NORMAN — After going down 36-27 at Missouri, Bob Stoops seemed to be most disgusted with Oklahoma's season-high three turnovers.
Two of those turnovers happened in the red zone, taking potential points away from the Sooners. Another turnover led to a Missouri field goal in the fourth quarter.
"You just can't turn the ball over," Stoops said. "That's just a big factor of the game."
Turnovers, however, were hardly the only factors leading to OU's downfall.
In order, four other pitfalls that lost OU the game:
1. Disastrous kicking game
The Sooners' woes in the kicking game reached a new low.
On the opening kickoff, Patrick O'Hara, who replaced Tress Way on kickoffs just last week, had a stiff wind at his back, but only reached the 14-yard line.
That set the table for Gahn McGaffie's 86-yard touchdown return, which sent Missouri's crowd into a frenzy and guaranteed they would be a big factor throughout the night.
But as poor as the Sooners were on kickoffs, the field goal kicking was worse.
After Jonathan Nelson's strip of Michael Egnew, the Sooners were in business at the Missouri 22 down only 17-14 in the third quarter.
But with the wind from the right hash, Jimmy Stevens yanked a relatively easy 30-yard attempt left, stripping the Sooners of any momentum.
Making OU's ineffectiveness at kicker all the more obvious, Missouri's Grant Ressel (3 for 3 on field goals) capped the ensuing drive with a 30-yard make at the other end.
The kicking game cost the Sooners 10 points.
OU, by the way, lost by nine.
2. Poor quarterbacking in the fourth quarter
When the game was on the line, one quarterback rose to the occasion. The other, well, didn't.
This tells it all:
In the fourth quarter, Missouri's Blaine Gabbert completed 8 of 9 passes for 95 yards and a touchdown. Landry Jones went 0 of 7 passing with an interception.
Doesn't take an act of genius to figure out whose team won.
3. The inability to cover the middle of field
Before the season, the general belief was that OU's only potential weak spot on defense would be at cornerback, where the Sooners were breaking in two new starters.
But against Missouri, corners Demontre Hurst, Jamell Fleming and true freshman Aaron Colvin were stout in coverage along the boundary, as they have been all season.
The rest of the defense was anything but stout. Especially when it came to covering passes down the middle of the field. With receiver Jerrell Jackson (9 receptions, 139 yards) doing most of the damage, the Tigers abused OU's coverage down the middle of the field. Linebackers Travis Lewis, Tom Wort and Austin Box struggled chasing Missouri's receivers, and safeties Quinton Carter and Jonathan Nelson were slow to come up and help.
All told, Gabbert completed 14 of his 17 passes over the middle for 231 yards. Everywhere else, Gabbert was just 16 of 25 for 77 yards.
4. Zero pressure on the quarterback
A trademark of OU's recent success over Missouri has been a ferocious pass rush, leading to sacks and interceptions.
The Sooner defense got not one of either.
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables seemed content with a game plan of rushing four most of the night. In the past, that worked, with former OU tackle Gerald McCoy slicing forward up the middle, and Jeremy Beal coming around on the corner.
But this time, the Sooner tackles got no penetration, allowing Missouri's line to force Beal outside, and Gabbert to step up in the pocket.
As a result, Gabbert had at least four seconds to throw more times than not. And more times than not, Gabbert made OU pay.
"That's unacceptable," Beal said. "I don't think we ever touched him, and that includes myself."
Give a quarterback the caliber of Gabbert time to throw, and that usually spells defeat.