for this game

Temple runs wild as Missouri routs McFadden, Arkansas

Jan 2, 2008 - 1:40 AM DALLAS (Ticker) -- Missouri had no problem containing Darren McFadden. Arkansas, on the other hand, had no answer for Tony Temple.

In a showdown which pitted a pair of Heisman Trophy finalists against one another, Temple stole the show Tuesday, rushing for Cotton Bowl records of 281 yards and four touchdowns to lead seventh-ranked Missouri to a 38-7 rout of No. 25 Arkansas.

It was a brilliant finish to an outstanding season for the Tigers (12-2), who won the North Division in the Big 12 Conference and reached the No. 1 spot in the national rankings for the first time in school history.

But after losing to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game, Missouri was not given a BCS bowl berth - widely considered the biggest snub in the selection process.

The Tigers, however, did not miss the opportunity to perhaps prove the BCS Committee wrong.

"I think anybody knows naturally if you end up sixth in the BCS and you're not invited to a BCS game, that affected all my players," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. "The great thing they did is they found out what great bowl the Cotton Bowl was, and we embraced that."

"Initially we were upset for about a couple days after we heard," tight end Martin Rucker added. "But we knew the Cotton Bowl was a great bowl. It was nothing against the Cotton Bowl. We just felt that we deserved, that we had earned to be in a BCS game."

A senior, Temple was overshadowed throughout the season by quarterback Chase Daniel, a Heisman finalist who passed for 4,170 yards and 33 TDs over Missouri's first 13 games.

Temple also entered Tuesday's contest as an afterthought behind McFadden, the Heisman runner-up who became involved in a controversy this past weekend - throwing his playing eligibility into question.

The winner of the Walter Camp Award, McFadden ultimately played in the contest. But the junior All-American was clearly outdone by Temple, who recorded career highs for rushing yards and touchdowns in his final collegiate game.

"Arkansas, they came with a great plan to stop our passing game," Temple said. "I'm just doing my job, doing what I'm supposed to do. That's what it comes down to."

"Tony's done an excellent job all year long," Daniel added. "He hasn't got as many carries this year because we've been throwing the heck out of the football."

The 5-9 Temple also etched his name into Cotton Bowl lore, breaking the previous rushing record of 265 yards held by Dicky Maegle of Rice. Maegle accomplished the feat against Alabama in the 1954 Cotton Bowl.

Temple's four touchdowns broke the previous record of three held by three different players, most recently Syracuse's Jim Brown in 1957.

"I can have all the records in the world, but if my team's not winning I don't care about the records," Temple said. "I'm just so happy that we can walk out of here. We leave a great legacy going on here. I'm just happy that we got the win."

Temple gave Missouri the lead for good with 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the first quarter, racing around the left edge for a 22-yard TD to make it 7-0. He plowed up the middle for a four-yard score to double the Tigers' advantage with 4:34 left in the first half.

Missouri pulled away on its first drive of the second half, a six-play, 52-yarder capped by Temple's three-yard score which made it 21-0. Temple broke both records on his fourth TD, a 40-yarder up the middle that made it 38-7 late in the fourth quarter.

McFadden's eligibility came into question when several media outlets reportedly linked him and an agent to the purchase of a vehicle. The star running back never got going against the Tigers, rushing for 105 yards and Arkansas' only touchdown.

"We had a bad game," said McFadden, who would not reveal whether he would forego his senior year for the NFL. "You don't want to lose a bowl game. The only time you have fun in a bowl game is when you win."

Quarterback Casey Dick also struggled for the Razorbacks (8-5), completing 19-of-33 passes for 198 yards.

Daniel also was unspectacular, going just 12-for-30 for 137 yards and an interception.

Arkansas played the contest under defensive coordinator Reggie Herring, who was named interim coach after Houston Nutt resigned from the position in late November.

The Razorbacks found Nutt's replacement last month, when Bobby Petrino left the NFL's Atlanta Falcons to take the Arkansas job.

"Obviously, Missouri played extremely well today and we probably did about everything we could do to help them," Herring said. "Not taking anything away from them - they played hard. I thought they executed what they do."