COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Blaine Gabbert threw two second-half touchdown passes and Derrick Washington scored the go-ahead TD late in the fourth quarter, helping No. 25 Missouri rally from a dud start to beat Bowling Green 27-20 in its home opener Saturday night.
Washington had 120 yards on 23 carries for the Tigers, who jumped into the rankings after an impressive opening victory over Illinois and needed a strong finish for any hope of staying there. Missouri (2-0) trailed 13-0 in the second quarter and 20-6 midway in the third before its offense stirred.
Bowling Green (1-1) was such a handful seldom-used Missouri punter Jake Harry was called upon seven times. Harry punted only 26 times all last season.
Tyler Sheehan was 29 for 46 for 206 yards and a touchdown and Willie Geter had 99 yards on 20 carries with a 1-yard scoring run for Bowling Green, which capitalized on a pair of fumbles for two first-half field goals before fading. Bowling Green, a Missouri nemesis from the Mid-American Conference, is 3-2 against the Tigers.
Gabbert, a sophomore who threw for 319 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start against Illinois, finished 20 for 33 for 172 yards after totaling 44 passing yards in the first half. His lost fumble on a sack led to a 37-yard field goal by Jerry Phillips that put Bowling Green ahead 10-0 late in the first quarter.
Missouri began its comeback with an 18-yard run by Washington on third-and-10, and Gabbert's 27-yard touchdown pass to Perry on consecutive plays to cut the gap to 20-13 near the end of the third quarter. Washington gained 6 yards on 4th-and-2 from the Bowling Green 39 one play before Gabbert and Kemp connected for a 33-yard score for Missouri's first lead.
The first half was notable for what Missouri was unable to do. The Tigers were scoreless in the first quarter for the first time at home since a 31-14 loss to Kansas on Nov. 20, 2004, and went without a touchdown in the first half at home for the first time since a 26-10 loss to Oklahoma on Oct. 28, 2006.
Sheehan threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Ray Hutson for the game's first score. Bowling Green outgained Missouri 162-116 in the first half.
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