Tigers Host Furman Saturday

MUTIGERS.COM Jared Perry had three catches for 60 yards and a touchdown in Mizzou's last meeting vs. an FCS opponent, last year's 52-3 win over SEMO.
MUTIGERS.COM
Jared Perry had three catches for 60 yards and a touchdown in Mizzou's last meeting vs. an FCS opponent, last year's 52-3 win over SEMO.
MUTIGERS.COM

Sept. 14, 2009

 

Furman Paladins (2-0) at #25 Missouri Tigers (2-0)

TIGERS HOST FURMAN
   The Missouri Tigers (2-0 overall) continue non-conference play this Saturday afternoon in the friendly confines of Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium, where they take on the Furman Paladins (2-0). Kickoff for the game is set for 1:07 p.m.
   Mizzou is coming off a hardfought 27-20 win last Saturday against Bowling Green, that saw the Tigers post a rally from a 3rd-quarter 20-6 deficit. The Tigers scored 21 straight points in the final 15:57 of the game to post the comeback win – which tied for the 2nd-largest 2nd-half comeback win in school history.
   Furman, of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), is also an umblemished 2-0 coming into Saturday’s contest, after defeating conference foe Chattanooga last week by a 38-20 score. That followed a season-opening 45-21 home win over Presbyterian. The Paladins feature an offense that leads the FCS in 3rd-down conversions (72.7%), as well as ranking in the 20 in five other major offensive categories.

GAME CENTRAL:


 

 

KICKOFF: 1:07 p.m. CT.

STADIUM: Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field (71,004 – FieldTurf surface). Opened in 1926. MU is 248-164-20 there alltime and has won 21 of its last 23 overall and is 31-7 there since 2003.

RADIO:Tiger Network. Mike Kelly (play-by-play), John Kadlec (color), Chris Gervino (sidelines), Mark Mills (engineer). Carried on over 50 stations across the Midwest, and on the Internet at mutigers.com.
   The MU broadcast will also be on Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 126).

TV: Pay-Per-View. Dan McLaughlin (play-by-play), Rich Baldinger (color), Todd Donoho (sidelines), Allan Flowers (producer), Will Bealke (director).

RANKINGS (AP/Coaches):
   MU – RV [26th] / 25th.
   Furman – N/A

SERIES: 1st meeting.

COACHES:
   MU: Gary Pinkel (Kent, ‘75), 61-41 at MU (9th year) and 134-78-3 overall (19th year). Pinkel is 0-0 vs. Furman and Bobby Lamb.
   Furman: Bobby Lamb (Furman, ‘86), 58-29 at Furman and overall (8th year). Lamb is 0-0 vs. Gary Pinkel and Missouri.

MIZZOU VERSUS THE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SUBDIVISION
   Mizzou is 8-0 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 5-0 against FCS foes in his time at Mizzou, with the average score being 42.8-to-6.6 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...

  • 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

PAY-PER-VIEW INFORMATION
   Saturday’s game between Mizzou and Furman 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 1:07 p.m.) will be produced by Fox Sports Net and offered on various cable providers and satellite systems around the country. Fans are encouraged to check with mutigers.com for continuous updates on providers of the telecast, which is available for $29.95.
   For the Furman game Dan McLaughlin will call the play-by-play alongside color analyst Howard Balzer. Todd Donoho will serve as sideline reporter.

TIGERS POST COMEBACK FOR THE AGES TO DOWN BOWLING GREEN
   One week after breezing through a smooth-looking 37-9 season-opening win over favored Illinois, the Missouri Tigers were expected by most to do the same in their home opener against Bowling Green. Not much went right for the young Tigers, however, and through a combination of mistakes by MU and solid play from the Falcons, Mizzou trailed 20-6 late in the 3rd quarter before scoring the last 21 points of the game to pull out a 27-20 win and improve to 2-0 on the season.

  • Mizzou’s win tied for the 2nd-largest deficit overcome in school history to post a win. The alltime largest deficit overcome for MU was 21 points (vs. South Carolina in the 2005 Independence Bowl), and it marked the 7th time MU has rallied to post a win after trailing by 14 points in a game (the last was in 2001 at Kansas, when MU trailed 14-0 in the 2nd quarter to rally for a 38-34 win)…
  • The comeback was also historic in another way, as it marked only the 3rd time in school history that the Tigers have rallied from a 14-point 2nd-half deficit to get a win. The first occasion was in 1976, when Mizzou trailed at #2 Ohio State, 21-7 in the 3rd quarter. The Tigers rallied for a 22-21 win, getting a TD and 2-point conversion in the final minute of play for the win. The last occurrence of overcoming a 14-point (or bigger) 2nd-half deficit to notch a win was the aforementioned 2005 Independence Bowl, when MU trailed 28-14 to start the 2nd half of play…

WASHINGTON LEADS GROUND CHARGE
   When Mizzou found itself trailing Bowling Green last Saturday, 20-6 midway through the 3rd quarter, the Tigers turned to their ground game to establish some rhythm, and it was junior TB Derrick Washington who led the charge.

  • Washington helped lead Mizzou’s comeback win over Bowling Green with a 120-yard rushing night, on a career-high 23 carries, good for an average of 5.2 yards per rush. Included on his night was a 1-yard touchdown plunge with 5:38 left in the game that served as the winning score in MU’s 27-20 victory…
  • Washington was a workhorse in the second half, as he carried 12 times, including 9 attempts in the 4th quarter alone, when he had 42 yards on the ground. He had three critical gains in the second half that were key to MU’s comeback from a 20-6 third-quarter deficit, in addition to his game-winning score…
  • The first was an 18-yard run on what was a 3rd-and-10 situation from the BGSU 45-yardline with less than 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Mizzou trailed 20-6 at the time, and on the next play following his first down, QB Blaine Gabbert hit WR Jared Perry on a 27-yard touchdown pass to get the Tigers in the endzone for the first time on the evening, and back in the game…
  • The second was on a 3rd-and-1 with around 11 ½ minutes to play in the 4th quarter, when he churned hard in traffic to pick up 3 yards and extend the drive. Four plays later, D-Wash was called on again on 4th-and-1 from the BGSU 39-yardline to keep the drive going, and he picked up 6 tough yards to get the job done. Once again, on the very next snap, Gabbert threw to WR Wes Kemp for a 33-yard touchdown, which tied the game at 20-20 with 10:15 left…
  • The 100-yard outing was Washington’s 4th of his career. His 23 rushing attempts eclipsed his previous career-high of 19, and it was the most rushes by a Tiger tailback in a regular-season game since the late Damien Nash carried 25 times (102 yards) against Colorado in 2005. Tony Temple carried 24 times (281 yards) in the 2008 Cotton Bowl against Arkansas…
Mizzou Run/Pass Balance
YearPlaysRushes (Pct.)Passes (Pct.)
2005 981 512 (52.2%) 469 (47.8%)
2006 922 457 (49.6%) 465 (50.4%)
2007 1,112 530 (47.7%) 582 (52.3%)
2008 982 417 (42.5%) 565 (57.5%)
2009 149 81 (54.4%) 68 (45.6%)

MORE ON THE RUSHING ATTACK
   In all against Bowling Green, Mizzou ran the ball 44 times and netted 181 yards, good for an average of 4.1 yards per carry. Not record-setting numbers by any means, but it was a nice step up from the opening-game performance of 117 yards on 37 carries vs. Illinois (3.2 avg.). Plus, if you take out the 23 yards lost on 2 sacks of Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert against BGSU, the Tigers gained 204 yards when attempting a run, on 42 tries. That’s a solid per-carry mark of 4.9 per carry.
   The 44 rushing attempts was the most by Mizzou since Nov. 10, 2007, when the Tigers ran 49 times (203 yards) in a 40-26 win over Texas A&M.
   In addition to the exploits of Derrick Washington, true freshman TB Kendial Lawrence made some significant contributions. Taking over the number two spot with top reserve TB De’Vion Moore out with an ankle sprain, Lawrence responded by gaining 49 yards on 7 carries (7.0 avg.). He had runs of 12, 11 and 10 yards, and had an apparent 32-yard TD run wiped out by a holding call.
   First-year Offensive Coordinator David Yost has shown through two games a willingness to lean on the ground game if needed. Mizzou is averaging 40.5 rushing attempts in its first two games in 2009, and that’s up significantly from from an average of 29.8 rushes per game in 2008.
   Since going to the spread offense prior to the 2005 season (Brad Smith’s senior year), the Tigers have been known as a pass-first operation, but that wasn’t exactly the case, as Smith’s forte was his run-pass dual threat. Then, in 2006, with first-year starter Chase Daniel at the helm, the Tigers were very balanced. Only as Daniel got more experience did the balance start to shift toward the passing attack. At right is a breakdown of MU’s run-pass balance since 2005.

SPOON CLIPS FALCONS FOR 14 TACKLES; NEARING MU CAREER TOP-10
   The undisputed face, voice and leader of the 2009 Tigers is senior LB Sean Weatherspoon. “Spoon” came to Mizzou as a mostly-unheralded two-star recruit out of Jasper, Texas, and he’s looking to leave as an All-American.
   Through 2 games, he’s on his way toward doing just that, as Spoon leads the Big 12 Conference in tackles (and ranks 12th nationally), with 23, including a 14-tackle outing last Saturday against Bowling Green.

  • Weatherspoon turned in a game-high 14 tackles in Mizzou’s comeback win against Bowling Green. He made four stops in the decisive 4th quarter that saw Mizzou outscore the Falcons, 14-0. Perhaps his biggest play was on a 3rd-and-9 early in the 4th quarter, when he stopped a pass play for a loss of two yards to force a BGSU punt. On the ensuing possession, the Tiger offense drove for a game-tying score…
  • Spoon now has 325 career tackles, and that places him in 11th place alltime on the Mizzou career charts, just four away from cracking the top-10. He is 110 tackles away from the MU career record of 434 tackles by former LB James Kinney (2001-04)…

   He got his senior campaign off to a promising start as he registered a team-best 9 tackles in MU’s 37-9 dismantling of favored Illinois. Spoon added a QB sack of the Illini’s Juice Williams, and threw in 1 QB hurry too.
   He’s been named a 1st-team pre-season All-American by ESPN.com, and is on the pre-season watch lists for the Walter Camp, Butkus, Nagurski, Lombardi, Bednarik and Lott awards in 2009.
   And for good reason, as he led the Big 12 in 2008 with a career-best 155 tackles, which ranked him 5th in all of the NCAA last year. He closed his junior season in fine fashion as he tallied 17 tackles in helping lead MU to a comeback 30-23 overtime win against Northwestern in the 2008 Alamo Bowl, winning Defensive MVP honors in the process.
   Spoon entered his name for consideration for the 2009 NFL Draft, but chose to come back for his senior year. In doing so, he has a chance to leave Mizzou as the school record-holder for career tackles.
   After earning playing time as a true freshman mostly in a reserve role and on special teams, Weatherspoon emerged on the scene in 2007 as a sophomore. He took over the starting spot at the weakside linebacker position a year ago, and from the get-go was a leader on the defense. He ended the year with a team-best 130 tackles, and was named a 1st-Team All-Big 12 performer by the Associated Press.

DEFENSE MAKING STRIDES DESPITE YOUTH
   Mizzou’s defense, under first-year coordinator Dave Steckel, returned only four starters from a year ago, leaving it a young, relatively experienced unit coming into the 2009 season. Through two games, the play of the Tigers has belied their youth, as they’ve played a crucial role in MU’s 2-0 start.

  • Against Bowling Green, Mizzou’s defense was stellar in crunch time, as it held BGSU to just 47 yards of offense in the 4th quarter, which helped pave the way for MU’s comeback from a 20-6 third-quarter deficit…
  • Twice in the first half, the Tiger defense had its backs against the wall, as the Tigers turned the ball over on its own 19 yardline and its own 14 yardline. Both times, the defense held tough and forced Bowling Green to field goals, as the Falcons gained just 3 yards and 4 yards, respectively, on the two possessions…

HARRY GIVING ‘EM THE BOOT
   Being the punter for an offense as prolific as Missouri’s has been the past few years is kind of like being the Maytag repairman – you’re not called on too much, and when you are, people aren’t too happy about it. But senior P Jake Harry IV is doing well enough in his appearances through 2 games that maybe Tiger fans won’t be so hesitant to see the left-footer trot out on the field.

  • Last Saturday against Bowling Green, Harry had a big night in helping keep Mizzou on top of the field position battle, as he averaged 45.4 yards on a career-high 7 punts. He had a 69-yard punt in the 2nd quarter, and also had a 58-yarder in the 1st quarter of play…
  • Two of his punts ended inside the BGSU 20-yardline, and only 1 was returned on the night, with the return going for negative one yard…
  • Harry is averaging 46.60 yards per punt, which is currently 2nd-best in the Big 12 Conference, and tied for 6th nationally...
  • Through 2 games and 10 punts, Harry has 4 boots of 50 yards or more, and has 4 punts which have landed inside the opponent’s 20-yardline. Against Illinois, he punted 3 times and averaged 49.3 yards on the day, with a long of 60 yards…
  • Mizzou’s net punting average of 43.64 ranks 6th-best in the NCAA through two games. Opponents have managed just 4 punt return yards on 3 attempts against the Tigers thus far…

   Harry took over punting duties in 2008 for the first time, and he averaged a solid 40.7 yards per punt, while Mizzou’s net punting average of 37.71 ranked them 16th in the NCAA. That was a huge jump in improvement from 2007, when the Tigers ranked 113th in the NCAA in net punting with a mark of 31.46.

TIGER BYTES

  • Senior WR Jared Perry just missed his first career 100-yard outing in his 2009 opener, as he caught 4 passes for 93 yards against Illinois, including a 46-yard TD in the 3rd-quarter that essentially iced the game, as it gave the Tigers a 30-3 lead. He followed with a 6-catch, 55-yard outing last week against Bowling Green, which included a 27-yard TD catch in the 3rd quarter that pulled the Tigers to within 20-13. That catch likely ranks among the most important of his Tiger career, as it seemed to ease the pressure off MU’s offense, and they drove for TDs on each of the next 2 possessions to pull out the comeback win. Perry is MU’s active leading career receiver with 101 career receptions for 1,296 yards and 9 TDs…
  • Sophomore WR Wes Kemp made his starting debut vs. the Illini, and he responded in fine fashion, as he caught 4 passes for 77 yards. Kemp got free on the right sideline and hauled in a 49-yard TD pass from Gabbert to reach the endzone for the first time in his career, and give the Tigers a 10-0 lead. He was held against Bowling Green to just 2 catches for 38 yards, but his last grab was crucial, as it was a 33-yard TD that came with 10:15 left in the game, and tied the score at 20-20. Kemp played in 9 games a year ago as a true freshman, and caught 1 pass for 15 yards...
  • Mizzou’s starting trio of wide receivers of Danario Alexander, Jared Perry and Wes Kemp combined for 18 receptions that accounted for 302 of MU’s 325 passing yards against Illinois in Saturday’s 31-9 victory...
MIZZOU COACHING WINS LEADERS
CoachWins# Seasons (Years)RecordPct.# Bowls
Don Faurot 101 19 (1935-42, 46-56) 101-79-10 0.558 4
Dan Devine 93 13 (1958-70) 93-37-7 0.704 6
Gary Pinkel 59 8 (2001-Present) 59-41 0.590 5
Warren Powers 46 7 (1978-84) 46-33-3 0.580 5

PINKEL STANDS 3RD ON ALLTIME MU COACHING WINS LIST
   Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel is in his 9th season at MU and touts a career record of 132-78-3 (62.7%). The Illinois game to open the 2008 season was the 200th in Pinkel’s head coaching career.
   Pinkel, who has led MU to a combined record of 37-16 (69.8%) over the past 4 seasons, and to bowl games in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, has an 8-year record in Columbia of 59-41 (59.0%). Dating back to the 2005 Independence Bowl win over Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, Pinkel has won 31 of his last 42 games overall.
   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 59.
   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.
    At right is a quick look at the top winning coaches in MU history.
   For the 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.
   Pinkel has led MU to 5 bowl games, and if his Tigers reach a 6th in 2009, he will join Devine as the only other coach to guide MU to 6 bowl games.
   Pinkel has directed Mizzou to 5 winning seasons (8-5 in 2003, 7-5 in 2005, 8-5 in 2006, 12-2 in 2007, 10-4 in 2008), with those representing 5 of MU’s 7 winning campaigns dating back to the 1983 season.
   The Big 12 North Division titles won by Mizzou in 2007 and 2008 represent the first football conference title of any kind Mizzou has won since 1969 – the last time it claimed a share of the old Big Eight Conference crown.
   In November of 2008, Pinkel agreed to a new seven-year contract worth $2.3 million guaranteed per year, meaning he’ll patrol the Tiger sidelines through the 2015 season.

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