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 Big 12 title rematch between Mizzou and Oklahoma.
No. 1 Mizzou held out of end zone as title dreams die with loss to Oklahoma
KANSAS CITY, MO. - In 2007, an Oklahoma win in the Big 12 Championship in San Antonio knocked No. 1 Missouri out of a national title shot.
In 2008, if you substitute "Kansas City" for "San Antonio," everything above stands true again. No. 6 Oklahoma dominated the No. 1 Tigers for a 34-9 victory and the Sooners' third consecutive Big 12 title.
The win ended Mizzou's bid for an undefeated season, as the Tigers were the last team in the nation to receive its first loss.
On an 8-degree night at Arrowhead Stadium featuring constant snowfall, the stage appeared set for Mizzou to replicate its feats at Arrowhead against Kansas over the last two seasons.
For the first several minutes, it appeared Chase Daniel and the Mizzou offense would move the ball at will. Daniel completed his first four passes, helping to put Mizzou inside the OU 30.
But on 3rd-and-10 at the OU 22, Daniel tried for force a ball into Tommy Saunders on a 12-yard post route. The pass was picked off by Desmond Jackson and returned 91 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown.
On the following drive, Daniel went 5-of-7 to drive the Tigers 31 yards, setting up a 55-yard field goal from Jeff Wolfert.
Oklahoma's offense took the field on the following possession and moved the ball with ease. Mizzou had a blown opportunity when William Moore had an interception fall through his hands in the end zone.
Two plays later, DeMarco Murray took a pitch nine yards around left end to put Oklahoma up, 14-3.
Oklahoma's defense continued to stifle the Mizzou offense in the second quarter, as the Sooners' speed sideline-to-sideline kept the Tiger receivers well contained. Mizzou opened the second quarter scoring by settling for another long field goal from Wolfert.
Oklahoma responded with a long kick of its own, with Tress Way's 57-yarder increasing the Sooner lead to 11.
Missouri went into its two-minute drill to try to cut the lead before halftime, but another Daniel pass once again found the hands of an Oklahoma defensive back. Nic Harris' interception gave Oklahoma the ball near midfield with 1:24 remaining in the first half.
Mizzou held OU to a three-and-out, getting the ball back with a minute left in the second quarter. But Gary Pinkel elected to play conservatively, using three running plays to attempt to kill the clock.
However, Oklahoma used its timeouts to get the ball back with 17 seconds left in the half. The timeouts allowed Oklahoma to tack on another three points before halftime.
On the second play of the third quarter, Oklahoma opened up a three-score lead. Sam Bradford hit Manuel Johnson on a corner route, with Johnson breaking a tackle en route to a 69-yard catch-and-run touchdown pass.
After another Wolfert field goal, it looked like Mizzou was going to get a defensive stop to build some momentum for the North champions. But a fake punt kept an OU drive alive. The drive did eventually stall, with Way pushing a short field goal attempt wide right.
But Mizzou continued to misfire offensively, giving Oklahoma time to seal the victory with long drives and another Bradford touchdown pass.
With the loss, Mizzou dropped to No. 6 in the polls. Having learned from last year's debacle, the Rose Bowl selected Mizzou with an at-large bid to face No. 5 USC on New Years Day.
Scoring, stats, championship scores, and bowl matchups after the jump.
OU - Jackson 91 interception return (Way kick)
MU - FG Wolfert 55
OU - Murray 9 run (Way kick)
MU - FG Wolfert 57
OU - FG Way 57
OU - FG Way 51
OU - Johnson 69 pass from Bradford (Way kick)
MU - FG Wolfert 44
OU - Clapp 3 pass from Bradford (Way kick)
Total yards: OU 283, MU 175
Passing yards: OU 263, MU 164
Rushing yards: OU 20, MU 11
First downs: OU 14, MU 12
Turnovers: MU 2, OU 0
Time of possession: OU 12:19, MU 11:45
|MU - Daniel||19||24||164||0||2||119.9|
|OU - Bradford||25||31||263||2||0||172.0|
|MU - Washington||10||8||0|
|MU - Daniel||7||16||0|
|MU - Coffman||2||-1||0|
|OU - Murray||15||28||1|
|OU - Bradford||1||-1||0|
|MU Receiving (Rec./Yards/TD)||OU Receiving (Rec./Yards/TD)|
CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK RESULTS
(No. 2) Florida 31, (No. 7) LSU - Tebow's 4 TDs put Gators into title game (Tebow later repeats as Heisman winner)
(No. 10) Miami 49, Florida State 33 - Miami runs over Seminoles with 238 yards rushing
Southern Miss 38, Tulane 14 - SMQ rejoice!
Western Michigan 35, Temple 13 - What do Nebraska and Temple have in common? The answer: a loss to WMU in 2008
BOWL MATCHUPS (BCS AND BIG 12)
National Championship: Florida v. Ohio State
Rose Bowl: MISSOURI v. USC
Orange Bowl: Miami v. South Florida
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma v. Arizona State
Sugar Bowl: Wisconsin v. Auburn
Cotton Bowl: Tennessee v. Texas
Holiday Bowl: Kansas State v. Oregon State
Insight Bowl: Air Force v. Texas A&M
Humanitarian Bowl: Boston College v. Kansas
Texas Bowl: Texas Tech v. UAB