Mizzo Hits The Road

Chase Daniel led Missouri to a 6-0 start last year in his first season as a full-time starter, but a second-half fade ruined the team's best beginning in 33 years. So far this season, Daniel hasn't allowed the Tigers to endure a similar letdown.

The Heisman Trophy candidate looks to help the sixth-ranked Tigers (9-1, 5-1 Big 12) to the second 10-win season in school history when they visit Kansas State (5-5, 3-4) on Saturday.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Missouri -7 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday's game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 88% of bets for this game have been placed on Missouri -7 (View College Football bet percentages).

Daniel set school records with 287 completions, 3,527 passing yards and 28 touchdown throws last season, but that didn't prevent the Tigers from losing four of their last six games in the regular season before a 39-38 defeat to Oregon State in the Sun Bowl.

Daniel is in position to break each of those records this season, and more importantly, lead Missouri to its best finish since it was 11-0 in 1960. The Tigers actually went 10-1 that year but their loss to Kansas was later forfeited because the Jayhawks used an ineligible player.

Daniel has 281 completions for 3,306 yards and 26 TDs to lead a Missouri offense that ranks seventh in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 41.8 points per game, and fourth in total offense at 514.2 yards per game.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel thinks that puts Daniel among the contenders in a wide-open Heisman race.

"I don't know if he's the best quarterback in the country, but somebody's got to show me who's better than him," said Pinkel, whose Tigers have their highest ranking since they were fifth in 1979. "I'm sure there are some real good ones out there and I've seen some good ones. But when it's time to play and time to go for a drive, well, you know who's leading this team."

Daniel completed 27 of 35 passes for 352 yards and three touchdowns without an interception Saturday as Missouri beat Texas A&M 40-26. The Aggies pulled within five points midway through the fourth quarter, but Daniel sealed the victory with a 12-yard TD pass to redshirt freshman Jeremy Maclin with 3:41 remaining.

"I don't think you ever want games like this or need games like this, but it was good to have it," Daniel said. "I'd rather be blowing people out by 60 if we possibly can."

Despite another impressive performance, Daniel refuses to get caught up in the Heisman hype, focusing instead on the games ahead.

"That's so far away," he said. "It's so far away and there's so many great college athletes out there that are deserving. We've got our hands full next week as well."

Missouri likely needs a win over Kansas State (5-5, 3-4) to stay in contention for the Big 12 North title. It trails unbeaten No. 4 Kansas, with the teams set to meet next week at Arrowhead Stadium.

Since a 3-1 start that included a win over then-No. 7 Texas in its Big 12 opener, Kansas State has dropped four of six, including a 73-31 blowout at Nebraska on Saturday. The prolific Kansas State offense topped 400 yards for the fifth straight game, but the defense gave up the most points by a Wildcats team since a 75-28 defeat to Oklahoma in 1971.

"That was as thorough a defeat as we've had as a program and personally," coach Ron Prince said. "As a professional you expect better of yourself and those around you. Clearly the game got away from us."

It was Kansas State's second consecutive road loss after falling at Iowa State on Nov. 3, a defeat that gave the Cyclones their first conference win in six games.

The Wildcats look to bounce back at home, where they're 4-1. Their only defeat in Manhattan came Oct. 6 against Kansas, the only team from a BCS conference without a loss.

Kansas State has won eight straight home games against Missouri but trails in the all-time series 31-56-5. Daniel threw touchdowns to four receivers as the Tigers snapped a 13-game losing streak against the Wildcats with a 41-21 home victory last Oct. 21.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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