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NCAA 09: Kansas

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 Armageddon at Arrowhead, version 2.0.

Undefeated regular season complete with 24-17 Border War victory

       KANSAS CITY, MO. - Last season in Kansas City, Missouri ended Kansas' bid at perfection with a potential national championship berth hanging in the balance.
       Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium, No. 14 Kansas had a chance to return the favor, but No. 1 Missouri capped an undefeated regular season with a 24-17 Border War win over the Jayhawks.
       Missouri (12-0, 8-0) entered the game having already clinched the Big 12 North. Kansas (8-4, 4-4) had already suffered conference losses to Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Kansas State.
       Mizzou came out fired up on the 35-degree afternoon, sporting gold pants for the first time of the 2008 season. However, much like 2007, both teams opened the game with offensive three-and-outs.
       The game's first big momentum swing came on Mizzou's second drive, as a Chase Daniel QB draw on 4th-and-1 at the KU 35 was stopped for a turnover on downs. 
       Kansas failed to capitalize, though, again being forced three-and-out. A 33-yard punt return by Jared Perry put Mizzou right back at the KU 35.
       Mizzou drove down to the KU 1, but again faced a 4th-and-1. Mizzou went four-wide, with Daniel opting to give the ball to Derrick Washington up the middle for the game's first score.
       The Mizzou touchdown appeared to wake up Todd Reesing and company, as the Jayhawks responded with an 11-play, 66-yard touchdown drive, ending with a 7-yard screen pass for Jake Sharp.
       Mizzou came back and moved the ball across midfield, until a tipped Daniel pass ended up in the hands of Darrell Stuckey. The Tigers got the ball back with just over 2:00 remaining in the first half after Kansas' third three-and-out.
       Daniel ran the two-minute drill to near-perfection, pushing the Tigers 60 yards in 11 plays. Daniel found Tommy Saunders on a drag route along the goalline for a 6-yard touchdown with 14 seconds remaining in the half. The touchdown gave the Tigers a 14-7 lead heading into halftime.
       Kansas received the ball to start the second half, but on the second play of KU's opening drive, Hardy Ricks jarred the ball loose from Sharp, resulting in a Carl Gettis fumble recovery at the KU 32.
       Daniel drove the Tigers inside the KU 10, but Mizzou couldn't get much further from there. Missouri settled for a 22-yard field goal from Jeff Wolfert to extend the lead to 10.
       KU answered on its next possession, getting a 50-yard field goal from Stephen Hoge to make the score 17-10. The 17-10 score lasted the remaining duration of the third quarter, with Kansas driving into MU territory, down 7.
       Mizzou forced Kansas into a 4th-and-4 inside the MU red zone, but Todd Reesing rewarded Mark Mangino's faith in him by converting with a 7-yard reception to give Kansas a new set of downs.
       Two plays later, Reesing scrambled to his right for a 2-yard touchdown run. A Hoge PAT tied the game at 17. 
       Mizzou was forced to punt on its next possession, as Daniel was temporarily sidelined with bruised ribs. 
       But a huge hit by Will Ebner on Dezmon Briscoe on punt coverage forced a fumble covered by Del Howard. The special teams momentum swing gave Mizzou the ball inside the KU 30.
       Yet, backup Chase Patton threw an interception in the end zone on the resulting drive to give Kansas the ball back. On Kansas' next drive, Brock Christopher took the ball back, picking off Reesing on a corner route, returning the ball to Mizzou with under two minutes to play.
       Daniel returned for the ensuing drive. Daniel completed three passes before finding Tommy Saunders for the game's most controversial play.
Saunders caught the ball on the KU 15 on a 10-yard crossing route, before fumbling and losing the ball at the KU 7. However, video review overturned the call, ruling Saunders down by contact, with 47 seconds left to play and Mizzou inside the Kansas 10.
       On the very next play, Daniel pitched the ball to Washington on an option to the right for the go-ahead touchdown with 42 seconds left to play.
       On Kansas' first play after the Mizzou kickoff, Sean Weatherspoon picked off Reesing for the Kansas QB's second interception of the day. On the next play, Washington took a handoff off tackle for a 12-yard gain, sealing the Mizzou victory with a first down. 
       With the win, Mizzou will return to Arrowhead undefeated for the Big 12 Championship against Oklahoma next week. Last season, it was Oklahoma who ended No. 1 Missouri's bid for a national championship shot.

Scoring, stats, Big 12 results and standings, and BCS rankings after the jump.


KANSAS 0 7 3 7 17
MIZZOU 7 7 3 7 24

First Quarter
MU - Washington 1 run (Wolfert kick)

Second Quarter
KU - Sharp 7 pass from Reesing (Hoge kick)
MU - Saunders 6 pass from Daniel (Wolfert kick)

Third Quarter
MU - FG Wolfert 22
KU - FG Hoge 50

Fourth Quarter
KU - Reesing 2 run (Hoge kick)
MU - Washington 8 run (Wolfert kick)


Total yards: MU 261, KU 201
Passing yards: MU 216, KU 171
Rushing yards: MU 45, KU 30
First downs: MU 14, KU 10
Turnovers: KU 4, MU 2
Time of possession: MU 13:58, KU 10:06

Comp. Att. Yards TD INT Rating
MU - Daniel 21 26 195 1 1 148.7
MU - Patton 2 3 21 0 1 58.8
KU - Reesing 16 22 171 1 2 134.8
Carries Yards TD
MU - Washington 15 50 2
MU - Daniel 12 -5 0
MU - Jackson 2 4 0
MU - Alexander 2 -2 0
KU - Sharp 12 24 0
KU - Reesing 6 10 1
KU - Crawford 2 2 0
KU - Pendleton 1 -2 0
MU Receiving (Rec./Yards/TD) KU Receiving (Rec./Yards/TD)
Saunders (7/74/1)
Perry (5/62/0)
Washington (4/19/0)
Alexander (3/15/0)
Coffman (2/25/0)
Kemp (1/4/0)
Jones (1/17/0)
Dedeaux (4/38/0)
Sharp (3/26/1)
Herford (3/47/0)
Harris (3/28/0)
Pendleton (2/15/0)
Fields (1/17/0)

- - - 

(No. 7) Oklahoma 38, Oklahoma State 17 - Win sends Sooners to third straight Big 12 title game
(No.10) Texas 20, Texas A&M 10 - McCoy finally gets a win over the Ags
(No. 22) Texas Tech 41, Baylor 7 - Loss finishes Baylor's season at 1-11
Nebraska 38, Colorado 31 - Ganz shreds Buffs D for 4 TD



**MISSOURI 8-0 (12-0)

Kansas State 5-3 (9-3)

Kansas 4-4 (8-4)

Nebraska 3-5 (5-7)

Iowa State 2-6 (5-7)

Colorado 1-7 (5-7)

**Oklahoma 7-1 (10-2)

Texas 6-2 (10-2)

Texas Tech 5-3 (9-3)

Texas A&M 4-4 (7-5)

Oklahoma State 3-5 (5-7)

Baylor 0-8 (1-11)


BCS RANKINGS (entering conference championships)

  1. MISSOURI 12-0 (1.000, no losses)
  2. Florida 11-1 (0.994, loss to Tennessee)
  3. Ohio State 11-1 (0.989, loss to USC)
  4. Wisconsin 11-1 (0.983, loss to OSU)
  5. Oklahoma 10-2 (0.975, losses to Cincinnati and Texas)
  6. USC 11-1 (0.975, loss to Oregon State)
  7. LSU 10-2 (0.967, loss to Florida)
  8. Texas 10-2 (0.958, losses to Mizzou and Kansas)
  9. Miami 11-1 (0.953, loss to Florida)
  10. Auburn 10-2 (0.942, losses to LSU and Georgia)