Red-zone failure ends Missouri’s title dream

Sunday, December 2, 2007 | 12:30 a.m. CST; updated 11:22 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

SAN ANTONIO - While Missouri could not locate the end zone, Oklahoma found it with regularity.

Before the Sooners blew open the game in the fourth quarter, the teams were even, except for when they approached the goal line.

After the loss, quarterback Chase Daniel kept bringing up the missed chances. “They made plays when we didn’t, and that’s the bottom line. Inside the red zone, it’s usually lights out for us,” he said.

The Tigers had four chances inside OU’s 10-yard line but scored only one touchdown. The Sooners had six chances, scoring five touchdowns and only settling for a field goal late in the fourth quarter when the Tigers’ national title hopes had completely faded.

MU missed its biggest chance in the second quarter when it seemed like Daniel had scored a touchdown on a 9-yard draw. Daniel said he thought he had scored. The line judge almost raised his hands, but after deliberating, the officials placed it at the 1-yard line. Coach Gary Pinkel said he didn’t challenge the call after hearing from his assistants upstairs that the ball had not crossed the goal line.

The Tigers still had two more chances. But tailback Jimmy Jackson was stuffed, and Daniel tried another draw but lost two yards. Kicker Jeff Wolfert came out and made an 18-yard field goal.

The Sooners only kicked extra points. They pounded the ball incessantly with their running backs. When their tight ends slipped away from the line, quarterback Sam Bradford found them for touchdowns.

Daniel had no touchdown passes. “We settled for field goals. … That’s a main thing that we need to get fixed for the bowl game,” he said.

INJURY UPDATE: Tight end Chase Coffman did not play against Oklahoma because of his injured right ankle, Pinkel said. Coffman has some bone spurs in the ankle, but it won’t require surgery. He should be 100 percent for the bowl game, Pinkel said.

Wide receiver Danario Alexander injured his knee in the second quarter and did not return. Pinkel said Alexander will get an MRI, but he has no idea about his status for the bowl game.

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