Missouri Postgame Notes

Series Notes:
Entering the matchup, Nebraska led the overall series 63-34-3. However, the teams had split the last four meetings, with the home team winning each of the previous five games. Mizzou’s last two victories against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, both in Columbia, Mo., have culminated with the score of 41-24.

Mizzou is 1-1 in night games played against Nebraska entering tonight’s contest.

This is the first meeting since 1969 in which Missouri is ranked higher than Nebraska. Entering the game Nebraska was ranked 25th in the AP Poll and 23rd in the Coaches’ poll; Mizzou was ranked 17th in both major polls. In the 1969 meeting the seventh-ranked Tigers claimed a 17-7 victory against 20th-ranked Nebraska.

Pre-Game Notes:
The kickoff time of 8:26 p.m. CT marks the first night game of the 2007 season for the Missouri Tigers. It is the 22nd night game played by Mizzou all-time. In those contests, Missouri holds an 11-10 record and is 1-1 in night games against Nebraska. Current Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel holds a 5-4 record in night games during his tenure at Missouri.

Mizzou ranking of 17th in both major polls entering tonight’s contest is the highest since the Tigers were ranked as high as 13th in the AP Poll in 1998. It is the second time since 1998 that a ranked Mizzou team faced off against another ranked foe.

First Quarter Notes:
Several Missouri Tigers made their first starts of the season tonight. On offense, Chase Coffman started at tight end for the first time this season and on defense Justin Garrett and Carl Gettis made their first career starts for Mizzou at safety and cornerback, respectively.

Missouri started the opening drive of the game on the 20-yard line after the opening kickoff went through the end-zone. The drive consisted of 12 plays, and 80 yards and lasted 4:45 seconds with Mizzou quarterback Chase Daniel scoring on a one-yard TD run up the middle. It was Daniel’s second rushing touchdown on the season and Mizzou’s 15th rushing TD of the season. It was the third consecutive game in which Mizzou’s opening drive concluded with a TD and was also the longest opening drive in terms of yards gained by Mizzou.

Mizzou’s first scoring drive of the game was the second longest of the season, and the longest for Mizzou’s offense with Daniel at quarterback. Mizzou’s longest scoring drive was against Western Michigan and it lasted 5:18 in the fourth quarter. However, Chase Patton was in at quarterback for that drive.

Mizzou’s defense forced a three-and-out on Nebraska’s first offensive possession: Mizzou’s defense did not allow a Nebraska first down until four minutes and 41 seconds remained in the first quarter. At that point Mizzou had already accumulated nine first downs to Nebraska’s one.

Mizzou scored on its second consecutive possession to start the game as Daniel hooked up with Mizzou tight end Chase Coffman on a six-yard TD pass. The drive covered 10 plays, 79 yards and lasted 3:04.  The TD was Daniel’s 11th passing TD and Coffman’s third receiving TD on the season. It was the 12th Chase-to-Chase (Daniel to Coffman) TD connection at Mizzou.

Missouri’s time of possession for the first quarter was 8:38 seconds. On the season, Mizzou had averaged 7:31 seconds of possession prior to this contest. Mizzou was able to extend its first quarter drives by converting all four third-down attempts.

Missouri out-gained Nebraska in total offensive yards 166-68, and Mizzou earned 10 first downs compared to Nebraska’s three in the first quarter.

Second Quarter Notes:
Mizzou wide receiver Danario Alexander caught an eight-yard pass during Missouri’s second drive of the second quarter. It was the first reception for Alexander since the Illinois game, who had missed Mizzou’s last three games after dislocating his wrist in the season opener.

Mizzou linebacker Van Alexander recorded his first career sack just under the three minute-mark of the second quarter as Nebraska was driving into the red zone.

With nine seconds left in the first half, Mizzou PK Jeff Wolfert connected from 33 yards for his second made field goal of the game. This marks the first time this season that Wolfert made multiple field goals in the same quarter.

Missouri outscored Nebraska, 20-6, in the first half. The Tigers are now outscoring opponents, 126-32, in the first half of games this season.

Third Quarter Notes:
Mizzou’s Daniel scored Missouri’s first TD of the second half on Mizzou’s first possession of the half on a three-yard scamper into the end zone. It was Daniel’s second rushing touchdown of the game, which marked the first game of his career in where Daniel had multiple rushing touchdowns in a single game.

The opening drive of the second half, in which Mizzou scored on, lasted 6 plays, 64 yards, and 2:03. It was the third time this season that Mizzou opened the second half with a touchdown on their first possession, and it was the first since the game at Ole Miss.

Daniel’s only incompletion of the third quarter came with 14 seconds remaining. He finished the 9-for-10 passing for 147 yards and one TD in the third quarter alone.

Fourth Quarter Notes:
Tight End Martin Rucker scored his second touchdown of the season on a shovel pass from wide receiver Tommy Saunders with 12:52 remaining in the fourth quarter. Mizzou was lined up in a field goal formation on a fourth-down attempt and Saunders was the holder on the play. It was Saunders’ second pass completion of the season and third of his career. None of his prior completions had gone for touchdowns.

Post-Game Notes:
Announced attendance for tonight’s game was 70,049. It is the largest crowd at Faurot Field since the stadium design was reconfigured in 1995. It is also the largest crowd to view a Mizzou football game in Columbia since 1984 in a game versus Notre Dame. Attendance for that 1984 contest was 70,915.

Daniel finished the game with 473 all-purpose yards for a new career high. Daniel was 33-for-47 passing for 401 yards with two touchdowns and rushed 11 times for 72 yards and two touchdowns. The 473 all-purpose yards ranks second all-time in Missouri history, behind only former Mizzou quarterback Brad Smith, who accumulated 480 all-purpose yards against Nebraska in 2005.

The six points yielded by Mizzou’s defense is the least amount of points allowed since Mizzou allowed six points against Ohio at Faurot Field in 2006.

It is also the first time Nebraska did not score a touchdown against Mizzou since 1961.

The 35-point margin of victory in Mizzou’s 41-6 victory is the largest against Nebraska since 1947, when Mizzou won 47-6 in Columbia (a 41-point margin).

This victory marks the 47th victory for Missouri against ranked opponents all-time and is now the 35th victory against Nebraska, overall.