3:30 PM ET, October 23, 2004
Faurot Field, COLUMBIA, MO
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 play.
"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."