Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field Timeline
- December, 1925: Ground broken for future site of Memorial Stadium. It was carved out of a sizeable natural valley that lay between twin bluffs south of the campus.
- Oct. 2, 1926: Stadium dedicated in memory of the 112 Missouri graduates and students who died in World War I. Mizzou and Tulane played to a scoreless tie on a field that was a muddy disaster due to torrential rains that drenched the Columbia area prior to the game. The field was built with a 440-yard track encircling it.
- Oct. 1, 1927: The landmark rock `M' debuts at Memorial Stadium after members of the freshman class construct it with leftover rocks from the stadium project. The monument stood 90 feet wide by 95 feet high and has watched over the field ever since that day, when Mizzou defeated Kansas State, 13-7. The Tigers were a perfect 4-0 at home during the 1927 season, which helped boost MU to its third Missouri Valley Conference championship since 1924 under Coach Gwinn Henry.
- Oct. 13, 1928: Coach Gwinn Henry's Tigers open the 1928 season by pasting visiting Centre (Ky.) College, 60-0. It remains today as Mizzou's largest margin of victory at Memorial Stadium.
- Sept. 28, 1935: Don Faurot makes his debut as Missouri Head Coach with a 39-0 whitewashing of William Jewell College. Faurot's first Tiger squad would go on to post a 3-3-3 record.
- Nov. 5, 1938: Missouri blanks visiting Michigan State, 6-0. The win started a 20-game winning streak for the Tigers at Memorial Stadium, a record that still stands today. Mizzou would not lose at home again until a 20-13 loss to Oklahoma on Nov. 13, 1943.
- Nov. 4, 1939: Unranked Missouri defeats 10th-ranked Nebraska, 27-13, at Memorial Stadium to mark MU's first-ever win over a ranked team. Two weeks later, the Tigers, now ranked 12th, upset 5th-ranked Oklahoma, 7-6, at Memorial Stadium, and went on to win the Big Six title: the first of three league championships to be won under Faurot from 1939-42.
- Oct. 9, 1948: One of the biggest upsets in Memorial Stadium history occurs, as the unranked Tigers ambush 4th-ranked SMU, 20-14.
- Summer, 1949: Stadium undergoes first expansion as 5,000 seats are added to the center section of west stands, increasing the number of rows from 40 to 78. Also built was a new press box that included seating for 50 writers and featured eight radio booths.
- Dec. 1, 1956: Don Faurot is carried off the field on the shoulders of his players after his Tigers post a stirring last-minute 15-13 win over rival Kansas in Faurot's final game as a coach.
- Oct. 25, 1957: A group of pranksters changed the rock "M" to an "N" the night before the Missouri-Nebraska game. But the Mizzou groundskeeper, with the help of some young boys who gained free admission to the game in exchange for their assistance, restored the "M" to its proper form before kickoff. The next day, Missouri used a last-minute touchdown to post a come-from-behind 14-13 win over the Huskers.
- Sept. 20, 1958: Coach Dan Devine, the third Tiger coach in three years, makes his Missouri debut against Vanderbilt, but the visiting Commodores spoil the day by leaving Columbia with a 12-8 victory.
- Nov. 19, 1960: One of the more infamous events in the history of Memorial Stadium took place, as the #1-ranked and undefeated Tigers were upset, 23-7, in the regular-season finale by unranked rival Kansas. The loss spoiled any national championship hopes for the Tigers, who would go on to beat Navy in the Orange Bowl and finish ranked as high as 4th in the UPI poll. It was later discovered that Kansas had used an ineligible player, and the game was officially forfeited by the Jayhawks, giving Mizzou a bittersweet administrative victory.
- Summer, 1965: Final expansion of original horseshoe completed on southeast corner that added 3,595 seats bringing capacity at the time to 44,344 permanent seats.
- 1968: New press box and VIP lounge constructed by private subscription.
- Nov. 21, 1970: Dan Devine coaches his last game at Mizzou, and fittingly, goes out a winner against Kansas, 28-17.
- 1972: Playing surface named Faurot Field in honor of legendary coach and athletic director Don Faurot.
- Oct. 28, 1972: Coach Al Onofrio's unranked Tigers upset #7 Colorado, 20-17. Five more times over the next four years, Onofrio's squads would upset ranked teams on the newly christened Faurot Field.
- Oct. 13, 1973: Mizzou got one of its biggest wins ever at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field when the 12th-ranked Tigers defeated #2 Nebraska, 13-12 when a last-minute Husker two-point conversion pass was intercepted by MU's Tony Gillick. Nebraska had beaten Mizzou by a combined score of 98-0 the two previous years. It remains as the highest-ranked foe any Tiger team has ever beaten.
- Summer, 1978: South endzone was enclosed with 10,800 permanent seats.
- Oct. 4, 1980: Largest crowd to ever see a game at Faurot Field witnesses a 29-21 upset win by 19th-ranked Penn State over 7th-ranked Mizzou. A record crowd of 75,298 saw the game.
- Oct. 15, 1983: Musco Mobile Lighting brings in portable lights to illuminate a mid-afternoon game vs. Nebraska. Mizzou's defense holds Nebraska's "Scoring Explosion" offense somewhat in check, but still falls to the top-ranked Huskers, 34-13.
- Summer, 1984: Glass-enclosed Tiger Lounge constructed in lower level of press box facility.
- May 18, 1985: Project began to convert Faurot Field natural grass surface to new artificial surface called Omniturf. Project was completed on Aug. 30th.
- Sept. 14, 1985: First game on Omniturf is an ominous 27-23 loss to Northwestern. Mizzou would finish the year 0-7 at home this season, with five of the games decided by a touchdown or less.
- Oct. 11, 1986: Kicker Tom Whelihan kicks school-record 62-yard field goal in a 17-12 loss to Colorado.
- Oct. 6, 1990: 12th-ranked Colorado escapes Faurot Field with a 33-31 win over Mizzou after benefiting from an officiating oversight that gave the Buffaloes five downs to score the winning TD on 5th-and-goal in the closing seconds. The "Fifth Down Game" helped propel the Buffaloes to a share of the national title that year.
- Summer, 1991: All of the stadium's old cypress bleachers were replaced with aluminum.
- June 1, 1992: Big Eight Conference coaches approve a statement that read, in part: "Big Eight Conference football coaches wanted to report that the football field at the University of Missouri is a detriment to the home and visiting teams and takes away from the integrity of the game played on such a field."
- Summer, 1992: Facilities completed underneath south stands that give the Tigers a spacious game-day locker room, improved medical facilities including X-ray equipment, and a large interview room with enables 65 reporters to comfortably execute post-game duties.
- Oct. 8, 1992: Musco brings in portable lights to illuminate the first-ever night game at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field vs. Colorado. In brutally cold and wet weather, the 9th-ranked Buffaloes escape with a 6-0 win.
- Nov. 11, 1992: Coach Bob Stull's Tigers close the 1992 season out with a 22-17 upset win over 22nd-ranked Kansas. Kicker Jeff Jacke set an MU single-game record by making five field goals in the game.
- Sept. 18, 1994: Rock and Roll legends The Rolling Stones, perform an open-air concert at Memorial Stadium before 45,000 fans. The concert helped provide nearly $100,000 toward the eventual project that converted the Omniturf surface to natural grass the next year.
- Nov. 19, 1994: Mizzou loses its home finale to Kansas, 31-14. The game would mark the last played on the now infamous Omniturf surface. In its 10 seasons on the surface, Mizzou's record was just 20-38-3.
- June, 1995: Project begins to convert Faurot Field from Omniturf back to natural grass. The grass, a blend of five Kentucky bluegrass varieties, was donated for the project by Gene Sandner and Darrell Seltsam of S&S Seed Farms/Evergreen Sod in Rocheport, Mo. Legendary Coach Don Faurot, who helped lay sod for the original field in 1926 at Memorial Stadium, put down the last piece of sod to finalize the newest version as a symbolic gesture. Faurot later died in October of that year, during Homecoming Week.
- June, 1995: Grass-covered terraces were extended upward from field level to the grandstands, where they met a new brick wall, to give the stadium a traditional collegiate ambiance. The red brick eventually became a central unifying theme throughout the Sports Park at MU the evolved in the years to follow.
- Sept. 2, 1995: Mizzou defeats North Texas, 28-7, on first game back on natural grass at Memorial Stadium.
- Summer, 1996: Four light towers were permanently installed, giving Missouri the opportunity to play night games on a regular basis.
- Sept. 14, 1996: First-ever night game at Faurot Field with permanent light system goes awry, as Memphis leaves with a 19-16 upset win over the Tigers.
- Oct. 26, 1996: The first overtime game in Mizzou history results in a 35-28 Tiger Homecoming win over Oklahoma State.
- Summer, 1997: $12 million renovation of Faurot Field was completed that replaced restrooms, concession stands and concourse surfaces beneath the grandstands. The effort also included new ticket booths, a reconfigured north entrance, more brickwork to accent what was installed at field level in 1995, and parking lot improvements. Diamond Vision video replay scoreboard is installed as part of this project above the rock "M", with a screen measuring 21-feet tall by 27-feet wide.
- Nov. 8, 1997: Top-ranked Nebraska escaped Faurot Field with a 45-38 overtime win after a miracle TD on a 4th down in the closing seconds of regulation forced the extra period. The win helped propel Nebraska to a share of the national championship that year. The Huskers' miracle TD took place in the same North end zone where Colorado scored to win seven years earlier in the "5th-Down Game," prompting MU fans to believe there is a curse of sorts in the North end zone.
- Sept. 12, 1998: Senior tailback Devin West rushes for a school-record 319 yards on 33 carries in leading the 25th-ranked Tigers to a 41-23 win over rival Kansas.
- April, 2003: Faurot Field sod torn up to make way for switch to artificial surface and salvageable amounts given free to Tiger fans.
- June 25, 2003: FieldTurf installation project is completed.
- Sept. 13, 2003: The first game ever on FieldTurf is a success, as Mizzou crushes Eastern Illinois, 37-0, giving the Tigers their first shutout win since 1998.
Oct. 11, 2003: Mizzou, stinging from its previous game, an unexpected 35-14 loss at Kansas, rebounds to earn one of the biggest wins in recent memory, as the Tigers upset 10th-ranked Nebraska, 41-24 on a wet night that was televised nationally by TBS. The win, which came before a sellout crowd of 68,349, broke a 25-game Husker winning streak over MU, and it marked Mizzou's first win in Columbia over Nebraska since 1973.
- Oct. 25, 2003: Mizzou becomes bowl eligible by getting its sixth win of the season in fine fashion, as they outdistanced Texas Tech and their Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback B.J. Symons, 62-31. Mizzou's QB extraordinaire Brad Smith broke a school record by scoring five touchdowns, as he rushed for 291 yards.
- Nov. 29, 2003: On the Saturday of Thanksgiving week, Mizzou closed out a perfect 6-0 home record with a 45-7 win over Iowa State to earn its eighth win of the year. Senior tailback Zack Abron became MU's all-time rushing leader on a first quarter run.
- Sept. 10, 2005: In a 45-35 loss to New Mexico, senior quarterback Brad Smith became Mizzou's career rushing AND passing leader on consecutive drives in the 3rd quarter of the game.
- Nov. 12, 2005: Record-setting quarterback Brad Smith closed out his Faurot Field career by leading Mizzou to a hardfought 31-16 win over Baylor. Smith, who would end his career holding as many as 69 different MU, Big 12 and NCAA game, season and career records, closed his brilliant home career by rushing for 161 yards and 3 TDs.
- Sept. 2, 2006: Sophomore QB Chase Daniel makes his first career start, and promptly breaks the MU single-game passing touchdown record by throwing five scoring strikes in the 2006 season opener against Murray State.
- Oct. 6, 2007: The 17th-ranked Tigers blitzed 25th-ranked Nebraska, 41-6 before a modern-day record crowd of 70,049. The win was MU’s most lopsided over Nebraska since 1947, and Chase Daniel’s 473 all-purpose yards was only 7 shy of the MU record of 480 set by Brad Smith in 2005, also against Nebraska.
- Spring, 2009: Work began on a new video board display to replace the aging board located on the top of the grass hill beyond the north endzone. The project was completed prior to MU’s 2009 home opener on Sept. 12 against Bowling Green.
- Oct. 23, 2010: Mizzou earned its first-ever win over a #1-ranked opponent as the Tigers posted a scintillating 36-27 comeback win over Oklahoma for Homecoming. The win was seen nationally on ABC and was also supplemented by the first-ever Columbia appearance by the ESPN College GameDay set.
- Sept. 8, 2012: Mizzou played its first-ever Southeastern Conference game at Faurot Field, with SEC Commissioner Mike Slive on hand for the ceremonial coin toss to open the historic night. Mizzou played toe-to-toe with the 7th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs, and held a 20-17 lead late in the third quarter before the Bulldogs scored 24 unanswered points the rest of the way to pull away for a 41-24 win.
Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium Trivia
- Legend has it that during initial blasting done for the building of the stadium, a rock crusher and truck were buried, and still today, they reside buried under the field.
- Original plans called for the stadium to seat 25,000, with proposed stages of expansion to 35,000, 55,000, 75,000 and 98,875.
- In 1974, Athletic Director Mel Sheehan studied the possibility of lowering the field and adding seats on each side closer to the sidelines, but the plans were scratched due to a prevalence of bedrock just below the surface.
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