09 October 2011

Comeback Kings, Baseball Joplin Relief

Ressel 1/3 on FGs, 7/13 on the season
by Mizzou Matt 10/9/11
COLUMBIA, MO- Yes, you read that right. Grant Ressel, who was once the most accurate kicker in Mizzou history at 94%, is just 7/13 overall this year. The previous years he combined for 43/46, making him the most accurate kicker in the NCAA over that time period. This year, it seems he's fallen by the wayside. Whatever the reasoning is, we will never know, but the fact remains that his two missed field goals in the Kansas State game really played a big role toward the end of the game.

"Comeback Kings? But I thought we lost?" There have been some fans around Mizzou Nation that have started calling this team the Comeback Kings, including a couple of ABC/ESPN announcers. The Tigers have battled back from big deficits in all three of their losses to make it more respectable. They took Arizona State to overtime, lost by 7. They were down 31-14 against Oklahoma going into the fourth quarter, lost 38-28 (to put into perspective of how big that really is, no-11 Texas lost to OU yesterday 55-17). And yesterday they were down 24-3 with a quarter left to play, and if I told you how it went before explaining it all, you wouldn't bother reading the rest of this article.

The Tigers went down early as James Franklin threw an interception on the opening play from scrimmage. Through stout defense, they managed to keep it 10-3 at halftime. The defense managed to keep it close through out most of the second half until the Wildcats scored twice to extend their lead to 24-3. When all was thought to be lost, the offense found their spark. Powered by two calls that were overturned by way of the video replay, Mizzou made it a game. Scoring twice in the final 6:00, the score was just a difference of seven. The D had a chance to get the ball back with just over a minute to play, but a personal foul on third down by DT Dominique Hamilton thwarted any hopes of a comeback. If you ask any Tiger fan, they'll probably say that was a phantom call, but there were multiple plays that were overturned in Mizzou's favor that were too close to really be called.

The incompetion to Gerau was overturned, though in reality, it was a catch. Jerrell Jackson's catch between the defensive backs was ruled incomplete, but was later overturned. Michael Egnew's fumble really was also overturned by the replay official. A pass complete to T.J. Moe on 4th down was fumbled, but after review, his knee was down when he caught the ball. With the exception of Moe's catch, all the calls really look like they could've gone either way. Whether it be by sheer luck or by the innate character of the tenacious Tigers, the calls went our way. Imagine, if only for a moment, that Ressel had made those field goals from 37 and 42. Now come back from dreamland. Time to get back to reality.

It was all for not as the Comeback Kings came up short in Manhattan by a score of 24-17. The Tigers fall to 2-3, 0-2 on the year and are looking ahead to Iowa State and the Homecoming Centennial on October 15th. Kansas State remains unbeaten at 5-0, 2-0.
The Tiger baseball squad was also in action this weekend, finishing up their three-game exhibition season with a pair of games against the Iowa Hawkeyes in an effort to raise money for the Joplin Relief Fund. Mizzou won game one yesterday by the score of 9-2, and took a page from the St. Louis Cardinals/Tampa Bay Devil Rays books as they came from behind and tied the Hawkeyes today 3-3, finishing the exhibition season with a record of 2-0-1.

"Ties are no fun! Overall very good weekend tho. Learned a lot about our guys. Many positives to build upon," said @CoachPietro on Twitter.

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