Tigers Get One Last Shot on Saturday

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MUTIGERS.COM

Nov. 19, 2012


Missouri Tigers (5-6, 2-5)
at #9/#10 Texas A&M Aggies (9-2, 5-2)

KICKOFF: 6:10 p.m. CST.

STADIUM: Kyle Field (82,589 - Natural grass surface). Opened in 1905. MU is 3-4 there alltime, but has won in 3 of its last 4 appearances (2002, 2010, 2011).

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.

TV: ESPN2. Steve Levy (play-by-play), Ed Cunningham (analysis), Kaylee Hartung (reporter), Eric Posman (producer).

RANKINGS (AP/USA):
   MU - None.
   A&M - 9th / 10th.

SERIES: A&M leads, 7-5 overall; MU led 5-3 while both were part of the Big 12. MU has won 3 straight and 5 of the last 6, and has won the last 2 years at A&M.

COACHES:
   MU: Gary Pinkel (Kent State, '75), 90-60 at MU (12th year) and 163-97-3 overall (22nd year). Pinkel is 5-1 vs. A&M and 0-0 vs. Kevin Sumlin.
   A&M: Kevin Sumlin (Purdue, '88), 9-2 at A&M (1st year) and 44-19 overall (5th year). Sumlin is 0-0 vs. Mizzou and Gary Pinkel.

TIGERS GET ONE LAST SHOT IN 2012
   The swan song for the 2012 regular season is set for this Saturday in College Station, Texas, where the Missouri Tigers (5-6 overall, 2-5 in Southeastern Conference play) will take on the high-flying 9th/10th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies (9-2, 5-2). Kickoff between the former Big 12 conference mates at Kyle Field is set for 6:10 p.m. central Saturday, with the game being televised on ESPN2.
   Mizzou will get one last chance to attain bowl eligibility, and keep alive hopes of extending its bowl season streak to eight. Those hopes were put on hold last Saturday in Columbia, as the Tigers dropped their home finale to Syracuse, 31-27. Mizzou got out to a 17-3 versus Syracuse, only to see the Orange storm back with 21 4th-quarter points to claim the win. The Tigers hung tight, despite losing starting QB James Franklin (head injury) in the 4th quarter, and took leads of 24-17 and 27-24 under the guidance of backup QB Corbin Berkstresser, but the Orange passing attack proved too hard to hold. Syracuse threw for 385 yards on the night, including a 17-yard TD pass with just :20 seconds left for the win.
   Texas A&M comes into Saturday's matchup riding a 4-game winning streak, which includes impressive wins at Auburn (63-21), at #15 Mississippi State (38-13) and at #1 Alabama (29-24), as the Aggies handed the Crimson Tide their only loss to date. A&M downed Sam Houston State in a tune-up game last Saturday by a 47-28 count. Both of A&M's losses have come at home in 2012, with both coming against ranked foes - #24 Florida and #6 LSU.

MIZZOU STUNG BY LATE SYRACUSE RALLY
   The Mizzou Tigers had things rolling early last Saturday against Syracuse, in a game featuring teams with identical 5-5 records. Mizzou held a 17-3 in the 2nd quarter, but the Orange scored 21 4th-quarter points, and took their first and only lead of the game on a 17-yard TD pass with just :20 seconds left to claim a 31-27 win and crush Mizzou's hopes for a celebration on its Senior Night.
   Knowing a win would make them bowl eligible, the Tigers came out on fire, scoring TDs on their first two possessions, on TD passes by QB James Franklin of 70 yards and 30 yards, respectively, to freshman WR Dorial Green-Beckham and sophomore WR Jimmie Hunt. The lead was extended to 17-3 midway through the 2nd quarter, but the Orange hung around with a late TD before halftime to make it 17-10.
   After a scoreless third quarter, Syracuse started their onslaught with a 13-yard TD pass with 14:14 to play to tie the game at 17-apiece. The Tigers appeared poised to answer that score with one of their own, and reached the Orange 22-yardline, but MU was stuffed on 2nd-and-1 and 3rd-and-1 run tries, and forced to settle for a 42-yard field goal attempt, which was no good.
   The Tiger defense bowed its backs and forced a 3-and-out, and MU's offense, now run by backup QB Corbin Berkstresser, who subbed for Franklin, (woozy from a hit in the head on the previous 3rd-and-1 keeper). Berkstresser calmly led a 6-play, 79-yard drive which ended with TB Kendial Lawrence's 3-yard TD run to give MU a 24-17 lead with 7:07 to play.
   But Syracuse wouldn't stand down, and responded with a 7-play, 75-yard drive which took only 1:34 off the clock, and suddenly it was tied again, at 24-24 with 5:33 remaining. Mizzou's next drive stalled, but the Tigers got a turnover, when CB Randy Ponder picked off a deflected pass on the MU 39-yardline and returned it to midfield. Lawrence ran twice for 16 yards and Berkstresser hit WR Marcus Lucas for 9 yards to get it to a 3rd-and-1 at the Syracuse 25-yardline with around two minutes left, but once again the Tigers couldn't get the push they needed, and Lawrence was thrown for a loss on the 3rd-and-short rush attempt. That forced a 46-yard field goal, which PK Andrew Baggett nailed with 1:52 to play to give MU what would be its last lead, at 27-24.
   On Syracuse's ensuing possession, armed with only one timeout, the Orange needed only two plays to reach the MU 36-yardline. Three straight incompletions set up a 4th-and-10 there, and needing only one more stop, the Tiger defense was hit for a 19-yard gain to the Tiger 17. On the next play, Orange QB Ryan Nassib hit a wide-open Alec Lemon for the back-breaking TD with just :20 seconds left, and the game ended with Syracuse the victors, 31-27.

WRAP-UP NOTES FROM SYRACUSE
   Some random musings, news and notes to tie a bow on the Syracuse game from Saturday:

  • The Tigers forced a turnover for the 29th straight game when CB Randy Ponder intercepted a deflected pass in the fourth quarter. The last time Mizzou did not force a turnover was Oct. 30, 2010 at Nebraska;
  • Mizzou's defense held Syracuse in relative check for most of the first 45 minutes of the game, as the Orange had only 10 points and 322 yards of total offense through 3 quarters as the Tigers held a 17-10 lead. But the 4th quarter saw a Syracuse offensive explosion, and they rolled through the Tiger defense with a potent attack that put together touchdown drives which covered 70 yards in just 1:37 of possession time, 75 yards in just 1:34, and 81 yards for the game-winner in only 1:23;
  • The loss snapped Mizzou's streak of 18 consecutive home wins over non-conference opponents, which was a modern-era school record. Mizzou's last loss at Faurot Field against a non-conference foe was against New Mexico in 2005 (45-35);
  • QB James Franklin connected with WR Dorial Green-Beckham on a 70-yard touchdown pass on the fourth play of the game. It marked the third straight reception for a TD by Green-Beckham, who had two receptions last week at Tennessee, both going for TDs. Coupled with his 80-yard TD reception earlier this year at UCF, Green-Beckham became only the second Tiger in history with two or more TD receptions of at least 70 yards in the same season. The only other Tiger with that distinction is Danario Alexander, who had four TD receptions of 70 yards or more in 2009;
  • WR Jimmie Hunt caught a 30-yard TD to mark his second straight game with a TD reception;
  • Franklin ended the first half 12-of-16 passing for 237 yards and two TDs. Dating back to MU's final drive of the Tennessee game, and including the first half tonight, Franklin was 19 of his last 24 passing for 348 yards and five touchdowns to that point;
  • PK Andrew Baggett tied his career high with a 46-yard FG in the fourth quarter. The kicker also converted a 46-yarder against Arizona State;
  • LB Zaviar Gooden was credited with a career-high 15 tackles against the Orange, which is the most for a Tiger in a single game this season;
  • TB Kendial Lawrence ran for 119 yards on 27 carries. It marked the fifth 100-yard game of the season for Lawrence. Lawrence now has 2,145 career rushing yards, which ranks him 10th all-time at Mizzou. The senior entered the contest in 13th-place with 2,026;
  • WR T.J. Moe caught five passes during the game to give him 186 in his career to move into fifth-place on Mizzou's all-time receptions list. Moe passed Jeremy Maclin (182) and needs just five more to move into a tie for fourth with Danario Alexander (191);
  • Franklin's 279 yards passing moved the junior into seventh place on Missouri's all-time passing yardage list with 4,533. Franklin passed Kent Kiefer (4,497) during the game.
SERIES HISTORY
1957 L, 28-0 at Columbia
1958 L, 12-0 at College Station
1992 L, 26-13 at Columbia
1993 L, 73-0 at College Station
1998 L, 17-14 at College Station
1999 L, 51-14 at Columbia
2002 W, 33-27 (2-OT) at College Station
2003 W, 45-22 at Columbia
2006 L, 25-19 at College Station
2007 W, 40-26 at Columbia
2010 W, 30-9 at College Station
2011 W, 38-31 (OT) at College Station

MIZZOU-TEXAS A&M SERIES HISTORY
   Mizzou and Texas A&M will be meeting for the 13th time when they square off Saturday in College Station. The Aggies hold a 7-5 edge overall in the previous 12 matchups, but the Tigers have won 5 of the last 6 games, and the series was 5-3 in MU's favor while the two schools were partners in the Big 12 Conference (1996-2011). Mizzou has enjoyed rare success of late in College Station, as it has won 3 straight and 3 of its last 4 times there.
   In what is a rare scheduling quirk, Saturday will mark the 3rd-straight season that the Tigers have played on venerable Kyle Field. They hope this time will be just like the last two, as Mizzou rolled to a 30-9 win over the Aggies in 2010 behind QB Blaine Gabbert, while in 2011 it was QB James Franklin who led a big comeback to post a 38-31 overtime win.
   Thanks to research from crack MUTigers.com guru Kevin Fletcher, Mizzou is looking to become the first team to ever win three straight years in College Station. The only other instance of a school playing three straight years in College Station in the modern era (since 1936) was when Arkansas went 2-1 in 1966, 1967 and 1968 there.
   Prior to 2010 the Tigers posted a 40-26 win in Columbia in 2007 to move to 9-1 on the season. In that game, Mizzou surged to a 24-9 halftime lead, thanks to an 82-yard TD pass from QB Chase Daniel to WR Jeremy Maclin (MU's longest pass play in 31 years at that point), but the Aggies wouldn't go away. With rumors swirling of A&M Coach Dennis Franchione's job being on the line, A&M clawed back to within 5 points twice in the 2nd half, and had a chance to pull to 3, but a short field goal was missed by PK Matt Szymanski. After the teams traded TDs, Mizzou put the game away in the final minutes, on Maclin's 2nd TD reception (12 yards), followed by a safety on a sack in the endzone by DT Lorenzo Williams.
   Mizzou dropped a 25-19 heartbreaker to A&M in 2006 in College Station, and that was preceded by an MU win in Columbia in 2003 (45-22) and a Tiger win in College Station in 2002 (33-27 in 2-OTs behind QB Brad Smith). That 2002 win was a watershed moment for the Tiger program, as MU entered that game 0-6 alltime against A&M, and it came one week after Texas A&M had just upset #1 Oklahoma on the same Kyle Field surface.
   Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel is 5-1 against A&M in his tenure on the Tiger sideline. This will be the first meeting between Pinkel and A&M skipper Kevin Sumlin as head coaches, but it won't be the first time they've been on opposite sidelines. Pinkel's Washington Huskies won a pair of games in 1989 and 1990 over Washington State, when Pinkel was UW's offensive coordinator (Sumlin was a GA for the Cougars). In 2002 (Pinkel's 2nd season at Mizzou), the Tigers won the aforementioned 2-OT game at Texas A&M when Sumlin was A&M's assistant head coach/offensive coordinator. Sumlin was part of four Oklahoma wins over Mizzou from 2003-07, when he served various roles on Bob Stoops' staff, including a 38-17 win over the Tigers in the 2007 Big 12 Championship game in San Antonio, when Mizzou entered the game #1 in the BCS standings, and needing a win to reach the BCS title game.

Mizzou 38, #16 Texas A&M 31 (OT)
Recap | Stats | Game Book Open PDF | Notes
Photo Gallery: AP Photo
Video: Highlights Video | Pinkel Video | Players Video

<A HREF=Marcus Lucas" width="320" height="180" border="0" />
  1 2 3 4 OT F
Mizzou 14 3 0 14 7 38
#16 Texas A&M 7 21 0 3 0 31
Quick Stats
MIZ
A&M
First Downs 25 29
Plays-Total Yards 74-482 99-500
Passing Yards 198 317
Rushing Yards 284 183
Penalties-Yards 5-45 7-50
3rd Down Conv. 6-15 14-23
4th Down Conv. 1-2 0-1
Kick Return Yards 4-112 5-107
Punt Return Yards 1-(-1) 0-0
Punts-Avg. 6-43.7 5-34.6
Turnovers 1 3
Time of Possession 25:30 34:30
Stat Leaders
Passing Comp-Att Yds TD Int
Mizzou - Franklin 16-24 198 2 0
A&M - Tannehill 35-53 317 3 1
Rushing Rush Yds TD Long
Mizzou - Josey 20 162 1 43
A&M - Michael 21 104 0 10
Receiving Rec Yds TD Long
Mizzou - Lucas 5 64 1 19
A&M - Swope 8 66 1 13

2011 REWIND: MIZZOU 38, #16 TEXAS A&M 31 (OT)
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Missouri quarterback James Franklin made up for a rough outing the previous week against Oklahoma State, as he threw for two touchdown passes, including the game-winner in overtime, and ran for two more scores to lead the Tigers to a 38-31 win over No. 16 Texas A&M.
   The winning score came on an 11-yard throw to Marcus Lucas in overtime, and the Tiger defense secured the win on A&M's ensuing possession when Dominique Hamilton batted down a Ryan Tannehill pass on fourth down.
   "There was nothing easy about it," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said of the win. "These kind of games you just have to fight and fight. A lot of players did a lot of good things in critical situations and I'm very proud of them."
   The Tigers had a chance to win it in regulation, but a 46-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right as time expired by punter Trey Barrow, who was forced into all kicking duties, as regular place kicker Grant Ressel was out with a hip flexor strain.
   Missouri (4-4, 2-3 Big 12) got the ball when Jacquies Smith caused a fumble by Tannehill, which was recovered by Dominique Hamilton.
   The Aggies led by 11 at halftime, but Missouri took a 31-28 lead on an 11-yard run by Henry Josey with about eight minutes left. Texas A&M (5-3, 3-2) tied it on a 35-yard field goal about four minutes later.
   Franklin threw for 198 yards and ran for 97 yards. Josey, the Big 12's leading rusher, had 20 carries for 162 yards. It was the fifth 100-yard game for Josey and his second in a row.
   Missouri took its first lead of the second half on the 11-yard touchdown run by Josey. To get that drive going, Josey bounced to the outside and dashed down the sideline for 43 yards before being dragged down from behind.
The Tigers went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Texas A&M 43 early in the fourth quarter and Franklin's run was short. Missouri made up for it when Tannehill was hit on the arm by Brad Madison as he threw a pass which was intercepted by Randy Ponder.
   Ponder returned it 45 yards and Franklin cut A&M's lead to 28-24 when he scored on an 8-yard run three plays later.
   Pinkel was proud of his team's defensive improvement in the second half.
   "We got out of drives. I think we were a little bit more aggressive in the secondary," he said. "We got a lot of balls batted down, we got some turnovers and we forced fourth down punts."
   Tannehill threw for three touchdowns in the first half, but the Aggies managed only a field goal after that to lose their third game this season after leading by double digits at halftime.
   Both teams lost fumbles in the third quarter. Texas A&M's Ryan Swope fumbled after a catch, but Missouri gave it back three plays later when Josey coughed it up. The Aggies didn't capitalize on that error and neither team scored in the quarter.
   Tannehill hit Cyrus Gray on a short pass and he ran into the corner of the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14 early in the second quarter. Missouri's offense stalled on the next drive and they had to punt. The punt was shanked and it went just 22 yards, giving A&M the ball at the Missouri 41.
   The Aggies took advantage of the short field when Tannehill found Swope for a 6-yard touchdown pass to take a 21-14 lead in the second quarter.
   Texas A&M pushed its advantage to 28-14 when Tannehill scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with about three minutes left in the second quarter.
   The Tigers had a first down from the Texas A&M 11 late in the second quarter, but the offense stalled and they settled for a 26-yard field goal to make it 28-17 at halftime.
   Franklin broke four tackles on a nifty 20-yard run on third-and-1 to give Missouri a 7-0 lead on the team's second drive of the game.
   Tannehill's first touchdown pass was a 2-yard strike to Michael Lamothe that tied it at 7-all later in the first quarter.
   Eric Waters caught a pass from Franklin and two Texas A&M defenders missed tackles as he dashed 42 yards for a touchdown to put Missouri back on top 14-7 with two seconds left in the first quarter.

TIGER STANDOUTS VERSUS TEXAS A&M
   Here's a look at a handful of Tigers who have had standout moments in Mizzou's pair of wins in College Station the last two seasons:

  • In 2011, QB James Franklin accounted for 4 TDs (2 passing/2 running) and 295 yards of total offense (198 passing, 97 rushing). His 11-yard TD pass to WR Marcus Lucas in OT proved to be the winning points in MU's 38-31 win. Franklin's 20-yard TD run in the first quarter was one for the highlight reel, as he escaped pocket pressure, and scrambled down the right sideline, and he ended up running over two different A&M defenders before bulling his way into the endzone for the first score of the day;
  • In 2011, WR Marcus Lucas had 5 receptions for 64 yards, including the game-winning 11-yard catch in overtime;
  • In 2011, TE Eric Waters had a 42-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the 1st quarter, marking his first career score;
  • In 2011, TB Henry Josey (out in 2012 due to a knee injury) ran for 162 yards and 1 touchdown on 20 carries (8.1 avg.) in Mizzou's win;
  • In 2011, FS Braylon Webb and LB Andrew Wilson both had 12 tackles, while CB E.J. Gaines made 10 tackles and broke up 4 passes on the day;
  • In 2011, DT Sheldon Richardson had 8 tackles, CB Kip Edwards had 7 stops and a pass break up, and CB Randy Ponder had 6 tackles, a forced fumble, and a game-turning interception in the 3rd quarter he returned 45 yards which set up a TD for Mizzou that started a comeback from a double-digit second-half deficit;
  • In 2010, WR T.J. Moe caught 6 passes at A&M (a season-low reception total at the time), but he was still very effective, as he turned those catches into 110 yards and 1 TD, including a nice 20-yard score at the end of the 3rd quarter that made it 30-3;
  • In 2010, DE Brad Madison racked up a career-high 3 QB sacks off the bench of Texas A&M's Jerrod Johnson. He totaled 28 yards in losses for the three sacks, and his efforts were indicative of a great day of pressure applied by the Tiger defense as a whole. Mizzou notched 7 sacks in all on the elusive Johnson. Madison's contributions were much welcomed, as the Tiger defense played its 3rd-straight game without the services of 2009 Big 12 Defensive Freshman/Newcomer of the Year Aldon Smith, who was out after suffering a cracked fibula vs. San Diego State;
  • In 2010, DE Michael Sam had 3 tackles, including 2.0 tackles for loss.

MIZZOU FEATURES 34 TEXAS TIGERS
   From day one of his tenure at Missouri, Head Coach Gary Pinkel identified the state of Texas as a recruiting priority. Over the years, the Tigers have mined the state for athletes who developed into All-Big 12 honorees, including the likes of MU's alltime career passing leader and 2007 Heisman finalist QB Chase Daniel (Southlake), 2009 NFL Draft 1st-Round pick Ziggy Hood (Amarillo), 2010 NFL Draft 1st-Round pick Sean Weatherspoon (Jasper), 2009 All-American WR Danario Alexander (Marlin), 2010 All-American TE Michael Egnew (Plainview), among many others.
   Mizzou features 34 Texas natives on its roster in 2012, including 12 projected starters for Saturday, including 6 on each side of the ball. Projected starters on defense include senior co-captain LB Will Ebner (Friendswood), senior co-captain LB Zaviar Gooden (Pflugerville), senior CB Kip Edwards (Arlington), senior DL Jimmy Burge (Houston), junior DE Michael Sam (Hitchcock) and sophomore FS Braylon Webb (Gilmer). The group of possible Texas starters on offense include senior TB Kendial Lawrence (Rockwall), junior QB James Franklin (Corinth), junior TE Eric Waters (Mansfield), sophomore WR Bud Sasser (Denton), sophomore OL Mitch Morse (Austin) and redshirt freshman OL Brad McNulty (Allen).
   Add to that mix some key reserves such as sophomore TB/KR Marcus Murphy (DeSoto), senior WR Gahn McGaffie (Galena Park), freshman TB Russell Hansbrough (Arlington), junior LB Donovan Bonner (Dallas) and redshirt freshman S Ian Simon (Mansfield) and there's quite a flavor of Texans on the field at any time for the Tigers.
   Here's a full listing of Mizzou's Texas Tigers:

Michael Boddie, RSFr. (OL) - Gilmer (Gilmer) Henry Josey, Jr. (TB) - Angleton (Angleton)
Donovan Bonner, Jr. (LB) - Dallas (Lincoln) Kendial Lawrence, Sr. (TB) - Rockwall (Rockwall-Heath)
Torey Boozer, Fr. (LB) - Everman (Everman) Robert Luce, So. (OL) - Dallas (Episcopal)
Cortland Browning, RSFr. (S) - Tyler (Lee) Gahn McGaffie, Sr. (WR) - Galena Park (Galena Park)
Jimmy Burge, Sr. (DL) - Houston (Stratford) Brad McNulty, RSFr. (OL) - Allen (Allen)
Brayden Burnett, Jr. (DL) - Southlake (Carroll) Mitch Morse, So. (OL) - Austin (St. Michael's Academy)
Taylor Chappell, RSFr. (OL) - Canadian (Canadian) Marcus Murphy, So. (TB) - DeSoto (DeSoto)
Will Ebner, Sr. (LB) - Friendswood (Friendswood) Ernest Payton, RSFr. (CB) - College Station (A&M Cons.)
Kip Edwards, Sr. (CB) - Arlington (Bowie) Michael Sam, Jr. (DL) - Hitchcock (Hitchcock)
Marvin Foster, Jr. (DL) - Fort Worth (N. Crowley) Bud Sasser, So. (WR) - Denton (Ryan)
James Franklin, Jr. (QB) - Corinth (Lake Dallas) Ian Simon, RSFr. (S) - Mansfield (Legacy)
John Gibson, Fr. (CB) - Missouri City (Marshall) Chaston Ward, Fr. (CB) - Cleburne (Cleburne)
Zaviar Gooden, Sr. (LB) - Pflugerville (Pflugerville) Eric Waters, Jr. (TE) - Mansfield (Summitt)
Clarence Green, RSFr. (LB) - Clute (Brazoswood) Braylon Webb, So. (S) - Gilmer (Gilmer)
Russell Hansbrough, Fr. (TB) - Arlington (Bowie) Darius White, Jr. (WR) - Fort Worth (Dunbar)
Rickey Hatley, Fr. (DL) - Atlanta (Atlanta) Matt White, Jr. (S) - Keller (Keller)
David Johnson, RSFr. (CB) - Spring (Spring) Jordan Williams, Fr. (OL) - Denton (Ryan)
RK SCHOOL FUMBLES FORCED
1. Mizzou 20
  Boise State 20
2. Utah 18
  San Jose State 18

TIGER DEFENSE TAKETH AWAY - 29 STRAIGHT GAMES WITH A TAKEAWAY
   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 29 games having gained a takeaway into Saturday's game vs. Texas A&M. The last time Mizzou's defense didn't come up with a turnover was Oct. 30, 2010 at Nebraska (a 31-17 loss).
   The Tigers got a big takeaway last Saturday against Syracuse, on a 4th-quarter interception by CB Randy Ponder. That set up a field goal which gave MU a 27-24 lead with just 1:52 to play.
   Mizzou got a big turnover the previous week in its 4-OT thriller at Tennessee, as it came on the Volunteer's game-opening drive and thwarted a likely score. The Vols took the opening kick and quickly drove to a 1st-and-goal at the MU 10-yardline. On 2nd-and-goal from the Tiger 7-yardline, a pass in the flat was knocked out of the hands of a Tennessee back by MU's Michael Sam (it was originally credited to Kenronte Walker, but film showed it was Sam who gets credit), with LB Andrew Wilson falling on the ball at the 7. That was the only turnover MU managed to create on the day, but the points it prevented from scoring certainly played a factor in the Tigers' eventual overtime win.
   The Tigers forced a pair of fumbles two weeks ago in their tough-luck loss at #8 Florida, with CB E.J. Gaines recovering one of them on the Gator 27-yardline in the 2nd quarter. That set up Mizzou's only score of the day, and it gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead which it held until midway through the 3rd quarter. The other fumble was recovered by Florida.
   Prior to that, Mizzou forced five fumbles, and got three more takeaways (all on fumbles) against Kentucky. Mizzou converted those into 20 points (after having just 30 points off turnovers in the seven games prior to that this season), in the 33-10 win. All-star DT Sheldon Richardson made one of the defensive plays of the season to date for the first takeaway, when he tackled and stripped a Kentucky tailback of the ball on the Tiger 11-yardline on the opening drive of the game. Richardson threw the Wildcat aside, picked the ball up at the 15-yardline, and raced 60 yards the other way before the 295-pounder got hauled down at the Kentucky 25-yardline. That set up a TD run by TB Kendial Lawrence for a quick 7-0 lead.
   The other takeaways were induced by DE Brad Madison and LB Will Ebner. Madison got a sack/fumble on the Kentucky 12-yardline that was recovered by MU's LB Zaviar Gooden. That set up a Tiger TD on the first play of the 4th quarter. Later in the 4th, Ebner pursued a pass play to the boundary, and popped the ball loose right after a catch. Teammate E.J. Gaines scooped the ball up at the Kentucky 13-yardline and tightroped his way down the sideline for the touchdown which put a cap on MU's 33-10 win.
   Prior to that, Mizzou's defense was able to create 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 20 forced fumbles so far this season is most in the nation. Here's a look (thru games of Nov. 17th):

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 90 11+ (2001-Present) 90-60 .600 8
Warren Powers 46 7 (1978-84) 46-33-3 .580 5

PINKEL HAS THIRD-MOST WINS IN MIZZOU HISTORY
   Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel is in his 12th season at MU (22nd overall as a head coach) and touts a career record of 163-97-3 (62.6%).
   Pinkel, who has led MU to a combined record of 68-35 (66.0%) 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 90-60 (60.0%). Dating back to the 2005 Independence Bowl win over Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, Pinkel has gone 62-30 in his last 92 games overall (67.4%). 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 90. 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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