Daniel helps Missouri bounce backOct 21, 2006 - 9:31 PM COLUMBIA, Missouri (Ticker) -- Chase Daniel was not about to let Kansas State spoil homecoming.
Daniel threw for four touchdowns as No. 24 Missouri snapped a 13-game losing streak against Kansas State with a 41-21 Big 12 Conference victory.
Coming off last week's loss at Texas A&M, the Tigers entered this contest with extra incentive since they had not beaten the Wildcats since 1992. Last season, the Tigers were prevented from playing from in the conference title game thanks to a 36-28 loss to the Wildcats in the regular-season finale.
"I could sit there and lie to you and say it's no big deal, but that's why we talk about this is '06, we have no control over the past," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. "We have absolutely nothing we could do, and I felt that the players understood that and focused on it."
"That's definitely something that for a lot of us older guys, we've been on the tip of our toes for the last two years," Missouri wide receiver Will Franklin said. "We just wanted to go out here and get that over with, put that behind us."
Daniel was a major reason the Tigers (7-1, 3-1 Big 12 North) ended their run of futility against their conference rivals. The sophomore completed 24-of-31 passes for 262 yards.
In the first half, Daniel had TD passes of 14 yards to Martin Rucker and 52 yards to Franklin, helping the Tigers build a 17-7 lead.
"I think he's a pretty special guy, I think we all know that," Pinkel said.
Daniel kept things going after halftime with TD passes of three yards to Tommy Saunders in the third quarter and 15 yards to Chase Coffman in the final period.
Daniel has 19 TD passes on the season, breaking Terry McMillan's previous school record of 18 set in 1969.
Jeff Wolfert added a pair of field goals for the Tigers, who have won their five home games by a combined 181-54.
"This is another barrier we finally got through," Pinkel said. "I'm glad that's over with."
James Johnson rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown and Leon Patton added 112 and a score for the Wildcats (4-4, 1-3 North), who lost for the fourth time in five games following a 3-0 start under first-year coach Ron Prince.
However, the Wildcats received very little from their passing game as Josh Freeman went just 5-of-19 for 62 yards and two interceptions.
The game was played in a driving rain.
Zach Diles got the Wildcats off to a rousing start, returning a fumble 43 yards for a touchdown 30 seconds into the contest.
"The game could not have started any better for us," Prince said. "We came in here and tried to put pressure on the quarterback. We were able to do that on the first play."
Wolfert kicked a 30-yard field goal with 2:14 left in the first quarter to get the Tigers on the board.
The Wildcats had a chance to increase their lead early in the second quarter but Johnson was stopped on 4th-and-goal from the 1.
"We talked about crunch time," Pinkel said. "There's a time when you have to make a play. We haven't done that every time this year, but a lot of times we have in different games. You talk about 4th-and-1 on the goal line and being able to make that stop, and have offense answer and go 99 yards, it's just a remarkable momentum swing."
"It was a great opportunity and we didn't take advantage of it," Patton said.
Daniel cashed in on the momentum by directing a 10-play, 99-yard drive that he capped with his connection to Rucker with 8:33 left in the half to give the Tigers the lead for good.
Daniel found Franklin for 52 yards with 2:40 left before intermission for a 17-7 advantage.
On the Tigers' ensuing possession in the third quarter, Daniels connected with Saunders from three yards to increase the advantage to 24-7.
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