Missouri entered Saturday's game against Kansas State with 13-straight losses to the Wildcats, but the Tigers didn't just break their losing streak to K-State this time around, they did it emphatically. MU cruised to a 41-21 win in front of nearly 65,000 fans at Faurot Field in Columbia, as K-State had no answer for MU quarterback Chase Daniel's four touchdown passes.
Kansas State couldn't have gotten off to a better start, as on Missouri's first offensive snap quarterback Chase Daniel was sacked by Wildcat defensive end Rob Jackson, who forced a Daniel fumble. Linebacker Zach Diles picked up the loose ball and returned it 43 yards for a score to make it 7-0 in favor of K-State just 30 seconds into the game.
K-State would have little else to be happy about the rest of way.
The Tigers scored their first points with just more than two minutes left in the first quarter on a 30-yard field goal from Jeff Wolfert to draw to within 7-3. Missouri drove 78 yards on 14 plays thanks to a couple of big runs from Tony Temple and Earl Goldsmith, but K-State was able force the Tigers to settle for a field goal by stopping Missouri on a third-and-10 pass attempt from the 12-yard line.
Justin McKinney set the up Wildcats the ensuing drive by returning the Tigers' kickoff to MU's 48-yard line, but K-State couldn't take advantage despite getting five snaps from inside Missouri's 10-yard line on the possession. K-State ran the ball eight straight times inside the red zone, including the five runs inside the 10, and was unable to get in on a fourth-down run by James Johnson that was stopped well short of the end zone.
Missouri completed the momentum swing by driving 99 yards on 10 plays in just more than three minutes to take a 10-7 lead with 8:33 left in the first half. The key play of the drive was a 14-yard completion from Daniel to Tommy Saunders on a third-and-5 play from the 6-yard line. MU hurt K-State with its tight ends on the drive with completions of 13 and 14 yards to Chase Coffman to set up a 14-yard scoring toss to Martin Rucker.
The Tigers stretched its lead out to 17-7 on its next possession with another long drive, this one an 87-yard march that was highlighted and capped off by a 52-yard touchdown pass from Daniel to William Franklin. Franklin caught a short pass in front of Byron Garvin on a third-and-1 play and was able to break free of the Wildcat defender before streaking into the end zone for the score.
Missouri's offensive flurry in the second quarter allowed the Tigers to roll up 291 yards of offense in the first half.
K-State opened the first half by tossing an interception on its first play when Josh Freeman's pass was tipped into the air by Wildcat wide receiver Daniel Gonzalez and intercepted by MU linebacker Dedrick Harrington at the 48-yard line. It took Missouri nine plays to drive the length of the field after the interception, as the Tigers took a 24-7 lead on a 3-yard touchdown toss from Daniel to Saunders.
Freeman's second pass of the half was also intercepted when MU corner Darnell Terrell out-fought Yamon Figurs for a ball thrown on a slant route. Terrell returned the ball to the 10-yard line, setting up a 19-yard field goal by Wolfert to make it 27-7 Tigers with 6:50 left in the third quarter. K-State's defense was able to hold MU to a field-goal try by stopping a Daniel run at the 2-yard line.
Things only continued to get worse for the Wildcats, as they turned the ball over on its third consecutive possession, this time on a Leon Patton fumble. MU safety David Overstreet scooped up the loose ball and returned it 41 yards for the score to make it 34-7 with more than five minutes remaining in the third.
K-State finally stopped the bleeding on the following possession, albeit briefly, by scoring its first offensive touchdown since the final quarter of the Oklahoma State game two weeks ago on a 15-yard touchdown run by Patton, which cut Missouri's lead to 34-14. The Wildcats drove 80 yards on the possession, doing its damage on the ground with Patton as well as Freeman, who had a 24-yard rush on the drive.
Missouri answered K-State's score immediately, however, on a 62-yard touchdown drive that featured Daniel's fourth touchdown pass of the day, this one a 15-yard toss to Coffman. Coffman caught the ball around the 5-yard line before fighting his way into the end zone to make it 41-14 in favor of the Tigers.
K-State did get on the board again in the final minutes on a 9-yard touchdown run by James Johnson, the first of Johnson's career, to make the final 41-21.
The win dropped K-State to 4-4 overall and 1-3 in the Big 12; Missouri improved to 7-1 and 3-1 in league play. Kansas State will try to get back above .500 when Iowa State visits Manhattan next week.