Saturday, October 23, 2010
Halftime analysis: Mizzou 17, OU 14
By David Ubben
COLUMBIA, Mo.--That first half was a lot of things, but entertaining is at the top of my list. Two great teams going at it here at Faurot Field, and this thing is definitely up for grabs.
Turning point: The opening kickoff. The energy in the stadium was already off the charts. Then Missouri's Gahn McGaffie housed it from 86 yards away and added some genuine belief in the building to the already buzzing energy.
Stat of the half: Oklahoma's two turnovers. Both occurred in the red zone.
Best player in the half: Oklahoma receiver Ryan Broyles. He's playing with an injured ankle, and he still looks like a contender for the Biletnikoff Award. He's caught six passes for 95 yards, including a 39-yarder that he narrowly snagged from a defensive back on the sideline.
Unsung hero: Missouri's offensive line. Blaine Gabbert has had all night to throw. Missouri's running backs have consistently had holes to run through, racking up 70 yards rushing. That's a new phenomenon for the Tigers against the Sooners, and a great sign for their chances to spring the upset.
Best call: Bob Stoops elected to go for it on 4th-and-1 in the red zone, with his team already coming up empty-handed there twice in the half. Fullback Trey Millard converted a dive play, and DeMarco Murray scored on a 5-yard reception two plays later to tie the game.
What Missouri needs to do: Keep protecting Blaine Gabbert. He's the team's best player with some functional talent around him. Give him time, and he'll make enough plays to win this with sure-handed guys like Michael Egnew and T.J. Moe running around in the secondary. Jerrell Jackson has played well, also.
What Oklahoma needs to do: Take advantage of opportunities. The easiest way to lose on the road is with turnovers. Do it in the red zone and you almost assure yourself a loss, especially to a quality team like the Tigers.