A Look Back at Memorable Tiger Goal Line Stands

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Last Saturday's last-minute thriller over Texas Tech came down to a dramatic goal-line stand, and when the fluttering ball nestled into the loving arms of Michael Sam for the game-winning interception at the Tiger 4-yardline, my vertical jump, measured normally at about six inches, must have increased to well over 9 ½ inches.  From my perch just behind the south end zone on the field, that ball hung in the air seemingly forever, but when Sam corralled it, there were lots of high fives and hugs taking place on the sideline, and in the stands, I'm sure.

The way we won that game got me to wondering, when was the last time the Tigers won a game on a goal-line stand?  If it seems like it's been a little while, you're right, it has been, at least in terms of a true goal-line stand.  The last time Mizzou won a game with a defensive stop on a play that originated from inside the MU 10-yardline was back in 2004 at Iowa State.  The other instances I have found from the Big 12 era include two other overtime games - 1997 at Oklahoma State and 1996 vs. Oklahoma State in Columbia.  Again, this is only on plays that were snapped from inside the MU 10-yardline, and don't count game-saving/game-ending interceptions or other types of plays such as the 2008 Alamo Bowl when William Moore batted down a desperation Hail Mary by Northwestern in the endzone to end that overtime win.  It also doesn't include another last-minute win in 2008, when Brock Christopher intercepted a Baylor pass on the Bear 34-yardline with 1:40 to play to preserve a 31-28 win.  There are many other last-minute wins over the years, but I'm talking about the ones which truly count as a goal-line stand.

Here's a look back at those instances, dating back through the Big 12 era...

2011 vs. Texas Tech - Leading 31-27 (after trailing 14-0 in the 1st quarter, and 27-17 entering the 4th), Mizzou saw Tech march downfield quickly into the redzone, and with a full complement of time outs, the Red Raiders had a 1st-and-10 at the Tiger 11-yardline with :44 seconds left.  A short pass in the left flat went for four yards and Tech was forced to used its first timeout (a key development) as two Tigers were there to stop the play for a four-yard gain to the MU 7, with :37 seconds left.  What happened next would send joy throughout Memorial Stadium, as Tech QB Seth Doege's attempted pass over the middle was deflected at the line of scrimmage by the big paws of DT Dominique Hamilton and intercepted at the 4-yardline by DE Michael Sam.  Mizzou took three knees, as Tech used their two remaining timeouts, but the third snap burned the clock and gave Mizzou its sixth win to attain bowl eligibility for a school-record 7th straight season...

2004 at Iowa State - This was Brad Smith's junior season, and the year had turned into a disappointing one.  The Tigers opened the year 4-1 but a five-game losing streak ensued to knock that record to 4-6 and put the team out of bowl contention (the schedule was only 11 games that season).  With nothing left to play for but pride, the Tigers went to Ames, Iowa, to take on the Iowa State Cyclones, who needed only a win to claim the Big 12 North Division title outright and gain a berth into their first-ever Big 12 Championship Game.  The Cyclones were heavy favorites, but the Tigers were game from the start, and held a 14-7 lead midway through the 4th quarter before ISU tied it up, and then later missed a 24-yard field goal to force overtime.  In the extra period, Mizzou had the ball first, and got as far as the Cyclone 7-yardline before having to settle for a 25-yard field goal from Adam Crossett to take a 17-14 lead.  Iowa State took four plays to reach the Mizzou 3-yardline, where they had a 1st-and-goal and tons of momentum, just three measly yards away from their first conference title of any kind in football since 1912.  Mizzou safety Nino Williams crashed hard on a run by ISU RB Stevie Hicks to hold him to no gain on 1st down, and then safety Jason Simpson forced Hicks out of bounds on the edge on 2nd down for what was a three-yard loss.  Facing 3rd-and-goal from the 6, QB Bret Meyer tried to hit TE Jon Davis in the right corner of the end zone, but Mizzou's A.J. Kincade snagged the ball for an interception to end the game, dash Iowa State's title game dreams, and send the Tigers out on a high note in what was a tough last month of the season...

1997 at Oklahoma State - One of the classic games in the last half-century of Tiger football, as the Tigers went to Stillwater and upset the 12th-ranked Cowboys in double overtime by a 51-50 score.  It was a game of huge momentum swings, as the Tigers gave up the first score of the game but then scored 30 straight points to hold a commanding 30-7 lead after a 23-yard touchdown run by Corby Jones to open the 3rd quarter.  But the Cowboys wouldn't go away, and they put up 30 straight points of their own to take a 37-30 lead with about two minutes to play.  Jones answered though, and hit Ricky Ross on a 38-yard TD pass with around :30 seconds left to send it into overtime.  After the teams traded TDs in the first overtime period, Mizzou got the ball first in the second OT session, and took a 51-44 lead on a 15-yard run by Corby Jones, followed by Scott Knickman's PAT.  The Cowboys answered with a 6-yard TD run to pull to withing 51-50, and here's where the goal-line stand came into play: OSU chose to go for two points and the win.  The Cowboys lined up for two in a swinging gate formation, but as OSU's Tony Lindsey dropped to pass, he was flushed out of the pocket by Tiger DE Marquis Gibson.  Fellow linemen Donnell Jones and Brian Cracraft were able to hem Lindsey in and tackle him short of the goal line as he tried to run it in for the game-winning score.  Instead, the Tiger defense had made a game-winning stop to improve to 5-3 on the year and win on the road against a ranked opponent - a feat which wouldn't be accomplished by a Tiger team until 2011...

1996 at Oklahoma State - Mizzou claimed a 35-28 win in the first overtime game ever played at MU.  The overtime rule had been put in place for the 1995 bowl game season, and it was adopted in full for the 1996 season.  Had it not been in place, this game would have ended in a 28-28 tie when the Cowboys tied the game up at 28-28 on a 15-yard TD pass from Tone Jones to Andre Richardson with :37 seconds left in regulation.  Mizzou got the ball first in overtime and scored in three plays, as Corby Jones ran for four yards, and that was followed by a 13-yard run by Brock Olivo, and then an 8-yard score by Olivo for a 35-28 lead.  Oklahoma State took over, needing a TD and PAT to tie, or a TD and 2-point conversion to win.  They quickly got into position, as they reached the Tiger four-yardline.  Eventually, OSU faced a 4th and goal from the 4.  On the 4th-down play, the Tigers caught a break when Jones threw the ball in the flat toward a wide-open Richardson, who only had to catch the ball and waltz into the endzone.  Richardson, however, just flat out dropped the ball, and when the pigskin fell harmlessly to the grass, the Tigers were victorious in their first overtime game.  Fast forward to 2011, and Mizzou's 10 alltime overtime wins is most in the NCAA...

 

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://cstv.collegesports.com/mt5.2/mt-tb.cgi/27849

Leave a comment




Follow us!

Instagram