COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri's defensive game plan centered on
stopping one player. It turned out to be the wrong guy.
Hank Baskett caught 10 passes for 209 yards and a career-best
three touchdowns, helping New Mexico pull away in the fourth
quarter for a 45-35 victory on Saturday night.
"Baskett, we didn't think that he was that great," Missouri
defensive end Xzavie Jackson said. "That's a great player."
Baskett's career game overshadowed that of teammate DonTrell
Moore, who had 94 yards on 20 carries and threw for a touchdown on
the option. Moore had been the player the Tigers wanted to control.
"Baskett's a great player, the only problem is he plays for us
and nobody in the country knows," coach Rocky Long said. "But
he'll be a top draft choice and he's as good as any wide receiver
in the Big 12."
Moore said Baskett "just took over the game."
"That's 'Big Bank Hank," Moore said. "We know that if we
need something in the crucial moment we can throw it up to Hank."
Kenny Byrd's 40-yard field goal snapped a fourth-quarter tie and
Baskett's 9-yard touchdown catch from Kole McKamey with 2:01
clinched it for the Lobos, who scored 17 points in the final
quarter and won for the second time this week after beating UNLV on
Monday. They spoiled Missouri's home opener despite a
record-breaking day from Brad Smith.
The Lobos, 2-0 for the first time since 1998, didn't think about
"We got tired, but whenever we needed something on offense and
we needed a stop on defense we got it done," Moore said. "There's
no room to be tired. You've got one chance to beat a great Big 12
Missouri was upset in the early season for the second straight
season. A loss at Troy in the second game last year contributed to
a 5-6 record.
"Obviously, it's a very serious loss," coach Gary Pinkel said.
"What you do is you try to correct mistakes and I think there's a
lot of things we can do. It's only the second game of the year."
McKamey threw three touchdown passes and ran for a fourth. He
held his own against Smith, who ran for touchdowns of 31 and 15
yards, threw for a third score and broke two school career scoring
"Whenever we balance running and throwing, it's so wide open
because everybody knows DonTrell is one of the greatest running
backs in college," Baskett said. "When they start putting nine
players in the box, that leaves us 1-on-1 and we love that
Smith also had a career-high 29 rushing attempts for Missouri
(1-1), but threw two interceptions and lost a fumble that was
returned for a touchdown. Gabriel Fulbright had both of the
interceptions, including one with 3:15 left that led to Baskett's
third touchdown catch.
"We made costly mistakes, and they didn't make any," Pinkel
said. "You've got to hand it to them."
The game had been tied four times before Byrd's career-long
field goal put New Mexico ahead to stay with 4:22 to go. Baskett's
touchdown catch came four plays later.
Smith set school career records for yards passing and yards
rushing while going 32-for-55 for 248 yards and gaining 165 yards
on 29 carries. He already holds records for total offense and
New Mexico's pass rush forced a fumble by Smith that Evroy
Thompson returned 28 yards to put New Mexico ahead 21-14 early in
the third quarter. Smith tied it again when he broke three tackles
and slipped a fourth on a 31-yard run on the ensuing drive.
Then Smith put Missouri ahead, breaking three more tackles after
New Mexico collapsed the pocket on a pass play and scoring on a
15-yard scramble for a 28-21 lead. New Mexico tied it on a 41-yard
option pass from DonTrell Moore to Baskett near the end of the
The teams traded scores early in the fourth quarter, McKamey
getting a 4-yard run for New Mexico and Missouri answering on a
12-yard pass from Smith to Chase Coffman.
Before the game there was a moment of silence to honor Missouri
linebacker Aaron O'Neal, who died of viral meningitis in July after
a conditioning workout. Players lined up on the 25, O'Neal's jersey