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The truth about OU-Missouri: Tigers kicked the Sooners all over the field

Missouri beat Oklahoma, 36-27, because Blaine Gabbert was the best player on the field, because OU gave the ball away three times and because the Tigers popped them between the eyes.
by Berry Tramel Modified: October 24, 2010 at 9:31 pm •  Published: October 24, 2010


photo - Oklahoma's Landry Jones (12) reacts as he walks off the field after a Mossis Madu fumble in the red zone during the first half of the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners ( OU) and the University of Missouri Tigers (MU) on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010, in Columbia, Mo. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman.
Oklahoma's Landry Jones (12) reacts as he walks off the field after a Mossis Madu fumble in the red zone during the first half of the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners ( OU) and the University of Missouri Tigers (MU) on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010, in Columbia, Mo. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman.

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The burden of being No. 1 leaves the Oklahoma Sooners. That can be Oregon's trouble now.

The burden of knowing how the Sooners lost that status will be less comforting.

Missouri beat OU 36-27 Saturday night at Faurot Field, and while the Sooners can and will point to too many turnovers and kicking that would shame a 6A high school, they also know the truth.

Mizzou just popped the Sooners right between the eyes.

"They kicked our butt there, too," Bob Stoops said of some element, I think it might have been OU's lack of a pass rush, but he could have been talking about most anything.

Missouri was the better team, which will be reflected today when the new BCS rankings come out and the Sooners will be nowhere near No. 1.

For the third straight week, ESPN's GameDay cursed the top-ranked team. Alabama at South Carolina, Ohio State Wisconsin, now Oklahoma at Missouri have lost with the national spotlight shining.

The Sooners have been seeing golden Saturdays in the Missouri River valley for generations. But usually on the leaves. Not in the Faurot Field stands, which were electrified from a day of celebration and adorned with what seemed every Mizzou fan wearing gold.

And when Gahn McGaffie ran back the opening kickoff 86 yards for a Missouri touchdown, the stadium exploded.

Not the kind of start the Sooners needed to quench the atmosphere.

Not the kind of start the Sooners needed to make sure they stayed ahead of Baylor in the Big 12 South. That's right; the Bears now lead the division.

OU, meanwhile, adjusts its goals to overtaking the Bears and fighting its way to JerryWorld for the Big 12 title game against Missouri or Nebraska. Where it will have to play much better than this to reach the Fiesta Bowl.

We kept hearing all week about the Missouri defense, but it was the Mizzou offense which controlled this game.

For some reason — and I've been saying this since summer — Missouri's Blaine Gabbert was lost in the all-Big 12 quarterback discussion.

No longer. Gabbert was the best player on the field Saturday night, consistently finding open receivers in clutch situations.

Gabbert was at his best in the fourth quarter, which Mizzou entered trailing 21-20. Gabbert completed eight of nine passes for 95 yards, directing the Tigers on drives to a touchdown, field goal, touchdown.

Box Score: OU, 27 - Missouri, 36 Postgame thoughts: What did you think of the Sooners'...

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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