Oklahoma’s stay at the top of the BCS will be brief.
Thousands of yellow-clad fans stormed the field even before the end of the Sooners’ final, desperate play, hauling one goal post and part of the other to a local tavern, after No. 18 Missouri’s 36-27 victory on Saturday night.
“It’s huge, it’s gigantic,” said coach Gary Pinkel, who had been 0-6 against the Sooners. “It’s a long time coming. I’m just real proud of our team.”
Jerrell Jackson spun free from a knot of tacklers on a 38-yard reception for the go-ahead score that sparked a 16-point fourth quarter over the error-prone and third-ranked Sooners and put a sellout crowd of 70,004 in a celebratory mood.
“We’ve worked hard for this and all we had to do is believe,” quarterback Blaine Gabbert said.
Oklahoma (6-1, 2-1 Big 12) committed three costly turnovers, out of character considering they had only five giveaways the first six games. Two of the turnovers led to 10 points and the other squelched a drive deep in Missouri territory. The Sooners also missed a chip-shot field goal.
An 86-yard touchdown return Gahn McGaffie on the opening kickoff put the Tigers (7-0, 3-0) on their way to ending a seven-game losing streak in a lopsided series dating to 1998. They beat the Sooners for only the second time in the last 21 meetings.
Missouri is 7-0 for the first time since 1960 when the school ended 11-0 and finished No. 5 after beating Navy in the Orange Bowl. This one was especially satisfying, coming against a school that whipped them the last three meetings, including ending the Tigers’ one-week stay at No. 1 with a 38-17 victory in the 2007 Big 12 championship game and hammering them again 62-21 in the 2008 conference title game.
Oklahoma became another national championship front-runner to tumble in a road conference game, following Alabama and Ohio State, who were both No. 1 in the AP poll when they lost the past two Saturdays.
That helped clear the way for the Sooners to be first when the BCS standings debuted last week, but that will change Sunday. Oregon will likely take the top spot. Second place could go to Boise State, Auburn or maybe TCU.
Jackson had nine catches for 139 yards, both season bests. He totaled 18 catches the first six games, playing the pre-conference schedule wearing a cast from a broken left wrist.
Landry Jones threw three touchdown passes but was intercepted twice for Oklahoma. Aldon Smith returned one 58 yards to set up a touchdown in the first quarter and Zavier Gooden’s pick in the fourth quarter led to a field goal, but only after Missouri had first-and-goal from the 1.
Jackson’s touchdown gave Missouri a 26-21 lead with 12:43 to go. Gabbert was lined up as a wide receiver on backup James Franklin’s 3-yard scoring run with 6:36 left.