AUSTIN — One team played like the No. 1 team in the country, and the other looked lucky to ever be named No. 11. One quarterback brought more Heisman cred to his name. The other was completely shut down and disheartened in Texas.
The first two drives of the game tell the story of Missouri's 56-31 loss in Austin, Texas. The Longhorns take it to the end zone in 12 plays with 6 first downs. The Tigers go three and out.
The Longhorns put together five straight touchdown drives in the first half that Missouri could not match. The Tigers could only muster a 33-yard field goal in the last second before heading to the locker room for a mid-game pep talk surely like no other this season.
"It's unacceptable," Jeremy Maclin said head coach Gary Pinkel told his team at the half.
If this was the season Missouri thought it could go all the way, this was the game that dashed those dreams.
What seemed like merely an off night for the Tiger offense in the loss to Oklahoma State turned into an all out meltdown against a surging Texas team. Quarterback Chase Daniel made barely a dent against the Longhorns, throwing for 318 yards and getting sacked twice. Even in the Oklahoma State loss, Daniel managed 390 passing yards.
"They got us out of our rhythm," Daniel said. "Anytime we're down 35 at the half, it's going to be hard to come back."
Daniel's buddy, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, stole the spotlight and dazzled in front of 98,383 fans at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium, throwing two touchdowns and running for two. He made such a showing, Texas coach Mack Brown put in sophomore quarterback John Chiles toward the end of the fourth quarter. Chiles' highlight reel included a pass to wide receiver Dan Buckener for a 51-yard touchdown.
A revived team of Tigers came into the second half, forced Texas' first punt of the night, and led a drive that ended in a 2-yard touchdown run by tailback Derrick Washington. But the Longhorns turned around and spit on Missouri's effort, bringing the score to 42-10 only 3:56 later with McCoy running 2 yards in for the score after safety Hardy Ricks drew a facemask penalty.
The Tigers' trouble ran deeper than penalties, but five flags for 46 yards did not make the night any easier on Missouri.
"We can't have negative plays," Maclin said. "Those penalties in the first two, three drives really hurt us."
The Tigers lost an opportunity to ease the sting of the score in the fourth quarter when a holding penalty put them deep in Texas territory and Daniel threw his first interception of the game. The Longhorns took over at the Missouri 15 and added another seven points within minutes.
Missouri's defense could not contain Texas running back Chris Ogbonnaya, who ran 65 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. He also caught for 68 yards. But when it wasn't Ogbonnaya, it was Jordan Shipley making plays. Or Quan Cosby. Or Brandon Collins.
For Missouri, it was tight end Chase Coffman who shined with 12 receptions and 140 yards. Coffman broke the school record for career receptions on the night, caught a pass and took it in for a 13-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Daniel made a one-yard dive in the last five minutes of the game, but the game had been out of reach for a while.
He shared a long moment with McCoy after the game before cameras and microphones descended upon the night's star.
It wasn't Daniel.