2:30 PM ET, November 8, 2003
Folsom Field, Boulder, CO
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- Dominique Brooks had two critical interceptions and also tipped a fourth-down pass in the fourth quarter, almost single-handedly protecting Colorado's lead over Missouri.
Not bad for a freshman safety.
Joel Klatt threw two touchdown passes and Colorado hung on to beat No. 22 Missouri 21-16 on Saturday, ending a three-game losing streak.
Colorado (4-6, 2-4 Big 12) built a 21-9 third-quarter lead that Missouri couldn't overcome, despite outgaining the Buffaloes 447-276.
The Tigers (6-3, 2-3) got a touchdown with five minutes remaining when Damien Nash took a short pass and broke three tackles, weaving through the Colorado defense for a 48-yard scoring play.
But on Missouri's next possession, Brad Smith's pass was intercepted by Brooks with 1:58 left.
"We had man coverage, and I knew they were going to throw for the sticks," Brooks said. "He (receiver Thomson Omboga) ran about a 15-yard comeback. He broke outside and I broke with him, and the ball was there."
Colorado coach Gary Barnett said Brooks "just loves to play the game and plays it one way. He's a playmaker. We keep putting him in there, and his tackling is getting sharper and he's getting an idea of where to be and when to be there."
Smith, who accounted for 380 total yards and threw for two touchdowns, also had two costly fumbles.
"He's not Superman," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said, "so you can't blame this on him. There were a lot of other plays out there besides those turnovers. We had many, many opportunities. We just didn't take advantage of them."
Despite the loss, Missouri remained in the Big 12 North title chase but needs to win its final three games and get some help.
"I put this loss on my shoulders," Smith said. "We didn't play hard enough to win the game. They deserved it more than we did."
Klatt completed 19 of 25 passes for 187 yards.
Klatt's two TD throws in the first half gave Colorado a 14-9 lead.
Both teams scored on their first two possessions.
Missouri responded with a 79-yard, 19-play drive that consumed 8:22 and included runs by Smith of 12, 13 and 14 yards. The drive was kept alive by a roughing-the-punter penalty against Colorado, but it stalled inside the 5 and Michael Matheny kicked a 19-yard field goal.
Colorado's ensuing 80-yard drive included another facemask penalty against Missouri and back-to-back runs of 10 and 14 runs by Brian Calhoun. Klatt hit Lawrence Vickers on a 3-yard touchdown pass for a 14-3 lead with 12:43 left in the half.
Smith's 15-yard run set up his 17-yard scoring pass to Victor Sesay, but the Tigers were unsuccessful on the 2-point conversion pass.
Colorado lost Klatt for two plays because of a bruised right hand and punted, and Missouri mounted another scoring threat. Smith carried for 18- and 21-yard gains, but he fumbled just short of the goal line and Colorado's Brian Iwuh recovered.
Missouri had one more opportunity in the waning seconds of the half, but Smith's long pass was intercepted by Brooks at the goal line.
"Against Kansas, I tipped the ball on that type of play and they scored," Brooks said. "This time I told myself not to tip it but to get as high as I could and catch it."
Early in the third quarter, Klatt completed a 22-yard third-down pass to Hackett, and Calhoun ran 3 yards for a touchdown and a 21-9 lead.
Helped by a personal-foul penalty against Colorado, Missouri marched to the Buffaloes 25, where Smith fumbled on the first play of the fourth quarter and Colorado's Clyde Surrell recovered.
Marcus James' 27-yard punt return gave Missouri another scoring opportunity, but Smith's pass on fourth down from the Colorado 40 was tipped by Brooks and fell incomplete with 7:55 remaining.
"I had containment," Brooks said. "He thought about running it. When I came up he tried to throw it over my head and I just jumped and batted it down."
As Colorado struggled to make first downs, Nash scored, capping an 85-yard drive.
On Missouri's final series, Brooks stepped in front of Omboga and intercepted at the Missouri 27.