Two returns help hold off Tigers
Eric Crouch threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for a score, but it was linebacker Jamie Burrow’s third-quarter fumble return that broke Missouri’s back and lifted the Cornhuskers to a 42-24 victory in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams.
Crouch completed 11 of 23 passes for 173 yards and carried 24 times for 110 yards. The junior quarterback gave Nebraska the lead for good when he found running back Correll Buckhalter with a 34-yard scoring pass early in the second quarter.
Bobby Newcombe set a school record with a 94-yard punt return with just over 3½ minutes left before intermission, but the Tigers would not go away easily. Kirk Farmer, who completed 13 of 25 passes for 214 yards before suffering a broken collarbone in the third quarter, hit Justin Gage with a 48-yard TD pass as Missouri cut the deficit to 21-14 with two minutes left in the half.
Crouch answered immediately, capping the ensuing drive with a 13-yard scoring pass to tight end Jon Bowling, re-establishing a 14-point cushion 65 seconds before the break.