Posted: October 23, 2010, 11:45 PM ; Updated: October 24, 2010, 2:04 AM
Number 1 Oklahoma Knocked Off
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Oklahoma's stay at the top of the BCS will be brief.
Thousands of yellow-clad fans stormed the field even before the end of the Sooners' final, desperate play, hauling one goal post and part of the other to a local tavern after No. 18 Missouri's 36-27 victory on Saturday night.
"It's huge, it's gigantic," said coach Gary Pinkel, who had been 0-6 against the Sooners. "It's a long time coming. I'm just real proud of our team."
Jerrell Jackson spun free from a knot of tacklers on a 38-yard reception for the go-ahead score, the highlight of his best game of the year and the spark to a 16-point fourth quarter against the error-prone and third-ranked Sooners that put a sellout crowd of 71,004 in a celebratory mood.
"I don't think I'm going to pinch myself," quarterback Blaine Gabbert said. "But it's a pretty big win."
Oklahoma (6-1, 2-1 Big 12) committed three costly turnovers, out of character considering it had only five giveaways the first six games. Two of the turnovers led to 10 points and the other squelched a drive deep in Missouri territory. The Sooners also missed a chip-shot field goal.
"Against a team like this in an environment like this, it's amazing that we even had a chance in the fourth quarter," coach Bob Stoops said. "I wish we would have played better and taken care of the football."
Oklahoma's DeMarco Murray was held to a season-low 49 yards on 12 carries, although he caught eight passes for 48 yards and a touchdown. Murray had 100-yard games the previous two games.
An 86-yard touchdown return by Gahn McGaffie on the opening kickoff set the tone for the Tigers (7-0, 3-0), who ended a seven-game losing streak dating to 1998 against Oklahoma. They beat the Sooners for only the second time in the last 21 meetings.
Missouri is 7-0 for the first time since 1960, when the school ended 11-0 and finished No. 5 after beating Navy in the Orange Bowl. This one was especially satisfying, coming against a school that whipped them the last three meetings, including ending the Tigers' one-week stay at No. 1 with a 38-17 victory in the 2007 Big 12 championship game and hammering them again 62-21 in the 2008 conference title game.
Gabbert was 30 for 42 for 308 yards and the Tigers had a 486-402 advantage in total yards while getting 149 yards rushing from tailbacks De'Vion Moore, Henry Josey and Kendial Lawrence.
"Our pass rush was unacceptable," Oklahoma linebacker Jeremy Beal said. "I feel like we didn't touch him at all, and that's including myself."
Missouri can't savor this one for long. Next week the Tigers are at No. 16 Nebraska, coming off a 51-41 victory at Oklahoma State.
"We play Nebraska next week. This isn't the national championship, certainly," Pinkel said. "But it's big for our program, it's big for a lot of reasons."
Oklahoma became another national championship front-runner to tumble in a road conference game, following Alabama and Ohio State, who were both No. 1 in the AP poll when they lost the past two Saturdays.
That helped clear the way for the Sooners to be first when the BCS standings debuted last week, but that will change Sunday. Oregon will likely take the top spot. Second place could go to Boise State, Auburn or maybe TCU.
"Missouri played well and we weren't quite ready," tight end James Hanna said. "It's harder to play on the road, but I feel like we can be mature enough to get it done."
Jackson had nine catches for 139 yards, both season bests. He totaled 18 catches the first six games, playing the pre-conference schedule wearing a cast from a broken left wrist.
Landry Jones threw three touchdown passes but was intercepted twice for Oklahoma. Aldon Smith returned one 58 yards to set up a touchdown in the first quarter and Zavier Gooden's pick in the fourth quarter led to a field goal, but only after Missouri had first-and-goal from the 1.
Jackson's touchdown gave Missouri a 26-21 lead with 12:43 to go. Gabbert was lined up as a wide receiver on backup James Franklin's 3-yard scoring run with 6:36 left.
Trey Millard's 3-yard run cut the gap to nine for Oklahoma only 30 seconds later after Mossis Madu's 77-yard kickoff return, but the conversion pass fell incomplete and a subsequent onside kick failed when a Sooners player touched the ball before it went 10 yards.
The Oklahoma giveaways helped Missouri take a 17-14 lead, the first time the Sooners trailed at the end of a quarter all season. Grant Ressel kicked a 36-yard field goal on the final play of the half after the Tigers called timeout with a second to go after a short gain, nearly squandering the scoring chance.
Missouri twice led by a touchdown earlier in the game, opening with a bang on McGaffie's kickoff return TD and capitalizing on Smith's 58-yard interception return that led to De'Vion Moore's 1-yard run early in the second quarter.
James Winchester recovered Carl Gettis' fumble on a punt, giving Oklahoma a second chance after going 3-and-out on its opening possession. Kenny Stills was wide open on a 27-yard touchdown pass to cap a four-play, 45-yard drive.
Murray, who broke Steve Owens' 41-year-old school career touchdown record last week, got his 59th on a 4-yard swing pass to cap a 14-play, 89-yard drive that tied it at 14 late in the second.