COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- The final 50 seconds of the first half
turned the game around for Oklahoma State (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP).
The Cowboys fell behind by 17 then rallied to beat Missouri
20-17 on a 28-yard field goal by Jason Ricks with 55 seconds to
"There was never any time that I didn't believe that this team
was not going to have the resolve to come back," Oklahoma State
coach Les Miles said.
The Cowboys (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) drove 78 yards to set up the
winning kick. The drive was kept alive when Donovan Woods connected
with his brother, D'Juan Woods, for a 27-yard gain on third-and-4
from the Oklahoma State 42.
Missouri (4-3, 2-2) lost its second straight game and ended a
nine-game home winning streak.
The Tigers appeared headed for an easy win after going ahead
17-0 with 54 seconds left in the first half. But the Tigers allowed
Oklahoma State to drive 80 yards in 50 seconds, scoring on a
12-yard pass from Woods to Woods with 4 seconds left in the half.
"It was very important," tailback Vernand Morency said. "It
let us come into the locker room just with that extra fight."
The drive was especially puzzling considering Oklahoma State
came into the game with the nation's 110th-ranked passing offense.
The Cowboys were able to use a mix of passes and runs on the drive,
including runs of 21 and 19 yards by Morency.
"It was a great drive on their part," Missouri coach Gary
Pinkel said. "And all we had to do was tackle a guy in bounds one
time because of the way it was going, but we didn't make the plays
you had to make there."
After Ricks' 27-yard, third-quarter field goal cut the deficit
to seven, the Cowboys tied it early in the fourth quarter when
Donovan Woods faked a handoff to Morency and ran untouched 34 yards
for the score.
It was no surprise Missouri was keying on Morency. He carried 31
times for 173 yards, bettering the 163.3 yards he averaged entering
the game, second-best in the nation. Donovan Woods carried 10 times
for 71 yards -- 69 of those coming on two runs -- and was 7-of-13 for
110 yards and one interception.
After controlling the ball for more than 21 minutes in the first
half, the Tigers could muster just four first downs and 87 total
yards in the final 30 minutes. The Tigers had the ball less than 12
minutes of the final half.
Missouri's Brad Smith was 18-for-29 for just 96 yards and one
interception. He rushed 17 times for 58 yards, and Damien Nash
carried 18 times for 89 yards.
Missouri drove 83 yards on 16 plays to go ahead 7-0 on Smith's
4-yard pass to Martin Rucker on the final play of the first
quarter. Smith dropped straight back, scrambled to his right, then
back to the left sideline before finding Rucker open in the middle
of the end zone.
Joe Tantarelli's 21-yard field goal with 5:34 to play in the
half gave Missouri a 10-0 lead.
On Oklahoma State's next drive, the Cowboys tried a fake punt
with the ball snapped to up-back Chase Holland, who passed to
Prentiss Elliott. But just as Elliott was about to make the catch,
Missouri's Jason Simpson jarred the ball loose, giving the Tigers
the ball at the Oklahoma State 42 with 3:21 to go in the half.
Seven plays later, Smith and Sean Coffey connected on a 3-yard
touchdown pass with 54 seconds to play in the half.
"Obviously, this is a very difficult loss," Pinkel said. "The
second half we couldn't get the momentum back, and we just did not
execute either side of the ball very well."