Tigers Look For Bounce-Back vs. WIU

James Franklin

James Franklin

Sept. 12, 2011

Western Illinois Leathernecks (1-1) at Missouri Tigers (1-1)

   The Missouri Tigers (1-1 overall) look to return to the winners' circle this Saturday night in the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field, as they play host to the Western Illinois Leathernecks (1-1) of the Football Championship Subdivision. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. (central time), with the game being televised live on pay-per-view.
   Mizzou is looking to rebound from a heartbreaking 37-30 overtime loss to then-No. 23 Arizona State last Friday in Tempe, Ariz. In a very evenly-played back-and-forth game, the Tigers rallied from a 14-point 4th-quarter deficit and were lined up for a potential game-winning field goal with :17 seconds left, but Grant Ressel's 48-yarder curled wide left, forcing the overtime period.
   In the extra period, ASU got the ball first and punched it in for a score. The Tigers couldn't answer, as they were held without a first down to end the game. It was Mizzou's first loss in September since 2005, dating back to a loss at home to New Mexico. Mizzou carried a 22-game non-conference regular-season winning streak into the ASU game.
   Mizzou will look to right the ship this weekend at home against Western Illinois. The Leathernecks are coming off a 35-21 win over Jacksonville that evened their 2011 season record, after they dropped the opener on Sept. 1st at Sam Houston State by a 20-6 count.
   WIU enters the game with the top-ranked QB in the FCS, in Josh Hudson. He ranks #1 in the FCS in pass efficiency, with a passer rating of 199.01 through two games. Receiver Terriun Crump has been the beneficiary of most of Hudson's work through the air, as Crump ranks 3rd nationally in the FCS in receiving yards, averaging 135.00 per game coming into Saturday's contest.
   The Leathernecks finished the 2010 season with an 8-5 record and ranked 17th in the final polls under Head Coach Mark Hendrickson.


KICKOFF: 6:00 p.m. CT.

STADIUM: Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field (71,004 - FieldTurf surface). Opened in 1926.MU is 257-167-20 there alltime and has won 30 of its last 35 overall and is 40-10 there since 2003 (1-0 in 2011).

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 (Ch. 117).

TV: FSN Pay-Per-View. Dan McLaughlin (Play-by-Play), D’Marco Farr (Color Analysis) and Todd Donoho (Sideline reporter) on the call.

RANKINGS (AP / Coaches):
   MU - RV / RV.
   WIU - NA / NA.

SERIES: Mizzou leads, 1-0, with the only previous meeting a 50-20 MU win in 2000.

   MU: Gary Pinkel (Kent, ‘75), 78-50 at MU (11th year) and 151-87-3 overall (21st year). Pinkel is 0-0 vs. Western Illinois and Mark Hendrickson.
   WIU:Mark Hendrickson (Northern Iowa, ‘80), 14-16 at WIU (3rd year) and overall. Hendrickson is 0-0 vs. Mizzou and Gary Pinkel.

   Mizzou is 10-0 alltime against teams from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) -- formerly known to most of us as Division I-AA.
   MU Head Coach Gary Pinkel is 7-0 against FCS foes in his time at Mizzou, with the average score being 45.1-to-7.3 in favor of the Tigers. The closest margin of victory came in 2007, when the Tigers were given a competitive game by Illinois State before claiming a 38-17 win at Faurot Field, to move to 4-0 on the season.
   With that, here's a look at MU's previous FCS contests...

  • 2010 - vs. McNeese State - W, 50-6
  • 2009 - vs. Furman - W, 52-12
  • 2008 - vs. SE Missouri State - W, 52-3
  • 2007 - vs. Illinois State - W, 38-17
  • 2006 - vs. Murray State - W, 47-7
  • 2003 - vs. Eastern Illinois - W, 37-0
  • 2001 - vs. Southwest Texas State - W, 40-6
  • 2000 - vs. Western Illinois - W, 50-20
  • 1998 - vs. Northwestern State - W, 35-14
  • 1992 - vs. Marshall - W, 44-21

   Saturday's game between Mizzou and Western Illinois was not chosen for telecast over the Big 12 Conference package, which typically includes games most weeks on Fox Sports Net, ESPN, ABC or the Versus Network.
   Per league rules, when a game is not selected for one of those windows, the only option a school has to get the game on TV is to show it on a pay-per-view basis.
   Saturday's game (with kickoff at 6:00 p.m.) will be produced in High Definition by FOX Sports and offered on various cable providers and satellite systems around the country. Fans are encouraged to check with www.mutigers.com for continuous updates on providers of the telecast, which is available for $39.95.
   For the Furman game Dan McLaughlin will call the play-by-play alongside color analyst D'Marco Farr. Todd Donoho will serve as sideline reporter.

   It was one of the most anticipated games of the college football weekend, and the Mizzou-Arizona State game lived up to its billing, as the 23rd-ranked Sun Devils bested the 19th-ranked Tigers 37-30 in overtime last Friday night in Tempe, Ariz.
   Mizzou might have lost the game, but it walked off the field with its collective heads held high, thanks to an impressive 4th-quarter rally that forced overtime, and nearly won the game in regulation.
   Trailing 30-16 with 14 minutes left in the game, the Tigers dug in on both sides of the ball. Forced to punt the ball away with 13 minutes left, Mizzou pounced on a fumbled punt by ASU (Kenronte Walker recovered the muff at the ASU 32-yardline). Three plays later, QB James Franklin floated a beauty of a pass over the middle to sophomore WR L'Damian Washington for a 25-yard TD (Washington's 1st career TD) to cut the deficit in half with 12:00 to play.
   The Tiger defense held on its next series and forced a Sun Devil punt. The offense took over on its own 42-yardline with 8:19 left, needing another TD to tie the game. It got just that, as Franklin calmly led an 11-play, 58-yard drive in front of the frenzied sellout crowd at Sun Devil Stadium. He capped the drive with a 4th-and-goal TD pass of 3 yards to All-American TE Michael Egnew, and with 2:50 to play, the Tigers had tied the game at 30-30.
   After ASU returned the ensuing kickoff to its own 40-yardline, the Sun Devils appeared to be in prime position to drive for a game-winning field goal. But the Tiger defense bowed its backs again and forced a 3-and-out, getting the ball back one more time for the offense. On the first play, from his own 8-yardline, TB Henry Josey burst around the left end for 39 yards to take the ball near midfield, and all of a sudden, Mizzou was in business.
   Three plays later, the Tigers were at the ASU 30-yardline, looking for a few more yards to get reliable PK Grant Ressel a chance at a game-winning field goal. Two passes fell incomplete, however, and Ressel had to stand over a 48-yard attempt with :17 seconds left. After trying to induce the Sun Devils to jump offsides unsuccessfully, Ressel got the kick away and it was plenty long, but it hooked just wide left to send the game into overtime.
   In the extra period, ASU took the ball first and converted a big 3rd-and-7 on the way to a touchdown and a 37-30 lead. It was only the 3rd 3rd-down conversion of the game for the Sun Devils. Needing a TD to answer, the Tiger offense was stymied in its overtime possession, and a 4th-and-5 desperation pass by Franklin into the endzone fell incomplete, sending Mizzou to its first September loss since 2005 (breaking a string of 22-straight September wins).
   As the score might indicate, it was a night for the offenses, as the teams combined for 993 yards of total offense, with Mizzou going for 501 and ASU 492.

   One week after a workmanlike performance in its season-opening 17-6 win over Miami (Ohio), the Tiger offense was looking to hit the throttle in its big test at then-#23 Arizona State last Friday night. The offense did just that, as Mizzou racked up 501 yards on the night, and nearly led MU all the way back to victory after trailing by 14 points in the 4th quarter.
   Sophomore QB James Franklin - making just his 2nd career start - was the catalyst, as he produced 403 yards of total offense and 3 TDs, thanks to a 319-yard (2-TD) passing outing, combined with 84 rushing yards (1 TD).
   Mizzou dropped the game despite racking up 501 yards of total offense on the night. It marked the first regular-season game with 500 yards of offense since Nov. 28, 2009 against Kansas (553 yds.), and it was the first time since 2007 that MU had 500 yards of offense in a true road game (598 yards at Colorado).
   In a bit of a statistical oddity, Mizzou's offense converted just 3-of-15 3rd-down attempts, yet still managed to post 24 first downs, gain 501 yards of offense, and own the advantage in time of possession over the Sun Devils (32:43-to-27:17).
   In a very welcomed site, the big play returned to the Tigers' offensive attack in the desert last Friday. Mizzou totaled eight plays from scrimmage of 20 yards or more against Arizona State, one week after having just one play of 20 yards or more in the opener against Miami (Ohio).
   Mizzou nearly posted the biggest 4th-quarter comeback win in school history at ASU, but the Tigers eventually fell just short and dropped a 37-30 heartbreaker. The Tigers trailed 30-16 entering the 4th quarter before a sellout crowd, but calmly worked their way back into the game, and after tying it at 30-apiece with 2:50 left in regulation, were in position for a long game-winning field goal with :12 seconds left, but PK Grant Ressel's 48-yarder hooked just wide left to send it into overtime. ASU scored a TD on their opening overtime possession, and the Sun Devil held Mizzou without a score on their OT possession to claim the win.
   Mizzou was without the services of six starters for the ASU game, due to injuries, as LT Elvis Fisher, C Travis Ruth, WR Jerrell Jackson and TB Kendial Lawrence were out on offense, and DE Jacquies Smith and LB Will Ebner were out on defense. Additionally, senior TB De'Vion Moore started against ASU, but was lost for the game in the very first possession with a high ankle sprain.
   Mizzou's biggest 4th-quarter comeback on record is a 13-point deficit, back in 1949 against Nebraska, as MU trailed 20-7 in the 4th quarter, but went on to post a 21-20 win.

   Here's a look at Mizzou's top performers from last Friday's 37-30 overtime loss at #23 Arizona State:

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

  • Franklin led an impressive offensive outing in his second career start in hostile territory, as the Tigers scored 30 points and amassed 501 yards of offense in defeat. Franklin finished the game 26-of-42 passing for 319 yards and 2 TDs (with no interceptions), and he also ran for 84 yards and 1 TD to give him 403 yards of total offense...
  • Franklin led a furious 4th-quarter comeback that nearly won the game, as the Tigers trailed 30-16 entering the final period. Franklin threw for 104 yards and 2 TDs in the quarter to tie the game, as Mizzou tallied 171 yards of offense in the quarter to tie it up at 30-apiece. His first TD pass covered 25 yards to sophomore WR L'Damian Washington, and later converted two 4th downs on the game-tying drive to toss a 3-yard TD pass to senior TE Michael Egnew with 2:50 to play...
  • Franklin completed his first 10 passes of the game, with his first incompletion coming at the 8:25 mark in the 2nd quarter. Up until that incompletion, Franklin was 10-for-10 passing for 108 yards...

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK - Zaviar Gooden - Jr., LB, 6-2, 230, Pflugerville, Texas

  • Gooden led the way defensively for Mizzou at #23 Arizona State by making a team-high 9 tackles on the night, including the only sack credited to Mizzou in the game. The sack was a big one, as it came near midfield in the final two minutes as ASU was closing in on field goal range that could have won the game in regulation. Gooden's sack put the Sun Devils in a 3rd-and-long situation, and they didn't convert, which led to Mizzou getting the ball back one last time...
  • Gooden was credited with a blocked extra point in the 2nd quarter after ASU took a 16-10 lead. That block would go on to play a huge factor in the game, as the missed PAT was a major reason for the game going to the overtime period...
  • Gooden ranks 3rd on the team through 2 games with 12 tackles total. All 12 have been of the solo variety thus far...

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

  • Lost in the excitement of Mizzou's near comeback win at #23 Arizona State was a record-setting performance by Barrow, who averaged 58.0 yards on four punts. His average broke an MU single-game punting average record for a minimum of 3 attempts. The old mark was set way back in 1942 by Bob Steuber, who averaged 56.3 yards on 3 punts against Nebraska (3-169), while Barrow went 4-232 for his average of 58.0 yards...
  • Barrow unleashed a 73-yard punt in the 2nd quarter to back the Sun Devils up to their 6-yardline. It was a career-long for Barrow, and it was the longest by a Tiger punter since Adam Crossett had a 79-yarder in 2006 against Texas A&M...
  • Through 2 games in 2011, Barrow is tops in the Big 12 Conference, and ranks 4th nationally, with an impressive 49.55 average per punt in 11 tries. As a team, the Tigers currently rank 16th nationally in net punting, with an average of 42.73 yards per kick...


  • Sophomore TB Henry Josey came off the bench to help key a Tiger ground game that finished with 182 yards. Josey ran for a 94 yards on 9 carries (10.4 avg.), including a 39-yard burst on MU's final possession of regulation that helped set Mizzou up for a potential game-winning field goal just before the final gun. He also was a factor in the passing game, as he caught a pair of passes for 51 yards, including a 36-yarder that helped set up a game-tying field goal in the 3rd quarter. According to resident MU historian Tom Orf, Josey became only the 4th Tiger in history to have a 35-yard run and a 35-yard reception in the same game (Joe Moore vs. Kansas in 1969; Jerome Caver vs. Army in 1981; Brad Smith vs. Nebraska in 2003)...
  • With Josey being the only one of the top four tailbacks to start the season still in the lineup, he's likely to get the bulk of the work this Saturday against Western Illinois. It was last year's FCS game that saw Josey, then a true freshman, break out with a 112-yard, 3-TD rushing performance in Mizzou's 50-6 win against McNeese State. Josey scored touchdowns on three of his first four carries of the night, scoring from six yards out twice, then following with a 62-yard scoring run. He had 105 of his rushing yards in the first half, and he became the first Mizzou true freshman to score three TDs in a game since Corby Jones in 1995 against Iowa State...
  • Three Tigers got their first career starts at ASU, as junior CB Kip Edwards, junior CB Robert Steeples, and sophomore DE Brayden Burnett took to the field for the first defensive series...
  • Senior TE Michael Egnew caught the 100th pass of his career, and ended the ASU game with 3 catches for 27 yards, including a key 3-yard TD reception that tied the game at 30-30 with 2:50 to play that came on 4th down...
  • Sophomore WR L'Damian Washington set personal bests with 3 catches for 39 yards, and he caught his first career TD pass on a 25-yard play midway through the 4th quarter that started MU's comeback charge...
  • Senior PK Grant Ressel made three FGs on the night, connecting from 24, 47 and 19 yards. He just missed a 54-yard attempt at the halftime gun that would have likely been good from 60 yards or more, as it sailed just wide left nearly halfway up the uprights. His misses at ASU came from 48 yards and 54 yards, and he is now 4-of-6 on FGs for the season, and 47-of-52 for his career. With his 12 points on the night at ASU, Ressel upped his career points scored total to 230, and that moved him into 4th place on the MU career points list, behind #1 Jeff Wolfert (PK-362 from 2006-08), #2 Brad Smith (QB-284 from 2002-05) and #3 Zack Abron (RB-252 from 2000-03). Ressel is now just 12 FGs shy of Wolfert's Mizzou record of 59 career field goals, and stands in 2nd place on that chart...

   Here's a recap from Mizzou's 2010 game against McNeese State of the Football Championship Subdivision:
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Freshman Henry Josey scored on three of his first four carries and Blaine Gabbert completed his first 15 passes in Missouri's 50-6 rout of McNeese State at Memorial Stadium.
   Josey had 112 yards on seven carries, 105 coming in the first half. He was untouched on a 62-yard scoring run, had a 34-yarder for his first carry of the game, and scored twice - both times untouched - from 6 yards for Missouri (2-0).
   Josey began the game as the third-string tailback, a position already minus starter Kendial Lawrence, who was unable to play versus McNeese due to a shoulder bruise suffered the previous week against Illinois. Josey, who had one carry for 10 yards in the opener, became Missouri's first freshman to score three touchdowns since quarterback Corby Jones in 1995 against Iowa State.
   His 62-yard burst also marked the longest run from scrimmage by a Tiger since the 2006 Sun Bowl, when former standout Tony Temple ran 65 yards for a touchdown against Oregon State.
   Gabbert was 15 for 15 for 129 yards before his first incompletion early in the second quarter. He finished 26 for 31 for 220 yards and a touchdown. Gabbert threw a 24-yard scoring pass to Jerrell Jackson on his lone series of the third quarter for a 43-0 lead before being relieved by true freshman James Franklin.
   Missouri scored touchdowns on its first four drives and added a safety for a 30-0 cushion with 10:03 left in the half en route to its fifth straight home opening victory. Michael Sam tackled quarterback Jacob Bower for the safety and later blocked a punt in the third quarter to set up one of Grant Ressel's two chip shot field goals.
   Even the Tigers' first punt was a success, downed at the 1 in the second quarter. Missouri led 43-0 with 11:54 to go in the third quarter against a school ranked 13th in the FCS, and is 10-0 against teams from the lower division.
   Jacob Bower was 11 for 19 for 99 yards and three interceptions for McNeese State (1-1), co-champions of the Southland Conference in 2009. Wes Briscoe caught a touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter for the Cowboys, who trailed 33-0 at halftime.
   The Tigers' T.J. Moe reached double figures in receptions for the second straight game, catching 10 passes for 79 yards. Franklin scored on an 8-yard run late in the third quarter in what was his first collegiate game.
   Leading 50-0 at the end of the third quarter, Tiger Coach Gary Pinkel emptied the bench.
   Mizzou's resurgent defense stifled the Cowboy offense most of the night, as 85 of McNeese's 245 total yards of offense came in the fourth quarter against reserves. McNeese was held to just 65 rushing yards on 33 attempts - just 2.0 yards per carry, and when they went to the air, the Tiger defense was up to the challenge, picking off three passes on the evening to raise the two-game season total for interceptions to six. That's only two fewer pass interceptions than Mizzou gained during the entire 2009 season in 13 games.

   Here's some random notes from culling over the statistics heading into game #3 against Western Illinois (use these at your own risk):

  • Mizzou's defense is coming off of a tough outing at Arizona State, where the Tigers allowed 492 yards of offense. However, the Tiger defense held up well against the run in the desert, as it allowed the Sun Devils an average of just 3.4 yards per rush on the night (31 carries, 104 net yards). Through 2 games, Mizzou's run defense is allowing just 2.7 yards per attempt, and the longest rush by either foe to this point has been just 12 yards...
  • More about MU's rush defense - through 2 games, the Tigers have been a model of consistency on every down, as opponents are averaging just about the same yardage per attempt no matter the down. Here's the breakdown of what MU has allowed per rush: 1st down - 2.48 avg. (31-77); 2nd down - 2.83 avg. (23-65); 3rd down - 2.75 avg. (12-33); 4th down 5.00 avg. (1-5)...
  • James Franklin has been his best late in ballgames so far, as his QB rating is a solid 187.43 in the 4th quarter through 2 games into his starting career, as he's completed 9-of-16 passes for 132 yards and 3 TDs with no INTs in the 4th quarter in 2011. That 4th-quarter passer rating is the 12th-best in the nation in the 4th-quarter among QBs who have played 2 games through Sept. 10th...
  • Franklin has completed the highest percentage of his passes so far on 2nd down, as he is 19-of-24 passing on second down for 213 yards, with a QB rating of 153.72...
  • Henry Josey's average of 9.1 per rush through 2 games ranks as 4th-best in the nation among backs with a minimum of 15 carries. Josey has 137 yards on 15 carries through 2 games, after he averaged 5.8 yards per attempt as a true freshman in 2010 (76 att., 437 yds., 5 TDs)...
  • Sophomore WR Marcus Lucas is coming off his biggest game so far as a Tiger, when he caught 4 passes for 87 yards (both career bests) at Arizona State, including a key 49-yarder late in the 4th quarter that helped set up MU's game-tying score. Lucas' reception total of 5 through 2 games isn't eye-popping, but he's made quite an impact with those 5 receptions, as 4 of the 5 have either gone for 1st downs or touchdowns for the Tiger offense...
Year Opponent (Rank) Result #OTs
1996 Oklahoma State W, 35-28 OT
1996 at Baylor W, 49-42 3-OT
1997 at Oklahoma State (12) W, 51-50 2-OT
1997 Nebraska (1) L, 45-38 OT
1999 at Colorado L, 46-39 OT
2001 at Oklahoma State W, 41-38 3-OT
2002 Colorado (18) L, 42-35 OT
2002 at Texas A&M W, 33-27 2-OT
2003 Middle Tennessee State W, 41-40 OT
2004 at Iowa State W, 17-14 OT
2005 Iowa State W, 27-24 OT
2008 Northwestern (22) W, 30-23 OT
2011 Arizona State (23) L, 37-30 OT

   If it seems like Mizzou has been involved in a lot of overtime games, well, you're not crazy, because the Tigers have played in as many OT games as any school since the rule was put in place for the 1995 bowl season.
   With Mizzou's Sept. 9 OT game at Arizona State (won by the Sun Devils, 37-30), Mizzou has now played 13 overtime games, which is tied for most in NCAA history, through games of Sept. 10th. Other schools with 13 overtime games include Fresno State (5-8), North Carolina State (8-5), and Pittsburgh (6-7).
   Even with the recent defeat at Arizona State - which broke a five-game overtime winning streak for the Tigers - Mizzou is still tied for most OT wins in FBS history, with 9. Other schools with 9 OT wins include Arkansas (9-2), and Tennessee (9-2).
   At right is a quick glance at MU's overtime history.
   Interestingly, MU Head Coach Gary Pinkel is credited with winning the very first overtime game ever played in Division I history, when his Toledo Rockets beat Nevada, 40-37, in the 1995 Las Vegas Bowl. The overtime rule was put into effect for that bowl season, and has been in use ever since.
   Pinkel is now 8-2 alltime in his career in overtime games, including 6-2 at Mizzou.

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

  • Mizzou received a stiff test in its opener on Sept. 3rd, 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), allowed 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...
1. MIZZOU 967
2. Oklahoma 960
3. Nebraska 958
4. Kansas 952
5. Baylor 951
6. Texas Tech 944
7. Oklahoma State 942
8. Texas 941
9. Texas A&M 940
Kansas State 940
11. Iowa State 932
12. Colorado 929

 The 2010 season was quite a year for the Missouri Tiger Football program, as Mizzou claimed its third Big 12 Conference North Division title in the last four years, thanks to the school's third 10-win season in four seasons.
In the off-season, a pair of Tiger standouts became top-10 NFL Draft picks, when sophomore DE Aldon Smith was taken seventh overall by the San Francisco 49ers, and he was followed shortly by junior QB Blaine Gabbert, who was the number 10 pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The latest bit of great news came down from the NCAA in May, as Mizzou's Football team won a league championship in the classroom, as the Tigers' team Academic Progress Rate of 967 was tops in the Big 12 Conference.
Thirteen Tiger football players recently earned their degrees from Mizzou, including five (Terry Dennis, Elvis Fisher, Trey Hobson, Grant Ressel and Austin Wuebbels) who will take part in 2011 as graduate students.
The Big 12 Football APR results are listed at right.

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) 78-50 .609 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 151-87-3 (63.3%).
   Pinkel, who has led MU to a combined record of 56-25 (69.1%) 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 78-50 (60.9%). Dating back to the 2005 Independence Bowl win over Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, Pinkel has gone 50-20 in his last 70 games overall (71.4%). 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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