Tigers Face Stiff Road Test

The last time he was in Sun Devil Stadium, T.J. Moe had 15 catches for 152 yards in the 2010 Insight Bowl.

The last time he was in Sun Devil Stadium, T.J. Moe had 15 catches for 152 yards in the 2010 Insight Bowl.

Sept. 5, 2011

#21 Missouri Tigers (1-0) at Arizona St. Sun Devils (1-0)

   The Missouri Tigers (1-0), fresh off a hardfought 17-6 season-opening win over defending MAC champion Miami (Ohio), turn their sights to the desert, where they'll head to Tempe, Ariz. to take on upstart Arizona State (1-0). The game will be played on Friday evening in Tempe, with kickoff for the ESPN national telecast set for 9:30 p.m. (central time).
   Mizzou claimed a 17-6 win last Saturday, despite playing without the services of four injured starters, and two more who left with in-game injuries by the midway point of the third quarter.
   The Tiger defense led the way by allowing just 6 points and 270 yards of offense to Miami, with the only score permitted coming after the RedHawks took over on the Tiger 14-yardline following an interception. Mizzou's offense, under the direction of first-time starting QB James Franklin, drove 76 yards for a TD (a Franklin 5-yd. run) on its second possession of the game, and gave MU a 10-0 halftime lead. Miami's defense held the Tigers in check much of the game, but Franklin answered Miami's only score with a TD pass of his own on the first play of the 4th quarter to account for the final score, and Mizzou was never seriously threatened the rest of the way, thanks to its stellar defense.
    Mizzou will have its hands full with Arizona State, under the direction of 5th-year coach Dennis Erickson, who won national titles in 1989 and 1991 while at Miami, Fla. The Sun Devils have been picked to finish 2nd in the new Pac-12 Conference South Division, and they're coming off a dominating 48-14 home win last Thursday against UC-Davis.
   In that game, the Sun Devils bolted to a 24-0 halftime lead that they extended to 41-0 by the end of the 3rd quarter before UC-Davis managed to get on the scoreboard with a pair of 4th-quarter TD runs. ASU rolled up 517 yards of offense, including a nice balance of 300 passing yards and 217 rushing yards, while its defense held UC-Davis to just 243 yards on the night.


KICKOFF: 9:36 p.m. CT.

STADIUM: Sun Devil Stadium (71,706 - Natural grass surface). Opened in 1958. Mizzou is 1-3 alltime at Sun Devil Stadium, including 1-2 vs. ASU.

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. Also on Sirius Satellite Radio (channel TBA).
   Additionally, Westwood One will broadcast the game live on its network, with John Tautges (play-by-play) and Terry Donahue (analyst) calling the action.

TV: ESPN. Joe Tessitore (Play-by-Play), Rod Gilmore (Analysis) are on the call.

RANKINGS (AP / Coaches):
   MU - 21st / 21st.
   ASU - RV / RV.

SERIES: Mizzou leads, 3-2, with the last meeting a 30-9 win by MU in Columbia in 1990.

   MU: Gary Pinkel (Kent, `75), 78-49 at MU (11th year) and 151-86-3 overall (21st year). Pinkel is 0-0 vs. Arizona State and 0-0 vs. Dennis Erickson.
   ASU: Dennis Erickson (Montana State, `70), 26-24-0 at ASU (5th year) and 174-89-1 overall (23rd year). Erickson is 1-0 vs. Mizzou and 0-0 vs. Gary Pinkel.

   As odd as it seems to say, Missouri might not feel so out of place this Friday night when they step on Frank Kush Field at Sun Devil Stadium - and that's not a knock at the atmosphere at ASU. First off, Mizzou has sold out of its ticket allotment of over 1,500 seats and expects even more Tiger fans in the stands, thanks to an active and sizeable alumni base in the greater Phoenix area.
   More to the point, this will mark the second time in Mizzou's last three games that the Tigers will have played at Sun Devil Stadium. You only have to go back to Dec. 28th of last season, when Mizzou played there against Iowa in the 2010 Insight Bowl.
   Mizzou will try for a better outcome this time around, as the Tigers had a late lead erased by a Hawkeye 72-yard interception return for a touchdown in the final six minutes of the game. That big turnaround provided the winning points for Iowa in its exciting 27-24 win over MU, but it didn't put a damper on what was an outstanding 10-win season in 2010.

   While conference play is always the most important part of the season, getting to league play in good shape is also a pretty big deal.
   Gary Pinkel's Tigers have done a masterful job of navigating the non-conference season over the previous five seasons, and after Saturday's season-opening 17-6 win over Miami (Ohio), Mizzou carries a string of 22-consecutive non-conference wins during the regular season into Friday's game at Arizona State. The last time Mizzou dropped a pre-Big 12 game was back in 2005 (New Mexico).
   Here's a breakdown of MU's non-conference regular-season results since 2005:

  • 2011 - 1-0 (Miami [OH])
  • 2010 - 4-0 (vs. Illinois, McNeese State, San Diego State, Miami [OH])
  • 2009 - 4-0 (vs. Illinois, Bowling Green, Furman, at Nevada)
  • 2008 - 4-0 (vs. Illinois, SE Missouri State, Nevada, Buffalo)
  • 2007 - 4-0 (vs. Illinois, at Mississippi, Western Michigan, Illinois State)
  • 2006 - 4-0 (Murray State, Mississippi, at New Mexico, Ohio)
  • 2005 - 2-1 (vs. Arkansas State [W], New Mexico [L], Troy [W])

   Some random notes from Mizzou's 17-6 win to open the 2011 season...

  • Mizzou received a stiff test last Saturday, but came out on top against the defending MAC champion Miami (Ohio) RedHawks, getting a strong defensive effort to go with outstanding special teams play and timely offense to give MU a 17-6 win. The Tigers were without the services of four players who were projected as starters going into fall camp, due to injuries, and they lost two other starters due to in-game injuries midway through the third quarter. Unavailable for the Miami game were projected starters Elvis Fisher (LT), Jerrell Jackson (WR - hamstring) and Travis Ruth (C - achilles) on offense, and Kip Edwards (CB - hamstring) on defense. Leaving Saturday's game early due to injuries were starters Jacquies Smith (DE - elbow) and Will Ebner (LB - ankle). Fisher was lost for the entire 2011 in the second week of fall camp with a ruptured patellar tendon in his left leg, while the others will get status updates Monday from Coach Gary Pinkel...
  • Despite missing all of those standouts, the Tigers still took care of business in workmanlike fashion on Saturday as they took a 7-0 lead on their second possession of the game, and led the entire game from there. Mizzou held a 10-0 lead at halftime, and the Tiger defense allowed its only score in the third quarter when Miami started a possession on the Mizzou 14-yardline after an interception. The offense rebounded with a touchdown drive late in the third quarter/early in the fourth quarter to put the game away...
  • Mizzou's defense, which led the Big 12 and ranked 6th nationally in fewest points allowed in 2010 (16.08 ppg), was at it again on Saturday, allowing only six points to the RedHawks, on the aforementioned short field touchdown possession. The Tiger defense forced three 3-and-out possessions, and buckled down when Miami threatened its most throughout the game - CB E.J. Gaines intercepted a ball in his own endzone to thwart a big scoring threat just before halftime; the defense held and forced a 41-yard FG attempt that was missed on Miami's game-opening drive; and a sack/fumble recovered by Mizzou closed out the RedHawks' last possession of the game near midfield...

   Here's a look at the top performers from Saturday's 17-6 win over Miami (Ohio)...

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Dominique Hamilton - DT, Sr., 6-5, 305, El Paso, Texas

  • Hamilton, playing in his first game since breaking his ankle in game #7 last season again Oklahoma, had a very successful 2011 debut, as he tied a career-high with 8 tackles and he also recovered a fumble in Mizzou's 17-6 win over Miami (Ohio)...
  • Hamilton's 8 tackles were second-best on the Tiger squad. His fumble recovery came late in the fourth quarter and effectively iced the game...
  • His play was a major factor in the Tiger defense holding Miami to just 76 yards rushing and 270 yards of offense and just six points

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK - James Franklin - QB, So., 6-2, 225, Corinth, Texas

  • Making his first career start, Franklin accounted for 201 yards of total offense and both of Mizzou's touchdowns in a 17-6 win over Miami (Ohio)...
  • Franklin engineered the second possession of the day and marched the Tigers 76 yards downfield for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead, as he scored on a 5-yard keeper with 4:23 left in the 1st quarter. After Miami closed to within 10-6 midway through the 3rd period, Franklin struck back with a 10-yard scoring strike to WR Marcus Lucas to give the Tigers some breathing room on the first play of the 4th quarter...
  • Franklin ended the day completing 17-of-26 passes for 129 yards and 1 TD, with 1 INT (rating of 112.06). He also led Mizzou in rushing with a career-high 72 yards (on 14 carries) and the rushing TD. His average per completion went up in the 2nd half, to 10.4 yds. (7 comp., 73 yds., 1 TD) after averaging 5.6 yds. per completion in the 1st half (10 comp., 56 yards)...

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Trey Barrow - P, Jr., 6-1, 195, Moberly, Mo.

  • In his first start as punter, Barrow was lights out, and played a huge role in helping Mizzou claim a 17-6 season-opening win over Miami. Barrow averaged a solid 44.7 yards per punt on 7 tries, and he pinned the RedHawks inside their 10-yardline three times on the day...
  • Barrow's first punt of the day was a 50-yarder that was within inches of being downed inside the 1-yardline, but officials ruled the ball touched the plane before being downed, and they even went to video review to confirm the call. Later, he did get a ball downed at the 1-yardline, at the 8-yardline and at the 9-yardline, in addition to booming a 57-yarder earlier in the day...


  • Seven Tigers made their first career starts against Miami: Justin Britt (LT), James Franklin (QB) Marcus Lucas (WR) and Jack Meiners (LG) on offense, with E.J. Gaines (CB), Trey Hobson (CB) and Matt White (FS) joining them as first-time starters on defense...
  • Sophomore LB Andrew Wilson led the Tigers with 10 tackles on the day, taking after his father Jay, who was a standout LB for the Tigers from 1980-83 who won All-Big Eight honors in 1983 and left holding the MU career tackles record at the time, with 323...
  • Sophomore CB E.J. Gaines made one of the biggest plays of the day for MU's defense, when he slid off sideline coverage to snag an interception in the endzone just before halftime to thwart a potential scoring drive by Miami. It was the first career interception for Gaines, who also was making his first career start after playing in 13 games as a true freshman a year ago. Gaines was also credited with 5 tackles against Miami...
  • Sophomore DE Brayden Burnett got loose for his first career QB sack, and it was a dandy, as he got a sack and strip to end Miami's final possession of the game. Burnett stripped the ball away from QB Zac Dysert with a tomahawk move near midfield, and teammate Dominique Hamilton fell on the ball at the RedHawk 46 to close the possession...
  • Junior WR T.J. Moe led Mizzou with 6 receptions for 56 yards, ran the ball twice for 14 yards, and also took over punt return duties for the first time. He averaged 15.0 yards on two punt returns, and that is good enough to lead the Big 12 Conference and rank 14th nationally through Saturday's games...
(MU Leads, 3-2)
1972 L, 49-35% at Tempe
1974 W, 9-0 at Columbia
1977 W, 15-0 at Tempe
1989 L, 19-3 at Tempe
1990 W, 30-9 at Columbia
% - 1972 Fiesta Bowl

   Mizzou and Arizona State will take the field for the sixth time when they square off Friday night in Tempe, Ariz., and the Tigers hold a slim 3-2 edge in the previous five matchups.
   Friday will mark the first game between the two programs since 1990, when MU upset the 21st-ranked Sun Devils by a 30-9 score in Columbia. That avenged a 19-3 loss in Tempe in the year before, which followed consecutive wins by Mizzou in Tempe in 1977 (15-0) and in Columbia in 1974 (9-0).
   The first-ever meeting between the two schools was a wild affair in the 1972 Fiesta Bowl, won in 49-35 fashion by Arizona State in its home stadium. In what was the 2nd edition of the fledgling bowl game, there was 1,129 yards of total offense, including a massive 718 for ASU (MU had 411 yards).
   Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel has never faced Arizona State as the head man, but he's no stranger to the Sun Devils overall, as he went 5-5 against ASU as an assistant coach at Washington from 1979-90. Six of those games came at Sun Devil Stadium, where Pinkel's teams went 3-3.
   Arizona State Head Coach Dennis Erickson has never faced a Gary Pinkel-led team, but he has coached against Missouri once previously, when as head coach at Miami, Fla., his 2nd-ranked Hurricanes claimed a 38-7 win in Columbia over Mizzou.

School GP Era MU Alltime Last Meeting
Arizona 0-0 3-0 1967 (MU, 17-3 in Columbia)
Arizona State 0-0 3-2 1990 (MU, 30-9 in Columbia)
California 0-0 2-4-1 1985 (Cal, 39-32 in Columbia)
Colorado 6-4 42-31-3 2010 (MU, 26-0 in Columbia)
Oregon 0-0 1-0 1972 (MU, 24-22 in Columbia)
Oregon State 0-1 0-2 2006 (OSU, 39-38 in El Paso)
Stanford 0-0 0-1 1971 (Stanford, 19-0 in Columbia)
UCLA 0-0 0-2-1 1966 (UCLA, 25-14 in Los Angeles)
USC 0-0 1-2 1977 (USC, 27-10 in Columbia)
Utah 0-0 1-1 1964 (MU, 23-6 in Columbia)
Washington 0-0 0-0 n/a
Washington State 0-0 1-0 1961 (MU, 28-6 in Columbia)
Totals 6-5 54-45-5

   Mizzou enters Friday's game at Arizona State with an alltime record of 54-45-5 against teams currently comprising the Pac-12 Conference. That includes a 3-2 record alltime against Arizona State. However, 76 of the 105 games have come against Colorado, who up until 2011 was a fellow conference member with Mizzou. If you back out the record against Colorado, Mizzou stands 12-14-2 alltime against the remainder of the Pac-12 Conference, with Washington being the only school it hasn't ever matched up against.
   The last time (and only time under Gary Pinkel) that Mizzou has faced a non-Colorado Pac-12 team came in the 2006 Sun Bowl, when Oregon State scored a TD and game-winning 2-point conversion with :23 seconds left to post a thrilling 39-38 comeback win. Before that, you have to go all the way back to the 1990 season for the last time Mizzou has faced a Pac-12 team in the regular season - and that came against Arizona State. That season, Mizzou pulled off a 30-9 upset win in Columbia over the 21st-ranked Sun Devils under Head Coach Bob Stull. That win improved Mizzou to 2-2 and led into the very next week, when Mizzou lost the infamous 5th-down game to Colorado in Columbia, 33-31, when the Buffs scored the game winner with no time left on what turned out to be 5th down. Apologies to Colorado SID extraordinaire David Plati, who hates when we mention that game!
   At right is a breakdown of MU's history against teams in the Pac-12 Conference.

(BCS AQ Conferences Only)
School 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Total
1. Alabama 7 12 14 10 1 44
1. Florida 9 13 13 8 1 44
1. Oklahoma 11 12 8 12 1 44
4. Utah 9 13 10 10 1 43
4. Virginia Tech 11 10 10 11 1 43
6. Missouri 12 10 8 10 1 41
6. Oregon 9 10 10 12 0 41
6. Texas 10 12 13 5 1 41
6. LSU 12 8 9 11 1 41
6. USC 11 12 9 8 1 41
Non BCS-AQ League Schools:
Boise St. 10 12 14 12 1 49
TCU 8 11 12 13 0 44
BYU 11 10 11 7 1 40
NOTE - Ohio State has 45 wins from 2007-2011,
but they are not included in the above table
after vacating all wins from the 2010 season.

   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.
   As it stands through one game of the 2011 season, MU's 41 wins since 2007 ranks as 6th-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:


  • Mizzou's offense features one of the top tight ends in the nation, in senior Michael Egnew. After catching a combined total of 7 passes for 47 yards in his first two years (2008-09), Egnew burst onto the national scene in 2010, leading all of the nation's tight ends with 90 receptions, which went for 762 yards and 5 TDs. The 2010 Mackey Finalist was held in check in the 2011 opener against Miami, but he did manage 2 catches for 12 yards against Miami. His next catch will be the 100th of his career (99 receptions, 821 yards, 5 TDs in his career)...
  • Mizzou enjoys the luxury of returning one of the most accurate and dependable kickers in the nation, as senior PK Grant Ressel is back for a third year handling those pressure-packed duties. Since taking over in 2009, Ressel has lined up to try 135 kicks overall. He's made 130 of them, for an eye-popping success rate of 96.3% (44-of-47 FGs, 86-of-88 PATs). Ressel made both PATs Saturday vs. Miami, and made his only FG attempt, from 38 yards. He also handled kickoff duties last week, and managed 2 touchbacks in 4 attempts. Accordingly, Ressel was named in July to the Lou Groza Pre-Season Watch List...
  • Mizzou's defense, which led the Big 12 Conference and ranked 6th nationally in scoring defense in 2010 (16.08 pts. allowed per game - the lowest average allowed by any MU defense since 1981, when Warren Powers' defense allowed just 13.3 ppg), finished the 2010 season ranked 2nd nationally in red zone defense. In 2010, Tiger opponents came away with points only 57.1% of the time they reached the MU 20-yardline or better (35 chances, 20 scores). Last Saturday against Miami, the Tiger defense showed it might be up to more of those tricks, as it allowed the RedHawks to score only once in a pair of red zone chances. E.J. Gaines intercepted a pass in the MU endzone just before halftime to thwart one scoring threat, and the only other red zone score resulted in a Miami touchdown run after they took over on the MU 14-yardline after an interception...
  • Mizzou's offensive line came into the 2011 season with 4-of-5 starters returning from 2010, with a combined 104 career starts under their collective belts. Unfortunately, the injury bug reared its ugly head during camp, and while three of those returning four starters saw the field against Miami in the 2011 opener, only two of them were at the position they were slated for. All-star LT Elvis Fisher, slated for his 4th year as a starter, was lost for the season in the 2nd week of fall camp with a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee. Later in camp, junior C Travis Ruth went down with a strained achilles tendon, and he was unable to play last week. That prompted senior LG Jayson Palmgren to slide over to center, where he played last week, while RG Austin Wuebbels and RT Dan Hoch were the only linemen to play their natural spot. Making their first career starts last Saturday were sophomore Justin Britt (LT) and Jack Meiners (LG)...
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 78 10 (2001-Present) 78-49 .614 7
Warren Powers 46 7 (1978-84) 46-33-3 .580 5

   Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel is in his 11th season at MU (21ST overall as a head coach) and touts a career record of 151-86-3 (63.5%).
   Pinkel, who has led MU to a combined record of 56-24 (70.0%) over the past 6 seasons, and to bowl games in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, has a 10-year record in Columbia of 78-49 (61.4%). Dating back to the 2005 Independence Bowl win over Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, Pinkel has gone 50-19 in his last 69 games overall (72.5%). 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 78. 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.
   Mizzou's bowl appearance in 2010 meant that Pinkel has led MU to 7 bowl games overall, and that is the most bowl games by any MU coach.
Pinkel has directed Mizzou to 7 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 and 10-3 in 2010), with those representing 7 of MU's 9 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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