16 October 2011

Happy 100th Homecoming, Mizzou

Tigers rout ISU in Centennial celebration
by Mizzou Matt 10/16/11
COLUMBIA, MO- Try and imagine yourself on November 25th, 1911. The game is against your most hated rival, Kansas. Only a couple thousand people at most answer the calling of "come home" by Chancellor Chester Brewer to watch their Alma Mater play a game that ended in a 3-3 tie. Now flash forward 100 years to present day. That was the first of five ties in Homecoming events for the University of Missouri, the birthplace of Homecoming.What's different? Other than the hundreds of cars tailgating in the parking lots, the evolution of the football uniforms and safety equipment, and the size of Columbia itself, the most notable difference would be the size of the stadium. For the second straight year, the Tigers have sold out Faurot Field for Homecoming. 71,004 ties the attendance record since the downsizing of 1995 (seating was reduced from 75,000 to 68,174), and has only been done just twice before- October 24, 2009 vs Texas; Oct. 23, 2010 vs Oklahoma. Now Oct. 15, 2011 vs Iowa State can be added to that list. 71,004 fans would pay the admission price, but thousands others would pack the parking lots, bars and friends' houses to take part of history. (I am aware of the many reports of other schools having 'Homecoming' games prior to the 1911 Missouri game, but the NCAA, along with the Trivial Pursuit board game and the game show "Jeopardy!" have all confirmed that the Nov. 25th, 1911 game vs Kansas was the first official declaration of Homecoming. Even the popular crime-drama show "NCIS" has stated that Missouri is the birthplace of the Homecoming tradition. [see video below])

Mizzou, who entered the game at 2-3, 0-2 and 14-point favorites, jumped at the opportunity to get back to .500 on the year as Henry Josey returned the opening kickoff to the 50 yard line. Eight plays and 2:57 later, sophomore quarterback James Franklin punched it in the endzone from one yard out. Iowa State's first drive was two plays and six yards, which ended with a Steele Jantz fumble recovered by sixth year senior linebacker Luke Lambert at the ISU 38. The Tigers took just six plays and 2:17 for Henry Josey to score from a yard out and go up 14-0. On their next drive, ISU marched down the field, getting inside the Mizzou 10, but had to settle for a Zach Guyer field goal after the defense tightened up to go down 14-3. Missouri took the ball from their own 20, going 80 yards in nine plays and 3:02, culminated with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Franklin to tight end Michael Egnew. Egnew finished with a game-high 105 yards. Iowa State, who started off at a hot 3-0, including a triple overtime win over in-state rival Iowa, has been far from impressive since the start of Big 12 Conference play.

ISU tried going for it on fourth down four times in this game, converting only once. The first attempt came in the second quarter. Mizzou took the turnover on downs and converted it into a 2-yard Kendial Lawrence touchdown. 28-3 Tiger lead at this point. The ensuing Cyclone drive ended with another Jantz fumble recovered by Lambert. On the very next play, Franklin threw an interception, his third of the season, that was returned 78 yards for a Cyclone touchdown. The next Missouri drive, another interception. Franklin, who had just two interceptions all season prior to this game [Miami (OH), K-State], had two interceptions on back-to-back drives. Iowa State wasn't able to convert it to points as they had to punt it away. The fourth drive of the second for the Tigers found them moving the ball, until wide receiver Bud Sasser put it on the turf and Iowa State recovered. Three straight drives, three straight turnovers. The defense held ISU to just one yard and a punt after the turnover, and Missouri took the ball took the ball 75 yards and ended the first half on a 23-yard Grant Ressel field goal. Ressel's woes continue to leave many fans scratching their heads as he moves to 8/15 on the season after going 1/2 on the day.

The score at the half was 31-10 Mizzou.

The third quarter only had five possessions between the two, three for the Cyclones, two for Missouri. Both of the Tigers' drives were extended drives, something they've had problems with this season. Drives of 82 and 88 yards, respectively, capped off with a seven yard pass to junior wide receiver T.J. Moe and a one yard run by Franklin. The Tiger advantage now up to 45-10.

The first drive of the fourth quarter found ISU reserve QB Jared Barnett throwing an interception, returned to the six. Missouri took the ball and scored for the final time to make it 52-10 with a six yard touchdown pass from Franklin to Wes Kemp. Iowa State's Jeff Woody would score at 12:41 on a 13-yard run for the final score of the game.

The final score in Columbia, 52-17 Mizzou.

Missouri improved to 3-3 on the season and notched their first conference win of 2011, as they move their Homecoming record to 58-37-5. The win was coach Gary Pinkel's 80th at Mizzou and the 153rd of his career. He now sits in third, just 13 wins behind coaching legend Dan Devine, on Missouri's All-Time wins list. Pinkel needs 21 to tie Don Faurot.

Henry Josey finished with a game-high rushing total of 129 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. Franklin ran the ball 11 times for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kendial Lawrence added 78 yards of his own on 16 carries with a touchdown. James White led the charge for the Cyclones, netting 61 yards rushing, but it was Woody who finished with 31 that would find the endzone for the lone offensive touchdown.

Franklin led the passing attack, going 20/28 for 289 yards, with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Jimmy Costello came in as relief toward the end of the game, but went 0/1. Costello is now just 2/3 on the year. Iowa State's Jantz went 17/32 for 161 and Barnett went 3/8 for 25 yards and an interception.

Egnew compiled his second 100-yard receiving game, finishing with 105 and a touchdown. L'Damian Washington had a big play that led to a Missouri score as he finished with 70 yards on just two catches. Moe added 58 yards for himself and a touchdown, and Kemp contributed 12 yards and a TD. Iowa State's Darius Darks led the Cyclone receiving corps with 45 yards.

Luke Lambert (33) recovers a Steele Jantz fumble.
Defensive end Brad Madison had the interception for the Tigers and Lambert's two recovered fumbles helped bail Missouri out as both teams finish even on the turnover ratio with three a piece. Iowa State was penalized five times for 34 yards while Missouri showed much more discipline than games prior. Missouri finished with zero penalties. None. A spotless performance aside from the three turnovers.

Iowa State falls to an even 3-3 overall on the year, but coach Paul Rhodes is still having trouble finding the win column in conference play as they fall to 0-3. Missouri (3-3, 1-2) will look to remain unbeaten at home next week as they bring in what will probably be their toughest test of the season, undefeated no-6 Oklahoma State and their star wide out Justin Blackmon. The game is set for 11a/CT on FX (DirecTV channel 248).

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