for this game

Daniel shines as Missouri pounds Southeast Missouri State

Sep 7, 2008 - 3:51 AM COLUMBIA, Missouri (Ticker) -- Missouri wondered if Jeremy Maclin's injury would hamper its offensive scheme. Good thing the Tigers have a Heisman Trophy hopeful under center.

Chase Daniel threw for 244 yards and three touchdowns in less than a half as seventh-ranked Missouri pounded Southeast Missouri State, 52-3, on Saturday.

Missouri (2-0) scored on its first five possessions en route to taking a 42-0 halftime lead. The Tigers fell three points shy of the school record for first-half scoring, which was set in 1969 against Kansas.

"I thought we played a great ballgame tonight, exactly like we should," Daniel said. "No disrespect to SEMO, but we felt like we came out here and did some good things against them and I think that for the most part, we did. We still have some little corrections to make but for the most part, I think we played really well."

A 2007 Heisman Trophy finalist, Daniel completed 16-of-17 attempts and had the Tigers rolling early, as they jumped to a 21-0 advantage after the first.

Missouri's primary concern, however, was the status of Maclin, who was carted off the field in the fourth quarter of last week's victory over Illinois with an injured left ankle. But the sophomore came back strong and contributed to this rout, catching two passes for 20 yards.

One of Maclin's catches, a 3-yard TD, gave the Tigers a 14-0 lead with 7:44 left in the first quarter.

"You always want to please the crowd and you want to please yourself and I felt that is something we did," Maclin said. "We scored every time we touched the ball."

Derrick Washington stepped up to pace Missouri's offense by rushing for 67 yards and two scores while receiving for 43 yards and one TD.

"I was sitting there waiting for a while," Washington said. "That was like the longest thing I had to wait for but when it came I got it. Trick play or not it is still football. We are just out there playing football. When I get the ball in my hands, I try to do something with it every time."

The Tigers' defense also was impressive, as Sean Weatherspoon's 65-yard interception return ballooned their lead to 35-0 with 11:19 left in the second. Weatherspoon became the first player in school history to score on an interception in consecutive weeks.

After a breakthrough 2007 season in which it set school records with 12 wins and a No. 4 finish in the rankings, Missouri opened 2008 with a 52-42 win over then-No. 20 Illinois last Saturday.

"Our first team played really well and then we were able to get a lot of players a lot of playing time," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. "And that's so valuable, we're so pleased that happened that way.

"There were a lot of things we did well and certainly as always things we need to improve? I was also proud watching SEMO, how hard they played, how they competed and stuck it out through to the end. That says a lot about their program."

Missouri's defense was much sharper in this one, however, as the Tigers held Southeast Missouri to a lone 31-yard field goal early in the fourth and kept it from a first down until their third possession.

"We spotted them 21 points," Redhawks wide receiver Michael Williamson said. "We couldn't get anything going on offense and couldn't stop them on defense. In the second half, we moved the ball a lot but we couldn't punch it into the end zone. That is just a testament to how good of a team they are."

Houston Lillard paced the Redhawks (1-1) with 197 passing yards on 20-of-36 attempts. Lillard was named the Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Week after going 27-for-39 for 387 yards - including 181 in the final period - and three touchdowns last week against Southwest Baptist.