2007 Missouri Tigers

Posted Dec 31, 2007

2007 Missouri Tigers Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2007 Missouri Tigers

Recap: A fashionable preseason choice to take the Big 12 North, Missouri went a step further, winning 12 games for the first time in school history, routing Arkansas on New Year's Day, and boasting Heisman finalist Chase Daniel.  The Tigers' only two losses came against Oklahoma, the second one in San Antonio denying them a spot in the BCS championship game, or any BCS bowl game, for that matter.  Led by Daniel's accurate passing and the all-purpose exploits of freshman Jeremy Maclin, the Mizzou offense was almost unstoppable, scoring less than 30 points just once, and finishing No. 5 nationally in total offense.                 

Offensive Player of the Year: QB Chase Daniel

Defensive Player of the Year: S William Moore

Biggest Surprise: Maclin.  Although a lot was expected of him, few thought he'd be this good, this fast.  Maclin emerged into a versatile force in his debut season, catching 80 balls for 1,055 yards and nine touchdowns, rushing for 375 yards and four scores, and scoring three special teams touchdowns.  Without much warning, the freshman blossomed into one of the nation's most dynamic all-around weapons.

Biggest Disappointment: Taking the collar against Oklahoma.  Unbeaten versus the rest of the schedule, the Tigers were 0-2 against the Sooners, failing to successfully navigate their superior speed.  When the two met on Dec. 1 for the Big 12 Championship, Oklahoma rolled to a 38-17 win, knocking Mizzou from No. 1 in the country to the Cotton Bowl.    

Looking Ahead: If you thought Missouri was trendy a year ago, just wait until August.  With Daniel and a bunch of other key starters returning, the Tigers will be expected to take the next step, and win a conference championship for the first time since 1969. 

- 2007 Missouri Preview 
- 2006 Missouri Season

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2007 Record: 12-2

Sept. 1 Illinois (St.L) W 40-34
Sept. 8
at Ole Miss W 38-25
Sept. 15 Western Mich W 52-24
Sept. 22 Illinois State W 38-17
Oct. 6 Nebraska W 41-6
Oct. 13 at Oklahoma L 41-31
Oct. 20
Texas Tech W 41-10
Oct. 27 Iowa State W 42-28
Nov. 3 at Colorado W 55-10
Nov. 10
Texas A&M W 40-26
Nov. 17 at Kansas St W 49-32
Nov. 24 Kansas (in KC) W 36-28
Big 12 Championship
Dec. 1 Oklahoma L 38-17
Cotton Bowl
Jan. 1 Arkansas W 38-7

Jan. 1
2008 Cotton Bowl
Missouri 38 ... Arkansas 7

Everyone expected to see a big-time running game, but the wrong one showed up. Missouri's Tony Temple set a Cotton Bowl record with 281 rushing yards scoring from 22, 4, 4, and 40 yards out in the stunning rout. Arkansas turned the ball over five times and only managed a three-yard Darren McFadden touchdown run late in the third quarter, but by that time it was 28-7 Missouri and the outcome had basically been decided. The Tigers outgained the Hogs 323 yards to 164 on the ground.
Offensive P
layer of the Game: Missouri RB Tony Temple ran 24 times for 281 yards and four touchdowns
Defensive Player of the Game: Missouri S William Moore made 13 tackles, picked off a pass and forced a fumble
Stat Leaders: Arkansas - Passing: Casey Dick, 19-32, 197 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Darren McFadden, 21-105, 1 TD. Receiving: Peyton Hillis, 5-52
Missouri - Passing: Chase Daniel, 12-29, 136 yds, 1 INT
Tony Temple 24-281, 4 TD. Receiving: Will Franklin, 5-77

Thoughts & Notes ...
5 Thoughts on the Cotton Bowl ... Talk about your dud matchups, the Heisman stars failed to shine. Darren McFadden wasn't awful with 105 yards and a touchdown, but he was hardly special. Chase Daniel only completed 12 of 29 passes for 136 yards with an interception. ... Arkansas looked like a team that underwent a coaching change. Missouri had no problems stopping the Hog attack time and again, and five turnovers showed just how unfocused the team appeared to be. All the drama about the McFadden agent situation couldn't have helped. .... 7.5 yards per carry for Missouri and 3.3 yards per run for Arkansas. Even in Mizzou's wildest dreams they never could've thought this would happen. Who could've imagined the Tigers winning in such a blowout without any pop from Daniel, Jeremy Maclin and the passing game?

Dec. 1
Big 12 Championship
Oklahoma 38 ... Missouri 17

Oklahoma opened up a tight game with a dominant second half outscoring the Tigers 24-3. San Bradford threw two second half touchdown passes with a five-yard scoring toss to Jermaine Gresham coming off a Curtis Lofton interception to open things up. Allen Patrick ran for a four-yard score and Chris Brown added two second quarter scores. Missouri made it interesting at the end of the first half with a four-yard Chase Daniel touchdown run with 14 seconds to play, and a tie going into the locker room, on a reverse pass to Martin Rucker. The two teams combined for 20 penalties for 206 yards.
Player of the game: Oklahoma LB Curtis Lofton made nine tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack, and an interception.
Stat Leaders: Oklahoma - Passing: Sam Bradford, 18-26, 209 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Allen Patrick, 13-88, 1 TD. Receiving: Joe Jon Finley, 5-34, 1 TD
Missouri - Passing: Chase Daniel, 23-39, 219 yds, 1 INT
Jeremy Maclin, 4-40. Receiving: Jeremy Maclin, 8-69

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Missouri couldn't handle the swarming Oklahoma defensive speed. The Sooners always seemed to have one guy in the right place at all times just waiting to kiss Chase Daniel, and while they only came up with two sacks, they got consistent pressure. Daniel did a decent job considering he was being harassed, but he obviously got frustrated in the second half when things started slipping away, and the offense didn't have any answers. After all the talk of what the Tigers would've done in the first meeting had Tony Temple been healthy, the top back only came up with 26 yards on 13 carries.

Nov. 24
Missouri 36 ... Kansas 28
Missouri got out to a 28-7 lead after three quarters and held on for dear life as Kansas scored 21 points in the fourth quarter only to see the comeback attempt fall short after not getting the onside kick after a five-yard Marcus Henry touchdown catch with 2:03 to play, and a last-gasp drive getting stopped on the first play with Missouri's Loren Williams sacking Todd Reesing to end the drama and win the Big 12 North title. Chase Daniel was brilliant with three touchdown passes, and Jimmy Williams ran for a one-yard score for a 21-0 Tiger lead. KU moved the ball, but two missed Scott Webb field goals and two interceptions killed first half drives. Mizzou outgained Kansas 519 yards to 391.
Player of the game: Missouri QB Chase Daniel completed 40 of 49 passes for 361 yards and three touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Kansas - Passing: Todd Reesing, 28-49, 349 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Brandon McAnderson, 14-41, 1 TD. Receiving: Dexton Fields, 8-116, 1 TD
Missouri - Passing: Chase Daniel, 40-49, 361 yds, 3 TD
Tony Temple, 22-98. Receiving:
Jeremy Maclin, 10-69
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Yes, Missouri came up with its biggest win ever with an all-timer of a performance from Chase Daniel to beat Kansas to take control of its national title dream, but the team can't play like this and expect to beat Oklahoma. Many of the 14 penalties were back-breaking, while the defense, even in the first half, got beaten way too often. The defensive line did do a great job of pressuring Todd Reesing early on and forcing him to hurry his throws, and it has to do the same thing against OU while Daniel has to do that again. It'll be vital for the Tigers to quickly realize that as big as this win was, it was just a step and not a destination.

Nov. 17
Missouri 49 ... Kansas State 32
Chase Daniel threw four touchdown passes, with two to Martin Rucker, and Jeremy Maclin was unstoppable as Missouri opened up a tight game with a 14 point fourth quarter run. Maclin caught touchdown passes from eight and 44 yards out, and answered a first quarter Wildcat field goal with a 99-yard kickoff return for a score. Kansas State took a first half lead with a blocked punt for a score and a 66-yard James Johnson touchdown run, but the Tigers took the lead for good on their next drive with a nine-play, 81-yard march with Rucker making a scoring catch from eight yards out. Mizzou outgained Kansas State 427 yards to 406.
Player of the game: Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin caught nine passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns, ran two times for eight yards, returned two punts for 15 yards, and returned six kickoffs for 194 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: Kansas State - Passing: Josh Freeman, 26-44, 320 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: James Johnson, 16-129 yds, 1 TD. Receiving: Jordy Nelson, 9-125, 1 TD
Missouri - Passing: Chase Daniel, 28-41, 284 yds, 4 TD
Tony Temple, 16-75, 2 TD. Receiving:
Jeremy Maclin, 9-143, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...  The machine keeps on rolling. In all phases the Tigers are coming up offensive production stemming from the continued flawless play from Chase Daniel, decent running from Tony Temple, and the X factor, Jeremy Maclin, who has quickly turned into an elite difference maker who has to be accounted for and gameplanned against. Kansas State couldn't handle him, and Kansas will have to make it job one to shut him down. Daniel will get his yards, but it'll Temple and Maclin who need to be taken away. Kansas State couldn't do that.

Nov. 10
Missouri 40 ... Texas A&M 26
Missouri got a battle from Texas A&M, with the Aggies pulling within five late on a 42-yard Martellus Bennett touchdown catch, his second score of the day, but the Tigers pulled away with Jeremy Maclin's second touchdown catch of the game, scoring from 12 yards out to pull away for good. Maclin also set a Missouri record for the longest touchdown catch with an 82-yard play, on the second of Chase Daniel's three touchdown passes. Mizzou outgained A&M 555 yards to 380.
Player of the game: Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin caught five passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns, ran four times for 32 yards, returned four kickoffs for 82 yards, and returned a punt for seven yards.
Stat Leaders: Texas A&M - Passing: Stephen McGee, 18-28, 247 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Jorvorskie Lane, 12-50, 1 TD. Receiving: Mike Goodson, 5-67
Missouri - Passing: Chase Daniel, 27-35, 352 yds, 3 TD
Tony Temple, 22-141, 1 TD. Receiving: Martin Rucker, 6-54
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... It might not have been easy, but the Tiger offense overcome a good day from the Texas A&M attack with good balance, another Heisman day from Chase Daniel, and a special day from its X factor, Jeremy Maclin. The defense has to be more consistent against the pass to get by Kansas State next week. If A&M can roll for 247 yards through the air, Josh Freeman and the Wildcats can bomb for 300. However, as long as the offense doesn't screw up, there shouldn't be a problem on the way to the showdown with Kansas.

Nov. 3
Missouri 55 ... Colorado 10
Missouri QB Chase Daniel's first pass was picked off, and Colorado took advantage getting a two-yard Byron Ellis touchdown run. That would be Daniel's only mistake of the day, as he hooked up three times with Chase Coffman for scores from 25, 23 and five yards out, and threw two other touchdown passes, highlighted by a 46-yard play to Jeremy Maclin as the Tigers overcame an early 10-7 deficit to score 48 unanswered points. The Tigers rolled up 598 yards of total offense to Colorado's 196, and forced the Buffs to punt 11 times.
Player of the game: Missouri QB Chase Daniel completed 26 of 44 passes for 421 yards and five touchdowns with an interception, and ran six times for 24 yards
Stat Leaders: Missouri - Passing: Chase Daniel 26-44, 421 yds, 5 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Derrick Washington, 8-48, 1 TD. Receiving: Jeremy Maclin, 6-108, 1 TD
Colorado - Passing: Cody Hawkins, 12-25, 100 yds
Hugh Charles, 14-55. Receiving: Dusty Sprague, 4-43
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Talk about your statement games, Missouri ripped apart Colorado with frightening ease. The tight ends, Martin Rucker and Chase Coffman, provided a nightmare of a matchup problem for the Buffs, and outside of a bad first pass, Chase Daniel made almost all the right plays and all the right decisions. Now the goal is to not screw up and keep the machine rolling with Texas A&M coming to Columbia, followed by a trip to Kansas State. The BCS Championship isn't even a realistic possibility at the moment, but it could be if the Tigers keep playing like this and end up beating an unbeaten Kansas in a few weeks.

Oct. 27
Missouri 42 ... Iowa State 28
Missouri's offense had a hard time getting going, but the defense helped the cause with a Lorenzo Williams fumble recovery in the end zone at the start of the second half. Martin Rucker helped pull ahead for good with a ten-yard touchdown catch in the third, and Jeremy Maclin put it away with a 17-yard run for a 42-21 lead in the fourth. Iowa State got a 25-yard Devin McDowell interception return for a score and a one-yard Bret Meyer scoring run in the second, but never get the lead. The Cyclones outgained Missouri 389 yards to 366.
Player of the game: Missouri LB Sean Weatherspoon made 12 tackles, a tackle for loss and broke up a pass
Stat Leaders: Missouri - Passing: Chase Daniel, 28-37, 250 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Tony Temple, 8-40, 1 TD. Receiving: Martin Rucker, 7-66, 1 TD
Iowa State - Passing: Bret Meyer, 33-48, 237 yds, 1 TD
Alexander Robinson, 21-149, 1 TD. Receiving: R.J. Sumrall, 8-44
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The Tigers went through the motions and still hung 42 points on Iowa State. It might not have been the best looking win, and there might be a few concerns about the offense after it struggled to consistently move the ball. Considering Colorado has become dangerous, it would've been nice to keep the momentum from the Texas Tech win rolling, but it's asking a lot to ask a team to keep up the intensity over a long season. This was a letdown performance, but it didn't hurt. Next week, getting Tony Temple and the ground game going again will be a must to beat the Buffs.

Oct. 20
Missouri 41 ... Texas Tech 10
Missouri's Stryker Sulak returned a Graham Harrell pass 38 yards for a touchdown to set the tone for the game, and the defense played tough outside of one big play in the surprisingly easy win. Jimmy Jackson had three short touchdown runs, and Jeremy Maclin caught a 57-yard touchdown pass, as part of a 31-3 run after Harrell connected with Edward Britton on a 68-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter. The Tigers outgained the Red Raiders 212 yards to -9 on the ground, and 422 to 388 overall.
Player of the game: Missouri SS Cornelius Brown made 14 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss, an interception and broke up two passes
Stat Leaders: Missouri - Passing: Chase Daniel, 14-19, 210 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Derrick Washington, 9-66. Receiving: Chase Coffman, 3-53
Texas Tech - Passing: Graham Harrell, 44-69, 397 yds, 1 TD, 4 INT
Shannon Woods, 10-30. Receiving: Danny Amendola, 11-94
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Talk about bouncing back big-time, Missouri overcame the loss to Oklahoma to crush Texas Tech with a near-perfect defensive effort to go along with a perfectly balanced offensive attack. Past Tiger teams would've gone into the tank after a game like last week, but this isn't like past Tiger teams. Chase Daniel didn't have to do everything by himself, getting a little help from several different players. Even without RB Tony Temple, the ground game worked just fine. If Mizzou really is this good, it doesn't even break a sweat against Iowa State next week.

Oct. 13
Oklahoma 41 ... Missouri 31
Chris Brown ran for three second half touchdowns and Curtis Lofton returned a fumble for a 12-yard touchdown as Oklahoma stormed from behind in the fourth quarter for the win. Missouri had all the momentum with a ten-yard Jeremy Maclin scoring run, his second touchdown of the day, and a four-yard Jimmy Jackson scoring run, for a 24-23 lead at the end of the third quarter, but OU went on a 12-play, 66-yard march with Brown running for a one-yard score to take the lead, and then came up with the nail in the coffin as Lofton came up with his big play. Brown added a 17-yard scoring run with 2:39 to play for insurance. Mizzou outgained OU 418 yards to 384, but only came up with 57 rushing yards and average 1.9 yards per carry.
Player of the game: Oklahoma LB Curtis Lofton made 18 tackles and took a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
Stat Leaders: Missouri - Passing: Chase Daniel, 37-47, 361 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Jeremy Maclin, 4-32, 2 TD. Receiving: Chase Coffman, 10-102
Oklahoma - Passing: Sam Bradford, 24-34, 266 yds, 2 TD
Chris Brown, 13-67, 3 TD. Receiving: Juaquin Iglesias, 7-77, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Would the OU game have been any different if Tony Temple was available to run the ball? The offense had to manufacture rushing yards, and Chase Daniel had to press a bit, and it showed with four turnovers. Give OU credit for coming up with the plays it had to in the fourth quarter, but this also has to leave a bitter taste in Mizzou's mouth. It had it. It had the momentum, and things were working well up until the final frame. Now the key is to gear it back up for a high-octane and red hot Texas Tech offense. Win next week, and things will quickly get back on track with a layup against Iowa State to follow.

Oct. 6
Missouri 41 ... Nebraska 6
606 yards of total offense to 297. 32 first downs. Only two field goals allowed. Missouri dominated Nebraska in every way possible, as Chase Daniel threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, highlighted by a 48-yard play to Danario  Alexander late in the third quarter that made the blowout an epic rout. The Huskers could only manage Alex Henery first half field goals from 26 and 39 yards out. The Tigers got their final points off a fake field goal, with Martin Rucker taking it in from ten yards out.
Player of the game: Missouri QB Chase Daniel completed 33 of 47 passes for 401 yards and two touchdowns, and ran 11 times for 72 yards and two scores.
Stat Leaders: Nebraska - Passing: Sam Keller, 25-43, 223 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Marlon Lucky, 17-67. Receiving: Marlon Lucky, 7-56
Missouri - Passing: Chase Daniel, 33-47, 401 yds, 2 TD
Chase Daniel, 11-72, 2 TD. Receiving:
Martin Rucker, 9-109, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Missouri was looking to make a national statement, and it certainly did so against Nebraska. Chase Daniel wanted to throw his name into the Heisman chase, and he certainly did so. After such a dominant win, the bar has been raised higher, and now the spotlight will be on when the Tigers travel to Oklahoma next week. If the defense can play with the same intensity it showed against the Huskers, the Tigers have a great shot. Win that, and then things will really get interesting.

Sept. 22
Missouri 38 ... Illinois State 17
Jimmy Maclin scored on an eight-yard touchdown catch and returned a punt 64 yards for a score as Missouri rolled past Illinois State. The Tigers cranked out 581 yards of total offense, helped by a 57-yard William Franklin touchdown catch on the first play from scrimmage, and an 11-yard Tony Temple touchdown midway through the first quarter. Temple scored from one-yard out in the third to help the Tigers pull away for good. ISU got a four-yard Parrish Fisher touchdown run in the second, but didn't get back into the end zone until there were fewer than two minutes left.
Player of the game: Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin had 238 total yards, running once for 22 yards, catching five passes for 53 yards and a touchdown, handling four punts for 81 yards and a score, and returning three kickoffs for 82 yards.
Stat Leaders: Illinois State - Passing: Luke Drone, 22-37, 242 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Geno Blow, 21-116. Receiving: Eyad Salem, 7-106, 1 TD
Missouri - Passing: Chase Daniel, 21-34, 294 yds, 3 TDs, 2 INTs
Tony Temple, 18-101, 1 TD. Receiving: Jeremy Maclin, 5-53, 1 TD

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Missouri's offense keeps on humming. With two weeks off before Nebraska, the Tigers needed to roll on Illinois State, and it got good production from all three phases in the win. The three interceptions will give the coaching staff something to beef about during the down time, and there weren't enough points for the 581 yards of offense cranked out, but it was still an easy win, and now the focus can finally be there on the task at hand: Nebraska, at Oklahoma, Texas Tech.

Sept. 15
Missouri 52 ... Western Michigan 24
Missouri got out to a 31-3 halftime lead highlighted by a 24-yard Jeremy Maclin touchdown catch and a 25-yard Tommy Saunders scoring grab. But Western Michigan came back to make it interesting, starting with a 46 yard interception return for a touchdown from C.J. Wilson. Tim Hiller connected with Branden Ledbetter for a 27-yard score to make it 38-24 Mizzou, but that was as close as the Broncos would get. Daniel ran for a 35-yard score and Chase Patton added an 18-yard touchdown run to pull away.
Player of the game: Missouri QB Chase Daniel went 27-of-46 for 328 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while adding 60 yards and another score on five carries.
Stat Leaders: Western Michigan - Passing: Tim Hiller, 30-43, 240 yds, 1 TD, 2 INTs
Rushing: Mark Bonds, 14-82, 1 TD. Receiving: Jamarko Simmons, 10-98
Missouri - Passing: Chase Daniel, 27-46, 328 yds, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
Tony Temple, 16-96, 2 TDs. Receiving: Martin Rucker, 11-115

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Western Michigan didn't get all that close to Mizzou in the second half, only pulling within 14, but again, the Tigers got up big early and let the other team back into the game. This time, the offense found its groove again late to end it, but the disturbing trend continues. Even so, the offense remains unstoppable to get up early, and Chase Daniel has been on fire running the attack. When Tony Temple and the ground game is effective, the Tigers will put big-time points on the board. There's one more game, Illinois State, for the team to figure out its second half issues, and then Nebraska comes to town.

Sept. 8
Missouri 38 ... Ole Miss 25
Missouri cranked out 28 points in the second quarter on four Chase Daniel touchdown passes with two to Will Franklin, a 40-yarder to Martin Rucker, and a seven-yard strike to Chase Coffman. A 37-yard Daniel scoring play to Greg Bracey on the opening drive of the second half made it 35-7, but Ole Miss made it interesting as Seth Adams threw three touchdown passes, including a 68-yarder to Mike Wallace, and BenJarvis Green-Ellis ran for a two-yard score, and 226 yards, but the Tiger defense held on with a fourth down stop, a forced punt, and an interception.
Player of the game: Missouri QB Chase Daniel was 31-of-42 for 330 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for 55 yards on 11 carries.
Stat Leaders: Missouri
- Passing: Chase Daniel, 31-42, 330 yds, 5 TDs
Rushing: Tony Temple, 17-123. Receiving: William Franklin, 8-105, 2 TDs
Ole Miss
- Passing: Seth Adams, 23-41, 305 yds, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Rushing: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, 33-226, 1 TD. Receiving: Mike Wallace, 7-136, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... For the second week in a row, and with the Sun Bowl loss to Oregon State still stinging, Missouri struggled to close things out and, once again, can't seem to put together a full game. Ole Miss ran all over the Tiger defense with BenJarvus Green-Ellis having a field day, while the offense wasn't able to keep its foot on the gas and close things out late. Ole Miss shouldn't be rolling up 534 yards on anyone, so if the Western Michigan and Illinois State games don't see a big improvement for the Mizzou defense, there's reason to be really, really worried with Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas Tech coming up.

Sept. 1
Missouri 40 ... Illinois 34
Missouri was on its way to an easy win after getting up 37-13 late in the third quarter helped by a 100-yard fumble return for a score from Cornelius Brown, two Jeremy Maclin touchdowns, including a 66-yard punt return for a score to apparently put the game way. And then Illinois end on a run with Eddie McGee running for a 16-yard score and connecting with Kyle Hudson for a 41-yard touchdown, and Rashad Mendenhall scoring on a four-yard dash to pull within three. Mizzou got a little breathing room on a 32-yard Jeff Wolfert field goal, and then held on as Cornelius Brown picked off a pass at the goal line in the final minute.
Player of the game ... Missouri QB Chase Daniel connected on 37-of-54 passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Missouri- Passing: Chase Daniel, 37-54, 359 yds, 3 TDs
Rushing: Tony Temple, 17-33  Receiving: Martin Rucker, 10-86
Illinois - Passing: Eddie McGee, 17-31, 257 yds, 1 TD, 2 INTs
Daniel Dufrene, 6-58  Receiving: Arrelious Benn, 5-74
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... You'd think Missouri would've learned its lesson after blowing the Sun Bowl to Oregon State, but no, it almost choked again as it had a nightmare of a time putting Illinois away. If the Tigers really have designs on winning the Big 12, they have to figure out how to keep their foot on the gas for a fill sixty minutes, and they have to get the running game going after only gaining 70 yards. The Tigers fell into the same trap last year asking Chase Daniel to carry the offense. He was able to do it against the Illini with 54 passes, but Mizzou is far better with a more balanced attack.

Sept. 1 - Illinois
Has there ever been so much of a buzz for an offense that's done absolutely nothing? Juice Williams led the way to the nation's most inefficient passing attack, the O struggled to average 20 points a game, and never, ever came up with a clutch play. Chalk it up to youth, but this year's offense is still insanely young, and getting younger with the best receiver, Arrelious Benn, a true freshman. Even so, all will be fine as long as the starting 11 stays healthy. If injuries strike, things will go in the tank with no one to rely on behind Williams, no solid number two running back behind home-run hitter Rashard Mendenhall, and little developed depth behind an average line with four starters returning.
Defense: The defense never got any credit for a not-that-bad season. It was good at not giving up long drives or tons of yards, but it never, ever, ever came through with a key stop. How strange was the Illini D? It was 33rd in the nation allowing 310 yards per game, but allowed 26.75 points per game. This was going to be a good defense returning with J Leman tackling everything in sight at middle linebacker and Chris Norwell staring at tackle, and now there's actual talent to get excited about with the addition of mega-star recruits D'Angelo McCray on the line and Martez Wilson at linebacker. It'll be an interesting mix of good senior veterans and more talented underclassmen.

Sept. 8 – at Ole Miss
Offense: The offense needed more out of the running game after a woeful 2005, and it got it with BenJarvus Green-Ellis coming up with a 1,000-yard season as the workhorse for the offense. Now the offense has to figure out how to score after averaging 15.7 points per game (up from a whopping 13.45 per game in 2005). The passing game needs a lot of work, and the hope will be for the young receiving corps to step up and become passable. There will be a quarterback battle into the fall with Brent Schaeffer needing to prove he can move the offense, or he'll be unseated be Seth Adams, who's the more efficient passer. The massive line should be better after years of seasoning.
Defense: This should've been the year when everything started to come together for the Rebel defense, but the loss of all three starting linebackers, along with some major uncertainty in the secondary, will make this an inconsistent year, at least early on. The defensive line will be the strength with end Marcus Tillman on the verge of stardom, and the tackle combination of Peria Jerry and Jeremy Garrett to be among the best in the league ... if they stay healthy. The secondary lost some of its top safety prospects to the depleted linebacking corps, and the corners have to be far better. Ole Miss only picked off three passes last year. That can't happen again.

Sept. 15 - Western Michigan
Offense: The parts are there, and now the production has to come. The offensive line, led by center Robbie Krutilla and three other starters, will be one of the best in the MAC, and it should give the quarterback all the time in the world. Now the question is who that'll be. Thomas Peregrin and Tim Hiller will each likely see time this year, and either one can be a star. The receiving corps will be serviceable, and it needs tight end Branden Ledbetter to grow into an even more prominent target, and has to hope several speedy newcomers can play right away, for more pop. Mark Bonds is a steady 1,000-yard back who'll combine with Brandon West for a nice 1-2 punch. Everything's in place. There's no excuse for the attack to be as average as it was last year.
Offense: It's not a big D, but it's very quick, very disruptive, and very good. After a big year, the MAC's number one defense gets eight starters back. The line will get in the backfield early and often with the return of Zach Davidson and big-play tackles Nick Varcadipane and Cory Flom. The secondary is loaded with speed and experience with all four starters returning after helping the D pick off 24 passes. The big concern is at outside linebacker after losing Ameer Ismail and Paul Tithof, but Austin Pritchard is a rising star and Dustin Duclo is good in the middle.

Sept. 22 – Illinois State

Oct. 6 - Nebraska
Offense: From possibly losing star receiver Maurice Purify for being a knucklehead off the field, to losing leading rusher Brandon Jackson to the NFL, promising runner Kenny Wilson to a broken leg while moving a TV, and starting guard Matt Huff to a blown out Achilles (though he might be back), it's been a rough off-season for the offense. Even with all the problems, the offense will roll if, and it's a screaming if, the once-promising tackle prospects come through and the starting 11 stays healthy. Top back Marlon Lucky can't be counted on for a full season, while backup Cody Glenn is already hobbling with a foot problem. There's no one of note behind them. The line had to do some shuffling after a variety of injuries, meaning the ground game could struggle at times. Fortunately, former Arizona State mad bomber Sam Keller is at the helm with a speedy, veteran receiving corps to work with. Don't be shocked if the attack becomes one-dimensional at some point this year. That might not be a bad thing.
Defense: Defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove is about throwing different looks at offenses over the last few years, and while he loses all four starters off a great front four, he has more talent and depth to work with. The strength is in the linebacking corps, where Bo Ruud, Corey McKeon, Steve Octavien and Lance Brandenburgh will control the defense. There's speed to burn in the secondary, but the defensive backs haven't played up to their potential or athleticism over the last few years. This will be one of the Big 12's better defenses, but it still might not be close to the killer of some of the great Husker teams of the past.

Oct. 13 – at Oklahoma
Offense: If a quarterback comes through and shines, this could be the nation's most effective offense. If the offensive line isn't the best in college football, it's number two, the running backs are very fast and very talented, and the receiving corps, led by top pro prospect Malcolm Kelly, is very big and very fast. It all comes down to the quarterback battle between junior Joey Halzle and redshirt freshman Sam Bradford. Whichever one can be steady will get the plum gig with a chance to lead the loaded attack in a national title chase.
Defense: It'll be an interesting defense that has the potential to be a killer, but has some major concerns. The secondary should be among the best in America with enough size, speed, and talent to keep the NFL scouts buzzing. DeMarcus Granger is a rising superstar tackle who should combine with Gerald McCoy, Cory Bennett and Steven Coleman to stuff up everything on the inside. If the unknown ends come though with a halfway decent season, and the untested linebacking corps is nearly as good as last year's, look out.

Oct. 20 - Texas Tech
Offense: On the surface, there might appear to be a world of problems. The quarterback situation is allegedly up for grabs, the star running back practiced like he was too secure and got booted to third string, almost all the top receivers are gone, and four starters have to be replaced on the line. Don't shed too many tears. Graham Harrell had a great spring and will be the staring quarterback once again, Shannon Woods will get back in everyone's good graces this fall and be a top back, and Michael Crabtree might be the best receiver the program has had in several years. Of course, it all goes kaput if the line doesn't come together quickly, but Mike Leach and his coaching staff have dealt with worse. There might be question marks, but there's also a whole bunch of talented prospects. This will be one of the nation's five best passing offenses once again, but it might not be consistent.
Defense: This D will be a major part in several shootouts, and not in a good way. The secondary will be the strength, and it's not even close, with a pair of all-star safeties in Darcel McBath and Joe Garcia, along with star corner Chris Parker. The front seven is a major problem, especially the defensive line, with no depth and only one starter returning. The linebacking corps isn't all that big, but it's fast and should be good in time. Expect good running teams to be able to rumble at will.

Oct. 27 - Iowa State
Offense: Bret Meyer might be the Big 12's best quarterback, Todd Blythe is an All-America caliber receiver leading a good corps, and in time, Jason Scales and JUCO transfer J.J. Bass will be strong runners. None of it will matter if the line doesn't go from abysmal to at least mediocre. That might be a problem with four starters gone and no developed depth whatsoever. The team will rely on a slew of JUCO transfer and career benchwarmers to patch together a front five that will try to allow fewer than the 38 sacks given up last year. Expect Meyer to be everything for the offense with the passing game front and center early on. Because of the concerns on the line, Meyer will use his mobility to try to buy time and get the ball out of his hands quicker while on the move.
Defense: A complete and total disaster last season, defensive coordinator Wayne Bolt has his work cut out for him with a mediocre collection of talents and few obvious stars to build around other than outside linebackers Alvin Bowen and Jon Banks. The defensive front should be more aggressive and better at getting into the backfield, but will the lack of size cost them in the running game? For a while, yes. The secondary is the bigger concern after giving up yards in bunches and without a true number one cover-corner to count on. Linebacker is the strength to build around, and it could be even better if Adam Carper returns ready to go from a knee injury.

Nov. 3 – at Colorado
Offense: Call this a stepping-stone season for the offense before it explodes in 2008. The overall production can't help but be better after averaging a Big 12-worst 291 yards and 16 points per game. There are too many ifs. If a backup can emerge behind top running back Hugh Charles, and if all the problems this spring finding healthy offensive linemen go away, and if the veteran receiving corps can prove that it's better than last season showed, and if Cody Hawkins and/or Nick Nelson can shine right away at quarterback, the Buffs should start to have the offense that Buff fans expected when Dan Hawkins was hired.
Defense: The defense was better than it every got credit for considering the offense provided no help whatsoever. The starting 11, in whatever configuration that turns out to be, should be excellent as long as a pass rush is found from the ends. The linebacking corps will be the strength with tackling-machine Jordon Dizon leading the way. George Hypolite and Brandon Nicolas form an excellent tackle tandem to work around, while Terrence Wheatley is an All-Big 12 corner to handle everyone's number one. Now there needs to be more from the secondary, and the run defense has to be as strong as it was last year despite losing key linemen Abraham Wright and Walter Boye-Doe.

Nov. 10 - Texas A&M
Offense: Run, run, and run some more. The Aggies finished last year eighth in the nation in rushing, and now the line should be even better with four legitimate All-Big 12 candidates paving the way for the devastating rushing tandem of Jorvorskie Lane and Mike Goodson. QB Stephen McGee was better than anyone could've hoped for last year taking over for Reggie McNeal, and while he might not throw only two interceptions again, he'll be one of the league's best all-around quarterbacks. The tight end tandem of Martellus Bennett and Joey Thomas would get all the conference attention if it wasn't for Missouri's tremendous pair, but the receivers are suspect and could be the Achilles heel if there Earvin Taylor doesn't have a huge season.
Defense: First of all, realize what amazing strides the defense made under defensive coordinator Gary Darnell. The pass defense was the worst in the nation in 2005 and became more than just respectable last season in a 4-2-5 alignment that led to a solid year until the Holiday Bowl meltdown against Cal. There wasn't enough of a pass rush outside of Chris Harrington, but that could change if tackle Red Bryant is healthy again and occupies two blockers on the inside. There aren't any all-stars in the back seven, but it's a good, sound group that will do just enough to get by.

Nov. 17 – at Kansas State
Offense: Call this another stepping stone season. The offensive line is ridiculously deep, but without much appreciable talent. The receiving corps has a slew of good prospects coming in, and four good tight ends, but can only count on deep threat Jordy Nelson to deliver. The 1-2 rushing punch of Leon Patton and James Johnson is scary-good, but there's absolutely no one behind them. And then there's the quarterback situation, which was a plus going into last year with several good players in a battle, but now is Josh Freeman and no safety net. Freeman has the talent to be a superstar, but hasn't been remotely consistent. When he's not on, it's over. It's not all doom and gloom. There's a ton of athleticism, and Freeman, Patton, Johnson and Nelson will have games when they're unstoppable, just not enough of them.
Defense: Raheem Morris lasted one year as defensive coordinator before moving on to the NFL. Tim Tibesar will take over and put in a 3-4 scheme, which might, at times, appear to be more of a 4-3 with star Ian Campbell playing outside linebacker and the occasional end. There's a ton of overall experience and depth, even with just six returning starters, with the strength to likely be in the secondary, where safety Marcus Watts leads a veteran cast. While the D likely won't be sixth in the nation in sacks and 18th in tackles for loss, there will be plenty of big plays made in the backfield with all the speed and athleticism across the positions. The overall net result should be better than last year, when KSU gave up 346 yards and 24 points per game.

Nov. 24 - Kansas
Offense: After spending last year running the ball, new offensive coordinator Ed Warinner will try to stretch the field more with a big, experienced group of receivers. The big question will be who the quarterback will be throwing to them. Sophomores Kerry Meier and Todd Reesing are talented, mobile passers who can do a little of everything well, but they'll be in a battle for the starting job up until the opener. The other big question mark is at running back, where Jon Cornish and his 1,457 yards and eight scores will be replaced by Jake Sharp (fast) and Brandon McAnderson (powerful). The line is nothing special, but the tackles are experienced and solid.
The defense had to go through a little bit of a rebuilding phase last season, and while the overall results weren't terrific, and too many yards were allowed, it wasn't as bad as it might have appeared. The secondary gave up more yards than anyone in America, but it gets Aqib Talib back at corner to go along with an upgrade in speed at the other three spots. The linebacking corps, by design, is small on the outside with a slew of safety-sized defenders designed to fly to the ball. They have to hold up better when they're getting pounded on. James McClinton is a star at tackle who should set the tone for the front seven.



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