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Quarter by quarter: MU dominates

FIRST QUARTER

Score: Missouri 7-0

Scoring summary: MU, TD Tony Temple 22 run (Jeff Wolfert kick); 6 plays, 73 yards, 1:53. Missouri 7-0.

Summary: Arkansas didn’t have much good fortune offensively. The Razorbacks opened with a 13-play drive for no points when Alex Tejada missed a 35-yard field goal try well (very well) right. They later fooled Missouri with a successful end around on fourth down, but the Arkansas sideline had called timeout before the snap – negating the play.

Tony Temple rushed for 52 yards in the opening period. Chase Daniel completed 7 of 8 passes for 74 yards. Tight end Martin Rucker, meanwhile, became Missouri’s career receptions leader on the Tigers’ second offensive play with his 202nd catch. He broke the team’s single-season record (83 catches) later in the period.

New Year’s resolution for MU: To let go of any leftover BCS angst and let this game (if it continues to progress like this) be the final statement on whether the Tigers belonged.

SECOND QUARTER

Score: Missouri 14-0

Scoring summary: MU, TD Tony Temple 4 run (Jeff Wolfert kick); 6 plays, 82 yards, 2:12. Missouri 14-0.

Summary: Missouri’s Tony Temple stole the stage from Arkansas’ vaunted rushing tandem of Heisman Trophy runner-up Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. Temple finished the half with 159 rushing yards and two touchdowns in 13 attempts. By the time he reached the end zone for the second time late in the second quarter, Temple had already set a new season high.

Arkansas, meanwhile, missed another field goal try, from 37 yards.

New Year’s resolution for MU: To see more of this Mizzou “ball control” offense in the future. The Tigers netted 98 rushing yards in the second quarter alone – Herm would be so proud.

THIRD QUARTER

Score: Missouri 28-7

Scoring summary: MU, TD Tony Temple 4 run (Jeff Wolfert kick); 6 plays, 48 yards, 1:22. Missouri 21-0.

MU, TD William Moore 26 interception return (Jeff Wolfert kick). Missouri 28-0.

ARK, TD Darren McFadden 3 run (Alex Tejada kick); 10 plays, 71 yards, 4:29. Missouri, 28-7.

Summary: Tony Temple continued to accumulate highlights in his finale with the Tigers, capping Missouri’s first drive of the second half with a four-yard touchdown run. It marked the first three-touchdown game of his career, while he tied a Cotton Bowl record as the fifth player to rush for three scores in the game’s history. Through three quarters, Temple had rushed for 232 yards in 22 carries to surpass his own Missouri bowl record. He had 194 yards and two touchdowns in the Sun Bowl last season.

Meanwhile, Arkansas’ misfortune continued. A long catch-and-run by Felix Jones ended with a turnover when he was stripped by William Moore. Moore later cut in front of a quick sideline pass (tipped by Sean Weatherspoon) for a 26-yard interception return for touchdown. It was his eighth interception of the season – a Missouri record. The Razorbacks eventually scored on a fourth-and-goal run by Darren McFadden.

New Year’s resolution for MU: To remember Tony Temple for his postseason prowess. Seriously, what is it with this guy and bowl games?

FOURTH QUARTER

Score: Missouri 38-7

Scoring summary: MU, FG Jeff Wolfert 32; 4 plays, -3 yards, 0:39. Missouri, 31-7

MU, TD Tony Temple 40 run (Jeff Wolfert kick); 1 play, 40 yards, 0:10. Missouri, 38-7.

Summary: More Tony Temple. After being sidelined early in the fourth quarter, Temple returned to break two Cotton Bowl records on a 40-yard run up the middle. He used a nifty spin move to keep the play going before all but limping into the end zone – and the record book. That play gave Temple a Cotton Bowl-record 281 rushing yards in 24 carries and a Cotton Bowl-record four rushing touchdowns.

New Year’s resolution for MU: To keep the coaching staff intact and use this as a jump-start for another try at cracking the BCS next year.

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