Chase Daniel threw three TD passes and Derrick Washington ran for 139 yards and scored three times as the fourth-ranked Tigers beat Nebraska 52-17 Saturday night for their first win in Lincoln since 1978.
The 35-point defeat was the Huskers' most lopsided home loss in 53 years and fifth-worst in Lincoln in the program's 119-year history. "I'm not used to losing," said NU coach Bo Pelini. "I'm not used to getting beat soundly. It's my fault."
"Damn right, yes, I'm embarrassed. I apologized to the team. I apologize to the state of Nebraska. I apologize to everyone associated with Nebraska football. "It's my responsibility. I was hired to do a job and I didn't do the job tonight. Anything else need to be said?"
Missouri scored the first four times it had the ball, then went up 31-7 on Brock Christopher's 16-yard interception return late in the second quarter.
Missouri (1-0 Big 12) is unbeaten through five games for the third year in a row. Nebraska (3-2, 0-1) is winless in 10 straight against opponents ranked in the Top 10.
The Tigers upset second-ranked Nebraska 35-31 to deny the Huskers a national title shot 30 years ago, Missouri's last victory in Lincoln. "That wasn't just about the 2008 football team," said Missouri coach Gary Pinkel. "It's about 30 years of fans from around the world and a lot of former Missouri players. It's pretty good to get a win at one of the toughest places to play in the country."
Missouri ended two long road losing streaks on its march to the Big 12 North title last year, winning at Colorado for the first time since 1997 and at Kansas State for the first time since 1989. But it was the losing streak in Lincoln that has dogged the Tigers longest.
"I hope we made the nation of Tiger fans proud of us," Daniel said. "Right now it feels good, but down the road I'm sure it will mean more. We're focused on this game so we'll enjoy it."
The Tigers were as good as, or better than, they were in beating three non-BCS opponents before starting Big 12 play.
Three of their scoring drives lasted less than two minutes, giving them 17 such drives for the season. And their No. 1 offense extended its streak of no three-and-out possessions to 49.
"We didn't punt today, that's hard to believe," said Pinkel. "We're going to have to work hard on that in practice because that's not reality."
Pelini said earlier in the week that his team's goal was to shut out a Mizzou offense that came in averaging 54 points and 596 yards a game. That bluster was blown away in a hurry.
Daniel found Jeremy Maclin on a short slant on the third play of the game and Maclin turned it into a 58-yard touchdown to continue the Tigers' streak of scoring on their first possession in each game this season.
Nebraska came right back with Joe Ganz rolling out and hitting Nate Swift with a 20-yard touchdown pass.
Daniel, who was 18-of-23 for 253 yards, led the Tigers on three impressive scoring drives. A personal foul and pass interference penalty helped fuel a quick 80-yard drive that Washington finished with a 3-yard run. Jeff Wolfert kicked a 48-yard field goal and Jimmy Jackson scored on a 1-yard run to end a 75-yard march.
Down 24-7 and facing third-and-14 at his own 16, Ganz tried to force a pass to Menelik Holt, but Christopher stepped in front from his linebacker spot and went in for a score.
Ganz finished 26-of-38 for 290 yards and two touchdowns, the last one a meaningless 20-yarder to Holt as time expired.
The Huskers, who hadn't been beaten so bad since Oklahoma shut them out 41-0 in 1955, never gave themselves a chance to get back into the game, stalling repeatedly because of penalties or turnovers.
Daniel said he took great satisfaction in the five-touchdown margin of victory. He said a Nebraska player spit on him before the game. "I'm not going to say who it was. He knows who it is. That's bush league. That's blatant disrespect."
Daniel called Nebraska one of the "dirtiest" teams he's played. "You have to settle it out on the field and I think we more than did that tonight."