To both better prepare for football season and to better illustrate our nerd-dom, over the next few weeks, RMN will be using EA Sports' NCAA Football 09 to predict the 2008 football season for Mizzou and the rest of the Big 12. The games are run without human involvement under game-predicted conditions and six-minute quarters. This installment previews the Rose Bowl, featuring Mizzou and USC.
Sanchez's four interceptions help Mizzou to 28-7 Rose Bowl win
PASADENA, CALIF. - 2007 saw Missouri left out of the BCS party when the Rose Bowl opted for Illinois to matchup against USC.
This year, No. 6 Missouri got its shot at No. 5 USC, defeating the Trojans 28-7.
Pete Carroll came out in the mood to gamble, as Mizzou stopped USC on a 4th-and-2 near midfield early in the first quarter.
On Mizzou's following drive, Chase Daniel hit Tommy Saunders on a 10-yard cross route before Saunders was absolutely annihilated by Rey Maualuga. Saunders fumbled the football, giving Taylor Mays a chance for a 51-yard scoop 'n score.
Things didn't get much better on Mizzou's next possession, with Daniel misfiring on a pass to Saunders that was intercepted by Cary Harris.
However, Mizzou took momentum back. After a false start by USC after the Harris pick, Mark Sanchez floated an out route that was intercepted by Del Howard at the MU 43.
Mizzou tied the game on its next possession, with Danario Alexander hauling in a 5-yard fade for a touchdown despite pass interference on the USC secondary.
USC was able to push the ball past midfield on the following drive, but once again turned the ball over when Sanchez was picked by Justin Garrett.
Daniel returned the favor on the very next play, throwing an interception to Maualuga at the MU 38. Three plays later, it was another Sanchez interception, this time to Castine Bridges.
The Tigers took their first lead late in the second quarter, with Daniel getting spun around in midair on a 2-yard QB draw for a touchdown. A Wolfert PAT made the score 14-7 with under two minutes left in the first half.
After Sanchez's fourth interception of the game, Daniel hit Alexander again, putting Mizzou up 21-7 at halftime.
USC couldn't muster any points on the opening drive of the second half, but Mizzou only needed two plays to get in the end zone on its opening drive of that half.
Derrick Washington took an option pitch from Daniel 85 yards down the left sideline, putting Mizzou up three touchdowns.
USC drove the ball inside the Mizzou 30 late in the third quarter, but consecutive sacks by Stryker Sulak and Jaron Baston forced the Trojans to turn the ball over on downs.
USC would get inside the MU 10 on its next drive, but a batted down pass in the endzone forced another Trojan turnover on downs.
The win was a record 13th of the season for Mizzou. The Tigers finished third in all major polls, also a school record.
Scoring, stats, and bowl results after the jump
USC - Mays 51 fumble return (Buehler kick)
MU - Alexander 5 pass from Daniel (Wolfert kick)
MU - Daniel 2 run (Wolfert kick)
MU - Alexander 4 pass from Daniel (Wolfert kick)
MU - Washington 85 run (Wolfert kick)
Total yards: MU 287, USC 221
Passing yards: MU 182, USC 161
Rushing yards: MU 105, USC 60
First downs: USC 12, MU 11
Turnovers: USC 4, MU 3
Time of possession: MU 14:27, USC 9:36
|MU - Daniel||23||29||182||2||2||140.9|
|MU - Patton||0||1||0||0||0||0.0|
|USC - Sanchez||15||28||161||0||4||73.2|
|MU - Washington||10||92||1|
|MU - Daniel||6||30||1|
|MU - Jackson||4||-1||0|
|USC - Johnson||19||61||0|
|USC - Turner||2||5||0|
|USC - Sanchez||1||5||0|
|MU Receiving (Rec./Yards/TD)||USC Receiving (Rec./Yards/TD)|
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BOWL WEEK RESULTS (BCS AND BIG 12)
National Championship: Ohio State 39, Florida 22 - Bucks finally get that "SEC/National Championship" gorilla off their backs
Orange: Miami 45, USF 34 - Canes beat Big East champs in a Sunshine State showdown
Fiesta: Arizona State 40, Oklahoma 34 - Sun Devils win in 3 OT. No word if it was on a statue of liberty play.
Sugar: Wisconsin 32, Auburn 28 - PJ Hill rushes for 148 and one TD
Cotton: Texas 33, Tennessee 17 - Two picks and a fumble by Crompton kill Vols in the battle for the name "UT" and/or the color orange
Holiday: Oregon State 21, Kansas State 12 - Coffman throws 4 INT in place of injured Freeman
Texas: UAB 24, Texas Tech 21 - Wait, what??
Humanitarian: Kansas 35, Boston College 21 - Kansas camouflages perfectly into blue turf
Insight: Texas A&M 26, Air Force 23 - Ags get bowl win on double OT field goal