COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Gary Pinkel has a simple philosophy about the first thing his team needs to do to win.
"Missouri can't beat Missouri," is a phrase Pinkel has repeated to the media many times this season. Last week's loss to Nebraska was a perfect illustration.
Turnovers and penalties were costly as the Tigers blew a 12-0 lead at rain-drenched Faurot Field by giving up 27 straight fourth-quarter points. It was Missouri's first loss after four consecutive wins.
"It's all fundamentals," Pinkel said. "It's very disappointing."
Missouri (4-1, 0-1 Big 12) came in averaging 45.5 penalty yards per game but had eight penalties for 100 against the Cornhuskers. It marked the first time the Tigers were in triple digits in penalties since being penalized 14 times for 141 yards in the 2007 win over then-No. 2 Kansas.
Against Nebraska, the penalties came at inopportune times. Missouri took five offensive penalties inside Nebraska territory, including four holding calls inside the 35.
"You talk about five critical penalties, five drives," Pinkel said. "With the way the conditions were that day, you're sitting there at second and 20, first and 15. In those conditions, that's not real wise."
The Tigers could muster just three points on those five drives.
"You create the game you're in if you do things like that," Pinkel said. "If you're good enough, what you do is you find a way to overcome them, but we didn't do that.
The Missouri offensive line accounted for four of the penalties in Nebraska territory. Nebraska's defense, led by tackle Ndamukong Suh, was good, but senior captain and right guard Kurtis Gregory placed the blame on Tiger mistakes.
"Not to take anything away from Suh -- he's a great player, probably one of the best ones I've ever faced -- but most of al it was just mistakes on our part," Gregory said. "I have no idea why. It just happened."
It shouldn't happen, Pinkel said.
"I've always taken great pride that around here we're generally in the top three or generally the top two least penalized teams in our league," Pinkel said. "It's 100 yards of penalties and that's inexcusable. That and the turnovers."
Sophomore quarterback Blaine Gabbert had no interceptions in the first four games, but threw two crucial ones against Nebraska.
Things don't get any easier for Missouri. The Tigers travel to No. 16 Oklahoma State (4-1, 1-0) on Saturday, then host No. 3 Texas on Oct. 24.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
APTV 10-14-09 1244CDT