Daniel continues unbeaten start for MissouriSep 30, 2006 - 8:09 PM COLUMBIA, Missouri (Ticker) -- Chase Daniel is continuing to forge his own identity, especially one as a winning quarterback.
Daniel threw for four touchdowns as No. 25 Missouri continued its undefeated start to the season with a 28-13 victory over Colorado in the Big 12 Conference opener for both schools.
Continuing their offensive tear, the Tigers (5-0, 1-0 Big 12 North) are off to their best start since 1981. They racked up 353 yards of total offense Saturday en route to scoring at least 27 points for the fifth time this season.
"I thought it was a great team victory, and I know I've said this before but I really like my football team and their competitiveness and their work ethic," Tigers coach Gary Pinkel said. "We're far from perfect, but I guess the good news is we can get better. We are going to enjoy this and tomorrow morning we're going to wake up and get ready for Texas Tech."
"The only thing that matters to me is that we're 1-0 in conference," Daniel said. "This is the start of a new season, and we passed it today. There's some troubles like every game, we faced some adversity there and we got through it."
Sitting behind Brad Smith last season as the current New York Jet became one of the most prolific quarterbacks in college football history, Daniel showed that he picked up a thing or two from watching.
The sophomore completed 23-of-35 attempts for 253 yards, including three first-half touchdowns as Missouri raced out to a 21-6 lead.
So far, taking over the reins for the Tigers has been quite easy for Daniel, who has completed 64 percent (113-of-177) of his passes and has 13 touchdowns against four interceptions.
"Obviously he's worked very hard, he's a special guy and he's got a lot of 'it' and intangibles is necessary to be a quality quarterback," Pinkel said. "And I think he's very confident, but if you ask anyone of his teammates, he's never cocky at all."
Daniel's favorite target Saturday was backup tight end Chase Coffman, who caught a pair of TDs in the first quarter. First-string tight end Martin Rucker added six catches for 66 yards and a score.
While Daniel was spearheading the offense, senior linebacker Dedrick Harrington was the defensive leader, finishing with 11 tackles and two sacks.
The nation's top-ranked defense in yards per game (175.25) entering the contest, the Tigers survived a strong effort by the Buffaloes, who collected 373 yards on 63 plays. Despite the strong offensive showing, the first season for Buffaloes coach Dan Hawkins has continued to be a tough one.
A week after coughing up a 13-0 lead in a heartbreaking 14-13 loss to Georgia, Colorado (0-5, 0-1 North) fell to Missouri for just the fourth time in 11 meetings since the formation of the Big 12.
Bernard Jackson had 190 yards on 13-of-27 passing for the Buffaloes, who were unable to convert any of their five attempts on fourth down.
"Bernard started getting a little confidence, and doing some things and making some plays," Hawkins said.
In all, Colorado went a combined 3-of-17 on third- and fourth-down plays. In comparison, Missouri was 11-for-19 in those situations.
Colorado was really strong on the ground, finishing with 183 yards on 36 carries. Jackson had 117 of those on 15 rushes.
However, the Buffaloes began their season with five straight losses for the first time since 1984. The worst start in school history was 0-7 in 1980 for Colorado, which hosts Baylor next Saturday.
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