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Missouri tops Northwestern 30-23 in Overtime Thriller

Continuing a trend of close finishes in the Valero Alamo Bowl, the #23 Missouri Tigers topped the #20 Northwestern Wildcats 30-23 in a back and forth battle that proved to be yet another classic and provided only the second overtime game in bowl history. The national television broadcast earned a 4.6 rating translating into 4,479,466 households and 7.2 million viewers when considering a 1.6 viewers-per-household factor. Stats from the game are available at https://www.alamobowl.com/pdf/ALAMO08.HTM. The mark is the third highest in Alamo Bowl history behind the 8.8 viewers who watched the 2006 Alamo Bowl between Texas and Iowa and the 7.8 million viewers who watched the 2005 game between Nebraska and Michigan. The 2006 and 2005 games are the #1 and #4 most-watched bowl games in ESPN history, respectively, giving the Alamo Bowl three of the Top 15 slots. ?A back-and-forth overtime game between two Top 25 teams coupled with a clear television window in the traditional Monday Night Football slot allowed this year?s game to exceed our average viewership by over one million viewers,? said Derrick Fox, President/CEO of the Alamo Bowl. ?ESPN?s four-hour telecast provided tremendous exposure for the City of San Antonio, our title sponsor Valero and other partners. It?s gratifying that fans across the nation again tuned into the Valero Alamo Bowl in such high numbers.? The finish for this year’s game started with Missouri kicker Jeff Wolfert missing a game-winning 43-yard field goal as time expired, thus sending the game into overtime. Wolfert ended a scoreless fourth quarter booting a 37-yard kick to tie the game 23-23 with 2:49 remaining. The scoring was back and forth throughout, as both teams combined for seven lead changes and ties. Missouri capped off the win in the first possession of overtime when All-American Jeremy Maclin caught a 7-yard pass from Chase Daniel. 2008 Valero Alamo Bowl Post-Game Notes Offensive MVP Jeremy Maclin, Wide Receiver, Missouri Defensive MVP Sean Weatherspoon, Linebacker, Missouri A RETURN TO REMEMBER Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin?s 75-yard punt return TD in the 2nd quarter shattered the previous record of 32 yards held by two players. PASSING THE TEST Northwestern quarterback C.J. Bacher tied an Alamo Bowl record by throwing for three (3) touchdowns, completing 27 of 43 passes for 304 yards. UP IN THE RANKS Northwestern senior quarterback C.J. Bacher moved into third place on Northwestern?s career list for touchdown passes, surpassing Alamo Bowl alumnus (2000) Zak Kustok. KEEP AWAY The Northwestern Wildcat offense controlled the clock for most of the night, keeping the Missouri offense off the field the majority of the game. Northwestern held a 35:20 to 24:40 time of possession advantage. BACK IN BUSINESS After missing the final four games of the regular season, Northwestern senior running back Tyrell Sutton returned to gain 114 yards rushing while finishing second in bowl history with 29 carries. He also had 29 yards receiving on five catches. ROLE REVERSAL Coming into this year?s game Missouri was averaging 340.4 passing yards-per-game to Northwestern?s 209.4. Wildcat quarterback C.J. Bacher threw for a season best 304 yards while the Wildcat defense held Chase Daniel to only 200 yards through the air on 27 completions. ANOTHER BIG WIN With tonight?s 30-23 win by Missouri, the Big 12 Conference representative has won four of the last six Alamo Bowl games. EXTRA TIME Missouri has played in more overtime games (12) than any team in Big 12 history. TACKLE MACHINE Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon finished the game with 12.5 tackles (2nd most in Alamo Bowl history) on his way to garnering Defensive MVP honors. A RARE MISS Northwestern kicker Amado Villarreal?s missed PAT in the third quarter was only the second missed PAT in Alamo Bowl history (Martin Gramatica, Kansas State, 1998). The final result of five of the last eight Alamo Bowls has been in doubt until the final play. This year’s game again proved to be instant classic as Missouri kicker Jeff Wolfert nailed a field goal in overtime to tie the game and force overtime. In overtime Valero Alamo Bowl Offensive MVP Jeremy Maclin caught a TD pass to put Missouri up 30-23. After a Missouri batted down an errant pass on the next drive the game was over. – In 2001, Iowa?s Bob Sanders picked off Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury?s Hail Mary pass to preserve a 19-16 Hawkeye victory. – 2002 featured the Alamo Bowl?s only other overtime contest as Wisconsin?s Brooks Bollinger brought the Badgers back from a 10 point second half deficit to force overtime. Wisconsin kicked a 37 yard field goal to win 31-28. – In the 2005 MasterCard Alamo Bowl, Michigan lateraled the ball eight times on the final play and nearly found the end zone. But Nebraska?s Titus Brothers sealed a 32-28 victory as he pushed Michigan?s Tyler Ecker out of bounds. – In 2006, Texas overcame a 14-0 deficit and held Iowa scoreless in their last two drives including one as time ran out in their 26-24 win over the Hawkeyes. – Last year Penn State overcame a two touchdown and shut down a late Texas A&M drive on the two-yard-line in their 24-17 win over the Aggies. FILL THE BOWL Tonight?s attendance was 55,986. All-Time Attendance 66,166 – Penn State vs. Texas A&M (12/29/07) 65,875 – #18 Texas vs. Iowa (12/30/06) 65,380 – #13 Penn State 24, #18 Texas A&M 0 (12/28/99) 65,265 – #22 Ohio State 33, Oklahoma State 7 (12/29/04) 65,232 – Iowa 19, Texas Tech 16 (12/29/01) 64,597 – #19 Texas A&M 22, #14 Michigan 20 (12/28/95) 62,016 – Nebraska 32, #20 Michigan 28 (12/28/05) 60,780 – Purdue 37, #4 Kansas State 34 (12/29/98) 60,028 – #8 Nebraska 66, #19 Northwestern 17 (12/30/00) 56,229 – #21 Nebraska 17, Michigan State 3 (12/29/03) 55,986 – #23 Missouri 30, #20 Northwestern 23 (12/29/08) 55,677 – #21 Iowa 27, Texas Tech 0 (12/29/96) 55,552 – #16 Purdue 33, #24 Oklahoma State 20 (12/30/97) 50,690 – Wisconsin 31, No. 14 Colorado 28 (OT) (12/28/02) 45,716 – California 37, Iowa 3 (12/31/93) 44,106 – #24 Washington State 10, Baylor 3 (12/31/94)

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