Missouri Tops Oklahoma 20-6

Missouri leaned on its defensive playmaker to beat Oklahoma for the first time since 1983.


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    Forum: Can Missouri win the Big 12?

  • Perkins returned one of his two interceptions for a touchdown as stifling defense helped the 20th-ranked Tigers beat Oklahoma 20-6 Saturday.

    Three of Perkins' five interceptions have come in the last two weeks, and his 36-yard return on the game's third play set the tone.

    "I think it put them into some shock," said Missouri coach Larry Smith. "He just uses that innate sense he has and makes plays."

    Perkins also intercepted Patrick Fletcher in the second quarter to stop an Oklahoma scoring opportunity. On the big play, he noticed an Oklahoma tendency on videotape and decided to gamble a bit, asking free safety Harold Piersey to cover his back.

    "Every game they play, the first play has been a hitch," Perkins said. "I told Harold I was going to sit real hard on the route."

    Devin West ran for two touchdowns for Missouri (5-1, 2-0 Big 12), which held Oklahoma to two first downs and 48 yards in the first half. The Sooners finished with 247 total yards, with 60 of them coming on a third-quarter shovel pass to De'Mond Parker.

    Playing in front of a sellout crowd of 61,586, Missouri ended a 12-game losing streak against Oklahoma. The teams had not met since 1995, when Missouri went to the North Division of the Big 12 and Oklahoma (2-4, 0-3) to the South.

    It meat a lot to Smith, who tried to fire up the team by having wide receivers coach Andy Hill, who played on the 1983 team that beat Oklahoma 10-0, deliver a pregame pep talk.


    Corby Jones
    Quarterback Corby Jones has led Missouri to a 2-0 start in the Big 12. (AP)
    all knew how much it meant to Tiger fans to put something to rest," Smith said.

    Quarterback Corby Jones's point of reference was last year's loss to Oklahoma when he was a freshman.

    "It's nice to come back and get the win," Jones said. "But I wasn't concerned with who we were playing, I was concerned with getting to 5-1."

    Oklahoma is 0-8 against South division teams. Sooners coach John Blake, under fire in his third season, is 9-20 and his team has managed only three field goals the last two weeks.

    "We're a disappointed football team right now," Blake said. "Right now, we're in a tough situation."

    Blake, who has used five quarterbacks this year, used three Saturday and they totaled three interceptions. Eric Moore, who entered in the second quarter, was the most effective before leaving with a sprained neck with 3:39 to play.

    "He came in and provided a spark," Blake said. "If he can come back next week, he might be right there in the starting lineup."

    Missouri, which has won five straight at home, also struggled to move the ball against Oklahoma's defense. West, the nation's No. 2 rusher with an average of 191.6 yards per game, scored on runs of 1 and 22 yards, but totaled only 93 yards on 26 carries. It's his second-lowest total of the season, seven yards more than he got against Ohio State Sept. 19.

    "Ohio State, they were better, but not by much," West said. "They made it tough on me."

    West got 30 yards on 10 carries in the first quarter, then just two yards on three attempts in the second. He finally broke loose with a 22-yard run that made it 20-6 with 6:09 to play.

    Oklahoma held Texas' Ricky Williams to 139 yards, 78 shy of his season average, in a 34-3 loss last week.

    "Ricky Williams can come out there and hit you with some moves, but Devin West, he's a good back, too," Oklahoma defensive tackle Kelly Gregg said. "He just keeps coming."

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