COLUMBIA, MO. - The Missouri Tigers up their perfect 2007 record to 4-0 with a 38-17 victory over Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division 1-AA) Illinois State Redbirds Saturday afternoon before 56,137 fans at Faurot Field in Columbia.
Mizzou wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, scoring on its first play from scrimmage, a 57-yard touchdown pass from Chase Daniel to Will Franklin. Jeff Wolfert’s conversion made it 7-0.
Missouri jumped ahead 14-0 on their third series of downs. A Chase Daniel to Tony Temple 11-yard touchdown pass, topped off by Wolfert’s extra point, capped a 10-play, 53-yard drive.
The Redbirds put points on the board with less than a minute to go in the 1st quarter, as Tyler Funk booted a 21-yard field goal to put the finishing touches on a 12-play, 66-yard drive. The first quarter ended with Illinois State getting the ball back on the period’s final play as Tom Nelson intercepted a Chase Daniel pass to give the Redbirds the ball on the Mizzou 31.
The Redbirds drove to the 3 yard line, where they went for a TD on 4th and goal. An incomplete pass turned the ball over to the Tigers on their own 3, and Missouri took the ball all the way into the Illinois State end zone. A 97-yard, 11-play drive was capped by an 8-yard pass from Daniel to Jeremy Maclin. Wolfert’s extra point made it Missouri 21, Illinois State 3.
Illinois State scored its first major of the day with under 4 minutes to play in the half. Parrish Fisher rushed from the 4 to complete a 9-play 84-yard drive. Funk’s PAT made cut the Missouri lead to 21-10.
But Mizzou would be heard from once more before the end of the 1st half. Jeff Wolfert kicked a 26-yard field goal as time expired in the half, capping an 11-play, 52-yard drive to give the Tigers a halftime lead of 24-10.
Mizzou failed to score on its first possession of hte 3rd quarter, as a Wolfert field goal attempt missed the mark, but the Tigers came away with 7 points on their next possession. Tony Temple ran it in from 1 yard out to put the exclamation point on an 8-play, 72-yard drive. Wolfert’s PAT made it Missouri 31, Illinois State 10. And that’s how the 3rd quarter ended.
Missouri put it away less than a minute into the 4th quarter as Jeremy Maclin returned a Redbird punt 64 yards for a touchdown – his second punt return for touchdown this season, adding to a 66 yard return in the Tigers’ opener against Illinois in St. Louis. Wolfert’s point after touchdown made it Missouri 38, Illinois State 10.
The next Mizzou scoring attempt was stopped cold as a Chase Daniel pass into the end zone was picked off by Garry Roberts, giving the Redbirds the ball at the 20. The Redbirds drove down the field and threatened to score, but an interception by William Moore ended that scoring threat.
Illinois State did manage another score. The Redbirds’ Tom Nelson picked off a pass from Chase Patton, who had relieved Chase Daniel, and returned it 33 yards to the 50 yard line. Illinois State then drove 50-yards in 5-plays, with Luke Drone completing a 13-yard pass to Eyad Salem for 6. Tyler Funk’s PAT gave the Redbirds their 17th and final point as the Tigers ran out the clock on the next possession and won the game 38-17.
At QB, Chase Daniel completed 21 of 34 attempts, with 2 interceptions, for 294 yards and 3 touchdowns. Chase Patton completed 2 of 5 with an interception for 33 yards.
Tony Temple led Mizzou rushers with a net gain of 101 yards on 18 carries. One of those carries was good for a touchdown. Earl Goldsmith had 5 carries for 44 yards. Jeremy Maclin had a great day with a pair of touchdowns, one of them coming on a punt return and the other on one of his 5 receptions on the day. Illinois State’s Geno Blow led all rushers in the game with 116 yards on 21 carries. Redbird quarterback Luke Drone completed 22 of 37 pass attempts for 242 yards and a touchdown.
The Tigers are idle next weekend as they gear up for the start of Big 12 Conference play, hosting the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Faurot Field on Saturday, October 6th.