STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Missouri got plenty of big plays from
Brad Smith and Marcus Woods, but it was Brad Ekwerekwu's redemption
and trickery that made the day for the Tigers.
Smith rushed for 184 yards and Woods ran for one score, caught a
pass for another, and set up a third with a 76-yard punt return for
the Tigers, who built a 22-point lead and held off Oklahoma State
with its offense more than its league-worst defense.
But Ekwerekwu stole the show.
Ekwerekwu, a wide receiver, rebounded from a fumble and a failed
fake field goal to throw for a score on a trick play and score on a
reverse as Missouri beat Oklahoma State 38-31 on Saturday.
"Players like those kind of plays, and that kind of fits with
what we do on offense. We do so many things on offense -- so many
options, the shovel pass, all different types of runs," Missouri
coach Gary Pinkel said. "Really, I think it's an interesting
offense and I think when you add that to it, I think it really just
helps everything else that you do."
Ekwerekwu scored on a 13-yard reverse run to stretch Missouri's
lead to 38-24 with 9:07 left in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma State
(3-2, 0-2 Big 12) pulled back within a score on backup quarterback
Al Pena's 5-yard pass to D'Juan Woods with 6:36 left, and Missouri
(3-2, 1-1) was able to run the clock down to before Adam Crossett
missed a 23-yard field goal wide right.
David Overstreet leaped to intercept Pena's pass with 55 seconds
left to seal the victory for Missouri's defense, which has given up
165 points in five games.
Marcus Woods ran for 102 yards on 20 carries, including a
12-yard TD run in the first quarter, and scampered for an 18-yard
score on a shuffle pass from Smith as Missouri built a 21-9
After Ekwerekwu failed to make a first down on a fake field goal
only four plays earlier, the Tigers used another trick play to take
advantage of Bobby Reid's fumble late in the first half.
The Tigers took possession at the Oklahoma State 30 with 34
seconds left, Ekwerekwu went in motion into the backfield, took a
pitch from Smith and lofted a high-arcing pass that Sean Coffey
caught along the right edge of the end zone.
"I put the ball up there with a little bit of a prayer, and he
came down with it," Ekwerekwu said of his first career pass
Pinkel said he didn't hesitate to go with another trick play
after Ekwerekwu, the holder, was stuffed for only one yard on
"Personally as a head coach, I don't want to put my football
team ... in a bad situation," Pinkel said. "On the same token,
when they don't feel like we're attacking, then their thought is
you're not giving them a chance to win."
A 30-yard field goal by Crossett and a 10-yard touchdown run by
Jimmy Jackson stretched Missouri's lead to 31-9 early in the third
quarter before Oklahoma State, which entered with the Big 12's
worst offense, started its comeback.
The Cowboys, aided by Daniel McLemore's 43-yard kick return and
two 15-yard penalties against Missouri, drove for their first
touchdown in six quarters when Julius Crosslin rammed his way in
from 1 yard out. He added a 2-yard TD run on Oklahoma State's next
"When you are down by two scores and you have had some tough
times offensively, it takes a lot to come back, gut it out and go
down the field and score," Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. "We did
that, and I was proud of them for that.
"I think we got better in a lot of areas."
The Cowboys' next drive stalled when Reid was tackled from
behind by Brian Smith on third down and Reid had to be helped to
the sidelines with an apparent right foot injury. Reid had to be
carted off the field.
Smith responded on Missouri's ensuing possession, rushing for 59
yards down the right sideline on second down. Two plays later,
Ekwerekwu ran in to put Missouri back up by two scores.
Smith finished with 193 yards on 21-for-27 passing.
Reid was 11-for-20 for 155 yards before his injury, and D'Juan
Woods had 125 yards on eight catches.