How the 'Moe Miracle' saved Missouri's season

Missouri lost its star running back before the season started and was about to lose to San Diego State. Then T.J. Moe took over. A look at how that play delivered the Tigers to Saturday night's battle of unbeatens against Oklahoma.
By JAKE TROTTER, Staff Writer, jtrotter@opubco.com Modified: October 21, 2010 at 7:58 pm •  Published: October 21, 2010

Three weeks in, Missouri's season seemed to be swirling down the tubes.

The Tigers had already lost captain and starting running back Derrick Washington, booted off the team for felony sexual assault.

Now, they were about to lose to San Diego State. In Columbia. Until a single astonishing play saved their season.

Down 24-20 with under a minute left and almost 70 yards to go, quarterback Blaine Gabbert found slot receiver T.J. Moe on a quick out.

But Moe didn't go out of bounds. Instead, he juked one defender. And another, like one of those Buffalo Wild Wings commercials. Then he raced along the sidelines for the game-winning touchdown.

"Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time situations," said Missouri coach Gary Pinkel. "Wow, it was huge."

The Tigers haven't looked back since.

The following week, Missouri routed Miami of Ohio, 51-13. Then blanked Colorado, 26-0.

And last week, blasted Texas A&M in College Station, 30-9, to move to 6-0 and set up Saturday's ESPN GameDay showdown with top-ranked Oklahoma.

And going into the OU game, the Tigers are playing their best football in three years. The defense ranks second nationally in fewest points allowed. The offense is beginning to gel, propelled by the Gabbert-to-Moe connection.

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