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Missouri’s 2007 win over KSU was defined by Jeremy Maclin and the game on the horizon

“Beat KU! Beat KU! Beat KU! Beat KU!”

Missouri Tigers v  Oklahoma Sooners Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

There are basically two lingering memories from Missouri’s 2007 win over Kansas State, the Tigers’ first in 18 years:

  1. Jeremy Maclin could do no wrong.
  2. K-State fans chanted “Beat KU! Beat KU!” to Mizzou players after the game.

I mean, if you have to remember only two things, these are two pretty good things. Maclin was truly incredible, catching nine passes for 143 yards and two scores and returning a first-quarter kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. And with the biggest KU game ever right on the horizon, KSU making their allegiances known was damn cool as well.

But I’m not sure I’ve ever been more purely paranoid before a Mizzou football game — and that’s saying something — so it’s worth reliving, especially considering that paranoia was justified for quite a while.

Ron Prince’s Wildcats proved more resilient than I or any other Mizzou fan would have preferred. The game began perfectly for the Tigers — William Moore picks off a pass on the third play of the game, and Maclin scores on an eight-yard pass on the fifth play. Then, after a KSU field goal, Maclin returns the ensuing kickoff for 99 yards and a 14-3 lead.

But this was a pretty talented KSU squad, and it responded well. The Wildcats stopped a fourth-and-2 pass from the Mizzou 31 (I remember being irate about a no-call on this play, but I don’t remember the details ... 10 years is a long time), and then James Johnson scored on a 66-yard run.

Stryker Sulak blocked the PAT, but Mizzou went three-and-out, and KSU’s Ernie Pierce blocked an Adam Crossett punt. Pierce scooped it up and took it five yards for a score and a sudden Wildcat lead. Of course, Tommy Chavis blocked that PAT (three blocks in 60 seconds of game time!)

Forced to show resilience of its own, Mizzou did so. The Tigers drove 81 yards and took the lead back on an eight-yard pass from Chase Daniel to Martin Rucker. The teams traded punts, and KSU proceeded to drive 88 yards in the closing minutes of the half. As bend-don’t-break as ever, Mizzou finally stiffened at its 5, and KSU kicked a field goal to go into halftime down 21-18. Gulp.

Every time Missouri had needed a big third quarter in 2007, the Tigers got one. It was no different here. Their first drive of the second half consisted of a 12-yard pass to Rucker, rushes of 15 and 12 yards by Tony Temple, a 36-yard pass to Maclin, and a two-yard Temple touchdown. KSU punted, then Mizzou drove 93 yards; on third-and-17 from the KSU 44, Daniel scrambled to his left to buy time, then launched a 44-yard bomb to Maclin in the end zone. 35-18, Mizzou.

Pierce, KSU’s star of the day, scored on a 20-yard pass late in the third quarter, but Mizzou put the game away by spreading the ball around. Daniel completed passes to Tommy Saunders, Chase Coffman, Derrick Washington, and Saunders again. Finally, on fourth-and-goal from the 1, with 9:34 left, Daniel found his fourth-down go-to guy: Rucker. 42-25. Two plays later, Sean Weatherspoon forced a Mike Pooschke fumble, and Van Alexander. Temple scored from a yard out to put Mizzou up 24. KSU scored one last time, but Mizzou survived. It was time for KU.

Key stats:

  • Total yards: Mizzou 427, KSU 406
  • Turnovers: KSU 3, MU 0
  • Daniel: 28-for-41, 284 yards, 4 TDs, 2 sacks
  • Maclin: 9 catches, 143 yards, 2 TDs; 2 carries for 8 yards; 6 KRs for 194 yards, 1 TD
  • Temple: 16 carries, 75 yards, 2 TDs
  • Jimmy Jackson and Washington: 8 carries for 48 yards; 1 catch for 3
  • Saunders and Jason Ray: 7 catches for 62 yards
  • Rucker and Coffman: 6 catches, 46 yards, 2 TD
  • Weatherspoon: 11.5 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 FF
  • Moore: 7.0 tackles, 1 INT, 1 sack
  • Castine Bridges: 3.0 tackles, 1 FR, 1 PBU