Tigers Welcome Bulldogs to Columbia

Mizzou fans get their first taste of SEC action this weekend at Faurot Field.

Mizzou fans get their first taste of SEC action this weekend at Faurot Field.

Sept. 3, 2012

KICKOFF: 6:45 p.m. CDT.

STADIUM: Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field (71,004 - FieldTurf surface). Opened in 1926. MU is 262-168-20 there alltime and has won 35 of its last 41 overall and is 45-11 there since 2003 (1-0 in 2012).

RADIO: Tiger Network. Mike Kelly (play-by-play), Howard Richards (color), Chris Gervino (sidelines), Scotty Cox (producer), Matt Winegardner (director). Carried on over 50 stations across the Midwest, and on the Internet at mutigers.tv.
   The game will also be available on satellite radio (Sirius TBA).

TV: ESPN2. Joe Tessitore (play-by-play), Matt Millen (analyst), Quint Kessinich (reporting), Steve Ackels (producer).

RANKINGS (AP/USA/BCS): Not available as of Monday morning.

SERIES: Georgia leads, 1-0, with the only meeting a 14-0 UGA win in the 1960 Orange Bowl.

   MU: Gary Pinkel (Kent, '75), 86-54 at MU (12th year) and 159-91-3 overall (22nd year). Pinkel is 0-0 vs. Georgia and Mark Richt.
   UGA: Mark Richt (Miami, '82), 107-38 at UGA and overall (12th year). Richt is 0-0 vs. Mizzou and Gary Pinkel.

   The Missouri Tigers (1-0) will make history when they hit the field this Saturday to take on the #6-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (1-0), in what will be the first SEC league game in Mizzou history. Kickoff for the historic contest is set for 6:45 p.m., with the game being televised on ESPN2.
   The conference lidlifter will take place with a capacity crowd on hand to see if the Tigers can continue the momentum from last week's 62-10 win over Southeastern Louisiana - a game that saw Mizzou jump out to a commanding 28-0 lead less than eight minutes in.
   Georgia comes into its first-ever visit to Columbia with an identical 1-0 record on the year, after the Bulldogs claimed a 45-23 home win last Saturday over a scrappy Buffalo team. After the Bulls pulled to within 24-16 at halftime, Georgia owned the second half, scoring three unanswered touchdowns to pull away for a comfortable 45-16 lead by midway through the 4th quarter.
   Mizzou has won 2 of 3 games at home in the friendly confines of Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium against ranked visitors in the last two seasons (2010-11). In 2010, #3-ranked Oklahoma (#1 in the BCS rankings) went home with their first loss of the season (a 36-27 Tiger win). Last year, two ranked foes came to Columbia, and the Tigers split those outings, losing to #6 Oklahoma State (45-24), and later downing #21 Texas (17-5).

   The much-anticipated 2012 season got underway with a bang last Saturday, as the Missouri Tigers cruised to a season-opening 62-10 victory over Southeastern Louisiana of the Football Championship Subdivision. Mizzou, playing on a brand-new FieldTurf surface, and with brand-new Nike-designed uniforms and a new-look helmet, wasted no time in putting the Lions away.
   The Tigers took the opening kick and marched 75 yards on 11 plays (converting one 4th down along the way) and closed with a James Franklin-to-T.J. Moe touchdown pass of 2 yards for a 7-0 lead at the 11:08 mark. Less than 4 minutes later, the lead ballooned to 28-0. Here's how it happened:

  • On SELA's ensuing possession, the 2nd play was an interception by Tiger LB Zaviar Gooden. He returned it 20 yards for a pick-six touchdown and a 14-0 lead at the 10:26 mark...
  • After forcing a punt on SELA's next series, the Tiger offense went into instant score mode, as TB Kendial Lawrence burst around the right edge on the first play and scampered 76 yards untouched for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead with 7:35 left in the quarter...
  • On SELA's very next snap, MU's Kony Ealy walloped Lions QB Nathan Stanley on a sack, jarring the ball loose. Fellow Tiger DE Michael Sam scooped the ball up at the 7-yardline and danced into the endzone for a TD and a 28-0 lead with 7:19 to play...
  • All told, that series of events took just 3:49 of clock time, and Mizzou scored those 28 points on just 12 snaps of the ball total for both sides combined...

   Remnants of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac then dumped a good amount of rain on the proceedings, which seemed to stall the Tiger attack for the rest of the 1st half, but the MU special teams units took over after halftime. On the opening kick of the 3rd quarter, LB Donovan Bonner forced a fumble on the return, with MU recovering on the SELA 25-yardline. Three plays later, Lawrence powered in from 1-yard out to give MU a 34-0 lead (the PAT failed).
   Sophomore TB/PR Marcus Murphy stole the rest of the show, as he returned a pair of punts for touchdowns, including a 70-yarder in the 3rd quarter and a 72-yarder in the 4th quarter, to become the first Tiger in history with two punt returns for scores in the same game.
   Sandwiched around those returns were a pair of TDs that backup QB Corbin Berkstresser accounted for. The first was a 10-yard strike to WR Jimmie Hunt with 0:13 seconds left in the 3rd quarter. Berkstresser later scored himself on a 1-yard keeper with 11:38 left in the game to extend MU's lead to 55-3 at the time. Berkstresser had an outstanding collegiate debut, as he ended the night a perfect 5-of-5 passing for 60 yards, 1 TD and the 1 rushing score.


School Total
1. TCU 8
2. Baylor 7
  Also: USC, BYU, South Carolina, Alabama, West Virginia, Temple

   Mizzou's 62-10 thrashing of Southeastern Louisiana last Saturday extended the Tigers' active win streak to 5 games. That might not seem like an eye-popping number, but it actually is among the tops in the nation. The current five-game streak ranks as third-best nationally. It was started with a 17-5 home win last November over #21-ranked Texas, and continued with a come-from-behind win over Texas Tech at home, followed with a 24-10 win over Kansas in Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., followed by a 41-24 triumph to close the year over North Carolina in the 2011 Independence Bowl. That win capped a strong finish to Mizzou's season, as it was the 4th-straight win to close what ended up an 8-5 season.
   That was no insignificant streak, as it marked the first time since 1965 that Mizzou had won its last four games of the season (including bowl games).
   What's more, the current 5-game win streak puts Mizzou tied for 3rd nationally entering the 2012 season (among teams who played in BCS-AQ leagues in 2011, it ranks as tied for 2nd-best).
   At right is a look at the current active winning streaks entering the 2nd week of play.

Georgia 14, Mizzou 0
1960 Orange Bowl

  1 2 3 4 F
Georgia 7 0 7 0 14
Mizzou 0 0 0 0 0
Quick Stats
First Downs 14 17
Rushing Yards 88 80
Passing Yards 128 180
Passes 9-21-2 14-24-2
Punts-Avg. 7-46 6-38
Fumbles 0 0
Penalty Yards 44 72
Stat Leaders
Passing Comp-Att Yds
UGA - Tarkenton 9-16 113
Mizzou - Snowden 11-17 152
Rushing Rush Yds
UGA - Brown - 39
Mizzou - West 9 37
Receiving Rec Yds
UGA - Brown 3 29
Mizzou - Sloan 6 73

   When Mizzou and Georgia hit the field Saturday night in Columbia, it will mark only the second time the two schools have squared off on the girdiron. The only other meeting came in the 1960 Orange Bowl, when the Bulldogs claimed a 14-0 shutout win in Dan Devine's second season as MU Head Coach.
   Here's a recap of that game:

   Missouri's 1959 squad gained the school's second Orange Bowl berth, the first in 20 years, by defeating Kansas, 13-9 on the season's last day. The 2nd-place Tigers went to Miami because Oklahoma had won the conference championship the year before as well and conference rules at the time forbade a team from playing in the same bowl two straight years. Unfortunately for Mizzou, this Orange Bowl trip ended just as the first one had--in defeat to a team from Georgia.
   In 1940 it was Georgia Tech which sent the Tigers reeling. This time, Fran Tarkenton and the Georgia Bulldogs beat Mizzou in Miami in shutout style, 14-0.
   The Tigers went into the 1960 game with a pass defense that was seen as weak--not a good thing to have against Tarkenton, who went on to throw more touchdowns than any quarterback in NFL history. However, the game took on a familiar look as MU outgained its opponent, both in the air, on the arm of quarterback Phil Snowden, and in total yards, but were still beaten.
   Outside of two scoring passes from Tarkenton, a 29-yarder in the first quarter and a 33-yarder in the third, Georgia never posed a real threat. Punter Bobby Walden kicked it away seven times. In fact it was Walden's leg which kept the Bulldogs ahead, repeatedly pinning Missouri in its own end.
   Mizzou did, however, have numerous opportunities to dent the scoreboard. Three times Mizzou had first downs inside the Bulldog 25 and twice inside the 10, but could never convert those chances into points.

   Mizzou has played 40 games in its history against teams that currently comprise the Southeastern Conference, with the Tigers standing a very respectable 24-15-1 alltime (61.3%). Nine of the matchups have come in bowl games, where Mizzou has fared very well, owning a 7-2 mark over the years versus current SEC teams. Twelve of the 40 games have come against Texas A&M of course, who preceded Mizzou in joining the SEC in the fall of 2011, but we went ahead and included them in the totals for argument sake.
   If you back A&M out of the equation, MU's record against the SEC is even better, as the Tigers are 5-7 alltime against A&M (although MU has won 3 straight and 5 of the last 6 against the Aggies).

   Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel has a sterling 9-2 record at Mizzou in games against current SEC teams. Here's some facts related to that:

  • Pinkel is 9-2 against current SEC schools, including 5-1 versus Texas A&M, and 4-1 versus other SEC foes...
  • Pinkel has won 5 straight games against current SEC schools (including A&M), and if you back A&M out of the equation, he's won 4 straight against current SEC foes...
(BCS AQ Conferences Only)
Rank School 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Total
1. Alabama 7 12 14 10 12 1 56
2. LSU 12 8 9 11 13 1 54

Oklahoma 11 12 8 12 10 1 54
  Oregon 9 10 10 12 12 1 54
5. Virginia Tech 11 10 10 11 11 0 53
6. Florida 9 13 13 8 7 1 51
  Ohio State 11 10 11 12 6 1 51
  USC 11 12 9 8 10 1 51
9. MIZZOU 12 10 8 10 8 1 49
  Oklahoma St. 7 9 9 11 12 1 49
  Texas 10 12 13 5 8 1 49
  Wisconsin 9 7 10 11 11 1 49
  West Virginia 11 9 9 9 10 1 49
Non BCS-AQ League Schools:
  Boise St. 10 12 14 12 12 0 60
  TCU 8 11 12 13 11 0 55
  Utah 9 13 10 10 8 1 51
  BYU 11 10 11 7 10 1 50
NOTE - Utah & TCU are not listed among BCS Conferences, due to being in a
non-BCS AQ league prior to 2012.

   There's no question that Head Coach Gary Pinkel and his Mizzou Football program has elevated itself to among the nation's elite. With its 10-win season in 2010, MU won its 40th game since 2007, good for an average of 10 per year during the four-year stretch.
   Including a 1-0 start to the 2012 season, MU's 49 wins since 2007 ranks as 9th-most in the nation (among BCS automatic qualifying conferences). Here's a look at the win totals among the nation's best during that time frame (through games of Sept. 1st):

Sophomore Marcus Murphy had quite a 2012 season debut Saturday night, as he made history by returning a pair of punts for touchdowns in helping Mizzou to a 62-10 win over Southeastern Louisiana. On Monday morning, Murphy was named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts. Here's a recap of his big night:

  • Murphy became the first Tiger in history to have two kick returns for scores in a game. His scores were from 70 yards in the 3rd quarter (4:41 mark), and he followed with a 72-yarder early in the 4th quarter (9:45 mark)...
  • Murphy ended the game with 180 punt return yards on 5 attempts (36.0 avg.), and his yardage broke the long-standing MU single-game record of 156 previously held by NFL Hall of Famer Roger Wehrli, set Oct. 21, 1967...
  • The only other time Mizzou has had two kick returns for scores in the same game was back in 1965, when Johnny Roland had a 65-yard punt return for a TD and Ray Thorpe had a 79-yard kickoff return for a score in a 14-14 tie against UCLA...
  • His 72-yarder was the longest by a Tiger since former All-American Jeremy Maclin had a 75-yard punt return touchdown in the 2008 Alamo Bowl against Northwestern. It is also the first time since the 2007 season that a Tiger has had multiple punt return scores in the same year, and just the 5th time in school history that's happened. Other Tigers with two punt return scores in the same season prior to Murphy include Maclin (2 in 2007), Leo Lewis (2 in 1975), John Moseley (2 in 1973) and Don Smith (2 in 1960)...
  • Murphy, who missed the entire 2011 season with a shoulder injury, also carried the ball five times on offense, and gained 32 yards, for an average of 6.4 yards per attempt...

   Senior TB Kendial Lawrence was Mizzou's offensive star in Saturday's win. Here were some notes regarding his performance:

  • Lawrence rushed for a career-high 121 yards on just 10 carries (12.1 avg.), and had 2 rushing touchdowns in a game for the first time in his career, as he helped lead the Tigers to a 62-10 season-opening win...
  • His signature play of the night came on a 76-yard TD run around the right edge, when he got to the corner and went untouched on what was a career-long run midway through the 1st quarter which made it 21-0...
  • Lawrence later opened the 3rd quarter with a 1-yard scoring plunge to make it 34-3. It marked the 2nd-consecutive 100-yard rushing game for Lawrence, dating to 2011 (108 yards vs. North Carolina in 2011 Independence Bowl) and the 3rd 100-yard game in his last 5 overall...
  • In his last 5 games, Lawrence has established a new career high rushing total, and he's got 492 total rushing yards and 5 TDs in that span...

   Senior LB Zaviar Gooden might have been one of Theodore Roosevelt's favorite players, were he alive today. Gooden, who is one of the most unassuming players on the Tiger team, definitely speaks softly, but when the lights are on, he carries a big stick, indeed.
   The senior co-captain got his 2012 season off to a rousing start Saturday night against Southeastern Louisiana. Here's a look back:

  • Gooden tied for team-high with 6 tackles in 2 ½ quarters of play, but landed the biggest blow when he returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown on SE Louisiana's first possession. That pick six (first of Gooden's career) made it 14-0 Mizzou with 10:26 left in the 1st quarter, and set the tone for MU's 62-10 victory...
  • Gooden had a team-high 2.0 tackles for loss Saturday night. He now has an interception in three straight games, dating back to 2011, when he had one pickoff each in games against Kansas and North Carolina, to end the 2011 season...
  • Gooden went over the 200 tackle plateau for his career on Saturday, and he enters Saturday's game with Georgia with 201 career stops - most among active Tigers...

   Very few people (well, really no one) asks us for our opinion on stuff, but we'll still give it out on these pages, of course! With that, here's the "Official/Not-So-Official Mizzou Football Game Notes" players of the week from Mizzou's season-opening win against Southeastern Louisiana:

Offensive Lineman of the Week: Max Copeland - RG, Jr., 6-3, 290, Billings, Mont.

  • Former walk-on who was awarded a scholarship in August, who made his first career start Saturday in MU's 62-10 win over Southeastern Louisiana. Copeland graded out the highest among Mizzou starters on the line, at 92%, and he added 3 knockdown blocks on the night, as Mizzou ran for 261 yards and averaged 7.2 yards per rush. The Tigers also threw for 191 yards (452 yards of total offense) and allowed only one sack, which was not Copeland's responsibility...

Defensive Lineman of the Week: Kony Ealy - DE, So., 6-5, 265, New Madrid, Mo.

  • Made his 2nd career start a big one, as he contributed with 4 tackles, including a QB sack (8 yards) which forced a fumble that was returned 7 yards for a touchdown by teammate Michael Sam. Final stat line - 4 tackles, 1 QB sack, 1 TFL, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass break up...

Freshman of the Week: Corbin Berkstresser - QB, RS-Fr., 6-3, 230, Lee's Summit, Mo.

  • Berkstresser was very efficient in his first collegiate outing, as he threw for a score and ran for a score in Mizzou's 62-10 victory over Southeastern Louisiana. He was a perfect 5-of-5 passing for 60 yards and a touchdown (10 yards), while adding 25 yards rushing and a touchdown (from 1-yard out) on 5 carries (5.0 avg.)...

   Here were some random musings from Saturday's season opener:

  • Mizzou enjoyed a balanced scoring attack like never before Saturday against SE Louisiana. The Tigers scored five offensive touchdowns, and tacked on four non-offensive scores, including two punt return TDs (both by Marcus Murphy) and two defensive scores (INT return by Zaviar Gooden and fumble return by Michael Sam). It was the first time since 2006 that Mizzou had multiple defensive scores in a game (at Texas Tech, 2006), and just the 6th time overall in school history...
  • The four non-offensive touchdowns also established a school record, breaking the previous best of two, achieved seven times previously, with five of those being two defensive scores, and the other two occasions being a pair of kick-return scores...
  • Six Tigers made their first career starts on Saturday, including five on offense and one on defense. The first-time offensive starters included junior TE Eric Waters, junior RG Max Copeland, junior WR L'Damian Washington, sophomore C Mitch Morse and true freshman LG Evan Boehm. Boehm became the first-ever true freshman offensive lineman to start for Head Coach Gary Pinkel. The sole first-time starter on defense was sophomore NG Matt Hoch...
  • Mizzou outrushed SELA by a 261-to-58 margin Saturday, on the way to a total offense advantage of 452-to-223, despite the Lions holding a big edge in time of possession (34:27-to-25:33). Four return scores will tend to do that...
Coach Wins # Seasons (Years) Record Pct. # Bowls
Don Faurot 101 19 (1935-42, 46-56) 101-79-10 .558 4
Dan Devine 93 13 (1958-70) 93-37-7 .704 6
Gary Pinkel 86 11 (2001-Present) 86-54 .614 8
Warren Powers 46 7 (1978-84) 46-33-3 .580 5

   Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel is in his 12th season at MU (22nd overall as a head coach) and touts a career record of 159-91-3 (63.4%).
   Pinkel, who has led MU to a combined record of 64-29 (68.8%) over the past 7 seasons, and to bowl games in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, has an 11-year record in Columbia of 86-54 (61.4%). Dating back to the 2005 Independence Bowl win over Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, Pinkel has gone 58-24 in his last 82 games overall (70.7%). MU's win in the 2008 opener against Illinois gave Pinkel his 50th MU win, and he now ranks 3rd on the coaching wins list at MU, with 86. The win over Kansas in 2010 was the 150th of his career.
   Pinkel is in a select group of Mizzou coaches that includes College Football Hall of Famers Don Faurot and Dan Devine, as well as Warren Powers, to be the only coaches to have an MU record of above .500 (with at least one full season coached) dating all the way back to 1935.
   In 2007, Pinkel guided the Tigers from unranked in the pre-season to a team which won a school-record 12 games and a final ranking of #4 in the Associated Press Top-25. Mizzou ascended to #1 in the BCS rankings following the regular season, and stood just one half away from playing in the BCS National Championship Game (before Oklahoma pulled away from a halftime tie to win the Big 12 title game). For his efforts in 2007, Pinkel was a finalist for several national coach of the year awards, including the Robinson, Bryant and Munger awards. He was also named the National Coach of the Year by FieldTurf in 2007, and his 7 bowl games is an MU record.
   Pinkel has directed Mizzou to 8 winning seasons (8-5 in 2003, 7-5 in 2005, 8-5 in 2006, 12-2 in 2007, 10-4 in 2008, 8-5 in 2009, 10-3 in 2010 and 8-5 in 2011), with those representing 8 of MU's 10 winning campaigns dating back to the 1983 season.
   The Big 12 North Division titles won by Mizzou in 2007, 2008 and 2010 represent the only football conference titles of any kind Mizzou has won since 1969 - the last time it claimed a share of the old Big Eight Conference crown. In April of 2011, Pinkel agreed to a two-year contract extension, meaning he'll patrol the Tiger sidelines through the 2017 season.



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