Missouri defeats Bears; secures bowl bidNov. 17, 1997
The Associated Press
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Corby Jones ran for 126 yards on 15 carries and accounted for two touchdowns as No. 25 Missouri beat Baylor 42-24 to clinch its first bowl bid in 14 years.
Jones threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Brooks in the second quarter and ran for a 7-yard score in the third. The
touchdown run was the 27th of his career, breaking the school record set by Bob Steuber from 1940-42.
Missouri (7-4, 5-3 Big 12) last had a winning season in 1983, when it lost in the Holiday Bowl to a Steve Young-led Brigham Young team. Fans celebrated by tearing down the north goal post. Among the top bowl possibilities for this year's team are the Aloha (Dec. 25), Alamo (Dec. 30) and Copper (Dec. 27).
The Tigers could have gone to a bowl even with a loss, but left nothing to chance. After Baylor (2-8, 1-6) cut the gap to 14-10 in the third quarter, Missouri pulled away to break a 28-year-old school record with 404 points in a season.
Harold Piersey returned an interception 35 yards to Baylor 4 to set up a 1-yard run by Brock Olivo, who later tied Jones' rushing touchdown record. However, he's a senior and Jones has one year to go. Justin Wyatt, a 261-pound defensive lineman, wrapped it up with a 92-yard interception return that made it 35-10 with 9:17 to play.
Ernest Blackwell scored his second touchdown with 1:12 to go on a 45-yard run. Blackwell's late push gave Missouri four 500-yard rushers for the second straight season.
Despite the trappings, Missouri's home finale drew the smallest crowd of the season. A week after 66,846 fans jammed Faurot Field for a near-upset of then-No. 1 Nebraska, only 43,825 turned out in 31-degree weather accompanied by snow flurries. More than the weather, school officials blamed the dropoff on the first day of deer-hunting season.
Freshman Darrell Bush had 162 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown for Baylor, which has lost seven of its last eight games. Baylor totaled three points the first two times it had the ball inside the Missouri 5, then scored two touchdowns in the final 4:24.
A fumble by Jerod Douglas at the Missouri 31 led to the Tigers' first score. Kent Layman ran 27 yards on the end-around to set up a 1-yard run by Blackwell with 9:41 left in the first quarter.
Missouri made it 14-0 on a 6-yard pass from Jones to Eddie Brooks with 4:59 to go in the half. Jones had the big play of the 80-yard drive with a 31-yard scramble to the Baylor 22.
Baylor drove 71 yards near the end of the half before settling for a 21-yard field goal by Matt Bryant with 40 seconds remaining.
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