MUTIGERS.com
Tigers Look for Bounce-back Effort at Texas Tech

MUTIGERS.COM
Blaine Gabbert

MUTIGERS.COM
Blaine Gabbert
MUTIGERS.COM

Nov. 1, 2010

#12/#14/#14 Missouri Tigers (7-1, 3-1)
at Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-4, 2-4)

GAME CENTRAL:

KICKOFF: 7:00 p.m. CT.

STADIUM: Jones AT&T Stadium (60,000 - FieldTurf surface).

RADIO: Tiger Network. Mike Kelly (play-by-play), John Kadlec (color), Chris Gervino (sidelines), Scotty Cox (producer), Matt Winegardner (director). 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: ABC Sports (regional coverage). Ron Franklin (play-by-play), Ed Cunningham (color).

RANKINGS (BCS/AP/Coaches):
   MU - 12th / 14th / 14th.
   TTU - None.

SERIES: Mizzou leads, 5-2, and has won three straight, including a 38-21 win in 2006 in its last appearance in Lubbock. MU holds a 5-1 edge since the Big 12 formed in 1996.

COACHES:
   MU: Gary Pinkel (Kent, `75), 74-47 at MU (10th year) and 147-84-3 overall (20th year). Pinkel is 3-1 vs. Texas Tech and 0-0 vs. Tommy Tuberville.
   TTU: Tommy Tuberville (Southern Arkansas, `76), 4-4 at Tech (1st year) and 114-64 overall (15th year). Tuberville is 0-0 vs. Mizzou and Gary Pinkel.

TIGERS LOOK FOR BOUNCE BACK EFFORT AT TEXAS TECH
   The 14th-ranked (A.P./Coaches) Missouri Tigers (7-1 overall, 3-1 in Big 12 Conference play) will look to rebound from their first loss of the 2010 season this Saturday evening, when they take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-4, 2-4) in Lubbock, Texas. Kick time for the game, which is being televised regionally on ABC Sports, is set for 7 p.m. (central time).
   Mizzou tasted defeat for the first time this season last Saturday at then 12th-ranked Nebraska, by a 31-17 margin. The Huskers rode a tidal wave of momentum in the opening minutes, as they scored 24 points in the 1st quarter alone to surge to a commanding 24-0 lead, thanks to three touchdowns of 40 yards or more. The Tigers recovered from the gut shot to pull to within 24-14 early in the 3rd quarter, and had several opportunities to pull even closer, but couldn't string together enough big plays to get all the way back.
   They'll be looking to regain the magic of two weeks ago, when Mizzou used a dominant fourth quarter to knock off previously-unbeaten and BCS-#1-ranked Oklahoma, 36-27, in Columbia on Oct. 23rd. The Tigers outgained OU's potent offense by a 192-to-16 margin in total offense in the quarter, as Mizzou erased a 21-20 deficit entering the 4th quarter.
   Texas Tech returns home after a two-game road trip that saw them notch a 27-24 win at Colorado two weeks ago, followed by a 45-27 loss at in-state rival Texas A&M last Saturday. The Red Raiders, led by first-year Head Coach Tommy Tuberville, have played only one game at home since September, when they lost to 18th-ranked Oklahoma State, 34-17 on Oct. 16th. Prior to that, the Red Raiders' previous home game was a 24-14 loss to 4th-ranked Texas on Sept. 18th. Following that game, Tech played at Iowa State (a 52-38 loss), in Dallas against Baylor (a 45-38 win), home against OSU, then at Colorado and Texas A&M. Last Saturday, Tech trailed at A&M just 17-14 in the 2nd quarter, but the Aggies scored 21 straight points sandwiched around halftime to pull away. Texas A&M finished with 623 yards of total offense, including 449 yards passing, which was enough to overcome a 356-yard passing day by the Red Raider offense.

A BREAKDOWN OF THE NUMBERS
   A look at the statistical comparisons on paper coming into Saturday night's game in Lubbock shows some interesting matchups to follow. Here's just a few that caught our eye:

  • Mizzou passing attack vs. Texas Tech passing defense - The Tiger passing attack ranks among the best in the nation, as it comes in ranking 23rd with an average of 275.50 yards per game. Mizzou was held to a season-low 199 yards last Saturday against Nebraska's outstanding secondary, but the Tigers hope to get untracked against a Tech defense which ranks 119th in passing yardage allowed (317.38 ypg) and 91st in pass efficiency defense (139.08 rating). Tech allowed 449 yards in the air last Saturday at Texas A&M in their 45-27 loss, which followed opponent passing numbers of 427 yards by Baylor, 356 by Oklahoma State and 336 by Colorado...
  • Texas Tech passing attack vs. Mizzou passing defense - Conversely, Texas Tech can claim one of the nation's top passing attacks itself, as the Red Raiders enter Saturday's game ranked 7th in passing yardage (316.75 avg.). The Red Raiders have thrown for over 300 yards five times on the year, and they have an impressive TD pass-to-INT ratio of 23-to-6 on the season coming in. Mizzou's pass defense ranks just 62nd in yardage allowed (212.25 avg.), but that's a bit misleading, as a lot of the yardage has come in garbage time of games that were sewn up already. The Tigers rank much better in pass efficiency defense, ranking 18th nationally (110.75 rating)...
  • Pressuring the quarterback - Part of any good pass defense is the ability to apply constant pressure to the quarterback, and both teams have done that well in 2010, as Mizzou ranks #1 in the Big 12 in QB sacks, while Texas Tech is #3 in the league coming into Saturday's game. The Tigers rank 7th nationally, with an average of 3.00 sacks per game, while the Red Raiders stand 26th overall, with an average of 2.50 sacks a game. Mizzou had been very good at offering protection of starting QB Blaine Gabbert during its 7-0 start, as it allowed only 7 sacks combined. But Nebraska managed to get to Gabbert 6 times last Saturday for sacks, so the Tigers will work to shore up their protection this week against the Red Raiders...
  • Who can win the battle of the running game - Often times, when two teams who lean heavily on the passing game match up, the team who runs the ball better comes out on top. The last two times that Mizzou and Texas Tech played (a 41-10 MU win in Columbia in 2007, and a 38-21 MU win in Lubbock in 2006), the Tigers won that battle both times. In 2007, Tech dropped 7 and 8 people in coverage most of the day to limit MU's prolific passing attack, but the Tigers took the opportunity to run the ball, and gouged the Red Raiders for 212 yards and 3 TDs, while Tech was held to minus-9 yards on the ground. In 2006, Mizzou ran for 133 yards and 2 TDs in Lubbock, while the Red Raiders managed just 78 yards. In 2010, the averages for and against the run are pretty similar on both sides, as MU ranks 82nd in rushing offense (138.88 avg.) and 50th in rushing defense (141.25 avg.), while Tech ranks 97th in rushing offense (116.13 avg.) and 41st against the run (132.13 avg.)...

MIZZOU-TEXAS TECH SERIES HISTORY
   Mizzou and Texas Tech will meet for only the 8th time when they square off Saturday night in Lubbock, Texas. The seven meetings marks the fewest number of games Mizzou has played against a Big 12 opponent (the next lowest total is MU-Texas A&M, with 11 games).
   The Tigers hold a 5-2 edge in the previous seven meetings against Tech, and have won three straight, dating back to Texas Tech's last win in the series, a 52-38 win in Lubbock in 2002.
   Since then, the Tigers have won the last three times by an average margin of 26.3 points per game, taking a 62-31 win in Columbia in 2003 (when Tiger QB Brad Smith ran for 291 yards and 5 TDs), followed by a 38-21 MU win in Lubbock (highlighted by INT returns for TDs on consecutive snaps by Mizzou's defense in the 2nd quarter), and capped with a 41-10 MU win in Columbia in 2007 (which also featured a pick-six TD return for MU's defense).
   Since the formation of the Big 12 Conference in 1996, Mizzou stands 5-1 alltime against Texas Tech, while Tiger Coach Gary Pinkel has a record of 3-1 against the Red Raiders.
   Oddly enough, only one time in the seven-game history between Mizzou and Texas Tech has been decided by fewer than 14 points. That sole instance resulted in a 28-26 Tiger win in Lubbock in 1998 on Halloween Day, when Mizzou stopped a Red Raider two-point conversion try after a touchdown with 1:05 left in the game.

LAST TIME VERSUS TEXAS TECH: MIZZOU 41, TEXAS TECH 10 (2007)
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Chase Daniel led the Missouri offense in the Tigers' most well-rounded effort of the season. Missouri's improving defense intercepted Graham Harrell four times, returning one for a score, while throttling the nation's top-ranked offense in a 41-10 victory over No. 22 Texas Tech.
   Texas Tech forced Missouri, minus injured Tony Temple to run the ball, and the Tigers did so with great success. They gained 212 yards on the ground and Daniel had 210 yards passing on only 19 attempts, both season lows.
   Backup tailback Jimmy Jackson had 59 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries. Freshman Derrick Washington added 66 yards on nine carries for Missouri (6-1, 2-1 Big 12), which rebounded from a 10-point loss at Oklahoma the previous week and went 2-1 during a three-game stretch against ranked opponents.
   The scoring total was by far a season low for Texas Tech (6-2, 2-2), which entered the game first in the nation in points (50) and yards (582) per game. Missouri scored on its first four possessions of the second half to top its 40-point average, though the game didn't come close to fulfilling expectations of a points-fest featuring two of the most prolific passers in the country.
   Texas Tech entered the rankings the previous week after a 35-7 victory over Texas A&M. The high point for the Red Raiders was a 68-yard touchdown pass from Harrell to Edward Britton in the second quarter that cut Missouri's lead to 10-7. Harrell, who entered the game with 31 TD passes and only three interceptions, was 44-for-69 for 397 yards and wasn't helped by several drops.
   Texas Tech had 388 yards total offense, 101 yards fewer than the previous low against Iowa State.
   Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree, who leads the nation in receiving and scoring with 17 touchdowns, had 10 catches for 76 yards to set an NCAA freshman record of 1,320 yards with four games plus a bowl appearance to go. He entered the game needing 22 yards to surpass the mark set by USC's Mike Williams in 2002, but was held out of the end zone for the second straight week.
   Missouri kept it on the ground for the most part against a defense designed to stop the passing game. Daniel completed 14 passes, including a 57-yard touchdown to Jeremy Maclin in the fourth quarter.
   Texas Tech was shut out in the first quarter for the second straight game, trailing 10-0, although the Red Raiders' defense kept it close. The lone touchdown came on a 38-yard interception return by Stryker Sulak on a ball tipped high in the air, and Missouri had to settle for a 21-yard field goal later in the quarter after a drive that fizzled at the 1.
   Texas Tech ended its drought on a TD connection from Harrell to Britton with 6:39 left in the second quarter, but Missouri answered with its first offensive touchdown only 1:39 later on Jackson's 1-yard run for a 17-7 lead.

LAST TIME IN LUBBOCK: MIZZOU 38, TEXAS TECH 21 (2006)
   Missouri enjoyed a total team effort, making enough big plays on both sides of the ball, to earn a solid 38-21 win at Texas Tech, spoiling the Red Raiders' Homecoming game.
   The No. 23 Tigers' defense, which came into the game ranked No. 10 in the nation, set up most of the scoring on the night. Mizzou forced four turnovers - two interceptions and two fumbles - by Tech quarterback Graham Harrell, which led to 28 points for Missouri. In all, MU collected five turnovers on the night, the most by Mizzou since 2003 against Nebraska.
   Xzavie Jackson and William Moore scored on interception returns on consecutive Texas Tech snaps in the second quarter, to help stake the Tigers to a commanding 24-0 lead, before Tech staged a rally to pull to within 24-21 early in the 3rd quarter.
   Daniel, who turned 20 that day - completed 15 of 22 passes (171 yds., 1 TD), threw one interception and ran for 37 yards as MU improved to 6-0 for the 1st time since 1973.
   Missouri (2-0 Big 12) got up 24-0 before Texas Tech (4-2, 1-1) crossed the 50. The Red Raiders scored two touchdowns before halftime and appeared to have momentum turned around.
   But Missouri stiffened and allowed only one score in the second half. Daniel and his offensive teammates responded after Tech closed it to 24-21 with a methodical 10-play, 73-yard drive for a TD to end the Tech momentum and push the lead back to 31-21, as Daniel connected with TE Chase Coffman from 6 yards out.
   Harrell's second fumble came early in the second half and gave the Tigers good field position at Tech's 44. Daniel threw a 36-yard pass to Will Franklin and Tony Temple ran 8 yards for a touchdown (his 2nd of the night) on the first play of the fourth quarter to give the Tigers their winning margin.
   Missouri's defense pressured Harrell early, forcing a fumble at the Red Raiders 12 on the first play of Tech's second possession. DeMarcus Scott recovered the ball and four plays later Temple put Missouri up 10-0 on a 1-yard run.
   Missouri's defense got better in the second quarter.
   Jackson got the first Missouri defensive score as he intercepted an attempted screen pass over the middle by Harrell and the defensive end lumbered 17 yards into the end zone untouched to give the Tigers a 17-0 lead.
   Harrell's very next pass - to Robert Johnson near the sideline - was picked off by Moore, who scampered 22 yards to put Missouri up 24-0.

LAST WEEK REWIND: #12 NEBRASKA 31, #8 MIZZOU 17
   Eighth-ranked Mizzou had been an outstanding 1st-quarter team all season, outscoring opponents by a 63-17 margin in the opening period. But last Saturday in Lincoln, Neb., the 12th-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers turned the tables, and then some, as they bolted to a commanding 24-0 lead less than 13 minutes into the game, and they held off a Tiger rally to post a 31-17 win. The loss knocked Mizzou from the ranks of the unbeaten, and spoiled the best start for a Tiger team since 1960, when MU won its first 9 games of the season.
   It was the big play that spelled doom for the Tigers, as Nebraska scored all four of its touchdowns from 40 yards out or further, including TD runs of 66, 73 and 53 by Roy Helu, Jr. (who set an NU single-game rushing record with 307 yards on the day), and a TD pass of 40 yards. The Huskers had only 2 scoring drives of more than 2 plays on the day, as the Tiger defense allowed just one sustained scoring drive. But the big plays counted too, and put the Tigers in too big of a hole to overcome.
   After the first quarter, which saw Nebraska hold a total offense edge of 256-to-48, the Tigers settled down and outscored the Huskers 17-7 the rest of the way, which included an MU edge of 293-to-198 in total offense for the final three quarters. Several missed opportunities proved crucial, as the Tigers seemed so close to getting back into the ballgame to make it very uncomfortable for the sellout Husker crowd. A pair of potential TD passes in the endzone went off Tiger receiver hands, and combined with a missed field goal (albeit a long try from 54 yards) and an inability to punch in for a score after a 1st-and-goal at the 1-yardline (MU settled for a 23-yard field goal) to make the hill too steep to climb for Mizzou.

MORE FROM LAST WEEK VS. NEBRASKA
   More random news and notes from the Tigers' 31-17 loss at Nebraska last Saturday:

  • Tiger QB Blaine Gabbert finished with a 199-yard passing day, as he completed 18-of-42 passes with 1 TD and 1 INT (his first in Big 12 play this year, and first overall since Sept. 25th against Miami (Ohio). Gabbert showed his running ability, however, as he ran for a season-high 74 yards on a career-high 22 attempts. He actually gained 123 yards overall on the ground, but had 49 yards in loss with the sacks and other TFLs...
  • Junior TB De'Vion Moore had an effective day on the ground, as he averaged 9.2 yards per carry, going for 55 yards in 6 attempts with 1 TD. His score came on a 33-yard scamper on 4th-and-1 in the 2nd quarter to put the Tigers on the board for the first time on the day, and it gave him his team-best 5th rushing TD of the year...
  • Mizzou made a big play on special teams in the 4th quarter when junior DE Jacquies Smith blocked a 51-yard FG attempt by the Huskers to keep the score at 31-17 with 10:29 to play. That block broke a string of 18 consecutive made FGs by Nebraska, and it gave the Tigers the ball back with a chance to cut into the deficit. But after gaining one first down, the drive stalled thanks to a sack of Gabbert, and MU was forced to punt the ball away on 4th and 10...
  • Nebraska was able to get pressure on QB Blaine Gabbert like no other team had this year, as they finished with 6 QB sacks (44 yards) on the day. Mizzou had allowed only 7 sacks in its first 7 games of the year coming into the contest (54 yards)...
  • Junior PK Grant Ressel had a string of 13 consecutive made FGs broken when he came up just short on a 54-yard attempt in the 2nd quarter. The kick was perfectly on line, but it came home just under the crossbar, and hit the padded standard about three-quarters of the way up. It would have been a career-long for Ressel, who has a 50-yarder to his credit. He later improved to 14-of-16 on the year in FGs when he converted a 23-yarder in the 3rd quarter which pulled MU to within 31-17...
  • Senior LB Andrew Gachkar led the charge defensively for Mizzou, as he registered a game-high 9 tackles. Fellow LB Zaviar Gooden contributed 7 tackles in all, and had game-high total of 3 TFLs (6 yards) and 2 QB sacks (5 yards). Senior FS Jasper Simmons had 7 tackles, and junior LB Will Ebner added 6 stops and broke up a pass...
  • Senior CB Carl Gettis had a nice day returning punts, as he averaged 15.7 yards on 3 returns, going for 47 yards in all. He had a 17-yarder for his long one on the day...

TIGER ODDS & ENDS
   A few random bits of news and notes to chew on and mull over:

  • A win Saturday at Texas Tech would give Mizzou a 3-0 record against Big 12 South opposition in 2010, thanks to MU's earlier wins in consecutive weeks at Texas A&M (30-9) and at home against Oklahoma (36-27). The last time that Mizzou posted a perfect mark against Big 12 South schools was in 1997 under former Coach Larry Smith, when the Tigers beat Texas in Columbia (37-29), won at Oklahoma State in double OT (51-50) and won at home against Baylor (42-24). That marks the only time that Mizzou has been perfect against the South Division since the formation of the Big 12 in 1996...
  • Digging a little further into the stats shows the Tiger defense has been amazing to open the 3rd quarter of play, as opponents have yet to score a single point on their opening possession of the quarter. In 5 of the 8 3rd-quarter drives, opponents have gone 3-and-out (including Oklahoma and Nebraska the last two weeks), and the most yards gained by an opponent on their opening 3rd-quarter drive has been 36 yards by Colorado, before the drive stalled out...
  • Mizzou's defense has been effective at getting the ball back for its offensive teammates most of the year, with 18 turnovers gained in 8 games. Interestingly enough however, in MU's two road games (at Texas A&M, at Nebraska), the Tigers haven't been able to manage any takeaways. Fortunately, the offense has taken good care of the ball, as the Tigers are just minus-one in TO margin in the two road games (no turnovers for either team at Texas A&M, one Mizzou INT thrown at Nebraska)...

TIGERS RANK 1ST IN BIG 12, 9TH IN NCAA IN SCORING DEFENSE
   A glance at the latest batch of statistics shows that Mizzou's defense leads the Big 12 Conference, and ranks 9th in the nation, in scoring defense. Through 8 games, the Tigers, under 2nd-year Defensive Coordinator Dave Steckel, are allowing an average of just 15.38 points per game.
   While pitching a shutout against Colorado on Oct. 9th undoubtedly helped propel the Tigers up the rankings, it wasn't a one-game deal, as Mizzou entered the CU game ranked 10th nationally in scoring defense. Mizzou entered the CU game allowing 14.0 points per game.
   That was followed with a stifling defensive effort that held Texas A&M's potent offense to a season-low 9 points on their home field. A&M came into the game averaging 35.00 points per game (ranked 27th in NCAA). Mizzou held the Aggies to 379 yards of offense, nearly 100 yards below their average of 472.60 coming in, which ranked them 15th nationally in total offense at the time.
   The Tigers went up against one of the top offenses in the nation last week at Nebraska, and even though the Huskers gained a 31-17 win, that point total was seven points below NU's scoring average coming into the game of 38.86 points per game.

Red Zone Defense National Leaders
Rk. Team G Scores Opp. Pct.
1. MIZZOU 8 11 21 52%
2. Boise State 8 8 15 53%
3. Oregon 8 16 26 62%
4. Florida Atlantic 7 16 25 64%
5. Alabama 8 15 23 65%
  Iowa 8 15 23 65%

TIGER RED ZONE DEFENSE 1ST NATIONALLY
   It would stand to figure that a good scoring defense performs well in the red zone, and that has definitely been the case for Mizzou's defense to this point. Through 8 games, Mizzou's defense is ranked 1st nationally in red zone defense, as opponents have scored just 52% of the time they've gotten inside the 20-yardline.
   Even in MU's defeat last week at Nebraska, the defense didn't give up any redzone scores, as the Huskers never took a single snap inside the Tiger 20-yardline.
A perfect example of MU's ability to get key stops was on display in MU's recent 36-27 win against #1 (BCS) Oklahoma, as the Sooners converted on just 3-of-6 redzone opportunities. The Tiger defense got an interception by DE Aldon Smith on its 14-yardline in the 1st quarter, and forced/recovered a fumble on its 14-yardline again, in the 2nd quarter (force by DE Michael Sam, recovered by FS Jasper Simmons). In the 3rd quarter, the Tiger defense held the Sooners to a 30-yard field goal attempt, but the kick was pulled wide left.
   The 11 scores allowed have been split between 7 TDs and 4 FGs. Illinois was 2-of-2 in the red zone against Mizzou (1 TD/1 FG), while McNeese State was 1-of-2 (1 TD). San Diego State and Miami (Ohio) each went 2-of-3 against MU (1 TD/1 FG apiece), while Colorado was shut out all 3 times (1 missed FG, 1 blocked FG, 1 stopped on downs). At Texas A&M, Mizzou's defense allowed only 2 redzone penetrations, with the Aggies converting one into a field goal, and being stopped on downs on the other threat.

TIGERS ARE 10-4 ON THE ROAD SINCE 2007
   While the Missouri Tigers will face a tough road test this week at Texas Tech, Mizzou has shown an ability to find success on the road in recent years.
   As Head Coach Gary Pinkel's program has taken roots over the last several years, his team has learned how to win on the road. Mizzou has earned three road wins each year in the previous three seasons, and after splitting so far on the road at Texas A&M and at Nebraska, Pinkel's teams have an overall record of 10-4 in road games since 2007.
   In fact, all four losses during that string came to the hands of ranked teams (No. 6 Oklahoma in 2007, No. 4 Texas in 2008, No. 16 Oklahoma State in 2009 and No. 12 Nebraska in 2010).

COMPARING THE DEFENSIVE NUMBERS
   Coaches aren't real fond about comparing stats from different years, since each team is its own reality. But, that never stopped us from doing it, so with that, let's take a look at the numbers which show Mizzou's defense, through 8 games in 2010, is a much-improved unit overall...

MIZZOU DEFENSIVE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Category 2010 (8 Games) 2009 (8 Games) 2009 (Season)
Sacks By 7th (3.00) 31st (2.50) 34th (2.31)
Scoring Def. 9th (15.38) 46th (22.50) 59th (25.38)
Pass Efficiency Def. 18th (110.75) 47th (118.93) 74th (132.54)
Rushing Def. 50th (141.25) 31st (110.13) 26th (118.62)
Total Def. 52nd (353.50) 32nd (324.63) 64th (370.08)
Passing Def. (Yds.) 62nd (212.25) 55th (214.50) 104th (251.46)

TIGERS HAVE WON 29 STRAIGHT WHEN WINNING TURNOVER BATTLE
   Tiger Head Coach Gary Pinkel always touts the importance of turnovers, and how no other statistic can more directly impact the outcome of ballgames. Mizzou's emphasis on both taking care of the ball on offense, and getting it out on defense, have led to outstanding results in 2010 thus far.
   Through 8 games, Mizzou ranks 22nd in the nation in turnover margin, at +0.63 per game and has forced 17 takeaways, including 11 interceptions gained, which is already three more than the 8 that Mizzou picked off in 13 games in 2009. Mizzou is picking off a pass once in every 26.2 pass attempts so far in 2010 (11 INTs in 288 attempts), and that's a huge improvement from the ratio of once every 59.4 pass attempts by opponents in 2009 (8 INTs in 475 attempts).
   Research shows that when MU is on the plus side of the turnover equation in a game, the results are astoundingly good. Coming into Saturday's game against Texas Tech, Mizzou has won 29 straight games when it has been at least +1 in turnover margin. The last time Mizzou dropped a game in which it was positive in turnovers was in 2005 at Kansas, when MU was +1, but lost, 13-3.
   In 2010, MU has been plus in 4-of-8 games, including its recent win over #1 (BCS) Oklahoma, as MU gained 3 turnovers (2 INTs / 1 fumble), which was one more than the two fumbles it gave back. The Tiger defense did an outstanding job of getting the ball out against an OU team that had turned it over only 5 times on the season coming into the game (OU was ranked 2nd nationally in turnover margin coming in).
   Mizzou began the year by finishing +3 against both Illinois and McNeese State, and going +2 against Miami (Ohio). The Tigers were minus-2 in turnovers against San Diego State (including three 4th-quarter turnovers), which contributed heavily to the need for posting a comeback win. In Big 12 play, the Tigers were actually minus-1 against Colorado (2 turnovers/1 takeaway), but still managed the shutout win, and that followed an even-Steven outing at A&M, as both teams were turnover free. Last time out at Nebraska, MU finished minus-1, as it did not create any turnovers while suffering one interception on the day.
   The streak of 29 wins includes the 4 aformentioned games in 2010, plus all 7 games in 2009 when MU was plus in turnover margin, 3 in 2008, 9 in 2007, 5 in 2006, and the last instance in 2005, which was the 2005 Independence Bowl victory over South Carolina.

DOMINANT 4TH-QUARTER LED TO TIGER WIN OVER OU
   In its thrilling 36-27 win over Oklahoma two weeks ago, Mizzou was solid all night long against the #1-ranked Sooners, but the Tigers were most impressive down the stretch, as they turned a 21-20 deficit entering the 4th quarter into a 36-21 lead to pull away for the win. The 16 unanswered points consisted of a Blaine Gabbert 38-yard TD pass to WR Jerrell Jackson early in the quarter to give MU the lead for good, (the two-point try failed following the score), followed by a 23-yard field goal by PK Grant Ressel (his 3rd of the night) and a 3-yard TD run by freshman QB James Franklin.
   Only a long kickoff return which set up a short TD drive late in the game kept the Sooners from being shut out in the final period.
   A comparison of the 4th-quarter stat comparisons: 1st Downs - MU 8, OU 1; Total Offense - MU 192, OU 16; Passing Yards - MU 95, OU 0; Rushing Yards - MU 97, OU 16; Time of Possession - MU 13:15, OU 1:45...

TIGERS HAVE WON 29 STRAIGHT WHEN WINNING TURNOVER BATTLE
   Tiger Head Coach Gary Pinkel always touts the importance of turnovers, and how no other statistic can more directly impact the outcome of ballgames. Mizzou's emphasis on both taking care of the ball on offense, and getting it out on defense, have led to outstanding results in 2010 thus far.
   Through 7 games, Mizzou ranks 19th in the nation in turnover margin, at +0.86 per game and is among the nation's best defenses at forcing takeaways (17), including 11 interceptions gained, which is already three more than the 8 that Mizzou picked off in 13 games in 2009. Mizzou is picking off a pass once in every 25.1 pass attempts so far in 2010 (11 INTs in 276 attempts), and that's a huge improvement from the ratio of once every 59.4 pass attempts by opponents in 2009 (8 INTs in 475 attempts).
   Research shows that when MU is on the plus side of the turnover equation in a game, the results are astoundingly good. Coming into Saturday's game against Nebraska, Mizzou has won 29 straight games when it has been at least +1 in turnover margin. The last time Mizzou dropped a game in which it was positive in turnovers was in 2005 at Kansas, when MU was +1, but lost, 13-3.
   In 2010, MU has been plus in 4-of-7 games, including last Saturday's win over #1 (BCS) Oklahoma, as MU gained 3 turnovers (2 INTs / 1 fumble), which was one more than the two fumbles it gave back. The Tiger defense did an outstanding job of getting the ball out against an OU team that had turned it over only 5 times on the season coming into the game (OU was ranked 2nd nationally in turnover margin coming in).
   Mizzou began the year by finishing +3 against both Illinois and McNeese State, and going +2 against Miami (Ohio). The Tigers were minus-2 in turnovers against San Diego State (including three 4th-quarter turnovers), which contributed heavily to the need for posting a comeback win. In Big 12 play, the Tigers were actually minus-1 against Colorado (2 turnovers/1 takeaway), but still managed the shutout win, and that followed an even-Steven outing at A&M, as both teams were turnover free.
   The streak of 29 wins includes the 4 aformentioned games in 2010, plus all 7 games in 2009 when MU was plus in turnover margin, 3 in 2008, 9 in 2007, 5 in 2006, and the last instance in 2005, which was the 2005 Independence Bowl victory over South Carolina.

SENIOR CLASS WINS, 4-YEAR PERIOD
Rank Class Wins Bowls
1. 2009 38 4
2. 2010 37 3
  2008 37 4
4. 1963 33 2
5. 2007 32 3
1962 32 3

2010 SENIOR CLASS JUST 1 WIN SHY OF SCHOOL WINS RECORD
   Mizzou's senior class isn't very big (just 16 in all) but they've no doubt played a big role in helping the Tigers elevate the overall standing of the program in their time at MU. The 2010 senior class entered the season having collected 30 wins over the previous three years, and with 7 wins so far in 2010, that puts them just one win shy of the school record of 38 wins over a four-year period, which was established by the 2009 class.
   The 2009 class one-upped the record of 37, which had been established just the previous year by the 2008 class. The 2010 class has been a very key group of players and leaders who have helped push Mizzou to new heights. They have been part of two Big 12 North Division championship teams (2007, 2008), they've helped lead Mizzou to bowl games in each of the past four seasons overall (2006 Sun, 2008 Cotton, 2008 Alamo, 2009 Texas), and they were also part of the 2007 team which ascended to #1 in the BCS polls on Nov. 25th, 2007.
   If the 2010 team can reach a bowl game, this senior class will become only the fourth in MU history to play in four bowl games in a four-year span. The only previous classes to achieve that feat were the 1981 senior class, followed by the last two classes to come through (2008 & 2009).
   At right is a look at the most prolific senior classes at Mizzou, in terms of wins.

MIZZOU COACHING WINS LEADERS
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 74 10 (2001-Present) 74-47 .612 6
Warren Powers 46 7 (1978-84) 46-33-3 .580 5

PINKEL STANDS 3RD ON ALLTIME MU COACHING WINS LIST
   Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel is in his 10th season at MU (20th overall as a head coach) and touts a career record of 147-83-3 (63.7%). Following Mizzou's historic win over #1 (BCS) Oklahoma last Saturday, one national scribe asked the question if Pinkel should be considered a potential lead candidate for national coach of the year (we would agree with that assertion, by the way!).
   Pinkel, who has led MU to a combined record of 52-22 (70.3%) over the past 5+ seasons, and to bowl games in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, has a 10-year record in Columbia of 74-47 (61.2%). Dating back to the 2005 Independence Bowl win over Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, Pinkel has won 46 of his last 63 games overall (73.0%).
   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 74.
   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 his efforts in 2007, Pinkel was a finalist for several national coach of the year awards, including the Robinson, Bryant and Munger awards. He was also named the National Coach of the Year by FieldTurf in 2007.
   Mizzou's bowl appearance in 2009 means that Pinkel has led MU to 6 bowl games overall, and he now joins Devine as the only other coach to guide MU to 6 bowl games.
   Pinkel has directed Mizzou to 7 winning seasons (8-5 in 2003, 7-5 in 2005, 8-5 in 2006, 12-2 in 2007, 10-4 in 2008 and 8-5 in 2009, along with this season), with those representing 6 of MU's 8 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, meaning he'll patrol the Tiger sidelines through the 2015 season.