8:00 PM ET, September 16, 2006
University Stadium, ALBUQUERQUE, NM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Chase Daniel's fourth quarter touchdown bailed out Missouri's bungling offense and Tony Temple rushed for 168 yards as the Tigers remained unbeaten with a 27-17 win over New Mexico Saturday night.
Missouri (3-0) showed plenty of offensive potential with 396 total yards, but the Tigers kept squandering scoring opportunities against a New Mexico defense that played good enough to keep the Lobos (1-2) in the game.
Daniel finally gave the Tigers breathing room by taking Missouri on an 80-yard, 11-play drive in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter and scoring on an 8-yard keeper for a 20-10 lead.
New Mexico, whose other touchdown came from linebacker Michael Tuohy's 11-yard interception return of a Daniel pass in the second quarter, had trouble all night against the bigger and quicker Missouri defensive front.
The Lobos finished with 201 total yards -- just 33 of them rushing-- and Missouri's pressure sacked Nelson eight times. But the Lobos were still thinking upset after Kenny Byrd's career-best 52-yard field goal cut Missouri's lead to 13-10 with 31 seconds left in the third quarter.
That's when Daniel, who completed 25 of 36 passes for 199 yards, led the Tigers on their best drive of the night. He completed four passes in the drive, the two biggest a 16-yarder to Will Franklin and a 13-yarder to Martin Rucker to the New Mexico 17.
The Tigers had wasted a good drive in the third quarter when Temple was hit by Lobo freshman defensive back Frankie Solomon and fumbled the ball into the end zone, where defensive end Phillip Harrison recovered for a touchback.
Missouri led 13-7 at the half, but the Tigers easily could have had a bigger cushion.
The Lobos lost two fumbles and Nelson threw an interception in the second quarter, but all the Tigers got from the three turnovers was a 36-yard field goal by Jeff Wolfert.
Missouri's offense clicked early as Daniel completed his first six passes in a smooth 13-play drive that ended with a 37-yard Wolfert field goal.
After New Mexico went three-and-out, Missouri went 56 yards on five plays, with Daniel hitting Rucker with a 6-yard TD. The big play in that drive was a 39-yard run by Temple.
New Mexico, which spent much of the first half with negative rushing, cut it to 10-7 on Tuohy's interception. Missouri's receivers broke upfield on the play and Daniel's pass into the flat went right into Tuohy's hands. It was Daniel's interception this season after seven TD passes.
New Mexico's defense held the Tigers on fourth down at the Lobos' 5-yard line late in the first half. That drive started with a fumble by Lobo halfback Rodney Ferguson at the New Mexico 30 that was recovered by linebacker Marcus Bacon. Daniel completed three straight short passes that got the Tigers to the New Mexico 7. On fourth-and-one from the six, Daniel tried to sneak for it and came up well short.
New Mexico's offense again gave the Tigers another opportunity when Nelson fumbled and Lorenzo Williams recovered at the Lobos' 19. But Missouri gained just 1 yard on three plays and settled for Wolfert's second field goal.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||7-16||6-14|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||0-0|
|FG||10:02||JEFF WOLFERT 37 YD FG|
Drive info: 13 plays, 61 yards.
|TD||5:13||MARTIN RUCKER 6 YD PASS FROM CHASE DANIEL (JEFF WOLFERT KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 56 yards.
|TD||10:36||MICHAEL TUOHY 11 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (KENNY BYRD KICK)||10||7|
|FG||0:23||JEFF WOLFERT 36 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, 1 yards.
|FG||0:31||KENNY BYRD 52 YD FG|
Drive info: 11 plays, 45 yards.
|TD||10:52||CHASE DANIEL 8 YD RUN (JEFF WOLFERT KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||1:46||EARL GOLDSMITH 2 YD RUN (JEFF WOLFERT KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 72 yards.
|TD||0:25||MARCUS SMITH 13 YD PASS FROM CHRIS NELSON (KENNY BYRD KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 66 yards.