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Wednesday, June 10, 2009
2007 Border War ranks as No. 23 among Big 12 moments

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

The Missouri-Kansas "Border War" has featured many memorable contests.

But it had never anything quite like the hype surrounding the Missouri-Kansas game at Arrowhead Stadium in 2007. A sellout crowd at Arrowhead Stadium was there to see the matchup between the No. 2 ranked Jayhawks and No. 3 ranked Tigers. It was undoubtedly the biggest game in the history of either program to that point.

And what happened was unlike any in the previous history of the game.

No. 23 -- A Border War bigger than the rest

Date: Nov. 24, 2007
Place: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
Score: Missouri 36, Kansas 28

The hype surrounding the 2007 Border War was unseen in the history of the rivalry. Kansas came into the game with an 11-0 record and Missouri was 10-1, marred only by a loss at Oklahoma earlier in the season.

Missouri almost blew the game apart early behind quarterback Chase Daniel, who helped spark the Tigers to a 21-0 lead early in the third quarter. Daniel rifled three touchdown passes to extend the lead to 28-7 after three quarters.

But Kansas had a comeback left in them. Sparked by quarterback Todd Reesing (349 passing yards, two TDs), the Jayhawks closed within 34-28 on Reesing's 5-yard TD pass to Marcus Henry with 2:03 left.

After Kansas was unsuccessful on an onside-kick attempt, the Tigers ran three plays before punting to the Kansas 11 with 17 seconds left.

Kansas had one last chance. But Missouri defensive tackle Lorenzo Williams crashed through to sack Reesing for a safety, preserving the Tigers' victory and pushing into their first Big 12 championship game in history the following week.

The numbers: Chase Daniel completed 40 of 49 passes for 361 yards and three touchdowns to lead the victory.

They said it, part I: "You saw it. America saw it. I'll be the first to tell you this guy is special. I've been saying it for years. America got to see it today," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel on Daniel's big effort.

They said, part II: "It's all good. I don't know what you want me to do. I'm not going to jump up and do a backflip. I can't do that," Pinkel said after the Tigers' victory propelled them into the championship game.

The upshot: Missouri jumped to No. 1 in the AP rankings for only the second time in school history after the victory. But their high standing was short lived as the Tigers lost in the Big 12 championship game the next week in San Antonio to Oklahoma, 38-17.

By virtue of their shared Big 12 North championship, Orange Bowl officials opted to invite Kansas to their game rather than Missouri. The Jayhawks made the most of their appearance, notching a 24-21 triumph over Virginia Tech for the school's first BCS bowl triumph.

The Tigers instead went to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, where they took out their aggression with a 38-7 beatdown of Arkansas. Tony Temple rushed for 281 yards and four TDs to pace the Tigers' impressive victory.

Missouri finished the season with a 12-2 record and a No. 4 in the final AP poll. It was the highest ranking in the school's history.

The bowl victory propelled Kansas to a 12-1 final record and No. 7 in the poll -- the Jayhawks' highest end-of-season finish since 1968.