Mizzou took the opening kickoff and marched 80 yards in 10 plays for a touchdown. Tony Temple capped off the drive that took 3:30 off the clock with a seven-yard scoring run. Temple evaded several would-be tacklers starting to his right before bouncing out the run to his left. It was the ninth time this year Mizzou scored in its opening possession of the game. The biggest play of the drive came on a 32-yard completion from Chase Daniel to tight end Chase Coffman. Daniel completed 4-of-6 passes on the drive for 55 yards.
Oregon State showed some resolve on its ensuing possession. As Missouri expected, the Beavers showed a steady dose of running back Yvenson Bernard. The Pac-10’s second leading rusher carried the ball four times for 20 yards constantly putting the Beavers in manageable third down situations. Quarterback Matt Moore had two passes batted down at the line of scrimmage, but was able to complete 4-of-7 for 44 yards. OSU drove 80 yards on their first possession as well, tying the game 7-7 on a 13-yard scoring strike from Moore to wide receiver Sammie Stroughter for his fifth touchdown reception of the year. The drive lasted 13 plays and took 4:23.
The Tigers were unable to get anything going on their next drive. Martin Rucker had a chance to make a big play, but came up short. Daniel spotted Rucker deep down the right sideline but Rucker was unable to haul in the catch as he had a step on the defender. Temple took a handoff up the middle for a short gain on second down. A high snap on the next play was fumbled and recovered by Daniel, and the Tigers were forced to punt.
Stroughter returned the punt to the Mizzou 40. Bernard gained a yard on the first play. He was able to find a little more daylight picking up the first down on the next play with a gain of nine. On first-and-10, Moore escaped some light pressure to hit Ruben Jackson for another first down. After two short runs by Bernard, OSU was faced with third-and-seven. Coming out of a timeout, Moore scrambled to his right before hitting Stroughter a yard short of the first down. OSU coach Mike Riley opted to go for it on fourth down handing it off the Bernard who picked up the first down before being tackled on the one-yard line. Moore sneaked the ball past the goal line for the Beavers second touchdown of the quarter and giving them a 14-7 lead. DRIVE SUMMARY: 8 plays, 40 yards, 4:53
Mizzou started their third possession of game at their own 20. Temple moved the chains for the Tigers with a 20-yard run on first down. It was the last play of the quarter.
Mizzou started the second quarter with the ball on its own 40. The quarter started with Oregon State’s Jeff Can Orsow sacking Daniel for a loss of eight. Daniel’s incomplete pass to Tommy Saunders brought up third-and-18. The Tigers received a break after the Beavers were called for pass interference on a Daniel pass to freshman Jared Perry giving them a first down. MU started to get its running game on track, but Perry was stopped for a gain of just 1 and Temple was stuffed for a loss of six. Brad Ekwerekwu hauled in a 41-yard pass from Daniel on the next play to convert on the third-and-long. Two plays later, Coffman looked to have tied the game for Mizzou, but dropped a potential touchdown catch in the back of the end zone. Jeff Wolfert’s 30-yard field goal attempt went through the uprights to bring Mizzou within 14-10. DRIVE SUMMARY: 10 plays, 69 yards, 4:16.
Adam Crossett booted another kickoff deep into the end zone for a touchback. Moore began the ensuing drive scrambling to his right and hitting Straughter for another completion and first down. Moore has been very successful thus far finding receivers – especially Straughter – between the Tigers zone coverage. The Beavers offense stalled on the next three plays and was forced to punt from their own 38. Saunders called for a fair catch on the punt at the Mizzou 22.
It didn’t take Mizzou much time to score again. The Tigers picked up four yards on a Temple 4-yard run. But on third-and-6, Daniel had plenty of time to spot Danario Alexander sprinting down the right side of the field. Daniel launched a pass Alexander’s way and connected for a 74-yard catch-and-run touchdown strike giving Mizzou the lead 17-14.
Missouri’s defense seemed to feed off the momentum gained by the offense stuffing Bernard at the line of scrimmage on first down. OSU was able to shake off the short run and Moore completed a pass to Joe Newton to convert a first down. Newton is arguably the best player on the Beavers team. He’s on every NFL scout’s radar and could possibly be a first round draft pick this year. MU defensive end Xzavie Jackson came up with the biggest play of the first half forcing a fumble. Stryker Sulak made the recovery.
Mizzou was moving the ball with some success, but it all came undone. Daniel, dropping back to pass, lost the football and Brandon Hughes recovered it for the Beavers at their own 29.
Oregon State gave another steady dose of Bernard runs and Newton first down conversions until the carousel of turnovers continued. Mizzou cornerback Dominique Johnson intercepted a Moore pass that looked to hit the ground first. The play was ruled an interception on the field. After an official replay, the play was overturned and ruled an incomplete pass. The Tigers defense returned to the field. Two plays later, Jackson hit Moore accompanied by Sulak who came from the blindside. Moore was shaken up on the play, but was able to get up under his own strength. OSU was forced to punt.
The Tigers started on their own 20 with little over a minute to play in the first half. Head coach Gary Pinkel appeared to be content with the 17-14 lead running two plays and taking the team into halftime.
HALFTIME SCORE: Mizzou 17 OSU 14