson that stepped up, going off for 139 yards and a touchdown. Fellow Junior De'Vion Moore, who only rushed for 17 combined yards against Colorado and Texas A&M in Mizzou's previous two games, pounded through the OU defense for 73 yards and a touchdown. Finally, to complete the triple threat, Blaine Gabbert was as poised and efficient as ever, completing 30 of 42 passes for 308 yards and a touchdown. More important than anything, Gabbert controlled the game and didn't turn the ball over once, while the defense forced plenty of turnovers, resulting in a colossal Missouri win.
After taking down the top ranked Sooners, the BCS number 11 ranked Tigers are sure to move up in the rankings, which come out tomorrow. Looking ahead to next week's rivalry match-up between Mizzou and Nebraska, the game will feature the top two teams in the Big 12. Nebraska, after losing to Texas and letting their undefeated record and top five ranking fall by the way side, dominated the previously unbeaten Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday by the score of 51-41. With the game being in Lincoln, and the fact that Nebraska is soon moving conferences (from the Big 12 to the Big Ten), this will be an interesting challenge of Big 12 powerhouses in their attempt for a Big 12 title and a BCS berth.