Missouri knocks off top-ranked Oklahoma

Saturday, October 23, 2010 | 11:12 p.m. CDT; updated 12:16 a.m. CDT, Sunday, October 24, 2010
Missouri linebacker Will Ebner celebrates a tackle for a loss Saturday against Oklahoma.

COLUMBIA — Missouri's Gahn McGaffie ran back the opening kickoff of Saturday's Oklahoma-Missouri game 86 yards for a touchdown, sending a sold-out Memorial Stadium into a frenzy. But the chaos in the stands after the opening play was nothing in comparison to the celebration on the field after the Tigers defeated Oklahoma, ranked No. 1 in the BCS standings, 36-27.

A sea of gold-clad fans stormed the field during the final play, and stayed to party when the clocked reached 0:00.

Noteworthy win

  • Before tonight, Missouri had lost seven straight against Oklahoma and last beat the Sooners in 1998. Oklahoma had won 19 of the past 20 games in the series, dating back to 1984. It is Gary Pinkel's first win against Sooners coach Bob Stoops.
  • The last time Oklahoma was Missouri's homecoming opponent was 1998, also the last time Missouri defeated the Sooners.
  • Oklahoma was the team to upset Missouri the last time it was No. 1 with a 38-17 win in the 2007 Big 12 championship game
  • Oklahoma's record in Columbia was 32-15 going into tonight's game.
  • Missouri has not been 7-0 since 1960, when Dan Devine's team went 9-0 and earned a No. 1 ranking before losing to Kansas (a game that was later forfeited back to MU because of the use of ineligible players and still disputed by Kansas). Missouri won its final game after the controversial finish.
  • Missouri's first 7-0 season came in 1899. 1899, 1960 and 2010 are now Missouri's only 7-0 starts.
  • Missouri hasn't beaten a top-five team since upsetting No. 2 Kansas 36-28 on Nov. 24, 2007.
  • A No. 1 team has been upset in each of the last three weeks. Last week, then-No.1 Ohio State lost 31-18 at Wisconsin, and the week prior Alabama lost its top ranking at South Carolina 35-21.
  • If Missouri, currently No. 11 in the BCS, moves into a top-10 ranking, it will be the third time since 2002 that the Tigers have broken the top 10 of a national poll. Missouri finished No. 4 in the Associated Press and No. 5 in the USA Today in 2007 and ranked as high as No. 2 in 2008 before falling to 16 in USA Today and 19 in the Associated Press.

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McGaffie's touchdown might have given a different impression, but the game was not easy sailing for the Tigers.

The air was taken out of the stadium after Carl Gettis fumbled a punt return and Oklahoma recovered. Eight plays later, Kenny Stills was wide open on Gettis' side of the field, and easily stepped into the end zone for a 27-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Landry Jones. An extra-point kick later, the score was tied at 7-7.

An Aldon Smith interception and 58-yard return put the Tigers deep in Oklahoma territory and the Tigers took the lead with a one-yard De'Vion Moore rushing touchdown.

Oklahoma threatened to tie the game, driving the ball to the Missouri 14 yard line, but Missouri defensive end Michael Sam forced a fumble after a Mossis Madu reception. Missouri safety Jasper Simmons recovered the ball, but the Tiger offense could not convert the turnover into points.

Jones and the Oklahoma defense would tie the game with a 14-play, 89-yard scoring drive, capped by a five-yard touchdown pass from Jones to running back DeMarco Murray.

With 4:08 remaining in the first half, the Tigers drove the ball into the redzone, but a holding penalty by Jayson Palmgren wiped out a possible Blaine Gabbert touchdown run and forced Missouri to settle for a Grant Ressel 36-field goal to end the half with a 17-14 lead.

On Missouri's first offensive series in the second half, Blaine Gabbert found Michael Egnew with a pass that should have resulted in a first down. While being tackled, Oklahoma safety Jonathan Nelson stripped the ball from Egnew's hands, flinging the ball 10 yards. Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson fell on the ball, putting Oklahoma only 22 yards from the endzone.

The Sooners attempted a 30-yard field goal, but kicker Jimmy Stevens pulled the kick wide to the left. Missouri drove down the field and attempted a 30-yard field goal of their own. Grant Ressel converted, giving the Tigers a 20-14 lead.

After the Ressel field goal, Jones led the Sooners on a 12-play, 69-yard touchdown drive that only saw one third down. The three-yard Jones touchdown pass to James Hanna tied the game at 20 and Jimmy Stevens' extra point put the Sooners on top.

Jerrell Jackson gave the Tigers the lead with a 38-yard touchdown catch. Catching the ball at the 10-yard line,  the Texas-native spun to his right, eluding two Oklahoma defenders. Jackson was able to walk into the endzone.  

On the first play of Oklahoma's next possession Missouri linebacker Zaviar Gooden jumped a screen-pass route, intercepting Jones' pass. The interception gave the Tigers the ball at the Oklahoma 22 yard line. 

The Tigers moved the the one-yard line with a trick play in which tight end Michael Engew made a catch and pitched the ball to Kendial Lawrence. The Tiger running back was pushed out of bounds three feet from the endzone, but the Tigers were unable to gain the yard on their next three plays. Grant Ressel knocked through a 23-yard field goal to push the Tigers' lead to eight points, 29-21.

Stringing together three consecutive big-yard plays to put the ball on the Oklahoma 3 yard line, the Tigers brought in freshman James Franklin at quarterback. With Gabbert lined up as a wide receiver, Franklin ran the ball up the middle, pushed the pile of lineman, and put the final nail in Oklahoma's coffin. Grant Ressel's extra point made the score 36-21.

The following Missouri kickoff was fumbled and recovered by Madu. On the broken play, Madu ran around the Missouri coverage, 77 yards to the Missouri 15 yard line. On the first two plays, Missouri was flagged for two penalties moving Oklahoma to the two yard line. Columbia-native Trey Millard ran up the middle for two-yard touchdown, bringing the Sooners within nine. Oklahoma opted to go for the two-point conversion, but Jones' pass was deflected in the endzone and ruled incomplete by the referees. 

A Matt Grabner punt put the Sooners at their own 7 yard line with no timeouts remaining and under three minutes to play. Jones and the Sooner offense were unable to gain a yard against a tenacious Missouri pass rush. Oklahoma punted the ball in an act of concession.

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Peggy Marion October 24, 2010 | 10:52 a.m.

Awesome. Just awesome. It brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations, everybody!

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Lyndsey Nelson October 25, 2010 | 4:16 p.m.

I, luckily, was filming the game right at that awesome kick off return! We all sort of freaked out, so the filming is subpar, haha!

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