COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Blaine Gabbert threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as Missouri used a trick play to score the first of its six consecutive TDs in a 52-12 victory over Furman on Saturday.
Gabbert, a sophomore, completed 17 of 25 passes for 256 yards and tied his career high with three TD throws set two weeks earlier against Illinois. He ran 40 yards for another score.
Missouri (3-0) scored its first touchdown on a 40-yard pass from receiver Danario Alexander to fellow wideout Jared Perry. The play started with a cross-field lateral from Gabbert to Alexander.
Perry added a 48-yard TD catch on the Tigers' next possession and set career highs with seven catches for 161 yards. Alexander also caught two touchdown passes in the first half.
Missouri led 42-0 at halftime before Furman (2-1), a member of the Football Championship Subdivision, scored on a 21-yard pass from Jordan Sorrells to Tyler Maples midway through the third quarter. Sorrells completed 24 of 39 passes for 250 yards with one touchdown and an interception for the Southern Conference team.
The Paladins compiled nearly 400 yards in total offense and controlled the ball for 11 more minutes than the Tigers.
But those numbers don't reflect Missouri's scoring ease after the Tigers failed to gain a first down on their first two possessions. None of the Tigers' four offensive scoring drives in the first half lasted longer than three minutes. Perry's second score came on the first play of the drive; Alexander's second TD catch capped a 59-second drive that pushed Missouri's lead to six touchdowns just 11 seconds before halftime.
Earlier, defensive end Jacquies Smith intercepted a tipped pass and ran 43 yards untouched into the end zone to make it 35-0.
True freshman Kendial Lawrence led Missouri with 77 yards rushing on 10 carries. Starting tailback Derrick Washington scored a touchdown and added 46 yards on 15 carries.
Jerry Williams led Furman with 57 yards rushing on 14 carries. Adam Mims caught 10 passes for 154 yards.
On defense, linebacker Will Ebner led Missouri with nine tackles. Ryan Steed led Furman with seven tackles.
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said that Perry, a senior who has battled injuries and inconsistency throughout his career, is capable of more breakout performances.
"It's nice to see him rise to the occasion and make the plays that he does," Pinkel said.
Missouri travels to Nevada on Friday for its final nonconference game before returning home on Oct. 8 to face No. 19 Nebraska in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)