2008 KU-MU football
Kansas City, Mo. Saturday’s 40-37 loss to Kansas University might have had an effect on many of the Missouri players, but MU quarterback Chase Daniel didn’t want to be included in that bunch.
Shortly after the game, Daniel was asked if it would be difficult to recover from the loss.
“(It’s) not hard at all, for the fact of, hey, we’re in the (Big 12) championship game,” Daniel said matter-of-factly. “Not Kansas, not Kansas State, not Baylor. No one else. We’re in the championship game.
“So would we have liked to keep the momentum up and go in? Yeah, sure. It’s a big week, a championship week.”
Because the Tigers clinched the Big 12 North title before Saturday’s game, they will return to Arrowhead Stadium next weekend to face the Big 12 South representative.
Daniel seemed certain that a loss to his team’s biggest rival wouldn’t linger.
“We’ll right ourselves tonight,” Daniel said. “There’s no 24-hour rule about this. It’s getting over it as soon as you can, because if you don’t, you’re going to get embarrassed by a great team from the South.”
Other Tigers seemed more disheartened by the defeat.
Junior linebacker Sean Weatherspoon stood stunned on the sideline after the game while KU players celebrated on the field.
“I didn’t know what was going on. It was just disbelief that it happened the way it did,” Weatherspoon said. “It’s just something I’m not used to. I’ve never lost to Kansas.
“Today was just a shocking feeling because those guys, they think about us all season, and we think about them all season. At the end of the season, we get together, and they got the best of us today. It’s just disbelief.”
MU receiver Tommy Saunders also wasn’t hiding his disappointment.
“It’s doesn’t matter if you go 0-10 — you want to beat Kansas,” Saunders said. “It really hurts to lose against them, but they’re a good team.”
With a 37-33 lead, MU had a chance to win the game at the end, as KU faced a fourth-and-seven at the MU 26 with 33 seconds left.
The Tigers went with an all-out blitz, but KU quarterback Todd Reesing was able to avoid the rush before finding Kerry Meier in the end zone for the game-deciding, 26-yard touchdown.
“We brought a lot of guys,” MU coach Gary Pinkel said. “One of our safeties came later than we would have liked. That’s just executing.
“I thought it was a good call. I’ve been doing this a long time. When it’s a good call and it works, it’s a good call. It went through me, and I knew they were doing it. I thought it was a good call.”
Pinkel also bemoaned an errant call by the officials. In the final minute, Meier caught a pass, but as he turned upfield, his knee hit the ground.
Officials ruled he had stayed on his feet, and the clock was stopped after Meier ran out of bounds.
MU challenged the play and had it overturned, but KU was able to snap the ball quickly when the clock restarted after the stoppage in play.
Had the clock continued running, KU might have lost 10-20 valuable seconds.
“That didn’t help,” Pinkel said. “That was a really critical call, because that clock runs, and they would have had to use a timeout. That was huge when you’re fighting for every second and trying to pressure the offense.
“But, things like that happen. There are a lot of other things that can happen in a football game that affect the outcome more than that.”