Bowl Drought Continues For Northwestern
by Mike Mitchell
December 29, 2008
Missouri beat Northwestern 30-23 in the Alamo Bowl on a 7-yard pass to Jeremy Maclin in overtime. The Wildcats overtime possession ended with an incomplete pass on a desperation heave from the 32-yard line after QB C.J. Bacher was sacked and fumbled for a 24-yard loss on 3rd down.
Missouri's Jeff Wolfert kicked a 37-yard field goal to tie it with 2:49 left, but missed a 44-yarder that would have won it on the final play of regulation. Wolfert earlier made kicks of 31 and 43 yards.
Three interceptions by Daniel, and a 303-yard, 3 TD passing performance by Bacher kept Northwestern in the lead for much of the game.
The Wildcats scored on their first possession after halting Missouri's drive with their first interception of Daniel. Six plays later, Bacher passed to Eric Peterman down the middle for 35 yards to go up 7-0.
The Tigers mounted a 14-play drive late in the first quarter but had to settle for a 31-yard field goal when the drive stalled at the 13.
Northwestern answered with a 12-play drive that reached Missouri's 3 before it had to settle for a 21-yard field goal by Amado Villarreal to go ahead 10-3. Villarreal later missed a 47-yard field goal after Daniel's second intercepted pass.
With a minute to go in the half, Jeremy Maclin brought the Tiger faithful to life when he scored on a 75-yard return to force a 10-10 tie at intermission.
Both teams scored on their opening possessions of the second half. Northwestern took the 3rd quarter kickoff and needed just six plays to reach the end zone on a 46-yard pass from Bacher to Rasheed Ward. But the PAT clanked off the right upright and the Wildcat lead was 16-10.
The Tigers responded with an 11-yard TD pass to Denario Alexander and converted the PAT to make it 17-16.
On the following possession, Bacher's lone interception set up Wolfert's 43-yard field goal to put Missouri ahead 20-16. However, Daniel's third interception came just 2:10 later at his own 24-yard line. Northwestern went up 23-20 three plays later on Bacher's 23-yard pass to Ross Lane.
The win lifted Missouri's record to 10-4 and stopped Northwestern (9-4) one victory shy of what would have been only its second 10-win season in history.
The Wildcats' winless streak in bowl games will reach its 60th anniversary on January 1, 2009. Northwestern has lost six bowl games in-a-row, all since 1995. The Tigers raised their bowl record to 12-14 with the third bowl win in their last four tries.