Tigers Staying Put in October

Oct. 1, 2012

Vanderbilt Commodores (1-3, 0-2) at Missouri Tigers (3-2, 0-2)

KICKOFF: 6:00 p.m. CDT.

STADIUM: Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field (71,004 - FieldTurf surface). Opened in 1926. MU is 263-169-20 there alltime and has won 36 of its last 43 overall and is 46-12 there since 2003 (2-1 in 2012).

RADIO: Tiger Network. Mike Kelly (play-by-play), Howard Richards (color), Chris Gervino (sidelines), Scotty Cox (producer), Matt Winegardner (director). Carried on over 50 stations across the Midwest, and on the Internet at mutigers.tv.
   The game will also be available on satellite radio (Sirius 93 & XM 200).

TV: FOX Sports Net. Bob Rathbun (play-by-play), Tim Couch (analyst), Elizabeth Moreau (sideline reporter), Jay Hoover (producer).

   MU - None.
   VU - None.

SERIES: MU leads, 2-1-1, but last meeting was in 1958, which was Dan Devine's first season as Tiger Head Coach.

   MU: Gary Pinkel (Kent, '75), 88-56 at MU (12th year) and 161-93-3 overall (22nd year). Pinkel is 0-0 vs. Vanderbilt and James Franklin.
   VU: James Franklin (East Stroudsburg, '95), 7-10 at Vandy (2nd year) and overall. Franklin is 0-0 vs. Mizzou and Gary Pinkel.

Vanderbilt Tickets Still Available

   The Missouri Tigers (3-2 overall, 0-2 in Southeastern Conference play) return home to begin an entire month in the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field. You won't see Mizzou leave the state of Missouri until the calendar flips to November, as the Tigers have home games this month against Vanderbilt (Oct. 6), Alabama (Oct. 13) and Kentucky (Oct. 27), sandwiched around a bye week (Oct. 20).
   The first home test comes this Saturday, when Mizzou plays host to the Vanderbilt Commodores (1-3, 0-2), in a game scheduled to kick at 6 p.m. (central time). The game will be televised on FOX Sports Network.
   Mizzou is coming off a hard-earned 21-16 road win at Central Florida last Saturday. In sweltering heat and humidity, the Tigers dug deep and won the second half, turning a 10-7 halftime deficit into a 21-10 lead midway through the 4th quarter, thanks to a 3rd-quarter punt return score (66 yards by Marcus Murphy) an improved run game (101 2nd-half rush yards by TB Kendial Lawrence) and a stingy defense (15 rush yards allowed in 2nd half).
   Vanderbilt is coming off a bye week following a 48-3 loss at Georgia on Sept. 22nd. The Commodores opened their season with a tough 17-13 home loss to South Carolina, and dropped to 0-2 the next week after a 23-13 defeat at Northwestern. Vandy improved to 1-2 on Sept. 15th with a 58-0 whitewash of Presbyterian in week three.
   This will mark the second of three straight weeks where Mizzou faces an opponent coming off of a bye week. Last Saturday, the Tigers won at Central Florida (21-16), even though the Knights had a full week of rest. Vanderbilt comes into Columbia this week off of a bye week, and next week the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (who are off this week) will roll into mid-Missouri off of a bye.

   Marcus Murphy returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown and James Franklin added an 80-yard touchdown pass to freshman WR Dorial Green-Beckham as Missouri ground out a 21-16 win over Central Florida in Orlando on Saturday.
   Mizzou TB Kendial Lawrence ran for 104 yards (with 101 of them coming in the second half), and scored from 10 yards out with 9:31 left in the game to give the Tigers their first bit of breathing room, with a 21-10 lead. The Knights got back in the game with their own score with 4:34 remaining, but the ensuing two-point conversion pass was knocked away by Tiger CB Kip Edwards to leave it at 21-16.
   Mizzou was unable to kill the clock, but following a Tigers punt, Knights receiver Jeff Godfrey's fumble with 2:26 left allowed Missouri (3-2) to hang on. The turnover, which extended Mizzou's active streak to 23 games with a takeaway, was caused on a hit by junior CB E.J. Gaines, and recovered by junior DT Sheldon Richardson. It was a fitting end to big days by both star defenders, as Gaines led all players with a career-high 13 tackles, including 2.0 tackles for loss, and one pass break up to go with the forced fumble. Richardson added nine tackles, and added 2.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack and two quarterback hurries to go with his recovered fumble.
   UCF (2-2) controlled the first half, using a ball control offense which ran for 113 yards in the opening 30 minutes, against a Tiger defense which came into the game allowing only 107.00 yards per game. Despite holding a massive edge in time of possession in the first half (21:59-to-8:01), the Knights could only take a slim 10-7 lead into the lockerroom at halftime.
   A 42-yard UCF field goal by Shawn Moffitt with 3:28 to play in the first quarter gave the Knights a 3-0 lead, and it marked the first points scored against Mizzou's defense in the first quarter in 2012.
   Missouri had several promising drives stall early before getting on the board via an 80-yard touchdown strike from Franklin to Dorial Green-Beckham. That gave the Tigers a 7-3 lead in the opening minutes of the second quarter.
   UCF defensive back A.J. Bouye briefly had Green-Beckham locked up by the legs near the 50 before slipping to the turf. Green-Beckham then sprinted untouched into the end zone. The play, the Tigers' longest from scrimmage this season, also was a career-best for Franklin.
   The Knights responded on the ensuing drive, with Blake Bortles using a 41-yard pass to Rob Calabrese to set up an 11-yard touchdown pass to Quincy McDuffie.
   Following a series of punts, UCF got hot again and drove the ball from its own 12 all the way inside the Tigers' 10 with less than 2 minutes to play in the half.
   A pass interference call on Missouri gave the Knights first-and-goal on the 3. But after a stuffed run and incomplete pass, the opportunity was squandered as Tiger DE Michael Sam sacked Bortles on the 8-yardline, and time expired before the Knights could run out their field goal team.
   Franklin bounced back from a rough outing the previous week at South Carolina, and put together his best game of 2012, going 19-for-30 for 257 yards and the one TD.
   Prior to Murphy's punt return, the Knights looked to be taking control of the game, leading 10-7 and coming off an interception and fourth sack of Franklin early in the third quarter.
   The Tigers were successful at times with their hurry-up offense, but UCF's defense also helped keep Franklin off balance, sacking him three times in the opening 30 minutes.
   Mizzou's defense made adjustments in the second half, and held the Knights to just 15 rushing yards after intermission. At the same time, the Tiger offense used its own ground attack after halftime, with Lawrence getting the bulk of the work, as he carried 18 times in the second half for 101 yards and a touchdown.

   Mizzou has enjoyed quite a home field advantage at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium (nicknamed "The Zou"), as the Tigers stand 51-19 overall at home (72.9%) in Head Coach Gary Pinkel's tenure (2001-present).
   Here are a few more facts related to Mizzou playing at home:

  • From 2006-present, Mizzou has gone 33-7 at home, for a winning percentage of 82.5%...
  • From 2006-present, Mizzou has gone 16-7 at home in conference games, for a winning percentage of 69.5%...
  • Six of those 7 home losses since 2006 came at the hands of ranked opponents. The only time a non-ranked foe came away victorious at Faurot during that stretch was Baylor in 2009 (40-32).

   Junior CB E.J. Gaines is following up his 1st-Team All-Big 12 season of a year ago in fine fashion. He's coming off a huge effort last Saturday in Mizzou's gutsy 21-16 win at Central Florida.
   Gaines was all over the field in Saturday's win, as he registered a career-best 13 tackles (plus 1 PBU, 2.0 TFLs and 1 forced fumble). Gaines had an impactful 4th quarter, as he had 2 tackles for loss on consecutive plays to force a UCF punt with MU clinging to a 14-10 lead. He later forced a fumble near midfield with 2:29 left in the game that was recovered by Mizzou to effectively end the game and protect MU's 5-point lead.
   Gaines now has 5.0 TFLs on the season, and that is most in the SEC among cornerbacks. He ranks 3rd on the Tiger squad with his 31 tackles so far, and his 5 passes defended is most on the team, and ranks him 7th in the SEC.

   Sophomore scatback Marcus Murphy has established himself as one of the most dangerous punt returners in the nation, and it's been a welcome sign for the DeSoto, Texas native, after he missed the entire 2011 season due to a shoulder injury. On Monday, Murphy was named the SEC co-special teams player of the week.
   Murphy broke off a 66-yard punt return for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter of Mizzou's 21-16 win at Central Florida on Saturday. It was a huge momentum play which turned a 10-7 Tiger deficit into a 14-10 Mizzou lead with 7:04 left in the 3rd quarter.
   It marked the 3rd punt return for a TD on the year by Murphy, giving him sole possession of the MU single-season punt return TD record (he had punt return TDs of 72 and 70 yards earlier vs. SELA). He is now also tied for the MU career punt return TD record of 3, shared with former All-American All-Purpose player Jeremy Maclin.
   Murphy ended the UCF game with 3 punt returns for 70 yards and the score, plus he returned one kickoff 33 yards. He currently ranks 1st in the SEC and is 7th in the NCAA with his punt return average of 20.07 yards, and his 3 punt return TDs is most in the nation.
   The only other player nationally to have more than one punt return score through games of Sept. 29th is Rashad Greene of Florida State, who has 2.

   Senior TB Kendial Lawrence had quite a second half, and his production after intermission was a huge key to Mizzou's 21-16 win last Saturday at Central Florida. The Tigers fell behind 10-7 at halftime, and Lawrence was held to a single rush for 3 yards (on MU's 2nd snap of the game), and a 14-yard reception on MU's second series.
   Tiger coaches made a concerted effort to get the playmaker more involved in the second half, and the strategy paid dividends, as Lawrence accounted for 137 yards from scrimmage after halftime, including 101 rushing yards on 18 carries. He finished the game with 104 rushing yards on 19 attempts, for a solid average of 5.5 yards a rush. He had a nifty 33-yarder in the 4th quarter which took the ball to the UCF 10-yardline, and on the next play, he scampered around the right edge for a 10-yard TD with 9:31 left in the game to give MU some breathing room, at 21-10.
   The 19 rushing attempts represented a career high for the Rockwall, Texas native. He also established career highs in receptions (4) and receiving yards (50), as QB James Franklin used Lawrence effectively as a safety outlet out of the backfield.
   The 100-yard rushing game was the 2nd of the season for Lawrence, who opened the 2012 campaign with a career-high 121-yard, 2-TD outing against Southeastern Louisiana. He's got 4 100-yard rushing games to his credit, with all four coming in his last 9 games overall.
   Lawrence ranks 10th in the SEC so far with his per-game rushing average of 79.00 yards per outing. He's got 5 of Mizzou's 7 rushing TDs so far on the 2012 season.

   Junior QB James Franklin stepped up and accepted the blame following Mizzou's disappointing 31-10 loss at South Carolina two Saturdays ago, as Franklin said that he wasn't himself and felt tentative facing Carolina's rugged defense.
   He was determined to put that behind him and come out looking like the old James Franklin against Central Florida, and he responded in fine fashion, as he had a season-best passing performance in Mizzou's 21-16 road win.
   Franklin had a solid day as he completed 19-of-30 passes for 257 yards and 1 TD (with 1 INT), helping the cause at always-tough Central Florida. His completion percentage of 63.3% was a season-best, as was his QB rating of 139.63.
   Franklin's big play came on an 80-yard TD hookup with freshman WR Dorial Green-Beckham early in the 2nd quarter which gave Mizzou a 7-3 lead. That represented a career-long pass for Franklin.
   He was held to negative 18 yards rushing thanks to being sacked 5 times for 28 yards in all. His non-sack rushing totals were 4 carries for 10 yards.

   Junior defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson continued his all-star caliber play in Saturday's win at UCF. Richardson was again a high-impact performer, as he contributed with 9 tackles, 2.0 TFLs, 1.0 QB sack, and 2 QB hurries. Additionally, he pounced on the game-saving fumble with 2:29 to play in the game near midfield, which gave Mizzou possession while holding onto its 21-16 lead.
   With 33 tackles through 5 games, Richardson is amazingly Mizzou's 2nd-leading tackler, despite being a defensive tackle. He also ranks 1st in the SEC among defensive linemen, and his per-game tackles average of 6.60 ranks him 24th in the SEC among all players, and 2nd among defensive linemen (Damontre Moore of Texas A&M has 6.75 per game in 4 games).
   In his last 3 games, Richardson has amassed 25 tackles, 2.0 QB sacks, 4.0 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble and 1 recovered fumble.

   With a massive amount of pressure and outside expectations squarely on his shoulders, true freshman WR Dorial Green-Beckham - regarded by many as the nation's top-rated high school recruit in the class of 2012 when he signed with Mizzou - has been doing a great job of showing patience while learning the system. More and more, Tiger coaches have worked to get him more involved in the game plan each week, and last Saturday at Central Florida, he struck gold.
   Green-Beckham got his much-anticipated first collegiate score when he took a deep slant on a skinny post route, broke an attempted tackle, and sped the rest of the way for an 80-yard touchdown from QB James Franklin in the 2nd quarter to give Mizzou a 7-3 lead at the time. It was Green-Beckham's first career score, and it was the longest score on an offensive play by a Tiger freshman since 2007, when Jeremy Maclin scored on an 82-yard TD pass against Texas A&M.
   The score was the longest by Mizzou since 2009, when Blaine Gabbert connected with WR Danario Alexander on an 84-yard touchdown pass.
   Green-Beckham now has 7 catches on the season for 128 yards and 1 TD. His per-catch average of 18.3 is 3rd-best on the team to this point.

1. Mizzou 9

Louisiana Tech 9
3. Middle Tenn. St. 8

Ohio 8
5. Five with 7

   Defensive coaches preach takeaways at all levels of the game of football. Mizzou's coaches have gotten their message through to the Mizzou defense of late, as the Tigers carry an active streak of 23 games having gained a takeaway into Saturday's game with Vanderbilt. The last time Mizzou's defense didn't come up with a turnover was Oct. 30, 2010 at Nebraska (a 31-17 loss).
   The streak came oh-so-close to ending last Saturday at Central Florida, but just like that, with only 2:29 remaining in the game, junior CB E.J. Gaines popped the ball loose from a UCF receiver after a short catch, and junior DT Sheldon Richardson gladly pounced on the fumble to effectively end the game.
   Missouri looked like a new team in the second half in all three phases of the game. The Tigers allowed 21 first half first downs to the Knights, but relinquished just one in the third quarter to regain the lead. For the second half UCF managed to move the chains just six times. The Knights ran for just 15 yards in the 2nd half, after gaining 113 yards on the ground in the opening half.
   Mizzou's defenders are doing something right in terms of getting the ball out. Their 9 forced fumbles so far this season is tied for most in the nation. Here's a look:

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 88 11 (2001-Present) 88-56 .611 8
Warren Powers 46 7 (1978-84) 46-33-3 .580 5

   Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel is in his 12th season at MU (22nd overall as a head coach) and touts a career record of 161-93-3 (63.2%).
   Pinkel, who has led MU to a combined record of 66-31 (68.0%) over the past 7+ seasons, and to bowl games in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, has a 12-year record in Columbia of 88-56 (61.1%). Dating back to the 2005 Independence Bowl win over Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, Pinkel has gone 60-26 in his last 86 games overall (69.8%). 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 88. The win over Kansas in 2010 was the 150th of his career.
   Pinkel is in a select group of Mizzou coaches that includes College Football Hall of Famers Don Faurot and Dan Devine, as well as Warren Powers, to be the only coaches to have an MU record of above .500 (with at least one full season coached) dating all the way back to 1935.
   In 2007, Pinkel guided the Tigers from unranked in the pre-season to a team which won a school-record 12 games and a final ranking of #4 in the Associated Press Top-25. Mizzou ascended to #1 in the BCS rankings following the regular season, and stood just one half away from playing in the BCS National Championship Game (before Oklahoma pulled away from a halftime tie to win the Big 12 title game). For his efforts in 2007, Pinkel was a finalist for several national coach of the year awards, including the Robinson, Bryant and Munger awards. He was also named the National Coach of the Year by FieldTurf in 2007, and his 7 bowl games is an MU record.
   Pinkel has directed Mizzou to 8 winning seasons (8-5 in 2003, 7-5 in 2005, 8-5 in 2006, 12-2 in 2007, 10-4 in 2008, 8-5 in 2009, 10-3 in 2010 and 8-5 in 2011), with those representing 8 of MU's 10 winning campaigns dating back to the 1983 season.
   The Big 12 North Division titles won by Mizzou in 2007, 2008 and 2010 represent the only football conference titles of any kind Mizzou has won since 1969 - the last time it claimed a share of the old Big Eight Conference crown. In April of 2011, Pinkel agreed to a two-year contract extension, meaning he'll patrol the Tiger sidelines through the 2017 season.



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