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October 7, 2006

Missouri continues to impress, improves to 6-0

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LUBBOCK, Texas -Chase Daniel threw for 171 yards and a touchdown, and Missouri returned two interceptions for scores as the 23rd-ranked Tigers beat Texas Tech 38-21 on Saturday to start 6-0 for the first time in 33 years.

Though Daniel led the offense, it was Missouri's defense that set up most of the scoring. Four turnovers - two interceptions and two fumbles - by Tech quarterback Graham Harrell led to 28 points for the Tigers, who came into the game ranked No. 10 in the nation in total defense.

Xzavie Jackson and William Moore scored on interception returns on consecutive Texas Tech possessions in the second quarter.

Daniel, who returned to Texas where he played high school football in the Dallas area, really didn't have to do much. But his dual threat kept Tech's defense guessing. The Birthday Boy completed 15-of-22 passes and threw one interception and ran for 37 yards.

Harrell, who came into the game ranked fourth in the nation in total offense and was the hero in last week's dramatic 31-27 win over Texas A&M, appeared flustered by the Tigers' blitz. Texas Tech coach Mike Leach even benched him for a series following the second of consecutive interceptions.

Missouri (2-0 Big 12) got up 24-0 before Texas Tech (4-2, 1-1) crossed the 50. The Red Raiders scored a two touchdowns before halftime and appeared to have momentum turned around. But Missouri stiffened and allowed only one score in the second half.

Harrell's second fumble came early in the second half and gave the Tigers good field position at Tech's 44-yard line. Daniel threw a 36-yard pass to Will Franklin and Tony Temple ran 8 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter to give the Tigers their winning margin.

Harrell completed 39-of-55 passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns.

Missouri's defense pressured Harrell early, forcing a fumble at the Red Raiders 12-yard line on the first play of Tech's second possession. DeMarcus Scott recovered the ball and four plays later Temple put Missouri up 10-0 on a 1-yard run.

Missouri's defense got better in the second quarter.

Jackson got the first Missouri defensive score on a screen pass over the middle by Harrell and the defensive end lumbered 17 yards into the end zone untouched to give the Tigers a 17-0 lead.

Harrell's pass to Robert Johnson near the sideline was picked off by Moore who scampered 22 yards to put Missouri up 24-0.

On Tech's next series, Harrell was replaced by backup quarterback Chris Todd, who got the Red Raiders across midfield for the first time in the game. But Harrell returned on the next possession to a sprinkling of boos from fans.

He silenced them quickly, though, completing 4-of-5 passes, including a 30-yard touchdown to whittle Tech's deficit to 24-7.

It was then Daniel's turn to make a first-down mistake. Tech cornerback Chris Parker intercepted Daniel's pass at the Tech 41, and Harrell led the Red Raiders down the field for a touchdown. He threw a 6-yard pass to Joel Filani with 1:27 remaining in the half to draw Tech within 24-14.

For more coverage of Missouri, visit PowerMizzou.com; for more on Texas Tech, visit RedRaiderSports.com.



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