COLUMBIA, Mo. — Oklahoma's blueprint for dominating Missouri in the past had been rather simple.
Limit mistakes. Rush the football. Harass the Tiger quarterback.
Saturday night, the top-ranked Sooners failed to accomplish any of the three. And as a result, Missouri rolled 36-27 at Faurot Field to snap a seven-game losing streak in the series.
OU committed numerous mistakes. None bigger than the first. The Tigers returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, ensuring the crowd would be a factor throughout the night and the Sooners would be on their heels from the start.
That, however, wasn't OU's only costly blunder.
Three times the Sooners drove into the red zone only to come up empty, twice turning the ball over, then misfiring on a 31-yard chip-shot field goal attempt with the wind.
The other of OU's season-high three turnovers led to a Missouri field goal in the fourth quarter that gave the Tigers a 29-21 lead.
"You can't do all that against a team like this on their field," coach Bob Stoops said.
But mistakes weren't only part of OU's downfall.
For the first time all season, the Sooner offense failed to generate more than 100 yards on the ground. DeMarco Murray was shut down running the ball, finishing with just 49 yards on 12 carries. Freshman Roy Finch was effective averaging 6.6 yards a carry, but only got four chances to rush the ball in the second half.
"We thought running the football would be a big part of the game," Stoops said. "But we didn't do it very effectively."
Yet the most disappointing part of OU's performance was its pass rush. In that it had none.
Rush four. Zone blitz. Bring the house. Didn't matter. Whatever defensive coordinator Brent Venables tried, the Sooners couldn't get to Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who wasn't sacked once.
Instead, Gabbert had all night to pick OU's secondary apart. Which he did, completing 30 of 42 passes for 308 yards, including a 38-yard strike to Jerrell Jackson in the fourth quarter that gave Missouri the lead for good.
"We weren't at all effective rushing the passer," Stoops said. "They kicked our butts there, too."
The Sooners had the recipe for defeating Missouri. But failed to supply the main ingredients.