AMES, IOWA — At the site of the 2006 Tigers’ heartbreaking loss, things went Missouri’s way before the team even arrived at Jack Trice Stadium to begin a 52-20 win over Iowa State.
Kansas fell to Texas, and the Tigers guaranteed their spot in the Big 12 Conference Championship against a South team yet to be determined.
Senior quarterback Chase Daniel tried to watch the Kansas-Texas game before his own, but the Tigers’ hotel did not offer FSN. He found out the score though before getting on the bus.
“Texas took care of business, and we did too,” Daniel said. “It’s as easy as that.”
Iowa State, still winless against Big 12 teams, gave up 479 yards in their ninth straight loss. Sophomore tailback Derrick Washington ran for 128 of those yards and added two touchdowns to his team-high collection of 16.
“We knew these guys were soft on the run so we exploited that,” Washington said.
Daniel completed 32 of 40 passes, with one interception and a sack. Daniel tied former Missouri quarterback Brad Smith’s school record of 102 touchdowns, throwing a 43-yard completion when Maclin found empty space down the middle of the field in the third quarter.
Even with a wind chill of 21 degrees in Ames, Pinkel and players said the temperature was not a factor in their play.
“To be honest,” Daniel said, “Once you get out there and get going, it’s not that cold.”
Missouri started the night strong but with a slower tempo than in the past. The Tigers took 10 plays to move the ball 56 yards before Daniel threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Tommy Saunders in the first quarter.
Missouri’s next possession became its longest of the season: 17 plays in 6:29. The drive that began with 10 plays in the first quarter culminated in a 2-yard touchdown by Washington who took the direct snap in the second quarter.
“We want to start fast every game and make a statement,” Washington said. “But if the defense does certain things we take the drives slower. We do what we need to do.”
The Tigers were back to their quick-scoring ways near the end of the first half when Washington dodged defenders and switched sides of the field in a 52-yard run to the end zone.
“I had a nice cutback lane open, and the guys made the blocks,” Washington said. “It’s fun when it happens fast too.”
Iowa State could not convert momentum into touchdowns. Even with penalties and fumble recoveries in their favor, the Cyclones could only score on field goals in the third quarter. Iowa State was able to add seven points in the last quarter on a 25-yard pass to Collin Franklin, but Missouri responded with a touchdown.
The Tiger defense looked poised to allow another late touchdown, until sophomore defensive back Carl Gettis caught an interception in the end zone and ran it back 27 yards. Missouri turned the drive into one more score — senior tailback Jimmy Jackson’s second of the night.
“That just says, ‘Hey, we’re resilient,’” Daniel said. “We’re not going to back down.”