COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Chase Daniel was close to perfect in an otherwise sloppy final tuneup for No. 5 Missouri.
Daniel passed for a career-high 439 yards and set a Big 12 record with 20 consecutive completions, helping the Tigers overcome a rash of errors in a 42-21 victory over Buffalo on Saturday.
The Tigers (4-0) lost three fumbles in Buffalo territory and special teams mistakes led to two of the Bulls' touchdowns, keeping the game close well into the second half against a 33 1/2-point underdog.
Missouri, which had two turnovers in the first three games, fell short of 50 points for the first time this season in a game that drew sellout attendance of 65,556.
"You look at everything we have done to this game and there's been no adversity at all," Daniel said. "We're not going to go through the season without adversity, and we were able to face it today."
Derrick Washington scored on a pair of short runs in the Tigers' final game before beginning Big 12 play at Nebraska on Oct. 4. Washington has nine touchdowns in his first year as starting tailback, and at least two each game.
Ernest Jackson scored all three touchdowns for Buffalo (2-2), on a 97-yard kickoff return and receptions of 32 and 3 yards from Drew Willy. The Bulls, coached by former Nebraska quarterback Turner Gill, trailed by only three late in the first half and by six midway through the third quarter before Missouri pulled away.
"Our belief level was high because we are a Division I school just like any other team," Jackson said. "We don't look down upon ourselves at all."
Gill was 15-1 against Missouri in 16 years as a player and assistant coach at Nebraska.
"I'm so familiar with everything here, nothing really fazes me," Gill said. "I just tried to describe to the players what it was going to be like so they could be like I am, somewhat comfortable, and just realize it's just another football game and another football field."
Missouri entered the game leading the nation with 57 points per game and scored on 15 straight possessions led by Daniel, 13 touchdowns and two field goals, over two games before coming up empty on three second-quarter drives. One ended with Jake Harry's ninth punt of the season and the other two ended on lost fumbles after receptions by Chase Coffman at the Buffalo 38 and Jared Perry at the Buffalo 12.
That made a huge disparity in total yards, with Missouri at 590 and Buffalo at 286, less meaningful.
"We probably overdid the adversity," Pinkel said. "Obviously I didn't do a very good job because I like to think I'm a pretty good coach and I have a well-coached team, and we didn't look that way out there today."
Daniel was 36-for-43 for two touchdowns, and fell three completions shy of the NCAA record of 23 in a row shared by Tennessee's Tee Martin (1998) and Cal's Aaron Rodgers (2004) when he and Jeremy Maclin missed connections on fourth-and-1 midway through the third quarter. The previous Big 12 record was 18 straight shared by Iowa State's Seneca Wallace (2001) and Oklahoma's Sam Bradford (2007), and Daniel had shared the previous school record of 15 in a row with Kent Kiefer (1990), setting it over two games in 2007.
Daniel topped his previous career best of 421 passing yards at Colorado last season and also became the fifth Big 12 quarterback to top 10,000 career yards in total offense. His 83.7 completion percentage is the best in school history for a minimum 30 passes.
Jeff Wolfert hit two field goals, including a 48-yarder, before missing wide left on a 53-yard attempt in the fourth quarter for his first miss in seven attempts this season.
Missouri lost two fumbles, gave up the kickoff return TD and had a roughing the kicker penalty to keep alive Buffalo's other scoring drive in a mistake-filled first half. The Tigers led 20-14, their first challenge since trailing Illinois 13-10 early in a 52-42 opening victory.
Jackson was untouched on the kickoff return late in the first quarter, the first in two seasons for a school averaging 20.6 yards, and the first against Missouri since 1999. Brian Coulter was whistled for running into punter Peter Fardon, keeping alive a Buffalo drive capped by Willy's 32-yard touchdown pass to Jackson in the second quarter.