21 November 2011

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.

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