03 September 2011

NCAA Football Kicks Off

Mizzou wins, other NCAA scores
by Mizzou Matt 9/3/11
T.J. Moe and the team at the first Tiger Walk of 2011.
COLUMBIA- It's been a long nine months. We had a little snippet in April for the Black & Gold Game, but it wasn't enough to quench the thirst for NCAA football. That thirst was quenched today, no matter how sour the taste.

The University of Missouri Tigers kicked off their 2011 campaign with the RedHawks of Miami (OH) coming to Faurot Field. In last year's meeting, Mizzou rolled to an easy 51-13 win in the fourth game of the season. This year, in the first true home opener since 2006, the going was much more difficult. A win is a win, and that's exactly what the Tigers got over the 2010 Mid American Conference champions, notching a 17-6 victory on a hot September day.

James Franklin made his debut at quarterback after Blaine Gabbert departed for the NFL last season, and overall had a decent day. If you ask him, he'd tell you it needs improvement. "I think I failed this test today," said Franklin. "Eh, around a D. I give it a C-minus, being positive." The reason for the low rating? 17/26 for 129 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Welcome to being a starter in the NCAA, kid. James also rushed 14 times for 72 yards and one touchdown. Grant Ressel added the additional points, going perfect on the day- 1/1 from 38 yards and 2/2 on PATs. Miami sophomore kicker Mason Krysinski missed a 41-yard attempt at points, then later missed a PAT after a Miami touchdown. It was Krysinski's first game.
"We moved the ball well. We just have to finish, have to score." said RedHawk quarterback Zack Dysert.

Even with some susceptibility in the secondary, the Tigers' D came up with key stops when they had to. "We played solid overall," Brad Madison said. "We made a lot of good stops and it was a satisfactory performance." Cornerback E.J. Gaines nabbed his first interception of the season, picking off Dysert in the endzone to kill Miami's 67-yard drive late in the 2nd quarter.

Franklin was picked off by Miami's Dayonne Nunley in the 3rd quarter, eventually leading to the RedHawks' lone touchdown. "You grow from adversity," Pinkel said. "You don't like going through it, but you grow from it."

The punters saw plenty of action. Mizzou's Trey Barrow punted seven times for a total of 313 (average of 44.7), two touchbacks, three inside the 20 and two inside the 10. Cornerback Trey Hobson downed a Barrow punt at the 1-yard line. The Moberly High School alum also netted a long of 57-yards. Miami's Zac Murphy punted five times for 175 with a long of 46 and one inside the 20.

DE Jaquise Smith helped off the field after dislocating his elbow.
The victory came with a cost for both teams. Miami center JoJo Williams went down with a mild concussion in the second half. Wide receiver Jerrell Jackson was an injured scratch for the game. Marcus Lucas was filling in for Jackson, and he grabbed his first-career NCAA touchdown in the 4th quarter on a 10-yard pass from Franklin. Linebacker Will Ebner went out in the first quarter with a high left ankle sprain, and DE Jaquise Smith left the game in the fourth quarter with a dislocated elbow. Ebner is expected to miss up to a month while Smith is expected to return for the W. Illinois game in two weeks. The injuries add to the list Tiger woes, which includes veteran left tackle, Elvis Fisher (knee).

Leading stats for the game:
  • James Franklin- 17/26, 129 yds, TD, INT
  • Zack Dysert- 26/39, 194 yds, INT
  • James Franklin- 14 for 72 yds, TD
  • Erik Finklea- 19 for 71 yds, TD
  • T.J. Moe- 6 for 56 yds
  • Chris Givens- 7 for 71 yds
  • E.J. Gaines (interception)
  • Dominique Hamilton (fumble recovery)
  • Dayonne Nunley (interception)
The Tigers travel to Tempe, AZ to take on the Sun Devils of Arizona State in a Friday night match up to be aired on ESPN Prime Time. Game time is set for 9:30p/CT.

In other games from around the NCAA:
South Florida upset 16th-ranked Notre Dame 23-20.
Baylor scored a game-winning field goal to upset 14th-ranked TCU 50-48 on Friday.
Michigan's opener was delayed and later called on a count of weather, sealing a 34-10 win over W. Michigan.
Defending National Champ Auburn avoided the upset, scoring 14 points in the last 2:08 to get past Utah State 42-38.
Missouri State fell to Arkansas 51-13.
Alabama over Kent State, 48-7.
Nebraska over Chattanooga, 40-7.
Ohio State over Akron, 48-0.
UL-Monroe blanked by Florida State 34-0.
Stanford all over San Jose State, 57-3.
Virginia Tech rolls 66-13 over Appalachian State.
Southern Cal avoids the upset by Minnesota, winning by two, 19-17.

In other Mizzou news, Mizzou soccer defeated Northern Arizona on Friday 3-0 to improve to 4-1 on the season.

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