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NCAA 09 Preview: Illinois

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 four-minute quarters. This installment previews the season opener against the Illinois Fighting Illini.

Maclin TD reception gives Mizzou comeback win in 2OT thriller

ST. LOUIS - The Missouri Tigers entered the 2008 season opener with national title aspirations. They very nearly exited with a season opening loss.

However, a 5-yard TD pass from Chase Daniel to Jeremy Maclin in double overtime gave No. 7 Missouri a 26-23 win over the No. 18 Illinois Fighting Illini at the Edward Jones Dome.

The game began slowly, as the game's first three drives resulted in punts. The teams ended the first quarter still scoreless with Missouri (1-0, 0-0) about to punt.

On the first play of the second quarter, the Illini finally got their offense moving. Two first downs put Illinois (0-1, 0-0) on its own 41 when Juice Williams and Daniel Dufrene put Illinois on top.

Mizzou brought all three linebackers as well as safety William Moore but failed to disguise the blitz, as Williams quickly checked down to Dufrene, who sprinted down the left sideline for a 59-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Illinois lead.

Mizzou responded with a scoring drive of its own, going 77 yards (including a conversion on 4th-and-2 to Chase Coffman to put the Tigers in the red zone) to set up a 32-yard field goal by Jeff Wolfert to cut the lead to 7-3. However, the deficit would not remain at four for long.

On the first play from scrimmage following the kickoff, Williams and receiver Rejus Benn exploited Mizzou's Cover 2, as Williams found Benn on a corner route which he proceeded to take 66 yards for a touchdown. The catch-and-run included a highlight hurdle over safety Justin Garrett near the right sideline. Mizzou then went three-and-out to end the half trailing 14-3.

In the second half, Illinois began moving the ball again until Williams was temporarily knocked out with a bruised sternum. Eddie McGee, who subbed for an injured Williams against Missouri the year before, briefly kept the offense moving before the Illini put a punt through the Mizzou endzone.

On the ensuing Missouri possession, the Tiger offense got the big play it was lacking. On third and inches at the MU 30, Jeremy Maclin took a pitch from Chase Daniel 70 yards untouched down the left side of the field to cut the score to 14-10. The score stood entering the fourth quarter.

Illinois methodically tried to kill the clock for most of the fourth quarter, using a 14-play, 86-yard drive and a 23-yard field goal to make the score 17-10 Illinois with only 1:44 remaining.

After the kickoff, Mizzou responded swiftly, opening the drive with a 32-yard bubble screen to Tommy Saunders to get Mizzou down to the UI 28. On the next play, a draw to Derrick Washington netted 16 yards.

Five plays later, Jimmy Jackson plunged into the endzone on a Pistol-formation counter with 0:16 remaining. The Wolfert PAT effectively sent the game to overtime.

In overtime, Illinois won the toss and elected to play defense first. Daniel connected with Saunders on a crossing route for 16-yards on the first play, but Illinois forced Mizzou to settle for a Wolfert field goal. Illinois proceeded to go three-and-out, forcing second overtime with a field goal to make the score 20-20.

In second overtime, Illinois once again went three-and-out, settling for a field goal and opening up the stage for the Missouri offense. On the first play, a 22-yard bubble screen to Maclin moved Mizzou down to the 3-yard line. After Jackson and Daniel were stuffed on consecutive rushing attempts, the Tigers went five wide, allowing Maclin to find a hole in Illinois' zone, securing the pass on the drag route to preserve the win.


Scoring summary, stats, and other Big 12 scores available after the jump.


1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q OT 2OT Total
Illinois 0 14 0 3 3 3 23
Mizzou 0 3 7 7 3 6 26

Second Quarter

UI - Dufrene 58 pass from Williams (Cklamovski kick), 3:01

MU - FG Wolfert 32, 1:02

UI - Benn 66 pass from Williams (Cklamovski kick), 0:47

Third Quarter

MU - Maclin 70 run (Wolfert kick), 1:33

Fourth Quarter

UI - FG Cklamovski 23, 1:43

MU - Jackson 1 Run (Wolfert kick), 0:13


MU - FG Wolfert 28

IU - FG Cklamovski 39

IU - FG Cklamovski 34

MU - Maclin 5 pass from Daniel





Att. Comp. Yards TD INT Rating
MU - Daniel 21 29 198 1 0 141.1
UI - Williams 12 15 223 2 0 248.8
UI - McGee 1 1 8 0 0 167.2



Carries Yards TD
MU - Washington 4 10 0
MU - Daniel 2 -3 0
MU - Jackson 2 1 1
MU - Maclin 1 70 1
UI - Dufrene 10 26 0
UI - Williams 4 8 0
UI - McGee 2 -2 0
UI - Benn 2 10 0



Rec. Yards TD
MU- Coffman 5 51 0
MU - Maclin 4 52 1
MU - Perry 3 9 0
MU - Washington 3 34 0
MU - Saunders 2 47 0
MU - Gissinger 1 5 0
IU - Benn 4 94 1
IU - Hudson 3 36 0
IU - Gamble 2 25 0
IU - Judson 1 3 0
IU - James 1 1 0
IU - Smith 1 14 0
IU - Dufrene 1 58 1




Total yards: UI 265, MU 240

Passing yards: UI 231, MU 198

Rushing yards: MU 42, UI 34

First downs: MU 10, UI 8

Third down conversions: MU (5-11), UI (4-9)

Turnovers: MU 0, UI 0

Possession: UI 8:16, MU 7:50


Iowa State 56, "FCS Northwest" 7 - Cyclones rack up over 600 yards of offense
Oklahoma 48, "FCS Southeast" 7 - Murray rushes for 185 yards on 17 carries
Kansas State 28, North Texas 23 - 70-yard TD pass from Freeman in last minute saves win for KSU
Texas 40, Florida Atlantic 21 - McCoy throws for 308 yards and 3 TD
Western Michigan 28, Nebraska 14 - Two Ganz TD passes aren't enough to avoid loss in Lincoln
Wake Forest 31, Baylor 9 - Skinner picks apart Baylor D for 3 TD
Kansas 31, FIU 17 - Reesing held to 154 passing yards
Texas Tech 59, "FCS Northwest" 3 - Crabtree held to 63 yards, but Britton racks up 164
Washington State 31, Oklahoma State 13 - Cowboys outgained 479-284 by Wazzou
Texas A&M 40, Arkansas State 10 - Sherman/Kines' D holds Arky St. to 110 total yards
Colorado 35, Colorado State 10 - 21-point third quarter seals it for CU