28 November 2011

Kansas Is To Blame

A subjective look at why Kansas ended the rivalry
by Mizzou Matt
The Border War. First played on the gridiron on Halloween of 1891, but it stretches farther back into history than that. It goes back to the 1850s and throughout the Civil War when Kansas senator Colonel Nathan Lane burned and sacked multiple Missouri towns. Quantrill retaliated, burning and sacking Lawrence. That's where the hatred started, and on November 26th, 2011, the bloodshed came to an abrupt end. Historians point out, however, that the two sides put their weapons down following the Civil War to work together on the Transcontinental Railroad. Don't let that fool you, the hate was still there. Not even 30 years after the end of the war, the two sides waged war on each other again.

The rivalry was of little interest until 1911, when Mizzou chancellor Chester Brewer called for the Tiger alumni to "come home" for the final game against Kansas. Interest dwindled after that until 1960, when Kansas beat Mizzou 23-7, ending the Tigers' hopes for a national title. Jayhawk player Bert Coan was later deemed ineligible by the Big 8 in a 5-3 vote, and the conference forfeited the win to Missouri. The controversy spilled over to the hardwood in the 1961 meeting that became known as the "Basketbrawl." Up until about 20 years ago, the rivalry's importance dwindled again until the "Border War" name was conceived. It took fans back to the time when the hatred was still fresh. After the 9/11 attacks, the name was changed to the Border Showdown, and in 2002-03, the M&I Bank Border Showdown Series was adopted. All of the work that went in to building one of the fiercest rivalries in all of college sports went away in one foul tweet.

Ah, Twitter, such a powerful tool.

The University of Kansas, long time hater of Mizzou athletics, expressed a disdain for the Tigers' exit to the Southeastern Conference. Missouri athletic director Mike Alden extended an interest in keeping the rivalry alive with KU, but Jayhawks basketball coach Bill Self stated that if Missouri were to leave, Kansas would have no part in any sport against them. The Kansas Athletics Facebook and Twitter accounts posted: "Missouri forfeits century-old rivalry. We win."

So let's take a look at who really are the winners here. In football, Missouri controls the series at 57-54-9* (though hotly contested), but basketball is another tale, with Kansas leading 171-94 entering the 2011 season. The Tigers dominate the baseball portion of the series, 212-123-2* (again, contested). In the overall Border Showdown Series, with a trophy given to the school with the better overall athletic performance throughout the year, Missouri has a commanding 7-2 lead, including winning the Border Showdown trophy every year since 2006-07.

But why end one of the more storied rivalries in all of college sports? Easy. The fans. The Kansas fans have grown wary of being a one-trick pony. How many times have Mizzou fans heard "Wait until basketball!"? Too many to count. They have the Tigers in basketball, no doubt about it, but all other sports, it's all about Mizzou. The past couple years under Turner Gill were hard on the Jayhawk football team, going just 5-19. They couldn't even give tickets away to home football matches. Their fans have turned a cold shoulder to the rivalry, despite it's climax in 2007 when Missouri was ranked 4th and Kansas 2nd. The game ended with Missouri on top of Kansas 36-28 and on top of the AP Poll for the first time since 1960. Over 80,000 fans packed Arrowhead Stadium to watch Todd Reesing pull a chunk of turf out of his facemask.

Is it Mizzou's fault for ending the rivalry? Kansas will of course say yes, but let's look at the timeline of events, starting in 2009: Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe grants Texas their own TV network, in association with ESPN. New TV rights with Fox/ESPN are struck, but any money from the Longhorn Network goes directly to Texas. This upset the rest of the conference. In 2010, Missouri was rumored to be talking with the Big Ten regarding conference affiliation. Nebraska joined in the talks and was eventually picked to be the league's 12th team starting in 2011. Kansas was no where to be found. In 2011, Missouri rose back to the top of the rumor mill with reported talks with the SEC. Texas A&M was the first to go, with Missouri following suit on November 6th. Again, Kansas wasn't a blip on the radar screen...for good reason.

While they may have more basketball conference championships and national titles than Missouri, they also carry a darker, more sinister stat: the Jayhawks have more NCAA tournament losses to mid-major schools like Northern Iowa and Virginia Commonwealth than they do national championship banners. They've become choke artists during March Madness, entering as a 1- or 2-seed, but failing to make it past the Sweet Sixteen. The football team hasn't been one of relevance since the 2007 season when they received a bid to the FedEx Orange Bowl.
Their soccer team collapsed in 2011 against Missouri, leading 2-0 and giving up three goals in the final six minutes to lose 3-2. The baseball team has had their moments, but on April 16, 2011, they gave up a 2-0 lead to a Blake Brown single and lost 3-2. The overall theme here is simple: Missouri has dominated in just about every sport other than basketball.

It's pretty obvious that Kansas was feeling left out of the realignment talks. They had the entitlement mentality that they deserve to be in a stronger conference based on their basketball program alone. When Missouri was chosen without even so much as a look in their direction, the Jayhawks picked up their toys and left the playground pouting. They had enough of being the punching bag. Missouri had metaphorically peed in their Corn Flakes for the last time.

When the announcement was made that Missouri was leaving and that Alden wanted to continue the rivalry as non-conference opponents, eyebrows were raised. It could have been, should have been the saving moment of the Showdown, but it wasn't. Kansas still tweeted the above tweet, and Missouri fans ran with it. Signs at the 2011 Border Showdown in Kansas City read "Keep rivalry alive!" and "Kansas forfeits century old rivalry, Missouri wins. #beakertrash". The hatred is still there. The hatred will always be there. Expect that when College Basketball GameDay comes to Mizzou Arena for the MU-KU Border Showdown on February 4th, the signs by both sides probably won't pull any punches. Kansas is the team Missourians love to hate, it's just that the hatred will have to be placed on the back burner for the foreseeable future.

Pinkel Speaks

SEC, recruiting, new uniforms, new field
by Mizzou Matt
COLUMBIA, MO- Gary Pinkel finally spoke out today about the University of Missouri's move to the SEC, which was announced on November 6th. The main topic was recruiting. "Certainly, recruiting wise, we've already done that," Pinkel said, "we've made a couple of adjustments. We're going to put one of our coaches in Atlanta and two in Florida."

Pinkel's team, which last year won it's 40th game over the past four years, went just 7-5 overall. He said that this year's team was the most injury-laden team he's ever coached in his career. Despite all the injuries, the team managed to become bowl eligible for the seventh straight year, a school record.

Coach Pinkel also revealed that next year, Mizzou will have all new Nike uniforms and a brand new artificial turf to play on, likely to be paid for by the bolstered SEC payout. The current FieldTurf was installed prior to the 2003 season, and has a shelf life of about 10 years. The field played a large role in games this year, claiming Elvis Fisher, Will Ebner, Henry Josey, De'Vion Moore, Kendial Lawrence, as well as opposing forces Fozzy Whittaker and four Texas Tech players to leg injuries.

27 November 2011

"KU Forfeits Century Old Rivalry..Mizzou wins"

Tigers overcome shaky first half
by Mizzou Matt
KANSAS CITY, MO- For the 120th time in the series, and possibly for the last time, the University of Missouri and the University of Kansas squared off on the football field. The rivalry has seen ups and downs for both sides, and the overall record of the series is hotly contested. Mizzou fans will tell you that the Tigers lead 56-54-9, while Jayhawks claim it's tied at 55-55-9. No matter the overall record, no matter the season record for either team, this is a game to win, to make that indelible mark on history.

"If it's the last one, I'm honored to play in it." -Missouri defensive back Trey Hobson on the possibility of this being the final time the two teams will meet.

The Jayhawks entered the game riding at 2-9, 0-8, including a nine game losing streak. Yes, 9 games. After winning their first two games to start the season, they haven't won a single game. They've had chances and opportunities, but Turner Gill's squad could quite get over the cusp to secure the win. This year's Border War was their last chance to get a win in conference play. It was probably Gill's last chance to save his job as Kansas head coach.

The Tigers, on the other hand, entered at 6-5, 4-4 and boasting back-to-back wins over Texas and Texas Tech, their first back-to-back wins of 2011. They hoped to overcome the tribulations of the past couple weeks that involved losing Henry Josey to a knee injury, coach Gary Pinkel being arrested for DUI, and using virtually all of the 60:00 allotted minutes to beat Tech. The Border War's trophy, the Marching Band Drum and the Border Showdown Trophy, have resided in Columbia's display case since 2009. They didn't want to give those up to "that school from the west".

But give it up they almost did. Sophomore quarterback James Franklin threw three interceptions in the first half alone, one of which was returned for a touchdown. The Jayhawks scored first on a field goal and Trey Barrow chipped in one of his own to make it a 10-3 Kansas lead going into the half.

According to the Fox Sports broadcast, Franklin's roommate, Josey, pulled him aside in the locker room to tell him "Don't worry about it. The first half is done. Forget it. Play the second half like it's a brand new game." Franklin did exactly that, with the help of miscues by the Jayhawks.

The opening kickoff of the second half was taken by Kansas at their own 28, and after three plays, netting -3 yards the punter fumbled the snap on the punt. Kansas' Mike Cummings recovered the fumble at the Jayhawks 14, which led to a turnover on downs. Missouri got the ball with their best field position of the game up to that point, and three plays later, running back Kendial Lawrence found paydirt to tie the game at 10.

The self-destruction of Kansas had begun.

The ensuing drive showed some promise for the Jayhawks, but the drive stalled out and they were forced to punt. T.J. Moe called for the fair catch at his own 7, and the Tigers sustained a lengthy drive to take the lead. Covering 93 yards in 9 plays and just three minutes and ten seconds (3:10), Franklin capped off the drive with a 25-yard touchdown to Wes Kemp. The play was originally ruled incomplete, but was later overturned after official review.

Tigers lead 17-10. The kickoff following the TD was fumbled, but was recovered by Steve Mestan at the Jayhawks' 23. Kansas punted the ball away to Moe, and Missouri took over at their own 18. The Tigers would run out the third quarter clinging to a 17-10 lead, desperate for another score.

The first play of the fourth quarter was the last time either team would find points as Franklin hooked up with wide receiver Marcus Lucas for a 53-yard touchdown. Trey Barrow added the extra point to make it 24-10. The kickoff by Barrow was taken in by D.J. Bershears, but Donovan Bonner forced a fumble and Missouri's Jared Culver recovered. Three plays later, Barrow sent a 27-yard field goal attempt wide right. Kansas took the ball and marched down the field, playing into Missouri's hand by running the clock. In a drive that took 18 plays to go 43 yards and ran 8:52 off the time, the Jayhawks made it as far as the Missouri 20. An illegal substitution pushed them back to the 25 before Jordan Webb found Bershears at the Mizzou 17. A three yard loss followed by a holding penalty and a sack by Kenji Jackson on Webb pushed them back to the 37. Facing 4th & 27, Webb heaved a long ball toward the endzone. Jackson, who had made the sack just the play prior, hauled in the interception at the 1 yard line. The Tigers made it out of the shadow of their own goalposts to their own 32 before running the clock out with a Franklin kneel.

Missouri won the game with a 24-10 victory in Kansas City, putting Turner Gill on the hotseat in Lawrence. Gill is 5-19 in two years at Kansas, including a 2011 year that saw ten straight losses and a winless conference record. The Jayhawks were outscored 525-268 in 2011.

In the waning minutes of the game, as the Kansas fans were finding the exits, the Black & Gold clad fans of Missouri started chanting "SEC! SEC! SEC!" in reference to the Jayhawks' distaste for the Tigers wanting to leave the Big 12. For a school record seventh straight season, Missouri will be going to a bowl game, however Pinkel will not be receiving his bowl bonus as per the disciplinary action imposed by the University for his DUI prior to the Tech game. The Tigers finish their regular season at 7-5, 5-4, including a three-game win streak over the final three games. Missouri ends the regular season ranked 5th in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas State and Baylor. The Big 12 has 8 teams with a bowl-eligible six wins.
With the win, Pinkel picks up his 84th win at Mizzou, putting him just eight wins behind Dan Devine (92) for second on the Tigers' All-Time wins list. He is moves to 16 behind Don Faurot (100). For 2011, Missouri outscored their opponents 386-282.

James Franklin led the game with 187 yards passing, 2 TDs and 3 INTs. Lawrence led the rushing attack with 63 and a TD while Franklin added 45 of his own. Franklin finishes the season with 2,740 yards passing, 839 yards rushing, and 33 total touchdowns (20 pass, 13 rush). Lawrence finished the year with 395 yards after being sidelined to injury early on. The Tigers' leading rusher was Josey, who finished with 1,168 yards rushing and 9 touchdowns.

T.J. Moe, who carried the receiving corps last year with 91 catches for 1,045 yards, only brought in 54 for 649 yards and 4 TDs as Franklin spread the ball to his receivers. Moe also finished with 27 yards rushing and 31 yards passing.

Full stats can be found at: http://www.mutigers.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/2011-2012/teamcume.html

22 November 2011

CBE Domination

Moore with career night
by Mizzou Matt
KANSAS CITY, MO- The University of Missouri basketball team got to hoist the CBE Classic trophy tonight after a completely dominant performance against #18 Cal of the PAC 12. Steve Moore posted a career high 10 points while going a perfect 3/3 from the field and 3/3 from the free throw line. Big Steve also hit a big three point basket in the first half to go along with his three rebounds, one steal, two assists and three blocks. Moore saw extended playing time tonight as Ricardo Ratliffe found himself in early foul trouble.

The fouls didn't stop #21 Mizzou (5-0) as they built up a 45-26 lead going into the half, and never looked back.

The Tigers come away with two dominant performances in two days- last night's 87-58 win over Notre Dame and tonight with a 92-53 shellacking of Cal. The 39 point win against Cal is the most lopsided Mizzou victory since 1949.

Kim English led all scorers with 18, as Mizzou had six that finished with double digits. Scoring: Demon, 18; M. Pressey, 13; Dixon, 11; Moore, 10; Ratliffe, 10; Sutton, 6; P. Pressey, 4; Green 1. The Tigers were once again lighting up the net from the floor, shooting 57.7% on the night and a very impressive 40% from beyond the 3pt arc. Missouri also went 22/26 (84.6%) from the free throw line.

Turnovers were the story of the night for the Bears as they committed 19 on the night, and 12 in the first half. Cal out rebounded Missouri 31-26 after the Tigers owned the glass last night against the Irish.

Jarrett Sutton, a Kansas City, MO native, came off the bench and score the final six points of the game for Mizzou- two three pointers back to back as the chant of "M-I-Z--Z-O-U!" resonated through the Sprint Center.

Kim English made the All-Tournament team and Marcus Denmon was named the tournament MVP.

21 November 2011

Luck O' The Irish

Denmon with 26 as Mizzou rolls by 29
by Mizzou Matt
KANSAS CITY, MO- Semifinal game one of the CBE Classic found Mizzou versus the Big East's Notre Dame. Announcing legend Dick Vitale called the game as Marcus Denmon led the Tigers to an easy 29 point win over the Irish.

At one point during the game, the Tigers were shooting a blistering 74% from the field. They finished shooting an impressive 58%. Phil Pressey had another big game, scoring 17 off the bench, just five points shy of his career high 22 set against Mercer on November 14th. Ricardo Ratliffe and Kim English posted 12 and 10 points, respectively. Other Tiger scorers: Matt Pressey (7), Michael Dixon (6), Kadeem Green (5) and Steve Moore (4).

The turnovers plagued the Irish in the first half as they finished with 12 on the game to Missouri's 8. Tim Ambromaitis led the way for Notre Dame with 22 points. Scott Martin was the only other Irish player with double digit scoring with 12.

Border War Preview

120th Installment of historic rivalry
by Mizzou Matt
KANSAS CITY, MO- For the final time as Big 12 opponents, and possibly for the final time ever, the University of Missouri and the University of Kansas squares off on the gridiron. A football rivalry that started way back in 1891 actually started earlier than that. The rivalry stems from the Civil War, when Kansas senator and colonel Nathan Lane invaded Missouri and burned a number of towns to the ground. The act became known as the "Sacking of Osceola." A group of rebels in Missouri, "Quantrill's Raiders" led by William C. Quantrill, traveled to Lawrence, KS and returned the favor by burning the city to the ground and killing any men old enough to serve for the Union army. Thirty years later, the bloodshed spilled over to the football field.

The rivalry became more heated on November 25th, 1911, when Mizzou chancellor Chester Brewer called for all alumni to "come home" for the final home game...against Kansas. This was the first OFFICIAL declaration of a Homecoming by a university. The rivalry became it's fiercest in 1960 when a Kansas ended Mizzou's chances for a national championship and an undefeated regular season. The game was overturned when it was revealed that Kansas used an ineligible player, Bert Coan. The overall series is hotly contested between the schools. Kansas says the rivalry is 55-55-9, while Mizzou vehemently opposes that figure with their own 56-54-9. The angst from the 1960 football game spilled over to the hardwood in what became known as the "Basketbrawl."

The Tigers enter this year's contest with a bowl eligible record of 6-5, 4-4. Kansas enters trying to spoil Mizzou's chances at a better bowl with a 2011 record of 2-9, 0-8.

Missouri is outscoring their opponents 362-272, while Kansas is being outscored by an embarrassing 501-258. The Tigers are coming off of two huge wins, their first back-to-back wins of 2011- a 17-5 win over Texas and a 31-27 come from behind win over Texas Tech. Kansas is coming off a dismal 7-61 performance against Texas A&M.

Jordan Webb leads the Jayhawks in passing with 1824 yards and 13 touchdowns. Webb has also thrown 10 interceptions. Running back James Sims leads the rushing attack with 692 yards and 9 touchdowns. James Franklin lead's Mizzou's offense that has been described as the "ability to score on any one play" by commentator Gus Johnson. Franklin has aired it out for 2553 yards and 18 touchdowns, while only throwing 7 interceptions. Franklin has also taken over the role as the team's leading rusher with 794 yards and 13 touchdowns. James steps into that role in the absence of the team's leading rusher Henry Josey, who went out against Texas with a season-ending knee injury. Josey finished the year with 1168 yards and 9 TDs.

T.J. Moe leads the receiving corps with 51 receptions for 629 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tight end Michael Egnew is second with 46 for 467 and 3 TD. Marcus Lucas comes in third on the team with 22 for 361 and 4 TD. L'Damian Washington checks in with 17 for 317, 3 TDs of his own. The Tigers have two other receivers with over 100 yards on the season- seniors Wes Kemp (25/292 yards, 3TD) and Jerrell Jackson (12/161 yards).

The game kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 26th, at 2:30p/CT on the Fox Sports Network.

Mizzou vs Texas Tech Recap/Senior Day

4th quarter comeback for final Big 12 home win
by Mizzou Matt
COLUMBIA, MO- For the final time in their college careers, 27 Missouri seniors took to Faurot Field. For the final time in front of a home crowd, those 27 seniors would try to bring home a win. And that's exactly what they accomplished, in exhilarating fashion.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders came to Columbia for the final regularly scheduled meeting as Big 12 opponents riding a three game losing streak. After being outscored by opponents 159-33 over their three losses, the Raiders came out with something to prove. Quarterback Seth Doege aired it out for 315 yards and a TD, with one interception as Tech jumped to an early 14-0 lead in the first.

Mizzou would answer in the second with a ten points, but Texas Tech would add a field goal of their own to carry a 17-10 lead going into halftime. Sophomore quarterback James Franklin scored the first touchdown for Missouri, a 5-yd rush. Franklin finished the night with a career-high 152 yards rushing as the Tigers looked to their "rushing by committee" to step up in the absence of the Big 12's leading rusher Henry Josey. James would find the endzone on the ground again in the 4th for the go-ahead score.

Franklin added 172 yards passing and 2 TDs to his player-of-the-game performance.

Texas Tech threatened late, going 69 yards in 10 plays, until Doege was picked off by Michael Sam after a deflection at the Mizzou 4 yard line with only :32 seconds to play. Franklin took a knee three times to close out and secure the win for the Tigers (6-5, 4-4), their first back-to-back wins on the year. Mizzou moves to bowl eligible with the win. Tech (5-6, 2-6) remains searching for their bowl eligibility with the loss.

The Tigers have the chance to win their third straight game this year as they close out their regular season against Kansas in Arrowhead. The game will be the 120th and possibly last installment of the Border War, the second-longest running rivalry in NCAA FBS, and oldest rivalry west of the Mississippi River. Missouri leads the series 56-54-9.
The student section, affectionately known as the Tiger's Lair, paid homage to the departing group of student athletes with "THANK YOU SENIORS", followed by the senior numbers painted on their chests. To the seniors, thank you for your time at the University of Missouri. While you may leave Mizzou, Mizzou will never leave you! Best of luck to you in your future endeavors!
DE Jaquise Smith
WR Wes Kemp
OL John Birdwell
TE/LS Beau Brinkley
OL Quinn Brown
WR Terry Dennis
DL Brendan Donaldson
LB Will Ebner
TE Michael Egnew
OL Elvis Fisher
WR Brandon Gerau
DT Dominique Hamilton
CB Trey Hobson
OL Dan Hoch
WR Jerrell Jackson
FS Kenji Jackson
TE Andrew Jones
LB Tony Randolph
DL Corey Suchoff
QB Jimmy Costello
LB Luke Lambert
TB De'Vion moore
OL Marvin Norman
OL Jayson Palmgren
DT Terrell Resonno
K/PK Grant Ressel
OL Austin Wuebbles

17 November 2011

Pinkel Punishment

Courtesy of KOMU-TV8
COLUMBIA - Mike Alden confirmed that Gary Pinkel will be suspended immediately for a week without pay. He will sit out the football game on Saturday against Texas Tech.

When Pinkel returns next Thursday, he will donate his next week's salary to the MU Wellness Resource Center. Pinkel will be required to perform 50 hours of community service.

Alden says there will be a one-year salary freeze for Coach Pinkel. If the Tigers qualify for a bowl game this year, he will be ineligible for a bowl bonus this year.

Pinkel will be expected to write a public letter of apology. Also, there will be a letter of reprimand placed in his personnel file.

Alden noted that this is an isolated incident and that he does not expect this to happen again, and that Chancellor Deaton supports his decision. Alden said of Pinkel, "He was unbelievably remorseful."

KOMU will keep updating this developing story as we get more information.

Pinkel Faces DWI Charges

Coach charged with first offense
by Mizzou Matt
COLUMBIA, MO- Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel was arrested Wednesday, November 16th at approximately 10:00p on Keene Street in Columbia. The incident is Pinkel's first offense on the charge of driving while intoxicated, and he was released from the Boone County Jail after posting $500 bond.

Pinkel had this to say regarding the arrest:
"Last night after practice, I met some friends for dinner. After dinner, I was stopped by a Boone County officer and received a citation for impaired driving. First and foremost, I am very disappointed in myself for my lack of judgment in this instance. Nobody should drink and drive, including me. My staff and I constantly reinforce with each of our players the importance of not putting yourself into a position such as this. I did not follow that here and for that, I sincerely apologize to the University of Missouri, to our administration, to the Board of Curators and to our fans. I have already met with our staff and communicated with our players and have apologized to them. I accept full responsibility for my actions and will abide by whatever course of action our leadership deems appropriate."
A press conference was called this morning in front of Mizzou Arena, and the upper brass at the University have weighed in on Pinkel's situation, including athletic director Mike Alden and Chancellor Brady Deaton.

"We are extremely disappointed in Gary's lack of judgment," says Alden. "He is known as a man of great character and integrity. However, this absolutely goes against everything we stand for, and everything that he teaches his players in regards to our social responsibilities. We hold ourselves to very high standards, and this is a very serious breach of those responsibilities. We are gathering facts and will take action appropriately, and when those actions are determined, we will communicate them publicly."

Deaton added, "I was deeply disappointed to hear the news about Coach Pinkel. Coaches must hold themselves to the very highest of standards. His lack of judgment is especially concerning since he serves as a role model for our students. I expect Mike Alden to take appropriate action and he has my support in doing so. I also expect and believe that Coach Pinkel will accept full responsibility for his actions and will act in accordance with the standards he expects from his players."

Pinkel will not be coaching this weekend's final home game against Texas Tech, and he could also miss next week's Border Showdown against Kansas at Arrowhead Stadium. Defensive coordinator Dave Steckel will likely be the interim coach for the remainder of the season.

14 November 2011

Henry Josey

Want to wish him the best? Want to wish him a speedy recovery? Send him a card:
Henry Josey
Mizzou Athletics Football Office
1 Champions Drive
Columbia, MO 65211

Texas Waltz

Texas Tech completes 4-game streak
by Mizzou Matt
COLUMBIA, MO- For the past few weeks, the Tigers have become familiar with the state of Texas. Mizzou is already very familiar with the largest state in the contiguous 48, due in large part to the recruiting pipeline, but the way the schedule was planned has taken the popular "Texas Two-Step", and turned it into a waltz.

The Tigers are leading this year's series against Texas teams 2-1 and are outscoring opponents  94-78 in that same stretch.

Missouri started off the four games against Texas teams with a thrilling 38-31 overtime win against Texas A&M in College Station. The very next week, the Tigers traveled to Waco and Floyd Casey Stadium to face the Baylor Bears. They limped back to Columbia after a heart wrenching 42-39 loss. Game three of the stretch was November 12th vs Texas, a game that wasn't as enthralling as the previous two. Still, Mizzou came away with the 17-5 win. The Texas Waltz wraps up with the Red Raiders of Texas Tech coming to Columbia for Mizzou's final home game. It's senior day, and the Tigers will honor their departing seniors, as they've done for many years. The game is also the "Blackout" game, in which the fans are encouraged to wear black instead of gold.

Texas Tech is coming off a three-game losing streak. They lost 41-7 vs Iowa State (Mizzou def. ISU 52-17 on Homecoming). Tech also lost to Texas 52-20 (Mizzou def. Texas 17-5). The most embarrassing loss was to Oklahoma State, 66-6 (Mizzou lost to OKST 45-24). The only points scored by Tech was a fumble returned for a touchdown as the Raiders' offense was completely over matched and shutdown. Since defeating Oklahoma 41-38, Tech has been outscored 159-33. Quarterback Seth Doege was held to a season low 169 yds passing against the Cowboys, and the Raiders' rush defense has been anything but respectable. Iowa State rushed for over 300 yards against Tech. Oklahoma State's Herschel Sims ran for 109. Texas' Bergeron ran for 191 as the Longhorns ran for 400+. All in all, Texas Tech has allowed their opponents to rush for nearly 1000 yards in the previous three games (990- 368 by ISU, 453 by Texas, 169 by OKST). The message is abundantly clear: RUSH THE BALL.

But can Mizzou move the ball on the ground after losing Henry Josey, the Big 12's leading rusher? They have the experience at running back to do so. Kendial Lawrence, who was the starter until being sidelined with an injury, ran the ball for 100+ and a touchdown against the Longhorns.

Mizzou (5-5, 3-4) needs just one more win to become bowl eligible, and the upcoming game against Tech (5-5, 2-5) could be the one to push them over the cusp. The Tigers close out their final year in the Big 12 against Kansas, in Kansas City, on November 26. The Jayhawks are 2-8, 0-7 on the season.

Party Rock on M2

If you weren't in attendance for the Mizzou-Texas game on November 12th, or haven't seen them online yet, you missed what some call M2's best halftime performance to date.

Marching Mizzou performing LMFAO's "Party Rock"

13 November 2011

A Class Act

Mack Brown has become synonymous with "that guy you love to hate" around the University of Missouri. He's carries a record against Mizzou that makes any Tiger fan cringe: 6-1. His team and employer are the reason why the Big 12 is in its current stat of disarray.

But on Saturday, Nov. 12th, 2011, when Mizzou played Texas for what could be the final time, Mack gained some respect points from around Mizzou Nation. After Henry Josey went down with a left knee injury, Brown ran across the field from the Texas sideline to check on Henry and had this to say:
"You've had a great year. You're a great player. Get well soon."
 Don't ever let it be said that Mack Brown is unsportsmanlike or is an unclassy coach. What he did was unnecessary given the circumstances (Mizzou leading), but he did it anyway. I personally tip my hat to Brown on such a move.

12 November 2011

Tigers Shock No. 21 Longhorns, 17-5 - MISSOURI OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE

Tigers Shock No. 21 Longhorns, 17-5 - MISSOURI OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - In the final Big 12 meeting, Gary Pinkel got the best of Texas.

Missouri's coach didn't seem all that euphoric about ending the school's six-game losing streak in the series and knocking off the only conference school he hadn't beaten heading into next year's move to the SEC.

The Tigers likely lost the conference's leading rusher for the rest of the year.

"I don't think off that field, 'Gosh, I finally beat Texas!'" Pinkel said after Missouri's 17-5 upset of the No. 21 Longhorns on Saturday. "I don't do that.

"This game, I don't care who it is, this gives us a chance to have a really good season and accomplish some goals."

Kendial Lawrence topped 100 yards with a touchdown in relief of Henry Josey and a defense burned for 697 yards at Baylor a week earlier kept No. 21 Texas out of the end zone for the first time since 2004. Missouri won for only the second time in the last 17 times in the series.

"I'm really disappointed offensively," said Texas coach Mack Brown, who refused to lean on injuries as an excuse.

"Even though they piled up today more than I think I've ever seen at one position, we still have to do our best to win the game," the coach added.

Pinkel said Josey was undergoing an MRI exam but didn't expect positive news. Coming off four straight games with 125 or more rushing yards, Josey was held to 19 yards on 11 carries.

"I feel really bad for Henry," Pinkel said. "Whatever happens, if he has to have surgery or whatever, we've got the best people taking care of him and we'll get him back 100 percent."

Before Josey was carted off in the third quarter Brown came across the field to check on the sophomore from Angleton, Texas. Josey also missed the last nine minutes of the first half after an apparent helmet-to-helmet hit.

"I told him he's had a great year and he's a great player and I hope he got well fast," Brown said.

Missouri upset a ranked team for the second time this season after beating Texas A&M on Oct. 29. The Tigers finish against Texas Tech, whipped 66-6 by Oklahoma State on Saturday, and Kansas in search of a seventh straight bowl bid.

"We're still fighting for our bowl lives," defensive end Jacquies Smith said. "It doesn't mean any more just because it's Texas."

James Franklin completed his first 10 passes and ran for a 2-yard score for the Tigers (5-5, 3-4), who beat Texas for the first time since 1997. Lawrence had 106 yards on 18 carries with a 35-yard score in the second quarter.

"Once you get consistent carries, you get the feel of the game easier," Lawrence said. "You've just got to go when your chance comes and make it happen."

Texas (6-3, 3-3) entered with injury concerns at running back and was held to 76 yards rushing in only its third road game of the year. Missouri allowed only a chip-shot field goal for the game's first score and a safety off a blocked punt in the third quarter.

"The thing that was frustrating the most was that we stopped ourselves," said freshman quarterback David Ash, who was taken out in the third quarter. "Penalties, bad reads, just little things like that that we can control.

"They did good, but a lot of the stuff is what we can control."

The previous two weeks at home, Texas whipped Kansas and Texas Tech by a combined 95-20 and topped 400 yards rushing in both games. Leading rusher Malcolm Brown (toe) and Joe Bergeron (hamstring) got no carries and the depth chart got leaner after Fozzy Whitaker left with an apparent right knee injury while making a cut in the first quarter.

Lawrence, who won the tailback job in fall drills but was shelved for three games early in the season by a broken fibula, stepped up with 79 yards on eight carries and a TD before intermission.

Missouri controlled play in the half even after fumbling away a scoring chance on its first drive when Emmnauel Acho stripped L'Damian Washington after a reception and Texas recovered at its own 12.

Franklin scored his 11th rushing touchdown on a 2-yard keeper to put Missouri ahead and Lawrence's 35-yard run made it 14-3 with 4:43 to go in the half.

Thanks to the defense, Missouri was able to sit on its lead most of the second half.

"When somebody goes down, the next guy has to be ready to step up," Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin said. "That's where leadership comes in, that's where you have to grow up and man up.

"No matter what, no matter who's in there."

Eric Waters' blocked punt set up Missouri at the 1 for its first score in the third quarter in four games, though the Tigers had to settle for a 19-yard field goal by Trey Barrow that made it 17-3.

Less than four minutes later, Leroy Scott's blocked punt out of the end zone gave Texas two points.

Texas Has (Finally) Been Messed With

More total points in Miami (OH) game
by Mizzou Matt
Pinkel is 0-6 vs Texas prior to today's game.
COLUMBIA, MO- That's right, I'll give it away early. There were more total points scored in the season opener, a 17-6 Mizzou win over Miami of Ohio. Today, the Tigers of Missouri took on Bevo and the Longhorns of Texas. Coming into today, Missouri needed two wins to make their 7th straight bowl-eligible season under Gary Pinkel. Pinkel, who with a record of 81-53 at Mizzou, is 0-6 against Texas prior to today's game. The last time Mizzou beat Texas? October 18th, 1997 under Larry Smith.

Missouri took the ball on offense first, and drove the length of the field. Threatening to score, Texas forced a fumble and recovered the ball on their own 12. Missouri held them to just a field goal. Powered by a 14-pt 2nd quarter and an interception by Kenji Jackson at the end of the half, the Tigers would take a 14-3 lead into the locker room.

James Franklin went 9-9 for 109 yards in the first half. Texas, who allowed just 28 rushing yards in the previous two games, couldn't find an answer for Mizzou's rushing attack as the Tigers put up 100+ in the first half. Franklin scored from two yards out and Kendial "Showtime" Lawrence ran it in from 35 for the only touchdowns of the game for either team.

The last time Texas played a game in which they failed to score a touchdown: 2004, a 14-0 loss to Oklahoma.

The third quarter was an interesting one. Missouri's Eric Waters blocked the first punt of the year for the Tigers, and Matt Hoch recovered it on the 1-yard line. The Tigers took three plays to try and get in, but failed and had to settle for a field goal from punter Trey Barrow, who is still filling in for Grant Ressel. Texas returned the favor, downing their punt on Missouri's 1-yard line, and just a few plays later, blocked it out of the back of the endzone for a safety. Texas' kicker Justin Tucker missed a 53-yard FG attempt wide left to keep the score 17-5 at the end of three.

Missouri ranked in the top five of 4th quarter scoring in the NCAA coming into today's matchup. Neither team posted any points in the final stanza. The Tigers get their second win over a ranked opponent this year (upset #16 Texas A&M 38-31 in overtime).

The field claimed two injury victims in today's game. Texas' Fozzy Whittaker became the third Longhorn to go down to injury, as he left the game with an injury to his right knee in the first quarter. Henry Josey left the ball game in the third with a left knee injury after getting 19 yards on 11 carries. In a show of class, Longhorn head coach Mack Brown ran across the field to the Missouri sideline to check on Josey and wish him the best.

Lawrence led all rushers with 106 on 18 carries and a touchdown. T.J. Moe led the Tigers' receiving corp with five grabs for 74 yards. Franklin finished the game 18/26 for 186 yards passing and 13 carries for 33 yards.

Texas couldn't decide on a quarterback, which likely led to an imbalance of their O. David Ash played most of the game and went 13/29 for 159 and an interception, but Case McCoy, younger brother to Colt McCoy, saw some playing time to try and spark the struggling offense. McCoy went 3/7 for 13 yards as the Longhorns stuck mainly to the ground.

With the win, Mizzou again moves to .500 on the year with a 5-5, 3-4 record. The Tigers will try once again to get two wins in a row as they take on Texas Tech in the final home game of the season next week. (Tech lost to Oklahoma State 63-6 today, with the offense scoring 0 points [defensive blocked punt returned for TD]).

Pinkel moves to 82-53 at Mizzou, ten wins behind Dan Devine (92), and now just 18 behind the legendary Don Faurot (100).

08 November 2011

Shootout at the Brazos Corral

Tigers struggle early, comeback late
by Mizzou Matt 11/5/11
WACO, TX- The University of Missouri football team looked to do something they haven't done all season: win back to back games. The Tigers traveled to Waco, TX to try and do just that. Carrying a .500 record after a big overtime win against Texas A&M last week, the Tigers came in riding the momentum. How would the momentum fare throughout the game?

Both sides struggled to find their stride early, as Baylor, boasting Heisman candidate Robert Griffin III, forced Mizzou to a three and out, before doing the same. Sophomore quarterback James Franklin led the Tigers down field, and Mizzou found the endzone first on a six yard rush by Henry Josey, the Big 12's leading rusher. The score at the 8:04 mark was the only score of the first quarter. RG3 had a chance to tie the game, but Mizzou DB Kip Edwards forced a fumble at the goal line and Braylon Webb recovered it in the endzone.

The second quarter found a bit more offense, as Baylor and Missouri traded blows. RG3 found Terrance Williams on a six yard pass and Aaron Jones converted the extra point at the 12:33 mark to tie the game at 7. Josey struck back with his second touchdown run from just a yard out with 3:30 to go in the half. RG3 would score with :01 second left in the half, but the extra point would be blocked by Mizzou to go into the locker room with just 27 total points scored. 14-13 Mizzou advantage.

Baylor struggled in the redzone in the first half, going just two for four with a fumble, touchdown, missed field goal by Jones and a RG3 touchdown. Mizzou went a perfect 2-2.

Henry Josey entered the game with 1,017 yards rushing, 127.1 yards per game, which is third in the nation. The first half found Josey carrying the ball 10 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns. The Tigers ran the ball for 184 yards, but passed for only 61. Griffin had 167 yards passing in the first half and two touchdowns. In the second half, however, Josey wouldn't get the ball so much. Just four carries for 21 yards after the break.

The third quarter has been Mizzou's weakness this season, and a 28 yard pass from Griffin to Williams made the score 19-14. Baylor would add a two-point conversion to go up by 7. They wouldn't relinquish the lead as easily tonight like A&M did a week ago. Alongside a Michael Egnew fumble, Terrance Ganaway would add a 38-yd touchdown run to extend the lead to 28-14. Last week, Mizzou overcame a 28-17 deficit to win in overtime. That was the second-largest deficit overcome in Mizzou history, the largest is 14 against Nebraska in 1949. Baylor held a 14-pt advantage at the end of three.

Mizzou would strike first in what they hoped would be another big fourth quarter on a Trey Barrow 30-yd field goal. Barrow is still filling in for the injured Grant Ressel. The Tigers have scored 94 points coming into the game, which is 3rd in the NCAA. Griffin would strike back with a 68-yd touchdown pass to Tevin Reese at the 8:22 mark. On Mizzou's next drive, they took just 1:17 to go 67 yards as Franklin found Marcus Lucas for a 34-yd touchdown. Is another fourth quarter comeback in the works?

Not so fast, said Baylor's Ganaway, who took just one play to go 80 yards. Ganaway finished with 186 yards rushing. Franklin started finding a stride in the fourth, hitting his receivers for key pickups. He found Marcus Lucas, L'Daminan Washington, Brandon Gerau, Wes Kemp and Michael Egnew to possibly mount the comeback, but it was too little, too late. The last two scores of the game would go the Tigers way, as Franklin hooked up with Moe, who had just 3 catches on the night, for a 17 yard score at the 3:55 mark. Franklin would find L'Damian Washington with 1:59 to go to cut the Bears lead to 3, 39-42. Remember there was 27 total points scored in the first half, the shootout came in the final 30:00 as the two teams scored 54 combined points in the second half. Total points scored along the Brazos River: 81. Griffin would finish at 27/41, 406 yds, 3 TD, 0 INT passing. Mizzou would finish a perfect 5-5 in the redzone.

Baylor tallied 687 offensive yards, and recovered both onside kicks that Mizzou attempted, and would run out the clock to give Mizzou their 5th loss on the season. The Tigers still need two wins to become bowl eligible, with Texas, Texas Tech and Kansas remaining on the schedule. Mizzou falls to 4-5, 2-4 in 2011. All four of the Tigers' road losses have been by a total of 27 points (7 against Arizona State, 10 against Oklahoma, 7 against Kansas State, 3 against Baylor).

Mizzou soccer defeated Baylor in penalty kicks, 4-3 in the opening round of the Big 12 tournament, goalkeeper Mackenzie Sauerwein made the final save on Baylor's penalty kick, then would score the game winning goal. The win advanced the Tigers to the semifinal, where they would fall to 2nd-seeded Texas A&M, 3-0.

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