COLUMBIA - So much for a shootout.
Even Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel predicted the match-up between his No. 3 team and No. 17 Oklahoma State would be a display of undeniable offenses.
"It'll be a good show for the fans," Daniel said Monday. "I think it's going to be a great offensive showdown."
But at halftime, the score was a measly 10-7. This was not the game Tiger fans hoped to see. It was not the game a Heisman hopeful needed to have.
Sporting a new Mohawk and the No. 25 jersey, Daniel just was not himself. He came into the game as the nation's fifth-most efficient passer, but threw an uncharacteristic 13 incompletions and three interceptions. His normally laser-accurate passes were replaced by high balls and throws into coverage. He punched the air, shook his head and gritted his teeth on the sideline.
But if he looked mad during the game, afterward he just looked glum. After a press conference, he lingered in the dark outside the locker room, hugging his girlfriend for a long time before sitting quietly with her on a golf cart.
"This loss is going to sting," he said during the press conference.
Oklahoma State limited Missouri to 390 passing yards and 23 points. The Tigers' lowest score this season had been 42 points in a win over Buffalo.
"I just couldn't make the throws," he said. "It's not rocket science."
Oklahoma State's No. 54-ranked scoring defense broke Missouri's opening drive scoring streak. Until the Cowboys forced them to settle for a field goal after 5:40, the Tigers had scored a touchdown on the first possession in the last five games.
On Missouri's second drive, the Cowboys shot down another Tiger streak: 52 drives without going three and out. The team that had only called on the punter twice in the last three games punted four times on Saturday.
"Everybody expects perfect from Chase," head coach Gary Pinkel said. "He did a lot of great things out there."
With just over six minutes left, Missouri still trailed 28-17. Finally, the 2008 Tigers showed up, but not for long enough. A rapid drive that ended with a 7-yard pass to Denario Alexander and a missed two-point conversion opportunity could not give Missouri the momentum it needed to finish the game in its favor.
"It's just you feel just a sense of let down," Daniel said.
Oklahoma State put pressure on Daniel and the offense with constant blitzes, forcing bad throws and preventing any success in the running game. The Tigers ended with 28 rushing yards.
"We couldn't do anything on the ground," Derrick Washington said.
Daniel led the team with 63 rushing yards. The quarterback who often resembles an armadillo, sliding and curling up for safety after a scramble, charged ahead and took hits after a 23-yard run and others. But he could not shine in his normal role.
"I should have made the throws," Daniel said. "It's as easy as that."