COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Brad Smith set a school record with 480
yards in total offense, ran for three scores and threw for another,
turning up the production after Missouri squandered an 18-point
first-quarter lead in a 41-24 victory over Nebraska on Saturday.
Smith had 246 yards rushing on 28 carries and was 21-for-36 for
234 yards for Missouri (5-2, 3-1 Big 12), which has won three
straight. David Overstreet had a key third-quarter interception to
help the Tigers beat Nebraska (5-2, 2-2) for the second time in
three years after winning only once in the previous 26 meetings.
Smith is the sixth quarterback in NCAA history to throw for 200
yards and run for 200 yards in the same game.
Missouri has won two straight at home over Nebraska for the
first time since 1967 and '69 when the team was coached by Dan
Devine. The final score, which gave coach Gary Pinkel his 100th
career victory, was identical to that of Missouri's victory at home
over Nebraska in 2003.
After the victory, fans tore down both goal posts.
Zac Taylor had two touchdown passes for Nebraska, which entered
the game leading the nation in rushing defense at 65 yards per
game. Missouri gouged the Cornhuskers for 277 yards on 49 carries
and totaled 523 yards.
Missouri scored on its first four possessions, three touchdowns
and a field goal, to take a 24-10 lead. A pair of turnovers that
led to quick scores helped Nebraska tie it at 24 at the half,
before Missouri took control again after the break.
Smith's 45-yard run late in the third quarter, his third carry
of 40 or more yards, put Missouri ahead to stay at 31-24. In the
first quarter he was untouched on a career-long 79-yarder and had a
53-yarder to the Nebraska 16 that set up his 4-yard scoring run.
Smith moved to second in career quarterback rushing, trailing
only Antwaan Randle El of Indiana from 1998-01, passing Dee Dowis
of Air Force and Joshua Cribbs of Kent State. He's also second on
Missouri's scoring list with 236 points.
Everything worked in the first quarter for Missouri's offense,
which needed only 13 plays to score three touchdowns on its first
three possession while running up a 21-3 lead. Smith's 79-yarder
came on the first play after a Nebraska punt, and the Tigers also
were successful on fourth-and-1 from their own 43 late in the
period when Smith hit Sean Coffey for a 37-yard gain that led to a
field goal by Adam Crossett for a 24-10 lead early in the second.
Smith also threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Saunders for
the first score of the game. Saunders alertly grabbed the ball in
the end zone after it popped out of teammate William Franklin's
hands, a play reminiscent of Matt Davison's miracle grab that beat
Missouri in 1998 after the ball was kicked in the air by teammate
A blocked punt by Daniel Bullocks and a fumble recovery by Jay
Moore after Barry Turner's sack of Smith led to two quick scores
that helped Nebraska tie it at 24 at halftime. Bullocks recovered
the blocked punt at the 1 and Cody Glenn scored on the next play,
and Nebraska needed two plays to tie it on Zac Taylor's 8-yard pass
to Nate Swift after Moore returned the fumble to the 8.
Taylor had two touchdown passes in the half, also hitting Todd
Peterson for a 34-yard score.
After surviving the Les Miles telenovela, which landed LSU's big cigars at No. 5, we're left to ponder who can claim the Bottom 10 title.
Western Kentucky quarterback Brandon Doughty has put up big numbers for the Hilltoppers, but he still faces doubters about his NFL readiness.
The drama is over after the Sooners took care of business in the Big 12. The only anticipation remaining is who their opponent will be in the playoff?
The Cardinal remain within striking distance of a playoff berth if circumstances fall their way. But it remains a long shot.
The Tar Heels still have a lot of ground to cover in the rankings, but the committee has shown an affinity for conference champions in the past.
On Tuesday, Missouri interviewed Cal football coach Sonny Dykes for the team's head-coaching vacancy, sources confirmed to ESPN.com.