Final - 2OT
  for this game

Daniel, Maclin come through for Missouri in Alamo Bowl

Dec 30, 2008 - 7:49 AM EVANSTON, Illinois (Ticker) -- For much of Monday's Alamo Bowl, it was Chase Daniel's counterpart that looked like a Heisman Trophy finalist from a year ago.

But the senior quarterback ended his storied career in typical fashion, connecting with Jeremy Maclin on a seven-yard touchdown pass in overtime as 23rd-ranked Missouri recorded a 30-23 triumph over No. 20 Northwestern.

Maclin also scored on a punt return at the end of the first half and Jeff Wolfert kicked three field goals, but missed a chance to win it in regulation from 44 yards out.

Danario Alexander caught a touchdown for Missouri (10-4) as it followed up last season's win in the Cotton Bowl with its second straight bowl win.

"We won overtime and the fourth quarter," Daniel said. "That's why we're victorious."

"I didn't want to throw those interceptions," he told the Chicago Sun-Times. "But I'll take the win any day over numbers."

C.J. Bacher threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns for Northwestern (9-4), which was in search of its first bowl victory since a triumph in the 1949 Rose Bowl.

"Our goal this entire season was to win a bowl game and we weren't able to finish the job," Bacher told the Sun-Times. "They're a very good team. They're the Big 12 North champs. We knew we were pretty good, too. We proved we can play with them, but we're disappointed. They made more plays than we did. That's why they're Alamo Bowl champions and we're not."

With the Wildcats in need of a tying touchdown in overtime, the senior was sacked and fumbled on third down. His last-ditch effort on 4th-and-goal from the 31 fell incomplete.

"A few big plays here or there," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald told the Chicago Tribune.

Daniel struggled for much of the game, ending with a season-low 200 yards and tying a career-high with three interceptions. But the senior hit his favorite target on a quick slant for one of his two touchdowns and the Tigers defense held on Northwestern's turn in the extra session to clinch the win.

Northwestern's defense forced Daniel into some unusually sloppy play, putting itself in position for the upset by keeping the high powered Tigers in check. The Wildcats held a 35:20-24:40 advantage in time of possession.

"I made it hard on our team," Daniel said.

An interception by Brad Phillips gave the Wildcats the ball on Missouri's 24 and Bacher found Ross Lane in the back of the end zone three plays later to put the Wildcats ahead, 23-20.

However, Wolfert kicked a tying field goal with 2:49 left and after Northwestern - which had converted 11-of-19 third downs - went three-and-out, Daniel put his kicker in position for some late-game heroics.

He ran for nine yards and completed three straight passes to set up Wolfert from 44 yards away. But his attempt went wide right to send the game into overtime.

The Wildcats went ahead, 7-0, when Bacher and Eric Peterman hooked up on a 35-yard scoring strike. Wolfert and Amado Villarreal traded field goals before Maclin swung the tide before halftime

Playing in possibly his last game for Missouri (10-4) as speculation swirls about his NFL Draft potential, the sophomore scored on a 75-yard punt return with 60 seconds left in the first half.

Rasheed Ward's 46-yard touchdown catch put Northwestern back in front, but Villarreal hit the right upright on the extra point, which proved to be costly.

"Eighty-seven point seven percent of the people thought we had no chance today," Fitzgerald told the Sun-Times. "Maybe they're wrong, but we didn't have a moral victory. We're very disappointed that we lost. I'm proud that we fought hard, and fought valiantly. But there are no moral victories in our program."

Tyrell Sutton gained 114 yards on 29 carries and Ward had seven catches for 101 yards as the underdog Wildcats fell short of the school's second 10-win season in program history.