No. 24 Missouri falls apart in fourth quarter loss to No. 21 Nebraska

It wasn’t the loss that Missouri suffered on Thursday night to Nebraska that it will be thinking about for the rest of the weekend, but the way it lost.

Up 12-0 heading into the fourth quarter, Missouri watched as Nebraska compiled 27 unanswered points to beat the Tigers 27-12 on a rainy night in Columbia. At one point, the Huskers scored three touchdowns in under four minutes of play.

The issues started for the Tigers early in the fourth when Husker QB Zac Lee hit Niles Paul on a 56-yard touchdown with just under 14 minutes remaining. Up until that point, MIZZOU had done a great job of not allowing Lee to complete anything over the top, but the touchdown completely revitalized Nebraska’s defense, which had been tiring out up until that point.

On the Tigers’ next position, quarterback Blaine Gabbert threw his first interception of the season, which Nebraska turned into points thanks to Paul’s second touchdown in less than a minute. The Huskers failed to convert on the 2-point attempt, but all of a sudden they had a 13-12 lead despite being outplayed for three quarters.

Gabbert was again picked off on the Tigers’ next possession, which led to a Mike McNeill 8-yard touchdown reception to give Nebraska a 20-12 lead. After MIZZOU failed to convert on a 4th and 20 deep inside Nebraska territory, the Huskers took over and added a Roy Helu 5-yard touchdown run to put the game away.

In fairness, the Huskers weren’t completely dominated in the first three quarters of this game. They just couldn’t convert golden opportunities that Gabbert was giving them. On more than a handful of plays, Nebraska defenders had the ball hit them in the chest for what should have been easy interceptions. But give the Husker defense credit – they stepped in the fourth quarter and shut MIZZOU down when it mattered most.

With this win, Nebraska takes a one-game lead over MIZZOU in the Big 12 standings. It’s early, but this loss could come back to haunt Gabbert and the Tigers.

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