24 September 2011

Definitely Not WIU

Tigers fall to OU in Norman
by Mizzou Matt 9/24/11
NORMAN, OK- "Mizzou wins! 36-27!" That's all that's been on Oklahoma's mind since last year's loss to Missouri in the Tigers' 99th Homecoming in 2010. The Tigers were looking to do something they haven't done since 1965-66: Beat the Sooners back to back. They're also looking to do something they haven't done since 1966: Beat OU on Owen Field. The Tigers are coming off of a 69-0 rout of Western Illinois while the Sooners are fresh off a 23-13 win over then 5th-ranked Florida State in Tallahassee.

The game started off with a bang for Mizzou fans. Oklahoma received the ball, and after falling short on 3rd & 1, they punted the ball away. The Tigers took the ball and capped off a very impressive drive with a James Franklin 1-yd TD rush. The Sooners would respond with a field goal, but the Tigers would drive back and score again to make it 14-3. The middle part would be the source of aggression, depression and a lot of alcohol consumption by Missouri fans as OU would post 28 unanswered points to build up a 31-14 lead.

Flashbacks of Texas Tech from 2010 where the Tigers scored 14 in the 1st, then seemed to have run out of gas.

The Tigers showed a bit of life in the 4th, with a long touchdown rush by Henry Josey to cut the lead to 10, but the Sooners would score again with 3:35 to build their lead back to 17, 38-21. Mizzou threatened late in the game, as QB James Franklin found Michael Egnew to get them to the 13 yard line of the Sooners. After a 11-yard run by Franklin to get them to the 2, Mizzou was finally able to punch it in on Franklin's second QB sneak of the night.

Flashbacks to the Nebraska 2010 game where the Tigers struggled early, but mounted a comeback late.

And just like in the Nebraska '10 game, it wasn't meant to be. Final score in Norman: 38-28. It could be called moral victory for Mizzou as they beat the Vegas spread and the "experts" predictions, but moral victories don't show up on stat sheets. Nonetheless, it was a maturing experience for the team as they fall to 2-2, 0-1 on the year. OU remains undefeated at 4-0, 1-0 and according to Gus Johnson, "seem virtually unstoppable."

The commentators carried a heavy bias against Mizzou in the game. Johnson, who broadcasted the Mizzou - Kansas Border War basketball game last year, announced tonight in the exact same fashion- completely against Mizzou.

The officials also played a big role, but most of the flags were for mental errors. Penalties were the name of the game again for the Tigers, and the lack of penalties called against OU added to their woes. The Sooner false start in the 4th was the first penalty called against them since around the 12:00 mark in the 1st. Defensive back Trey Hobson had a costly penalty against him, a pass interference on 3rd and long, to give OU a fresh set of downs. That would lead to an Sooner touchdown. Oklahoma was only penalized four times for 15 yards to the Tigers' seven for 37.

The secondary was picked on all night by Sooner quarterback Landry Jones, and it came with only two errors. An interception by Kenji Jackson and another one by E.J. Gaines.

An interesting story of the night was placekicker Grant Ressel for Mizzou. One of the nation's most accurate kicker in 2010 (only missed two field goals and one extra point) went 0/2 in the game. Could it be the cast on his left arm is throwing off his balance of his power step? Regardless the reason, Missouri's inability to extend drives is ultimately what killed them in this game. Much like the Tech game from last year, they went away from what worked, which in this case was giving the ball to Josey. Punter Trey Barrow booted the ball eight (8) times for 377 yards. Take into count the three touchbacks, and that 377 magically becomes 317.

The Tigers have a week off before traveling to Manhattan, KS to take on the Wildcats of Kansas State on October 8th.

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