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September 15, 1984: Wisconsin 35, Mizzou 34

September 15: Wisconsin (1-0) at Missouri (0-1)

Blocked Punt #1

What's crazier than crazy? If Mizzou's season opener against Illinois featured a crazy fourth quarter, they took it up a few notches for their home opener against Wisconsin.

It started innocently enough. Warren Seitz found Tony Davis for a 50-yard touchdown in Q1, then scored from two yards out with 0:30 left in Q2, and Mizzou took a 13-7 lead (after a blocked PAT) into halftime. Warren Powers was all but settling on Seitz as his full-time quarterback--he would end up taking the reins for 13 of Missouri's 15 game possessions.

With Wisconsin focusing on stopping a strong Missouri running game in the third quarter, Seitz's arm gave Mizzou a big lead. Long passes to Andy Hill and young Adrian McBride set up an Eric Drain touchdown, and Mizzou was up 21-7. Next up: a TD pass to George Shorthose. Mizzou was up 28-7, and Seitz had thrown for 216 yards and 3 TDs on just eight completions. It looked as if Mizzou was moving to 1-1 on the season.

And then the bottom dropped out.

More specifically, Marlon Adler had the worst quarter of his career.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Wisconsin CB Richard Johnson (who had blocked the PAT earlier) blocked an Adler punt and recovered it in the endzone for a touchdown. 28-14. Two minutes later, Johnson partially blocked another Adler punt. Six plays later, Badger WR Al Toon (I loved that guy) scored. 28-21. Mizzou punted again (cleanly this time), and Wisconsin went 66 yards in six plays. 28-28. Adler came in at QB for a much-needed change of momentum...and was picked off. Wisconsin missed a go-ahead field goal attempt...and then Adler was picked off again. Wisconsin went 35 yards in two plays, and just like that it was 35-28 Wisconsin.

And get this: there were still five minutes left in the game!

With Seitz back at QB, Mizzou somehow gathered its composure and set about evening the score in the face of massive momentum. In four minutes, Seitz engineered a 12-play, 67-yard drive capped by a 6-yard TD run by Vernon Boyd with 1:26 left.

Mizzou was in position to somehow salvage at least a tie...but who plays for ties? Not Warren Powers. In the face of all the fourth-quarter chaos, Powers decided to try to steal the win. On the two-point conversion attempt, Seitz rolled out and threw a strike to an open Shorthose for the win...

...and Shorthose dropped it.

Mizzou had put up 455 yards of offense, Warren Seitz had seized control of the QB race in passing for 276 yards and 2 TDs, the defense had held Al Toon to two catches in the first half and really played strong most of the game...and Missouri was 0-2. Mizzou had given up 28 fourth-quarter points and still had victory in its hands, and the ball fell to the ground.

Wisconsin 35, Missouri 34