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Tigers Open Big 12 Schedule in Lincoln

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#4/#3 Missouri Tigers (4-0) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-1)
Oct. 4, 2008 - Memorial Stadium/Osborne Field - Lincoln, Neb.

KICKOFF: 8:10 p.m. (central time).
STADIUM: Memorial Stadium/Tom Osborne Field (81,067 - FieldTurf surface). Opened in 1923. NU is 124-14 there in the last 21 years, and holds a 29-13-1 edge over Mizzou in the stadium, including 15 straight wins.
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 available on Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 119).
TV: ESPN. Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Chris Spielman (color), Rob Stone (sidelines), Josh Hoffman (producer).
RANKINGS (AP/USA): MU - #4/#3; NU - RV/RV.
SERIES: Nebraska leads, 63-35-3. MU has won 3 of the last 5 (all in Columbia), and is looking for its first win in Lincoln since 1978.
COACHES:
Mizzou: Gary Pinkel (Kent, `75), 53-37 at MU (8th year) and 126-74-3 overall (17th year). Pinkel is 3-4 vs. Nebraska and 0-0 vs. Bo Pellini.
Nebraska: Bo Pelini (Ohio State, `90), 4-1 at NU and overall (1st year). Pelini is 0-0 vs. Mizzou and Gary Pinkel.

Tigers begin defense of 2007 Big 12 North Division title
The 6th-ranked Missouri Tigers (4-0) begin defense of their 2007 Big 12 Conference North Division title Saturday on the road, as they take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-1) in Lincoln, Neb. - a site where the Tigers have lost 15 straight games since their last win in 1978.
Mizzou is coming off a bye week, after rolling to its 4-0 start. The Tigers closed the non-conference portion of the schedule with a hard-fought 42-21 win over Buffalo on Sept. 20th. In the game, QB Chase Daniel threw for a career-high 439 passing yards and 2 TDs, and was named the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback of the Week, as well as the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Week, for his efforts. Daniel completed 20 consecutive passes at one point to break a Big 12 single-game record.
Nebraska is coming off a tough home loss last Saturday night to Virginia Tech, 35-30. The Huskers were held to a season-low 333 yards of offense by the vaunted Hokie defense, but rallied late with an 88-yard punt return for a TD by Nate Swift and an 80-yard TD drive engineered by QB Joe Ganz that took only :56 seconds off the clock, with both scores coming in the final 8 minutes of the game. But Tech sandwiched an 80-yard TD drive of their own between those 4th-quarter Nebraska scores, and recovered the final onside kick to preserve the win and give Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini his first career loss.

Breaking down barriers nothing new to these Tigers
Much will be made in the lead-up to Saturday's game about Missouri's lengthy dry spell in Lincoln, Neb., and understandably so, with it having been 30 years since MU's last win there - a 35-31 upset of 2nd-ranked Nebraska in 1978.
While that streak provides plenty for fans and media to talk about, the current batch of Tigers are intent upon putting that streak to rest. And if they're anything like the 2007 Tigers, they know how to do it.
In 2007, as Mizzou made its ascent up the national polls on the way to its record-setting 12-2 record, the Tigers ignored the talk about what it supposedly couldn't do. Here's a sampling of some of the historical barriers the Tigers overcame a year ago...
• - Couldn't win at Colorado - Mizzou played at always-tough Folsom Field on Nov. 3rd, hearing all week long about how the Tigers hadn't won there since 1997. All Mizzou did was outgain CU by a 598-to-196 margin in total offense on the way to a 55-10 win...
• - Couldn't win at Kansas State - Needing a win in game #11 at Kansas State to keep pace with Kansas to set up a winner-take-all Big 12 North title game the following week against the Jayhawks in Kansas City, Mizzou heard all week long about how it hadn't won a game in Manhattan since 1989. The Tigers rolled to a 49-32 win that wasn't as close as the final score might indicate...
A couple of other random "firsts" that last year's team claimed were winning MU's first New Year's Day bowl game since 1966, and claiming the school's first conference title of any kind in football since 1969, with its Big 12 North Division championship.

Tigers tote nation's 2nd-ranked offense into Lincoln
Mizzou enters Saturday's game against Nebraska with the nation's 2nd-ranked offense in two major categories: total offense (595.50 ypg) and scoring offense (53.75 ppg). Those numbers are best in the nation among BCS-conference schools (Tulsa leads both categories overall, at 600.75 ypg and 54.75 ppg). The Tigers have the nation's 2nd-ranked passing offense (404.45 ypg), and also rank 5th in pass efficiency (183.45 rating), while rating 31st in rushing offense (191.25 ypg).
quick-strike offense
If you like following the Tiger offense, you're best advised not to blink when they're on the field, because Mizzou strikes quickly when it's out there. MU is quickly disproving that winning the time of possession battle is the key to winning football - while Missouri leads the nation in total offense, they're doing it despite ranking 115th nationally in time of possession (26:08 average through 4 games).
In fact, in a survey of Div. I (FBS) SIDs, Mizzou is 3rd in the country in most TD drives of under two minutes in length, with 14. Mizzou had 6 TD drives in this category against Nevada, while turning in 3 against Buffalo and 3 previously against SEMO and 2 against Illinois. Here's a look at the NCAA leaders in this category:
Most Touchdown Drives Under Two Minutes

RankTeam# of TD Drives
1.Oregon16
2.Tulsa15
3.Missouri14
4.Rice12
t5.Arizona11
t5.Oklahoma State11
t5.California11


Starting off on the right foot
Getting out to a good start has not been a problem for Mizzou thus far in 2008. The Tigers have scored a TD on every game-opening possession in 2008, and the Mizzou defense has held opponents scoreless in their opening possessions, as well. That 28-0 advantage in opening drives has certainly played a big part in explaining why Mizzou has trailed only once this season - and that lasted for just :13 seconds against Illinois, when, after the Illini took a 13-10 2nd-quarter lead in the season opener, Jeremy Maclin returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a TD to regain the lead.
While it's no surprise that Mizzou's high-flying offense has scored early and often, the Tiger defense has also been stingy to open ballgames, holding its first four foes to a total of 2 combined first downs and 12 combined total yards in the four game-opening drives. The Tiger defense has also started the 2nd half strong, allowing opponents no points on their initial drives in the 3rd quarter, while the Tiger offense has scored twice.
Here's a quick look at those situations, with points, first downs and yardage listed for each game...
GAME OPENING DRIVES
MizzouOpponent
GamePts1stYdsPts1stYds
vs. Illinois7367018
SE Missouri St.7470014
Nevada7272006
Buffalo735000(-6)


2nd-HALF OPENING DRIVES
MizzouOpponent
GamePts1stYdsPts1stYds
vs. Illinois01190120
SE Missouri St.01230355
Nevada7269002
Buffalo7470016


Defense stingy against the run
While Mizzou's offense garners the majority of the headlines, the Tiger defense has quietly gone about its business, and has proven to be solid against the run so far. Through 4 games, Mizzou ranks 24th nationally defending the run, as it has allowed just 99.00 yards per game. Mizzou has allowed just 1 rushing TD by opponents thus far, and is among a group of 8 schools who have allowed 1 or fewer rushing scores this year - Texas (0), Florida State (0), Kentucky (0), Mizzou (1), Alabama (1), Louisiana Tech (1) and Tennessee (1) are in that distinct group.
Additionally, opponents are averaging just 2.8 yards per rush against the Tigers. Mizzou has held 3-of-4 opponents to under 100 yards so far, with Nevada being the only one to break the century mark. The Wolf Pack rushed for 182 yards in Mizzou's 69-17 win on Sept. 13th, but that total was still well below the per-game average of 319.00 ypg that Nevada is currently averaging (they rank 3rd in the NCAA in rushing offense).
Here's a quick breakdown of how opponents have fared on the ground so far against the Tigers, and where they currently rank in NCAA team rushing statistics...
OpponentVs. MizzouSeason AverageNCAA Rank
Illinois31 rushes, 81 yds., 0 TDs, 2.61 avg.215.75(16th)
SE Missouri St.28 rushes, 84 yds., 0 TDs, 3.00 avg.99.20(92nd in FCS)
Nevada44 rushes, 182 yds., 1 TD, 4.14 avg.319.00(3rd)
Buffalo35 rushes, 49 yds., 0 TDs, 1.40 avg.120.80(92nd)


No three-and-outs so far for #1 offense
Mizzou's #1 offense, through four games thus far in 2008, has yet to leave the field having had to punt after a three-and-out possession. In 40 possessions with QB Chase Daniel at the helm, the #1 offense has scored 26 times, including 22 TDs and 4 FGs. The 14 non-scores have resulted in just 5 punts (none after just three plays), 4 lost fumbles, 3 lost on downs, 1 interception and 1 missed FG.
In an amazing two-game stretch spanning the Southeast Missouri State and Nevada games, Daniel led the offense to scores on all 13 possessions in which he took the field (12 TDs and 1 FG). In those two games combined, Daniel had more TD passes (7) than incomplete passes (6). After scoring a TD and a FG on the first two drives of the Buffalo game, that streak was upped to 15 straight scoring drives. It ended on possession #3 of that game, when the drive stalled after 5 plays and a punt.
#1 OFFENSE UNDER Chase Daniel
# of
Drives
# of
Scores
Made
FGs
PuntsINTsLost
Fumbles
Lost on
Downs
Missed
FGs
3 & out
Punts
4026224514310
Pct.65.0%55.0%10.0%12.5%2.5%10.0%7.5%3.8%0.0%


Daniel and company had string of 15 straight scoring drives

Mizzou's offense, under the direction of Heisman-hopeful QB Chase Daniel has been humming along at epic proportions. In a recent 3-game span, it was near perfection, as Daniel and company scored on 15 consecutive possessions, until the string was stopped on MU's 3rd possession of the game last time out against Buffalo.
In those 15 possessions, MU scored 13 TDs and 2 FGs. Included in that output was a perfect 5-of-5 TDs vs. SEMO in game #2, 7 TDs and 1 FG in 8 opportunities in game #3 vs. Nevada, and a TD and FG in game #4 against Buffalo before the string was broken.
Daniel played only 1 1/2 quarters vs. SEMO, while playing 2 1/2 quarters before being pulled against Nevada, meaning he essentially played just 1 full game in those 2 weeks, and he threw for 650 yards and 7 TDs in that stretch. In those 2 games, Daniel had more TD passes (7) than he did incomplete passes (6)!
Take a look at what he and his running mates did in that time...
Chase Daniel 15-DRIVE STREAK RECAP
vs. SEMO
ResultPlaysYardsTOPScoring Play
1. Touchdown7702:01Washington 5 run
2. Touchdown6831:43Daniel-to-Maclin 3 pass
3. Touchdown4750:59Daniel-to-Washington 28 pass
4. Touchdown8822:48Daniel-to-Perry 28 pass
5. Touchdown6482:04Washington 5 run
vs. Nevada
ResultPlaysYardsTOPScoring Play
6. Touchdown4721:11Washington 59 run
7. Touchdown1800:13Daniel-to-Maclin 80 pass
8. Field Goal11635:02Wolfert 27 FG
9. Touchdown5601:41Daniel-to-Perry 27 pass
10. Touchdown6541:53Washington 2 run
11. Touchdown5680:32Daniel-to-Maclin 14 pass
12. Touchdown4691:21Daniel-to-Maclin 49 pass
13. Touchdown10762:32Saunders-to-Coffman 32 pass
vs. Buffalo
ResultPlaysYardsTOPScoring Play
14. Touchdown6501:35Washington 6 run
15. Field Goal14904:35Wolfert 26 FG

Daniel Totals
OpponentComp.Att.Yds.TDINTsQB Rating
vs. SEMO161724530273.41
vs. Nevada232840540250.79
vs. Buffalo8119500145.27
Totals475674570236.93


Tigers look to continue perfect start to season
Mizzou will look to continue its perfect start to the 2008 season and improve on their 4-0 record Saturday at Nebraska. A win over the Huskers would give Mizzou its third straight season of at least a 5-0 start - a feat which had never happened in consecutive seasons at MU prior to the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Mizzou has started 5-0 to a season only 8 times overall in its previous 117 years of fielding a football team.
Here's a look at all of the previous seasons in which MU has started a season 5-0, with the 1st number in parentheses the start and the 2nd number the end record for the season...

• - 1899 (7-0 / 9-2)• - 1905 (5-0 / 5-4)• - 1960 (11-0 / 11-0)#
• - 1969 (5-0 / 9-2)#• - 1973 (6-0 / 8-4)• - 1981 (5-0 / 8-4)
• - 2006 (6-0 / 8-5)• - 2007 (5-0 / 12-2)%

#-Won Big Eight Championship
%-Won Big 12 North Division Championship

Mizzou-Nebraska series history
Mizzou and Nebraska have played 101 times previously, in a series that dates back to 1892. The only school Mizzou has played more than Nebraska is arch-rival Kansas, which, at 116 games played, is the nation's 2nd-most played rivalry game.
Nebraska holds a 63-35-3 lead in the series with Mizzou, with a lion's share of that overall advantage due to a stranglehold the Cornhuskers held over MU from 1979-2002 that saw Nebraska win 24 straight games.
Prior to that NU winning streak, the Mizzou-Nebraska series was a very competitive and fiercely fought rivalry, as going into the 1979 season, Nebraska held just a 37-32-3 overall lead.
Mizzou has won 3 of its last 5 games over Nebraska, with all 3 wins coming in Columbia, and with MU scoring exactly 41 points each time (41-24 in both 2003 and 2005, and 41-6 in 2007).
Mizzou has some history working against it Saturday, as the Tigers have not won in Lincoln since 1978, when the Tigers upset the #2-ranked Huskers, 35-31. Since then, Nebraska has won 15 straight games over Mizzou in Lincoln. In those 15 losses, the most points that MU has scored in Lincoln was 24 points in a 42-24 loss in 2000. In fact, the Tigers have managed to score in the 20s only four times in that stretch.
If the Tigers win Saturday in Lincoln, not only would it mark MU's first win there since 1978, but it would give MU consecutive wins over the Huskers since 1973-74.

Last year in Columbia: #17 Mizzou 41, #25 Nebraska 6
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Chase Daniel turned 21 a few minutes after No. 17 Missouri polished off a late-night victory over No. 25 Nebraska. His performance was one long birthday celebration.
Daniel passed for a career-best 401 yards and ran for two scores and the Tigers got a big game from their suspect defense in a 41-6 victory over No 25 Nebraska.
"We played our `A' game in a lot of facets," Daniel said. "If our defense plays like that week-in and week-out and we keep scoring, the sky's the limit."
Nebraska, which entered the game averaging 36 points, was held without a touchdown for the first time since a 31-3 loss to Oklahoma on Nov. 13, 2004. Missouri's four nonconference opponents averaged 25 points, leading to anticipation of a high-scoring affair that never materialized.
"I was so proud," coach Gary Pinkel said. "It was as complete a game as we've played in a long time."
The Cornhuskers were outgained 606-297. Daniel was 33-for-47 and also was Missouri's rushing leader with 72 yards on 11 carries. Chase Coffman and Danario Alexander each caught a touchdown pass to help the Tigers (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) beat Nebraska decisively at home for the third straight time and go to 5-0 for a second straight season.
A game viewed as a key early Big 12 North matchup attracted a crowd of 70,049, Missouri's first sellout since the Nebraska game in 2003 with most fans clad in yellow for a so-called "Gold Rush" game. The Tigers had a ball and even scored a touchdown off a fake field goal early in the fourth quarter.
"I wish it was like that every game," Daniel said. "It was an unbelievable atmosphere, unlike anything I've ever been in."
The crowd was the largest at Mizzou since 1984, when 70,915 packed Faurot Field on Sept. 26 that year to see Notre Dame take on the Tigers.
Missouri put away Nebraska (4-2, 1-1) without leading rusher Tony Temple, who sprained his right ankle in the first half. Temple had one catch for 20 yards and three carries for minus-2 yards.
Marlon Lucky had 123 yards rushing and receiving for Nebraska, held to a pair of first-half field goals by Alex Henery. Nebraska had won eight in a row against Big 12 North opponents.
"It's not our standard of football," coach Bill Callahan said. "We just couldn't get off the field on third down and we didn't convert on third down."
Missouri led 14-0 in the first quarter and 20-6 at the half, a big change from the previous year's 34-20 loss at Lincoln, Neb., in which the Tigers trailed 27-3 in the second quarter. Nebraska capitalized on a pair of early interceptions off Daniel in that game.
Daniel set the tone from the start on Saturday, going 12-for-14 for 127 yards while leading Missouri to touchdowns on its first two drives. One of the incompletions came on a dropped ball.

A look back at 1978: Mizzou 35, #2 Nebraska 31
For all of you history buffs out there, here's a re-posting of the game recap taken out of the Mizzou media guide the last time the Tigers won in Lincoln, Neb., when Mizzou upset 2nd-ranked Nebraska, 35-31 on Nov. 18, 1978...
What started with a bang for Nebraska ended with an even louder bang for Missouri's Tigers.
The Tigers capped their turnaround season under Head Coach Warren Powers with a 35-31 decision over Nebraska and spoiled the Cornhuskers' hopes of an outright Big Eight championship. Nebraska, which had defeated #1-ranked Oklahoma the week before, would have won its first conference title under Head Coach Tom Osborne with a win over Mizzou, but instead were forced to share the title and accept a rematch against the Sooners in the Orange Bowl.
Strangely enough, the Huskers started with a bang, as Ric Berns ran 82 yards for a score from scrimmage on the first play of the game and appeared to have opened the flood gates for a runaway Nebraska win.
But Missouri stayed calm and stayed close - rallying twice from 10-point deficits for the victory, the Tigers' third straight in Lincoln dating back to 1974.
The heroes for Missouri included James Wilder, who rushed for 181 yards and four TDs to tie Earl Gant's one-week-old school scoring record; Chris Garlich, who turned in 21 tackles from his linebacker position; and Kellen Winslow, who made six clutch receptions for 132 yards and the other Tiger TD. Quarterback Phil Bradley threw for 187 yards and 1 TD and also rushed for 39 yards on the day.
Trailing 31-28, Missouri got the ball back for one last drive on its own 26-yard line with just 5:59 remaining in the game. Wilder carried the load on the ground and Winslow - receiving key passes from All-Big Eight quarterback Phil Bradley - made a key 33-yard reception on the drive.
On the seventh play of the drive, Wilder scored from 7 yards out, on a play where Wilder literally threw down a Husker defender just short of the goalline, and powered his way in for the decisive score with just over two minutes to play. Nebraska drove deep into Mizzou territory as time was running out, but the Tiger defense held on a 4th-down pass attempt to claim the win, which helped secure a bid to the Liberty Bowl, where the Tigers defeated LSU, 20-15, to finish 8-4 on the year and ranked 15th in the final Associated Press Top-25 rankings.

Offensive line has been airtight in 2008
Even with the return of 2007 Heisman Trophy finalist QB Chase Daniel to the fold this season, much was made of the supposed uncertainty of Mizzou's offensive line going into the year. That's largely because the Tigers lost a pair of four-year starters to graduation, in C Adam Spieker and LT Tyler Luellen. And when it was announced during fall camp that redshirt freshman Elvis Fisher was named the starter at left tackle - thus protecting Daniel's blindside - people wondered if it would take awhile for the offensive line to gel.
Opening up against Illinois, which has a couple of NFL prospects on their defensive line, the Tiger line showed it was indeed ready for the challenge, and that Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach Dave Christensen knew what he was doing in naming Fisher the starter. All the Tigers did in that game was rack up 549 yards of total offense, including 323 passing and 226 rushing. As noted previously, this offensive line is paving and protecting the way for a unit that ranks 2nd nationally (and 1st among BCS schools) in both total offense (595.50 ypg) and scoring (53.75 ppg).
While they'll likely be given a stiff test by Nebraska Saturday in Lincoln, the Tiger offensive line comes into the game having allowed only 2 sacks in four games on 115 pass attempts - that's a healthy once every 57.5 passes average. Mizzou ranks 8th nationally coming in with its 0.50 sacks allowed average per game. They haven't given up a sack since game #2 against Southeast Missouri, with the other one coming against Illinois in the opener - and that one was actually charged to Daniel, as he kept the ball too long instead of throwing it away (although he did have two receivers fall down on the play, to his defense).

Last time out: #5 Mizzou 42, Buffalo 21
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Chase Daniel passed for a career-high 439 yards and set a Big 12 record with 20 consecutive completions, helping No. 5 Missouri overcome a rash of errors in a 42-21 victory over Buffalo.
The Tigers lost three fumbles in Buffalo territory and special teams mistakes led to two of the Bulls' touchdowns, keeping the game close well into the second half against a 33 1/2-point underdog. Missouri, which had two turnovers in the first three games, fell short of 50 points for the first time this season in a game that drew near-sellout attendance of 65,556.
Derrick Washington scored on a pair of short runs in the Tigers' final tuneup before beginning Big 12 play at Nebraska on Oct. 4. Washington has nine touchdowns in his first year as starting tailback, and at least two each game.
Ernest Jackson scored all three touchdowns for Buffalo (2-2), on a 97-yard kickoff return and receptions of 32 and 3 yards from Willy. The Bulls, coached by former Nebraska quarterback Turner Gill, trailed by only three late in the first half and by six midway through the third quarter before Missouri pulled away.
Missouri entered the game leading the nation with 57 points per game and scored on 15 straight possessions led by Daniel, 13 touchdowns and two field goals, over two games before coming up empty on three second-quarter drives. One ended with Jake Harry's ninth punt of the season and the other two ended on lost fumbles after receptions by Chase Coffman at the Buffalo 38 and Jared Perry at the Buffalo 12.
Daniel was 36-for-43 for two touchdowns, and fell three completions shy of the NCAA record of 23 in a row shared by Tennessee's Tee Martin (1998) and Cal's Aaron Rodgers (2004) when he and Jeremy Maclin missed connections on fourth-and-1 midway through the third quarter. The previous Big 12 record was 18 straight shared by Iowa State's Seneca Wallace (2001) and Oklahoma's Sam Bradford (2007), and Daniel had shared the previous school record of 15 in a row with Kent Kiefer (1990), setting it over two games in 2007.
Daniel topped his previous career best of 421 passing yards at Colorado last season.
Jeff Wolfert hit two field goals, including a 48-yarder, before missing wide left on a 53-yard attempt in the fourth quarter for his first miss in seven attempts this season.
Missouri lost two fumbles, gave up the kickoff return TD and had a roughing the kicker penalty to keep alive Buffalo's other scoring drive in a mistake-filled first half. The Tigers led 20-14, their first challenge since trailing Illinois 13-10 early in a 52-42 opening victory.
Jackson was untouched on the kickoff return late in the first quarter, the first in two seasons for a school averaging 20.6 yards, and the first against Missouri since 1999. Brian Coulter was whistled for running into punter Peter Fardon, keeping alive a Buffalo drive capped by Willy's 32-yard touchdown pass to Jackson in the second quarter.

Daniel has won O'Brien weekly award after last two games

Mizzou senior QB Chase Daniel began the 2008 season on the short list of Heisman Trophy favorites, according to most prognosticators. His 4-game start to the season has done nothing to dissuade voters from keeping him entrenched among the top candidates.
All he's done so far is direct the Tigers to the nation's 2nd-ranked outfit in total offense (595.50 ypg) and scoring offense (53.75 ppg), while the Tigers rank 2nd in the NCAA in passing (404.25 ypg) and 5th in pass efficiency (183.45 rating). Individually, after his career-best 439-yard, 2-TD outing last time out against Buffalo, Daniel now ranks 4th nationally in pass efficiency (193.39 season rating) and 4th in total offense (371.50 ypg).
Against Buffalo, Daniel completed 20 consecutive passes at one point in the game, which broke the Big 12 Conference single-game record of 18, and was just 3 shy of the NCAA record for a game. He ended the day 36-of-43 passing, and had potential yards and TDs taken away as the Tiger receivers uncharacteristically fumbled the ball away after catches three times deep in Buffalo territory - at the 12-yardline, at the 22-yardline and at the 38-yardline.
For his efforts, Daniel was named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, and he also took home the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback of the Week Award for the 2nd straight week - marking the first time in the award's existence that a player had won on consecutive weeks.
Against Nevada, Daniel was in another stratosphere, going 23-of-28 for 405 yards and 4 TDs. His 1st TD of the day, an 80-yarder to WR Jeremy Maclin, gave him enough career passing yards to break the MU record of 8,799 previously held by former great Brad Smith (2002-05). Daniel now has 9,592 passing yards for his career.
As noted previously, Daniel had a string of 15 straight possessions where he led MU to a score (13 TDs, 2 FGs) spanning 3 games, playing just 1 1/2 quarters versus SEMO and 2 1/2 quarters vs. Nevada before being pulled, plus the first two drives last time out against Buffalo.
Daniel had about as perfect performance as you can have against SEMO in game #2, as he completed 16-of-17 passes for 245 yards and 3 TDs. He did all of this in just a quarter and a half of play, as he was pulled after MU scored to make it 42-0 with 8:45 remaining in the 2nd quarter! Daniel was in for 5 possessions against SEMO, and he led MU to 5 TD drives, with the longest consuming just 2:48 off the clock. In fact, those 5 scoring drives combined took just 9:35 off the clock in total.
In the 2008 season opener, Daniel threw for 323 yards and 3 TDs in helping lead Mizzou to a 52-42 win over 20th-ranked Illinois. The points were a record for Mizzou against a ranked opponent. Daniel had 369 yards of total offense on the night, as he burned the Illini for 46 rushing yards on just 9 attempts (5.1 avg.).
Daniel was his best in the middle of the game, when he led MU to 4 offensive TDs in a 5-possession span, bridging the 2nd and 3rd quarters. In that stretch, he had TD passes of 17 yards to TE Chase Coffman just before halftime, and followed with TD strikes of 4 yards and 21 yards to WR Tommy Saunders on consecutive 3rd-quarter possessions as MU took a commanding 45-20 lead with 2:50 left in the 3rd.
The performance was a nice follow-up to his 2007 season, when Daniel continued to smash all sorts of Mizzou passing and total offense records, as he became the school's first-ever Heisman Trophy finalist (finishing 4th in balloting). He helped lead Mizzou to its 12-2 season as he threw for an MU-record 4,306 yards and 33 TDs.
Daniel ranked 7th in the NCAA a year ago in total offense (325.64 ypg) and was 15th overall in pass efficiency (147.89 rating), while amassing at least 300 passing yards in 8-of-14 games - including a pair of 400-yard performances (401 vs. Nebraska and 421 at Colorado).
Already at the top of numerous MU records lists, Daniel has a shot at reaching Smith's seemingly unreachable total offense career record of 13,088 yards, as Daniel has 10,355 entering the Nebraska game (needs 2,734 to break).

Tigers have been cream of the Big 12 North crop
Thanks to the research skills of resident MU football historian Tom Orf, we proudly pass along the following tidbits about Mizzou and the Big 12 Conference North Division...
• Mizzou has won the most games, both in Big 12 North play, as well as overall, in the last 6 years (through games of Sept. 27th). The charts look like this:

BIG 12 NORTH TEAM WINSBIG 12 NORTH TEAM WINS
LAST 6 YRS., ALL GAMESLAST 6 YRS., BIG 12 GAMES ONLY
SchoolWinsSchoolWins
Mizzou44Mizzou22
Nebraska40Nebraska20
Kansas38Colorado18
Kansas St.35Kansas18
Colorado31Kansas St.17
Iowa St.25Iowa St.11
• Additionally, Mizzou has the most 7-win seasons in the last 5 years among Big 12 North schools (4), as well as the most 4-win conference seasons among Big 12 North brethren (4) in the last 5 seasons.

The J-Mac attack is back in award-winning form

Is there a more dangerous player in college with the ball in his hands than Mizzou WR/KR/PR Jeremy Maclin? We think not. Okay, we're completely biased, but his performance so far in 4 games has definitely shown just how he can impact a game.
The Big 12 leader in all-purpose yardage so far, Maclin also ranks 5th in the NCAA in that category coming into the Nebraska game, with a per-game mark of 193.50 yards a game. Opponents in the last three games have tried to limit his impact in the kicking game by pooch/squib kicking, so Maclin has made his mark on offense, as he's caught a combined 20 balls for 340 yards and 3 TDs. He enters the Nebraska game ranked 15th in the NCAA in receiving yards, averaging 97.75 yards a game to this point, and he also, with his 6 TDs (4 receiving, 1 rushing, 1 kickoff return), he currently ranks 31st nationally with his 9.00 points a game mark.
J-Mac is coming off a 236-yard day in MU's Sept. 20th win over Buffalo. In the game, he grabbed a career-high 14 passes for 168 yards, and he also rushed twice for 25 yards - including a 16-yard TD that was a highlight-reel play, where he swept around right end, got the corner, and dove from the 4-yard line over traffic into the front corner of the endzone, while stretching the ball out over the pylon while flying out of bounds.
Prior to that, Maclin burned Nevada for a career-high 172 receiving yards, to go with an MU single-game record-tying 3 TDs. His 1st came on MU's 2nd possession, as he took a medium-depth crossing route from QB Chase Daniel, turned on the jets, made one move to get free down the left sideline, and he raced home untouched for an 80-yard score to make it 14-0 Tigers with 12:02 left in the 1st quarter. His 2nd TD might have been even more impressive, as he leapt high over a defender for a 14-yard TD grab with 1:31 left in the 1st half to make it 38-10 Tigers. On the play, he made the catch in coverage, and managed to tap one foot in bounds before falling out of bounds.
His record-tying TD was a display of pure speed, as he simply ran by the Nevada cornerback on a go route, and Daniel lofted a perfect ball that Maclin went and got for a 49-yard TD. For the day, Maclin had 239 all-purpose yards, his most since he set an MU single-game all-purpose record with 360 yards at Kansas State in 2007.
Another case in point for Maclin's game changing ability came in the 2008 season opener against 20th-ranked Illinois. In the 2nd quarter, Illinois had just taken a 13-10 lead on a sudden interception return for a TD, and all of a sudden the Illini are fired up and looking to pull the upset. What happens next on the ensuing kickoff? Maclin catches it at the Tiger 1-yardline, speeds up the right seam, using great blocking from upback Earl Goldsmith. He gets to the last line thanks to a clearing block from Goldsmith, fakes right near the MU 40-yardline to get the punter out of the way, cuts back left and he's off to the races untouched for a 99-yard TD to give the lead right back to Mizzou, 17-13. The Tigers never looked back, really, as that began a stretch where MU outscored Illinois 35-7 through late in the 3rd quarter on the way to the 52-42 win.
Additonally, his return score was the 4th of his career (2 kickoffs, 2 punts), and that makes him the MU career record holder for most combined kick return TDs. He entered the 2008 season co-holding the record with John Moseley (2 punt returns, 1 kickoff return), and Mike Fink (3 kickoffs).
Maclin ended the Illinois game with 234 all-purpose yards, in spite of the fact that Illinois was undoubtedly game-planning to keep him under wraps. The Illini did limit his damage on offense, as Maclin was held to 4 catches for 31 yards and 2 yards rushing on 3 attempts, but he made his mark clearly in the return game. In addition to the 99-yarder (his 2nd-career TD which makes him only one of 2 Tigers alltime to have more than 1 kickoff return for a TD - Mike Fink is the other, with 3, all in the 1973 season), Maclin had a punt return of 46 that he was one defender away from breaking the distance as he took it to the Illinois 21-yardline. That return was cashed in on the very next play as Tiger QB Chase Daniel hit WR Tommy Saunders for a 21-yard TD with 2:50 left in the 3rd for a 45-20 Tiger lead.
Maclin would leave the game midway through the 4th quarter with an injured ankle, but both X-rays and later MRI tests proved no serious injuries, other than a strained peroneal ligament in his left ankle. He ended up being 100 percent for the next game against SEMO, and he scored a 3-yard TD on a reception from Chase Daniel in the 1st quarter before leaving the game early, along with the regulars as the Tigers rolled to a big lead early. In his limited time, Maclin had 65 yards of all-purpose work.
Even despite having to leave the Illinois game early, Maclin's efforts were enough to earn him the Big 12 Conference Special Teams Player of the Week - marking the 3rd time in his young career that he's won the award.
In 2007, Maclin would go on to become arguably the nation's most dangerous all-purpose threat, as he was the only player in the FBS classification to score a TD via receiving (9), rushing (4), punt return (2) and kickoff return (1). His 2,776 all-purpose yards broke the NCAA single-season record for freshmen, and ranked as the 5th-highest single-season total in NCAA annals. His season total of 2,776 all-purpose yards smashed the previous MU season record of 1,621 by Devin West (1998), and it ranked Maclin 7th on the school CAREER all-purpose yardage chart.
For his efforts, Maclin was named a consensus 1st-Team All-American as an all-purpose player, becoming the first-ever freshman at Mizzou to earn 1st-Team All-American honors. He became the 9th Tiger to earn consensus 1st-Team All-American accolades, and he shared Big 12 Conference Freshman-of-the-Year honors with Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree.
Maclin's kickoff return for a TD in 2007 - a 99-yarder at Kansas State - was extremely historic, as it was MU's first kickoff return for a TD since 1982. That broke a string of futility for Mizzou that stretched 287 games and 976 kickoff returns without a score! Maclin ended that game with an MU single game record of 360 yards in the 49-32 win in Manhattan, Kan., and he broke the NCAA freshman season all-purpose record on the historic kickoff return.
His 2 punt returns for TDs in 2007 made him only the 4th Tiger in history to record 2 career punt returns for scores. And that's the school career record, meaning that if he breaks one in 2008, he'll hold the record to himself.
When teams geared up to shut down Maclin in 2007, that simply opened up the running lanes for the Tigers, as Mizzou demolished the only 2 foes to hold Maclin to under 100 all-purpose yards. Against #22 Texas Tech, Maclin was held to 66 all-purpose yards, but the Tigers rushed for 212 yards in a 41-10 blowout. Similarly, in the Cotton Bowl against #25 Arkansas, the Razorbacks limited J-Mac to just 63 all-purpose yards, but then TB Tony Temple ran roughshod, going for a Cotton Bowl-record 281 yards and 4 TDs on his own, as the Tigers pounded Arkansas, 38-7.
Here's a look back at Maclin's game-by-game exploits...
MACLIN'S ALL-PURPOSE 2007 GAME-BY-GAME YARDAGE (TDs in parentheses)
OpponentAll-PurposeRushRec.PRKOR
vs. Illinois227 (2)2943 (1)74 (1)81
at Ole Miss18119521496
vs. Western Mich.275 (2)52 (1)96 (1)3196
vs. Illinois State238 (2)2253 (1)81 (1)82
vs. Nebraska1495362826
at Oklahoma189 (2)32 (2)530104
vs. Texas Tech66 (1)264 (1)00
vs. Iowa State170 (1)26 (1)65376
at Colorado187 (1)12108 (1)2344
vs. Texas A&M267 (2)32146 (2)782
at Kansas State360 (3)8143 (2)15194 (1)
vs. Kansas20022694366
vs. Oklahoma2044069392
vs. Arkansas63263250
TOTALS2776 (16)375 (4)1055 (9)307 (2)1039 (1)


MACLIN'S ALL-PURPOSE 2008 GAME-BY-GAME YARDAGE (TDs in parentheses)
OpponentAll-PurposeRushRec.PRKOR
vs. Illinois234 (1)23256145 (1)
vs. SE Missouri St.65 (1)1120 (1)340
vs. Nevada239 (3)5172 (3)2339
vs. Buffalo236 (1)25 (1)1681033
2008 TOTALS774 (6)43 (1)391 (4)123217 (1)
 
CAREER TOTALS3550 (22)418 (5)1446 (13)430 (2)1256 (2)


Coffman wins Mackey weekly award after last outing
For the last 3 years, senior TE Chase Coffman has been one of the nation's top tight ends, yet he was often overshadowed by his own teammate, Martin Rucker, who ended his Tiger career in 2007 earning consensus 1st-Team All-American honors.
Now, with Rucker gone to the NFL (Cleveland Browns 4th-round draft pick), Coffman has his chance to shine as Mizzou's featured tight end. He's done just that in the early going of 2008, as he's twice surpassed the 100-yard receiving mark, with a career-high 127-yard outing (with 1 TD) against Nevada, as well as a 120-yard, 1-TD game in the opener against 20th-ranked Illinois.
Coffman grabbed 10 passes for 84 yards and 1 TD last time out against Buffalo, and for his efforts, was named the John Mackey National Tight End of the Week - marking the 3rd time in his career he's taken home that weekly honor (once each previously in 2006 and 2007).
One of the leading candidates for the Mackey Award, given annually to the nation's top tight end, Coffman enters the Nebraska game with a team-best total of 28 catches and is 2nd with 379 yards, to go with 3 TDs.
In MU's season-opening win over 20th-ranked Illinois, Coffman caught 9 passes for 120 yards and 1 TD - a key 17-yarder he grabbed with just :20 seconds remaining before halftime to give MU a 31-13 lead at half. His 9 catches were tied for most in the Big 12 during the opening week of play. In very limited action vs. SEMO, Coffman caught 3 passes for 48 yards.
In previous seasons, the numbers that Coffman, the son of former NFL tight end Paul Coffman, weren't exactly chopped liver, despite sharing time with Rucker. In 2007, Coffman caught 52 passes for 531 yards and 7 TDs, which by most standards are outstanding for a college tight end. However, those numbers were down slightly from his sophomore season where he grabbed 58 balls for 638 yards and 9 TDs.
Coffman was hampered for the last half of the 2007 season with bone spurs in his ankle that limited his mobility. He had to miss the Big 12 Championship game against Oklahoma, and that undoubtedly played a role in MU's 38-17 loss, as the Tigers uncharacteristically bogged down in the red zone, as they had to kick 3 field goals after reaching inside the Sooner 10-yardline. In MU's regular-season game at Oklahoma (a 41-31 loss in which MU led in the 4th quarter), Coffman proved effective against the Sooners, as he had a career-best 10 catches for 102 yards.
Coffman had off-season surgery to clean up his ankle, and he was 100% this fall until suffering a broken pinky finger on his right hand in two-a-days. After practicing in pain for a couple of days, team trainers and doctors decided to have surgery to get a pin inserted in the finger to accelerate the healing process. Coffman missed less than a week of practice and returned to catching balls last week. He looked like his old self the first day back, as he caught everything in sight.
Coffman, who is a 1st-Team Preseason Playboy All-American pick, is also a preseason candidate for the Mackey Award, given annually to the nation's top tight end. The Peculiar, Mo. native enters the Nebraska game ranked 3rd on the MU career receptions chart, with 185 (needs 19 to break the record of 203 held by Rucker), and is 5th on the career receiving yardage chart, with 2,051 (he's only the 5th Tiger in history to reach the 2,000-yard receiving mark). He already holds the school career record for most career TD receptions, with 23, which he broke with a 3-TD performance at Colorado last season, when he caught 5 passes for 60 yards.


Spoon having an All-American start to the 2008 season
Junior LB Sean Weatherspoon, known henceforth and heretofore as "Spoon" has had quite a start to his 2008 season - especially in terms of big plays. The Jasper, Texas, native is coming off a monster game against Buffalo that saw him record a career-high 20 tackles, including 3 tackles for loss and half-QB sack. He also broke up a pass on the day, and for his efforts, was named the Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career.
One week after he opened the year with a 2-interception game (including one that he ran back 35 yards for a 4th-quarter TD) and was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts against Illinois, Spoon was up to his old tricks again the next time out against Southeast Missouri State.
Against SEMO, Weatherspoon intercepted a pass in the 2nd quarter and returned it untouched, 65 yards for a TD. That left him with the distinction of becoming the first Tiger in history to record INT returns for a touchdown in consecutive games. The MU career record for most INT returns for TDs is co-held by current senior FS William Moore (3 - 1 each in 2005, 2006, 2007) and former great Erik McMillan (3 in 1987).
Through 4 games, Weatherspoon - who had no interceptions in his first two years - ranks 2nd in the Big 12 and is still tied for 5th nationally with his 3 INTs (.75 p/g). Spoon led the defensive effort against SEMO in more ways than one, however, as he tied for the team lead with 7 tackles, including 1.5 TFLs and 1 QB sack, in addition to breaking up a pass in limited action.
He had a 12-tackle outing against Nevada in which the Tiger defense held the Wolf Pack to almost 200 yards below their pre-game average for total offense. Mizzou permitted 362 yards to Nevada, well below their average coming in of 558.50, which ranked them 6th in the NCAA prior to the game.
Spoon was a game-changer in the 4th quarter of MU's 52-42 win over Illinois. In that game, Spoon had 9 tackles on the night, including 1 tackle for loss, but his biggest plays came in the 4th quarter, when he intercepted a pair of Juice Williams passes while the Illini were trying to stage a late rally. His first pick came at the Tiger 26-yardline to snuff out an Illini threat with 10:20 left in the game and MU holding onto a 45-35 lead at the time.
On Illinois' next possession, Spoon made a pair of tackles, including a stop on 3rd down to force a punt, and on the Illini's next drive, he took things into his own hands, literally, when he caught a pass over the middle simultaneously with an Illini player. He ripped the ball out of the opposing player's hands, and went the other way, going 35 yards untouched into the endzone with 3:18 left in the game for a back-breaking TD that made it 52-35.
Weatherspoon's 4th quarter vs. Illinois was amazing, as 7 of his tackles came in the final 15 minutes, in addition to grabbing his 2 interceptions.
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.
Spoon proved adept at getting his hands on the ball, as he broke up 8 passes on the year (2nd-most on the team), and had two more balls which he deflected on pass rushes that were intercepted by FS William Moore - including one which Moore returned 26 yards for a back-breaking TD in the Cotton Bowl against Arkansas.

We cannot tell a lie - Washington leads Big 12 in scoring
The collegiate starting debut of sophomore TB Derrick Washington couldn't have gone much better for the Raymore, Mo., native. Washington made Tiger fans quickly drop their concerns about how Mizzou would replace 2-time 1,000-yard rusher Tony Temple, as he ran for a 7-yard TD on MU's season-opening possession against Illinois to put the Tigers on top, 7-0. He added a 40-yard TD burst in the 2nd quarter that helped the Tigers start to pull away, and he ended the night with 130 yards on 19 carries - good for a salty average of 6.8 yards per try.
His 130 yards stood as the high-water mark in the Big 12 Conference on opening weekend, and after a 67-yard, 2-TD outing against SEMO (on just 8 carries thanks to being pulled early due to MU's huge lead), followed by 80 yards on 8 carries against Nevada (again being pulled early) and an 89-yard, 2-TD day against Buffalo, Washington ranks 3rd in the Big 12 in rushing, at 90.25 yards per game.
Last time out against Buffalo, Washington got the scoring started when he took a direct snap and scored from 7 yards out on MU's game-opening drive to make it 7-0 Tigers. Interestingly enough, Washington has scored the first points of every game thus far in 2008, as he opened scoring with TD runs against Illinois (7 yards), SEMO (5 yards), Nevada (59 yards) and Buffalo (7 yards). He's also scored 2 rushing TDs in every game thus far, and added a third, of the receiving variety, against SEMO.
His 9 TDs scored is a Big 12 best, and he enters the Nebraska game ranked 1st in the league and tied for 2nd in the NCAA, with a scoring average of 13.50 points per game thus far.
Against Nevada, Washington opened scoring with a 59-yard burst on the first possession of the game to put MU up, 7-0 with 13:49 left in the 1st quarter. He later scored on a 2-yard run late in the 2nd quarter to mark his 3rd-straight multiple-TD game.
Against SEMO, D-Wash scored on a pair of 5-yard runs, and he also showed his versatility that has Tiger coaches so excited about his future, as he caught a 28-yard pass from QB Chase Daniel in the 1st quarter that made it 21-0.
Washington, who was used sparingly as a 3rd-down back mostly as a true freshman in 2007, showed against Illinois that he's got an effective combination of speed, strength and moves, as he was seen alternating between getting tough yards inside, making people miss, running out of attempted tackles, and getting around the edge for big gains. He added a run of 28 yards to his 40-yard TD earlier in the game.
Washington played in 12 games for Mizzou in 2007 and ran for 184 yards on 36 attempts while scoring 1 TD rushing. He also caught 10 passes for 70 yards in 2007 with 1 TD.


Wolfert looks to continue perfection in Big 12 play
One of the great "feel-good" stories in college football over the last 2+ years has to be that of senior PK Jeff Wolfert, who came from virtually nowhere to become one of the most reliable kickers in the nation. What's so amazing about his story is that he won the MU starting kicking job in fall camp of 2006 after kicking in just 1 game in his entire life (in high school, at that). If you haven't heard the story, please find it below.
The term "automatic" can be a tad overused from us PR hacks, but that's exactly what Wolfert has been in Big 12 Conference play over the last 2 seasons. He's never missed a kick of any kind in Big 12 games the last 2 years, going a perfect 90-of-90 combined overall, and that breaks down to 26-of-26 on FGs and 64-of-64 on PATs. The FGs haven't just been all chip shots either, as he nailed a 54-yarder at Nebraska in 2006 that stands as the MU record for longest field goal away from Columbia.
Wolfert made 4 PATs and field goals of 26 and 48 yards last time out against Buffalo. He was called on to kick a 53-yarder late in the game against the Bulls, and with a tough cross-wind to navigate, his kick had plenty of leg, but veered just wide left at the end.
The rare miss by Wolfert broke a string of 97 consecutive combined made kicks, as he had made all 33 of his kicks to that point in 2008 (27 PATs, 6 FGs) to go with his last 64 kicks of 2007 (48 PATs, 16 FGs) since his previous miss - a 3rd-quarter missed FG in game #4 in 2007 against Illinois State.
Earlier this season, Wolfert set an MU record with 9 PATs against Nevada. He also connected on both of his FG tries (27, 24) to go a perfect 11-of-11 on the day, in addition to handling kickoff duties (2 touchbacks, opponent return average of just 19.5 yds. on 11 kickoffs). For his efforts, Wolfert was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week. It's the 2nd time he's won the award, as he claimed the award in 2007 after a big performance against Kansas.
Wolfert has put up incredible numbers over the last two+ years, as he's made 184-of-191 (96.3%) combined kicks in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Those numbers break out to 45-of-52 (86.5%) on FGs and a perfect 140-of-140 on PATs. He's already broken numerous school kicking and scoring records, and with 274 career points entering the Nebraska game, he needs just 11 more to break Brad Smith's MU career scoring record of 284 (2002-05).
Wolfert began his senior season with a bang, as he connected on all 7 of his extra points and on his only FG try - a 51-yarder against Illinois that would have been good from several yards farther away. His FG gave the Tigers a 10-6 2nd-quarter lead, and it made him only the 3rd kicker in Mizzou history to make more than one 50-yarder in his career (Tom Whelihan had 5 in 1985-86 and Jeff Jacke had 4 from 1988-92).
For his efforts a year ago, Wolfert was named an honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated, and he took home 1st-Team All-Big 12 honors in virtual unanimous fashion. Wolfert led MU with a single-season record 130 points, while making 21-of-25 FGs and 67-of-67 PATs.
Two of the bigger kicks he made in his career came in the epic border showdown against rival Kansas. With MU clinging to a dwindling 4th-quarter lead, Wolfert calmly made a pair of 43 yarders in frigid wintry conditions to help the Tigers hold on for a 36-28 win that catapulted them to #1 in the Associated Press and the BCS polls.
As for his backstory: Wolfert originally came to Mizzou as a diver on the men's swimming and diving team, but the former high school kicker gave up diving into water for jumping into the fire of placekicking. Wolfert was a soccer player in high school, and wanted to give kicking a try as a senior. He kicked two extra points in his first game that year, but then missed the rest of the year after breaking his hip on a kickoff in that same game.
After the injury, Wolfert decided to focus on diving collegiately, and he was a standout freshman diver on the Mizzou men's swimming and diving team during the 2004-05 school year. He produced a top-five performance on the platform and top-10 finishes on the 1 and 3-meter boards at the 2005 NCAA Zone Diving Championships. He also finished 4th in the 1-meter board, 5th on the 3-meter board and 6th on the platform at the Big 12 Championships.
But his dreams to kick a football never died, and he gave up his Mizzou swimming scholarship money and joined the football team as a walk-on for the 2005 season. He did not play in 2005, and figured that he would give kicking one more try in 2006, and if it didn't pan out, he'd return to the sport of diving, where a scholarship was waiting for him.
All of a sudden, that fall, Wolfert was very consistent kicking in scrimmages, and was named the starting placekicker for the season opener - despite his lack of experience, and the fact that the man who set the MU single-season kick scoring record of 81 points returned as a junior in 2006 (Adam Crossett).
The rest was history, and yes, he was awarded a football scholarship after the end of the 2006 season.

Pinkel stands 3rd on alltime MU coaching wins list
Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel is in his 8th season at MU and touts a career record of 126-74-3 (62.8%). The Illinois game was the 200th in Pinkel's head coaching career.
Pinkel, who has led MU to a combined record of 44-23 (65.7%) over the past 5 seasons, and to bowl games in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007, has an 8-year record in Columbia of 53-37 (58.9%). Dating back to the 2005 Independence Bowl win over Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, Pinkel has won 25 of his last 32 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 53.
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.
Here's a quick look at the top winning coaches in MU history...
MIZZOU COACHING WINS LEADERS

CoachWins# Seasons (Years)RecordPct.# Bowls
Don Faurot10119 (1935-42, 46-56)101-79-10.5584
Dan Devine9313 (1958-70)93-37-7.7046
Gary Pinkel538 (2001-Present)53-37.5894
Warren Powers467 (1978-84)46-33-3.5805

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 4 bowl games, and if his Tigers reach a 5th in 2008, he will join Devine (6 bowls), and Powers (5 bowls) as the only coaches to guide MU to 5 bowl games. After beating Nebraska in 2007 (41-6) for the 3rd time in 5 years, Pinkel became the first MU coach since Onofrio to defeat NU three times.
Pinkel has guided Mizzou to 4 winning seasons (8-5 in 2003, 7-5 in 2005, 8-5 in 2006, 12-2 in 2007), with those representing 4 of MU's 6 winning campaigns dating back to the 1983 season.