Tigers Wrap Up Homestand with Homecoming

Oct. 22, 2012

Kentucky Wildcats (1-7, 0-5) at Missouri Tigers (3-4, 0-4)

KICKOFF: 11:01 a.m. CDT.

STADIUM: Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field (71,004 - FieldTurf surface). Opened in 1926. MU is 263-171-20 there alltime and has won 36 of its last 45 overall and is 46-14 there since 2003 (2-3 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 113 & XM 200).

TV: ESPNU. Tom Hart (play-by-play), John Congemi (analyst), John Kettering (Producer).

   MU - None.
   UK - None.

SERIES: Kentucky leads, 2-0, winning a pair of games in the 1960s, by scores of 7-0 (1965 in Columbia) and 12-6 (1968 in Lexington).

   MU: Gary Pinkel (Kent State, '75), 88-58 at MU (12th year) and 161-95-3 overall (22nd year). Pinkel is 0-0 vs. Kentucky and Joker Phillips.
   UK: Joker Phillips (Kentucky, '86), 12-21 at UK and overall (3rd year). Phillips is 0-0 vs. Mizzou and Gary Pinkel.

   It's Homecoming at Ol' Mizzou this weekend, and the Missouri Tiger football team (3-4 overall, 0-4 in SEC action) looks to get back in the winner's circle as they play host to the Kentucky Wildcats (1-7, 0-5) at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field. Kickoff for the nationally-televised game (ESPNU) is set for 11 a.m. A limited number of tickets do remain available for the game.
   Mizzou is coming off of a bye week, which followed a very rugged schedule during the first part of the season, with games against top-10 teams Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. The Tigers are looking to break a two-game losing streak, having dropped their last two outings at home to Vanderbilt (19-15 on Oct. 6) and at home to #1 Alabama (42-10 on Oct. 13). A win would even Mizzou's home record at 3-3 on the season, and would give the Tigers their first-ever SEC win as a member of the league.
   Kentucky enters Saturday's game also looking to turn the tide on what has been a tough season to date. The Wildcats have dropped six consecutive games coming into Saturday's contest, but three of the losses in that stretch were very competitive games, including a tight loss at home last weekend to Georgia (L, 29-24). Kentucky also lost a competitive game at home to Mississippi State (L, 27-14 on Oct. 6) and they dropped an overtime heartbreaker on Sept. 15th to Western Kentucky (L, 32-31).

   Legend says that the Homecoming tradition got its start at the University of Missouri in 1911, thanks to the vision and efforts of Chester L. Brewer, MU's Director of Athletics at the time. Although Illinois staged a similar celebration in 1910, Missouri claims its 1911 effort as the first formal Homecoming celebration surrounding a football game.
   That year, the Missouri-Kansas game was to be played on a college campus for the first time ever. Previously, the game had been played in either Kansas City or St. Joseph, and Missouri trailed in the series by a 12-5-3 count at the time.
   Brewer wanted to add some spice to the season-ending game in Columbia, so he issued a plea to Mizzou alumni and especially to former Tiger football players to "Come Home" for the game. They did just that, with a record crowd of 9,000 overflowing old Rollins Field.
   With four minutes to play, and MU trailing by three, Tiger captain Glen Shuck booted a tying field goal from a difficult angle. Then, little Billy Blees caught a rampaging KU fullback in the open field in the final seconds to preserve the tie, and was carried off the field a hero.
   Hence, "Homecoming" was born. MU has a 58-37-5 record in Homecoming games over the years. Not surprisingly, rival Kansas has been its most common opponent for the game - with MU holding an 18-7-2 edge in 27 such meetings - although the two did not meet on Homecoming from 1960 until 2000 in Columbia.
   Mizzou has won 8 of its last 10 Homecoming games, including a landmark 36-27 win over BCS #1-ranked Oklahoma in 2010 (36-27). Mizzou's last loss on Homecoming was a 41-7 defeat at the hands of the #3-ranked Texas Longhorns.
   In last season's 100th Homecoming contest, the Tigers claimed a 52-17 win over Iowa State (an eventual bowl team), as QB James Franklin accounted for 5 touchdowns (3 passing/2 rushing), while Henry Josey had 129 rushing yards and a touchdown. The Tigers got out to a 21-3 first-quarter lead and never looked back.
   Mizzou's eight Homecoming wins under Head Coach Gary Pinkel have come by an average score of 26.4 points per game. Those final scores include wins over: Kansas in 2002 (W, 36-12), Texas Tech in 2003 (W, 62-31) and 2007 (W, 41-10), Iowa State in 2005 (W, 27-24 in OT) and 2011 (W, 52-17), Kansas State in 2006 (W, 41-21), Colorado in 2008 (W, 58-0) and Oklahoma in 2010 (W, 36-27).
   For a full schedule of 2012 Homecoming events, please visit www.mizzou.com.

   This year's Homecoming Grand Marshal is "Mr. Mizzou" John Kadlec, who has been associated with Mizzou Athletics for the majority of the last 60-plus years. He came to Mizzou to play football for Hall of Fame Coach Don Faurot in 1947, and after his playing days, he stayed on to serve as a graduate assistant for Faurot, coaching the freshman team until 1954, when he moved up to varsity, where he served through 1959. After a stint at Kansas State from 1960-66, Kadlec returned to Mizzou to serve on the staffs of Dan Devine and Al Onofrio, coaching from 1966-77 on the Tiger sideline.
   After his coaching days ended, Kadlec returned to Kansas State as Director of Development, before returning to Mizzou in 1986 as Director of the Tiger Scholarship Fund, and he's been a fixture in Columbia ever since in numerous roles most closely associated with fundraising. For 16 seasons (1995-2010), Kadlec also served as the color analyst for football broadcasts on the Tiger Radio Network.
   Kadlec was a 1996 inductee into the MU Athletics Hall of Fame, and in 2005, the grass practice fields behind the Mizzou Athletic Training Complex were named in his honor. He still works to help assist Tiger Athletics, serving as special assistant to the Athletic Director.

   Mizzou enters the final stretch of the 2012 season with a 3-4 overall record. If that sounds familiar, there's a reason, because just a year ago, the Tigers stood 3-4 overall after losing a home game to #6 Oklahoma State (45-24) on Oct. 22nd. With the season in the balance, the 2011 squad dug in and went on to finish with wins in 4 of their final 5 regular season games to finish the regular season at 7-5, including wins at 16th-ranked Texas A&M (W, 38-31 in OT), home wins over 21st-ranked Texas (W, 17-5) and Texas Tech (W, 31-27) while ending the regular season with a win in Kansas City over Kansas (W, 24-10). The only loss in that stretch was a 42-39 nailbiter at Baylor.
   The Tigers then extended their overall win streak to 4 to close the season, and make it 5 wins in their last 6 games overall, with a commanding 41-24 Independence Bowl win over North Carolina to end the year 8-5 overall.
Three of those final five regular season games a year ago were away from home (at A&M, at Baylor, neutral vs. Kansas), and in 2012 the Tigers will face similar circumstances, with two home games (Kentucky, Syracuse) and three road games (Florida, Tennessee, Texas A&M) coming down the pike.

Marcus Murphy, Mizzou 4 3 1
Bernard Reedy, Toledo 3 1 2
Dri Archer, Kent State 3 0 3
Chase Clayton, New Mexico 2 0 2
Mike Edwards, Hawai'i 2 0 2
Tyler Ervin, San Jose State 2 0 2
Venric Mark, Northwestern 2 2 0
Rashad Greene, Florida State 2 2 0

   Sophomore TB and return man extraordinaire Marcus Murphy has made quite a name for himself nationally through 7 games in 2012. He enters Saturday's game against Kentucky with a nation-best 4 special teams returns for touchdowns, including a nation-leading 3 punt returns for scores and 1 kickoff return for a TD. The only other player in the NCAA with a touchdown in both categories is Bernard Reedy of Toledo, who has 2 kickoff return TDs, to go with 1 punt return score.
   Murphy electrified top-ranked Alabama in MU's last outing, when he took a kickoff back 98 yards for a touchdown in the 2nd quarter which pulled the Tigers to within 28-7 with 8:24 left in the half. It was MU's 1st kickoff return for a score since Gahn McGaffie went 86 yards on the opening kick in 2010 vs. Oklahoma, and it marked the longest kickoff return at Mizzou since 2008, when former All-American Jeremy Maclin went 99 yards for a score against Illinois.
   Additionally, it marked the longest kickoff return for a TD by a Tiger in Columbia since 1969, when former great Jon Staggers went 99 yards for a score against Kansas State...
   Just last week, several national outlets released their midseason All-America teams, and Murphy was prominently featured on as many as three of them: CNNSI.com, Sporting News and ESPN.com. Murphy enters Saturday's game ranked 3rd in the NCAA (1st in the SEC) with his punt return average of 18.88. His kickoff return average of 33.17 would be ranked as 4th nationally (2nd in the SEC), but he doesn't have enough kickoff returns to qualify for the leaders list (he has 6 in 7 games, and the minimum to qualify is an average of 1.2 per game played).
   Murphy's 4 combined return TDs is most in the nation, and he's one of only 8 players who enter this weekend with multiple return TDs on the year. Here's a look:

(UK Leads, 2-0)
1965 L, 7-0 at Columbia
1968 L, 12-6 at Lexington

   Mizzou and Kentucky will meet for only the third time on the gridiron when they square off this Saturday in Columbia, Mo. for the Tigers' 2012 Homecoming game.
   The Wildcats have won both previous meetings, which both came back in the 1960s, when Hall of Fame Coach Dan Devine patrolled the sidelines for Mizzou.
   Kentucky won both games in low-scoring affairs, claiming a 7-0 shutout win in their only previous appearance in Columbia, in 1965. Three seasons later, Mizzou returned the game in Lexington, Ky., but the Wildcats came away as 12-6 winners there, as well.
   In 1965, Mizzou opened its season by hosting Kentucky, but the Tigers came away with a 7-0 loss, thanks in large part to 3 interceptions that the Wildcats snagged on the day. As the score would indicate, defense was the name of the day, as MU had 236 yards of total offense, while Kentucky had 234. The only score of the day was a 36-yard TD pass by Kentucky in the 2nd quarter. Those 3 interceptions thrown by Mizzou were half of the 6 INTs that Mizzou threw all season long, as the Tigers would go on to a final record of 8-2-1, as the team reached the 1966 Sugar Bowl and claimed a 20-18 win over Florida and their star QB Steve Spurrier.
   In 1968, the game also served as the season opener for both teams, with the Wildcats claiming a 12-6 victory in Lexington. Mizzou outgained UK in total offense on the day by a 318-to-254 margin, but the Wildcats broke a 6-6 tie in the 4th quarter on a 28-yard touchdown run with just 4:30 left in the game.

   If recent history is any indicator, then the Mizzou Tigers hope history repeats itself this Saturday. Of late, Mizzou has proven very resilient, and shown a key ability to avoid losing streaks. The Tigers have won 7 out of the last 9 times (dating back to the 2010 season) following a defeat.
   That ability to get quickly back in the winners circle played a huge role in Mizzou's 8-5 season a year ago, as the Tigers rebounded to post wins four times after suffering a defeat. The only time they fell in 2011 on consecutive weeks was in two straight road games at #1 Oklahoma (38-28) and at #20 Kansas State (24-17).

1. Mizzou 12
Boise State 12
Louisiana Tech 12
Fresno State 12
San Jose State 12
Utah 12
7. 4 Tied With 11

   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 25 games having gained a takeaway into Saturday's game with Kentucky. The last time Mizzou's defense didn't come up with a turnover was Oct. 30, 2010 at Nebraska (a 31-17 loss).
   Even though the final score of MU's last outing didn't go the Tigers' way, Mizzou's defense still created takeaways in its 42-10 loss to #1 Alabama. The Tiger defense forced a pair of Crimson Tide fumbles, which were both forced by DE Michael Sam, with LB Zaviar Gooden pouncing on one, and DE Shane Ray snagging the other. The first was recovered by Gooden at the Mizzou 12-yardline to thwart a potential Tide score, while the second one came on a hit by Sam of Tide QB A.J. McCarron, with Ray recovering at the Alabama 48-yardline.
   Mizzou managed one takeaway against Vanderbilt, courtesy of a Kip Edwards interception in the the 3rd quarter (his team-leading 2nd of the season, 5th career). The turnover streak came oh-so-close to ending the previous 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.
   Mizzou's defenders are doing something right in terms of getting the ball out. Their 12 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) 88-58 .603 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 161-95-3 (62.7%).
   Pinkel, who has led MU to a combined record of 66-33 (66.7%) 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 88-58 (60.3%). Dating back to the 2005 Independence Bowl win over Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, Pinkel has gone 60-28 in his last 87 games overall (68.2%). 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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