tampabay.com

Missouri continues historic beginning

By TIMES WIRES
Published October 1, 2006


COLUMBIA, Mo. - Chase Daniel threw for four touchdowns as No. 25 Missouri beat Colorado 28-13, improving to 5-0 for the first time since 1981.

The Buffaloes have lost nine in a row, their longest losing streak since a 10-gamer that spanned 1963 and 1964.

For Missouri, after starting the season with wins over I-AA Murray State, Mississippi, New Mexico and Ohio, beating a conference opponent, even a struggling one, was another step forward.

"Our team really hasn't talked about that at all," coach Gary Pinkel said of the unbeaten start.

Daniel dismissed criticism the Tigers haven't beaten a quality team.

"That's for the fans and for everybody else to figure out," he said. "We don't really worry about that. We just want to go out there and play our A game."

Daniel, a sophomore in his first season as a starter, was 23-of-35 for 253 yards and two interceptions. He and tight end Chase Coffman teamed up for scoring passes of 2 and 9 yards on Missouri's first two series.

Colorado, which entered 113th in offense with just 223.5 yards per game, outgained Missouri 373-353 but in the first half could manage just Mason Crosby field goals of 32 and 36 yards.

Down 14-6 late in the first half, Colorado punter Matt DiLallo allowed a snap to slip through his hands. He recovered but was tackled at the Colorado 14. Six plays later, on third and goal from the 1 and out of timeouts, Daniel hit Martin Rucker to make it 21-6.

Colorado's Bernard Jackson hit Dusty Sprague for a 63-yard pass on the first play of the second half, and Jackson scored from the 1 a play later to make it 21-13. But Missouri answered with a 52-yard drive ending with Jared Perry's 9-yard catch.

Colorado coach Dan Hawkins, trying to shake things up for an offense that has scored just 49 points this season, went for it on fourth down four times. All four failed, including fourth and goal from the 4 in the second quarter.

"At some point, you've got to play to win and not play to lose," Hawkins said. "You have to take some selective opportunities and say, 'Hey, I believe in you.' "

Colorado should have converted at least two. Jackson missed an open receiver in the end zone on the fourth-and-goal play. And later in the second quarter, on fourth and 2 from the Missouri 47, Dan Goettsch dropped a would-be first down pass with no defenders in sight.

Texas Tech 31, Texas A&M 27: Graham Harrell threw three touchdowns to Robert Johnson, including the winner with 26 seconds left, for the visiting Red Raiders. Harrell was 32-of-45 for 392 yards against a pass defense that entered sixth in the nation at 127.5 yards per game.

The Aggies took a 27-24 lead on Layne Neumann's 32-yard field goal with 2:12 left and appeared to seal it on the Red Raiders' third play of the ensuing drive. Danny Amendola bobbled a Harrell pass, and officials ruled linebacker Mark Dodge made a diving interception. But replays showed the ball hit the ground first, and Tech retained possession.

Five plays later, Johnson, who caught touchdowns of 21 and 5 yards during the second quarter, outleaped Jordan Peterson to make an acrobatic catch in the front corner of the end zone.