Lined up in the shotgun at the Kansas State 15-yard line, quarterback Chase Daniel surveyed the Kansas State defense.
The rain continued to pour down, splashing off of players’ helmets and the now half-empty bleachers. The game was already over — Missouri was up 34-14 with a quarter to play — but the Tigers, who went on to win 41-21, could accomplish something more in this game.
The ball was snapped, and bursts of water shot out from where the receivers’ feet hit the soaked turf.
Daniel rolled left, looking for an open receiver. He had already thrown three touchdowns, tying him with Terry McMillan’s efforts in 1969 for the Missouri single-season record of touchdown passes with 18. If he could find somebody, this would be the new record.
Looking to the left corner, and then the right, Daniel kept moving as the line pancaked defenders. Then he saw tight end Chase Coffman crossing over the middle. He had about a step on the defender. That was all he needed.
Daniel rifled the ball into Coffman’s stomach about three yards away from the end zone. The Wildcats were determined to keep him out. Coffman, though, started plowing over the defenders.
“I just try to get as many yards once I catch it as I can,” he said. “I don’t think out there; I just do it. Of course I love hitting guys. That’s why I play the game.”
Stretching out his towering 6-foot-7 frame, Coffman extended the ball far enough for a touchdown. Daniel was in the Missouri record books yet again.
Cars snaked around Stadium Drive and the exodus of fans, because of the rain and blowout win, continued through the tunnel. They likely had little to no idea as to what just happened. Chase Daniel, usually cognizant of such things, had no clue himself.
“I didn’t even know it. I guess it’s pretty cool,” Daniel said. “Eighteen is a little low it seems, but I guess they didn’t throw it as much in the past. There have been some great quarterbacks that have come through here.”
Wide receiver Will Franklin, who has caught for six of Daniel’s touchdown passes this season, wasn’t surprised that his quarterback set the record.
“This was just another record that this guy’s going to break,” Franklin said. “He’s just a hell of a quarterback. You can expect more of the same thing this year and next.”
Older players, such as tight end Martin Rucker, have been expecting this since Daniel set foot on the field.
“I said he’d do stuff like this when the kid got here,” Rucker said. “We knew that he was something special. All of those (passing) records are within his reach.”
Missouri’s win snapped a 13-game losing streak against K-State, who dropped to 4-4 overall with a 1-3 Big 12 record. The streak was dismissed before the game, but coach Gary Pinkel said it was something on his mind.
“Well, it just hangs on you a little bit,” he said. “I could sit there and lie to you and say it’s no big deal, but that’s why we talk about it.”
The win moved the Tigers (7-1, 3-1 Big 12 Conference) back into a tie with Nebraska for first place in the Big 12 North after the Cornhuskers (6-2, 3-1) lost to Texas earlier in the afternoon. With just four games left in the season and back-to-back games against Oklahoma and Nebraska, Missouri will need Daniel to continue executing and putting up good numbers in order to win.