By Wendell Barnhouse | firstname.lastname@example.org
For Oklahoma State, it was a sweet Saturday.
The Cowboys entered their game at third-ranked Missouri with a No. 17 ranking and a 5-0 record; OSU had not started a season 6-0 since 1945. And when the clock went to 0:00 at Faurot Field, Oklahoma State had an upset victory on the same day that hated rival (Oklahoma) had lost to its hated rival (Texas).
The Tigers were undefeated and had their sights set on the national championship game. But an inability to stop the Cowboys' play makers and senior quarterback Chase Daniel's three interceptions produced a 28-23 Oklahoma State victory.
"Put it all on me," said Daniel, a Heisman Trophy finalist as a junior who finished 39-for-52 for 390 yards and a touchdown. "I should have made all three of those throws. It seemed like we were a little bit off all night. For the reason, I have no idea."
The Tigers had the chance to pull out a come-from-behind victory. Daniel's 7-yard touchdown pass to Danario Alexander with 4:27 to go made it 28-23 (Missouri's two-point attempt failed).
Oklahoma State's ensuing drive stalled and a 10-yard punt gave Missouri the ball at its 35 with 2:40 to go.
After advancing to the OSU 37, Daniel tried to force a pass to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. The ball was tipped and OSU linebacker Patrick Lavine made a diving interception at the Cowboys' 31 with 1:41 remaining.
"They had some big playmakers, but we felt we had some big playmakers on our defense," Lavine said. "We knew the ball was going to Maclin. I tried to play him hard, and it worked out for me."
Missouri had scored a touchdown on its opening drive in its five victories. The Tigers took the opening kickoff and controlled the ball for six minutes. But faced with inches to go on fourth-and-goal, Missouri settled for a field goal instead of a touchdown. When Oklahoma State drove for a TD and a 7-3 lead, it appeared Mizzou was knocked back on its heels.
Every time the Tigers appeared to take control, Oklahoma State answered. Quarterback Zac Robinson was 19-for-28 for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Kendall Hunter had 154 yards on 24 carries and his 68-yard scoring run erased Missouri's 10-7 halftime lead.
Wide receiver Damian Davis caught both of Robinson's TD passes. The first, a 40-yard reception late in the third quarter, put the Cowboys ahead 21-17. Linebacker Andre Sexton's 39-yard interception return set up the Davis' second TD catch, a 31-yarder that gave them a 28-17 edge.
"It was a great opportunity on a national stage," Sexton said. "We got a chance, and we just wanted to go out there and show everybody."