IT’S LIKE DÉJÀ VU, ALL OVER AGAIN It’s a case of déjà vu, double-style, this Saturday, as the 19th-ranked Missouri Tigers (9-3 overall, 5-3 in Big 12 play) take on the 4th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners (11-1, 7-1) in the Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship Game, set for 7 p.m. in Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium. The Tigers will be playing in Arrowhead for the second-straight week, following their heart-breaking 40-37 loss there last Saturday to rival Kansas. Fortunately for Mizzou, that game was played only for pride, as the Tigers had already wrapped up the Big 12 North title, their second consecutive such title. The other déjà vu factor for this week concerns the opponent. Saturday will mark the second-straight year that the Tigers and Sooners will meet for the Big 12 Championship, and Mizzou is hoping to erase the memory of a 38-17 loss to the Sooners in last year’s title game, played in San Antonio, Texas. DÉJÀOklahoma comes into the game playing arguably as well as any team in the country. The Sooners’ high-powered offense has averaged 63.5 points per game in their last four games, numbers that a lot of basketball teams would be proud of. DÉJÀMizzou will be looking to dethrone the Sooners, who are the two-time defending Big 12 Champions, having won the last two Big 12 title games, with the other being a 21-7 win over Nebraska in Arrowhead Stadium in 2006. OU has won five of the previous 12 Big 12 title games, claiming wins in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2007. They have also appeared in one other Big 12 title game, losing in Arrowhead to Kansas State in 2003, 35-7.
MIZZOU’S CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY While division championships might not be the biggest achievement known to mankind, the North Division title claimed by Mizzou in 2008 is no small feat, as it is only the 14th conference or division championship the team has won in its 118-year history. Also, it represents the first time since 1941-42 that MU has won or shared a conference or division title in football. That’s when the Tigers won the Big Six Conference in back-to-back years, very similar to the current six-team division championship.
TIGERS IN MIDST OF BIG 12 NORTH STRETCH OF DOMINANCE Mizzou carries a 10-game win streak over Big 12 North opposition into Saturday’s game, having gone 4-0 thus far in 2008, to go with a 5-0 mark in 2007, plus winning the final game of 2006 against Kansas. The 10-game streak ranks among the longest ever for Big 12 North teams, here’s a look at those… Additionally, Mizzou is looking to become the 11th team to go a perfect 5-0 in Big 12 North play. Among the previous 10 North teams to go undefeated in division play, MU’s four-game average margin of victory against North opponents in 2008 stands as the best, at 35.5 so far.
STADIUM: Arrowhead Stadium (77,038 – Natural Grass). Mizzou is 2-1 there alltime, winning games vs. Arkansas State (2005) and Kansas (2007), and losing last week against Kansas.
RADIO: Tiger Network. Mike Kelly (play-by-play), John Kadlec (color), Chris Gervino (sidelines), Mark Mills (engineer). Carried on over 50 stations across the Midwest. Satellite radio owners may also find the game on Sirius (channel 127) and XM (channel 141).
TV: ABC Sports. Brent Musburger (play-by-play), Kirk Herbstreit (color), Lisa Salters (sidelines), Bill Bonnell (producer), Derek Mobley (director).
RANKINGS (BCS): MU – #20. OU – #2.
SERIES: OU leads, 65-23-5, and has won 6 straight in the series, and 18 of the last 19 meetings dating back to 1984, and 30-of-33 dating back to 1970.
COACHES: MU:Gary Pinkel (Kent, ‘75), 58-40 at MU (8th year) and 131-77-3 overall (18th year). Pinkel is 0-5 versus OU and Bob Stoops. OU: Bob Stoops (Iowa, ‘83), 108-23 at OU and overall (10th year). Stoops is 6-0 versus MU and 5-0 versus Gary Pinkel.
MOST WINS, 2007-08
Georgia, Penn State, Boston College, Cincinnati, Florida, Texas Tech, Tulsa
TIGERS 3RD IN MOST WINS IN NATION OVER LAST TWO SEASONS With a school-record 12 wins in 2007, and 9 wins to this point in 2008, MU’s two-year win total of 21 is tied for 3rd-most in the nation during that time period. Here’s a look at the leaders… Additionally, MU’s three-year win total of 29 wins (MU won 8 games in 2006) ranks as tied for 10th-best in the NCAA during the 2006-08 stretch. Boise State leads from 2006-08 with 35, with Florida, Oklahoma and Ohio State next at 33…
DID YOU KNOW? This Tiger team has some pretty historically significant players on its team, and not just from a program standpoint, we’re talking from an NCAA perspective…
Senior TE Chase Coffman is the most prolific pass-catching tight end in NCAA Division I-A (FBS) history, with his 236 career receptions. The 2 games he missed in November due to his turf toe injury will likely keep him from reaching the alltime TE receiving yardage record of 2,830 by Louisville’s Ibn Green (1996-99). Coffman has 2,544 career yards entering the OU game…
Senior PK Jeff Wolfert is only two games away from finishing as the most accurate kicker in NCAA history for combined FGs/PATs. He’s made an astounding 235-of-246 (95.5%) combined kicks in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Those numbers break out to 56-of-67 (83.6%) on FGs and a perfect 179-of-179 on PATs. The NCAA record for combined kick accuracy is 93.3% by UCLA’s John Lee (1982-85)…
Senior QB Chase Daniel ranks 8th alltime on the NCAA Division I-A (FBS) career chart in total offense (12,988 yards), and is also 9th in career TD passes (96) and is 11th in career passing yards (12,060), despite being a starter for only three seasons…
Oh, by the way, the Tigers also boast the NCAA’s #1 all-purpose man in 2008 in sophomore WR/PR/KR Jeremy Maclin, who leads the country with a per-game average of 205.50 yards. Maclin had the most prolific freshman all-purpose yardage season in NCAA Division I-A history in 2007, with 2,776 yards…
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL While the campaign/election season is over (Praise God!), we do want to take a moment to stump again on behalf of a couple of Tigers who are finalists for major individual awards…
Senior TE Chase Coffman is one of three finalists for the John Mackey Award. All three are Big 12 tight ends, and Coffman’s numbers are superior in most every category. Plus, add into the equation that he has missed two games due to a turf toe injury (plus, he was not 100% last week against Kansas when he turned in an heroic 2-TD performance), or his numbers would be even more prolific this year. Lastly, Coffman is a great kid who chose to come back for his senior year to earn his degree, and he’s on track to receive it this May in just four years (he played as a true freshman in 2005). Here’s a look at the comparison of the Mackey finalists…
Sophomore WR Jeremy Maclin is one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award. Again, all three are Big 12 stud wideouts. While there is no denying that the other two have outstanding numbers, consider how valuable Maclin is to the Tigers, and how much he does for this football team, in terms of all-purpose ability. The Biletnikoff Award goes to the nations’ best receiver, but we feel it is warranted to factor in everything that Maclin does, in addition to the fact that his receiving numbers compare very favorably to the other two. Here’s a look…
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LAST YEAR IN BIG 12 CHAMP.: #9 OKLAHOMA 38, #1 MIZZOU 17 Top-ranked Mizzou’s dreams of playing in the BCS title game came to a halt, as the 9th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners continued their mastery of the series, pulling away from a tie game in the second half to post a 38-17 win in the Big 12 Championship game played at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The title was OU’s fifth in the last eight years, and the Sooners played like championship-game veterans in the second half as they denied Mizzou its first-ever Big 12 title, holding the Tigers under 30 points for the first time on the season. Mizzou had plenty of opportunities on the night, but couldn’t convert much-needed TDs in the redzone, as it only got 3 FGs and 1 TD out of 4 redzone pushes, while OU converted 6 redzone chances into 5 TDs and 1 FG, for the difference in the game. The Tigers undoubtedly missed TE Chase Coffman, who missed the game with an ankle injury. Coffman, who was a force in the redzone all year for Mizzou, had 9 redzone TD receptions coming into the game, and had caught 10 passes for 102 yards at Oklahoma during their earlier regular-season matchup in Norman, Okla. The key sequence in the game came early in the third quarter, with the game tied at 14-apiece. After forcing an Oklahoma punt on the first possession of the half, the Tigers drove from their 7-yardline to a 1st-and-10 at the Sooner 25-yardline, and appeared ready to seize control of the game. But the OU defense responded by sacking QB Chase Daniel twice in the next three plays, pushing MU out of scoring range, and the Tigers were forced to punt. The Sooners responded by driving 80 yards for the lead touchdown, converting a pair of key third downs along the way, to take a 21-14 lead with 4:04 left in the third on a 4-yard run by Patrick Allen. Things got worse for Mizzou right away, however, as on MU’s ensuing possession, a Daniel pass intended for TE Martin Rucker went off Rucker’s hands high into the air, and into the waiting hands of OU LB Curtis Lofton, who returned the ball 26 yards to the Tiger 7-yardline. Two plays later, a short TD pass from QB Sam Bradford to TE Jermaine Gresham all of a sudden had the Sooners leading the #1 team by two touchdowns. Mizzou responded with a drive to get back in the game, but once again got bogged down in the red zone and was held to a field goal to make it 28-17 with 14:51 left in the game. But the Sooners scored the last 10 points of the game, and denied the Tiger offense anything the rest of the way to pull away. Red zone efficiency was the difference in the game, as OU got there six times and scored five TDs, while the Tigers were held to three FGs in their four trips. PK Jeff Wolfert was his normal accurate self, converting from 28, 18 and 32 yards, but his three-pointers couldn’t keep up with the efficient OU offense. Wolfert’s 28-yard FG with 3:19 left in the 1st quarter opened scoring after the teams traded defensive stops early on. Sooner RB Chris Brown had a pair of short TD runs in the 2nd quarter – sandwiched around an 18-yard Wolfert FG after the Tigers got to the OU 1-yardline and failed to punch it in – and Oklahoma held a 14-6 lead late in the 2nd quarter. Daniel engineered a brilliant 10-play, 84-yard TD drive that he ended on his own with a 4-yard burst through the middle with just 14 seconds left before halftime, and a two-point conversion on a reverse pass from WR Jeremy Maclin to Rucker tied it up. Oklahoma outgained Mizzou 375-to-317 on the night, and the Sooner defense held the normally potent Tiger offense to just 6-of-15 on 3rd downs. Mizzou had entered the game ranked 2nd in the NCAA in 3rd down conversions (55%).
SENIOR CLASS WINS, 4-YEAR PERIOD
SENIOR CLASS LOOKS TO EXTEND RECORD WIN TOTAL Mizzou’s class of 23 seniors has a lot left to play for in the 2008 season, but they’ve already established themselves as arguably the most successful class in MU history. This class has been a very key group of players and leaders who have helped lead Mizzou to new heights. They have helped MU to 36 wins over the course of the 2005 season through now, and that represents a record for any four-year period of time (see chart below). This class is on pace to join the 1981 senior class as the only other in Tiger history to play in four bowl games in a four-year span (Mizzou played in bowls each year from 1978-81, and has done so each of the last three years, as well). Here’s a look at the most prolific senior classes at Mizzou, in terms of wins (through games of Nov. 29th)…
MIZZOU-SOONER SERIES HISTORY The series history between Mizzou and Oklahoma has been decidedly in the favor of the Sooners over the years, but that really shouldn’t come as a surprise, what with OU being one of college football’s most successful programs of all time. Oklahoma holds a 65-23-5 edge over the years against the Tigers in the previous 93 matchups. Last year’s Big 12 title game was the first time the two schools had met in a neutral site game. The Tigers will be looking to break a stronghold that OU has held over them of late, as the Sooners come into Saturday’s game having won six straight games against Mizzou, with MU’s only win since the inception of the Big 12 coming in their first meeting as members of the new league, in 1998 (20-6 in Columbia). Since then, OU has rolled to six straight victories, with only one of them coming by 7 points or less (31-24 win in Columbia in 2002). Oklahoma has won 18 of the last 19 games in the series, dating back to 1984, and if you take it back to 1970, they’ve won 30 of the last 33 meetings between the two schools. Since 1946, the series stands in OU’s favor by a whopping 49-7-1 margin – that’s when the separation really began by the Sooners from the Tigers, as in 1945, a Mizzou 14-6 win over OU evened the series at 16-16-1 at the time. Since Saturday’s game will be closer to Columbia and hopefully more like a home game for the Tigers, MU’s record against OU in Columbia over the years has been 32-15-0. The last four meetings in Columbia have been competitive, with OU claiming a 26-10 in 2006, the aforementioned 31-24 win there in 2002 (when OU used a fake field goal to secure their #3 national ranking), MU’s last win in the series (a 20-6 Tiger win in 1998) and in 1995, which ended as a 13-9 win by the #23 Sooners.
QB Chase Daniel has been named a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete (and is a winner of an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship). He is now one of 16 finalists for the Draddy Award, which is known as the “Academic Heisman.” Daniel is also an O’Brien Award semi-finalist, a Maxwell Award semi-finalist and a Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award finalist. Additionally, he was named one of five finalists for the Manning Award as well as the Unitas Golden Arm Award and the Wuerffel Trophy…
QB Chase Daniel had 288 passing yards last game against Kansas (he’s got 3,880 entering the OU game), giving him 3,000 yards each of the last 3 seasons for MU (no Tiger QB had ever reached 3,000 passing yards prior to Daniel). His 34 TD passes in 2008 (he had 4 vs. Kansas) broke his own MU season record of 33 achieved in 2007, and his season completion percentage of 75.1% and QB rating of 168.51 are far and away ahead of the MU season records of 68.2% (his own in 2007) and 154.3 (Phil Johnson in 1990), respectively…
Daniel’s passing total upped his MU career-record yardage to 12,060. He now stands 11th on the NCAA Div. I-A (FBS) career passing yardage list. Next up on the list is #10 Kliff Kingsbury of Texas Tech (12,429). Daniel is averaging 323.3 passing yards per game in 2008, and if he hits that mark in MU’s last two games, he’d end with 12,706 yards, which would vault him to 8th place alltime…
Daniel stands just 100 yards away from the MU career total offense record of 13,088 established by Brad Smith from 2002-05. Daniel, who has been a starter for only three seasons, has 12,988 career yards coming into the OU game, which ranks him 8th alltime on the NCAA career charts. Smith is next, at #7, and with a productive last two games, Daniel could reach as high as #6, which is Phillip Rivers of North Carolina State, at 13,582 (2000-03)…
All-American and Mackey Award front-runner TE Chase Coffman was not able to play against Kansas State and Iowa State, due to a sprained toe he suffered Nov. 1st against Baylor. He returned to play sparingly against Kansas last week, and his gutty performance was a reason why the Tigers came back from a 26-10 3rd-quarter deficit to nearly win the game, as he caught 2 TD passes on the day, and ended with 6 catches for 53 yards in all. He extended his streak of having caught a pass to 41 consecutive games, which is an MU record, breaking the previous mark of 34 by WR Justin Gage (2000-02). Coffman, with 79 receptions so far in 2008, is approaching the MU single-season receptions mark of 84, set just last season by TE Martin Rucker. The NCAA FBS single-season receptions record for a TE prior to this season is within view, too (90 by James Whelan of Kentucky in 1999). James Casey of Rice has already broken that in 2008, with 104 catches, but the 90 by Whelan of Kentucky stands as most by a TE from a BCS school…
WR Jeremy Maclin, coming off a 9-catch, 123-yard, 1-TD receiving game against Kansas, pushed his season receiving TD total to 11. That TD gave Maclin the MU single-season record for receiving TDs, breaking the tie he held coming into the game of 10, set by WR Sean Coffey in 2004…
Maclin’s 2008 12-game all-purpose yardage total of 2,466 entering the Oklahoma game is already the 2nd-most in MU single-season history, trailing only his own record of 2,776 set last year as a freshman…
LB Brock Christopher has 315 career tackles entering the Oklahoma game, and he stands 14th on the MU career tackles list. Next up on the chart is Lynn Evans, who had 316 tackles from 1972-74 and ranks 13th. Christopher needs just 8 tackles to crack the top-10…
Mizzou did not punt once recently against Iowa State, as it scored on 8 of its 10 possessions, and had the other two ended by turnovers committed deep in Cyclone territory. It was the second time this year MU did not punt (at Nebraska was the other time). Three other games this year (Nevada, Buffalo, at Baylor), MU has punted only once. Consequently, Mizzou ranks ranks 3rd in the NCAA in fewest punts, with 27 (averaging 41.3 per kick). Texas Tech leads the nation in fewest punts (22), while Tulsa is #2, with only 25, followed by #3 MU…
RECORDS WATCH CONTINUES Several Tigers are closing in on some prominent season and career records in 2008. Here’s a quick look:
MOST PATs ATTEMPTED & MADE (SEASON) –Jeff Wolfert is 67-of-67 – OLD MARK is 67-of-67 by Wolfert in 2007…
MOST RECEIVING YARDS (SEASON) –Jeremy Maclin has 1,175 – OLD MARK is 1,210 by Victor Bailey (1992)…
HIGHEST AVERAGE YARDS PER RUSH, SEASON (MIN. 150 ATT.) –Derrick Washington is averaging 6.3 (963 yards, 152 carries) – OLD MARK is 6.6 by Brad Smith in 2003…
TIGERS NET BEST HOME ATTENDANCE SINCE 1980 Mizzou’s great fans came out in record numbers in 2008 to Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium, where the Tigers played before sellout crowds of 68,349 for each of the last three games (against Oklahoma State, Colorado and Kansas State). That was the first time in recorded history that MU has had three consecutive sellouts. The six-game home attendance average of 64,520 was the 5th-highest in MU history, and the most since 1980, when the Tigers averaged 67,602 in 6 games. Here’s a quick rundown of the biggest average attendance for Mizzou home seasons…
QUICK-STRIKE OFFENSE If you like following the Tiger offense, you’re best advised not to blink when they’re on the field, because Mizzou strikes quickly when it’s out there. MU is quickly disproving that winning the time of possession battle is the key to winning football – while Missouri is 5th the nation in total offense (512.27 ypg), they’re doing it despite ranking 117th nationally in time of possession (26:15 average through 12 games). In fact, in a survey of Div. I (FBS) SIDs, Mizzou is 5th in the country in most TD drives of under two minutes in length, with 32. MU’s recent win against Kansas State was an amazing sight, as all 5 of MU’s TD drives were consummated in 1:07 or less!! Granted, 3 of the drives were short fields thanks to Tiger special teams and defense, but the other two drives went 84 yards in just 1:07 and 65 yards in 28 seconds. Earlier in the 2008 season, Mizzou had 6 TD drives in this category against Nevada, while turning in 4 against Colorado, and adding 3 each against Iowa State, Nebraska, Buffalo and SEMO, 2 against Illinois and 1 each vs. Oklahoma State, Texas and Baylor.
JUST EIGHT THREE-AND-OUTS SO FAR FOR #1 OFFENSE Mizzou’s #1 offense, through its first 5 games in 2008, did not leave the field once having had to punt after a three-and-out possession, spanning 48 possessions through that stretch. After scoring a FG on their first series in game #6 against Oklahoma State, the streak ended at 49, as OSU forced the first 3-and-out of the season on MU’s 2nd possession. In 127 total possessions with QB Chase Daniel at the helm this season, the #1 offense has scored 75 times, including 60 TDs and 15 FGs. The non-scores have resulted in just 21 punts (only 8 after just three plays), 7 lost fumbles, 13 interceptions, 5 missed FGs, 1 safety and 4 lost on downs. Mizzou did not punt once against Iowa State and also did not punt once earlier in the year at Nebraska. According to research done by Houston’s SID office, MU’s 8 3-and-outs is fewest in the nation. Here’s a look at the data compiled by Houston… In an amazing two-game stretch spanning the Southeast Missouri State and Nevada games, Daniel led the offense to scores on all 13 possessions in which he took the field (12 TDs and 1 FG). In those two games combined, Daniel had more TD passes (7) than incomplete passes (6). After scoring a TD and a FG on the first two drives of the Buffalo game, that streak was upped to 15 straight scoring drives. It ended on possession #3 of that game, when the drive stalled after 5 plays and a punt.
COFFMAN IS NCAA’S MOST PROLIFIC PASS-CATCHING TIGHT END IN HISTORY Mizzou’s John Mackey Award finalist TE Chase Coffman continued his All-American caliber play last week against Kansas, as he caught 6 passes for 53 yards and 2 key TDs that helped the Tigers crawl out of a big deficit to nearly win the game. He played less than 100%, as he’s still bothered by the lingering effects of a sprained toe (turf toe) injury sustained on Nov. 1st against Baylor. Against the Jayhawks, Coffman caught a 5-yard TD pass in the 2nd quarter to get MU on the scoreboard after a scoreless 1st quarter, and his 6-yard TD with 6:52 in the game gave MU a 30-26 lead – the Tigers’ first lead of the day after trailing at one time by a 26-10 count in the 3rd quarter. In MU’s win at Baylor, he caught a game-high 10 passes for 75 yards and 2 beautiful TD grabs that were definitely key plays in MU’s 31-28 win in Waco, Texas. Coffman’s two TD grabs, from 3 yards and 13 yards out in the 1st quarter and 4th quarter, respectively, both were of the highlight reel variety, with both coming in the corner of the endzone against tight coverage where he made the catch in traffic, secured the ball and got his feet down. Both plays were reviewed after being ruled as TDs, but both stood after replay confirmed the calls. Coffman actually played much of the 2nd half with a sprained left big toe (turf toe) that was bothering him after the game enough to have X-rays performed (they came back negative). He was unable to play in the previous two games, and his status for Saturday’s game is unknown as of Monday morning. Coffman had yet another performance for the record books against Colorado, as he caught 7 passes for 50 yards and 1 TD (a ridiculous one-handed grab in the back of the end zone in the 1st quarter to make it 14-0 Tigers). While his numbers might not by eye-popping from the game, they certainly were historic in nature, as they gave him 220 career receptions, which makes him the NCAA’s career record holder for all Div. I-A (FBS) tight ends. The previous FBS record for catches by a tight end was 217, held by Louisville’s Ibn Green (1996-99). Coffman entered the CU game with 213 grabs (already an MU record for all players), and he quickly went to work, tying Green’s record by the end of the 1st quarter. The NCAA record-breaker came on a non-descript 4-yard reception from QB Chase Daniel in the 2nd quarter, but it was typical Coffman, as he made the grab in traffic on 3rd-and-1, and pushed the pile ahead for the first down that kept alive a drive that culminated in a TD to make it 28-0 Tigers. Coffman now has 2,544 career receiving yards, which puts him in range of Green’s FBS TE record of 2,830. He also holds MU’s record for most receiving TDs (any position), with 29 entering the Oklahoma contest. Prior to the CU game, Coffman turned in an All-American performance in MU’s loss at #1 Texas. The senior from Peculiar, Mo. caught 12 passes for 140 yards and 1 TD, and was seen breaking tackles, hurdling defenders and making difficult catches in traffic all night long. The receptions and yards marked a career high for Coffman, who also made history with his 3rd catch, which gave him the MU career record of 204, surpassing the previous mark of 203 formerly held by TE Martin Rucker (2004-07). Coffman has 46 catches for 422 yards and 6 TDs in his last 5 outings, including catching 11 passes for 104 yards against Oklahoma State. One of those grabs included a spectacular catch on MU’s opening drive where he leaped backwards near the left sideline to snare a ball out of the air with one hand and bring it in for the catch – all while the OSU covering him was being flagged for pass interference. The gain went for 21 yards and extended MU’s drive that resulted in a short field goal for a 3-0 lead. He now has 4 100-yard outings in 10 games in 2008. Coffman is the NCAA Division I-A (FBS) active career leader for tight ends in both receptions (236) and yards (2,544), and he ranks #6 on the list among all players. His career yardage total ranks 20th overall among all active players, and he is the only TE on the top 20 of both lists compiled by the NCAA. For the 2008 season, Coffman ranks #3 among all tight ends in receptions (73), as well as 2nd in yards per game (91.00), and he is the clear leader among BCS school tight ends. His stats are enough to rank him 4th in the NCAA in receptions among all players, and he also ranks 16th nationally among all players in yardage.
WILLY MO NABS RECORD-BREAKING INTERCEPTION AT IOWA STATE The 2008 season has been a challenging one for senior FS William Moore, who came into the year with All-American aspirations after a huge 2007 season that saw him earn 2nd-Team All-American honors after notching 117 tackles and tying for the NCAA lead with 8 interceptions. Moore got off to a good start, as he had 12 tackles in the season opener against Illinois, but he also suffered a sprained foot in the game, and that injury hampered him for a long time, as he missed two games and was not 100% until midway through the season. Willy Mo made up for lost time in MU’s last outing against Iowa State, as he made one of the biggest plays of the game, grabbing his first interception of the season and returning it 17 yards for a TD to make it 21-0 Mizzou in the 2nd quarter. The play came just three plays after ISU had snuffed out a Tiger drive deep in Cyclone territory, and it helped keep momentum on MU’s side of the ledger. Just as significant was the fact that his pick-six was the 4th of his career, and that gives him the MU career record for interceptions returned for touchdown. He entered the season with 3 career pick-sixes, which had him tied with former great Erik McMillan (1984-87). Moore has now returned an interception for a TD in each of his four seasons. He did the deed as a freshman against Iowa State (62 yards), then as a sophomore at Texas Tech (22 yards) and last year as a junior in the Cotton Bowl against Arkansas (26 yards). For his career, Moore has 11 interceptions, which ranks him 5th on the MU career chart. One of his interceptions was a huge play against rival Kansas in 2007 that came at the MU 2-yardline in the 2nd quarter that was a huge momentum swing for the Tigers and broke a long string of passes thrown without an interception by KU QB Todd Reesing. For the season, Moore stands 4th on the Tiger team with 69 tackles, and he’s added 4 pass break-ups, 3 tackles for loss and 2 forced fumbles to go with his one interception.
WOLFERT BOOTS GAME-WINNER AT BAYLOR, REMAINS ON PACE FOR NCAA ACCURACY RECORD Mizzou PK Jeff Wolfert has put up incredible numbers over three seasons of booting the ball, as he’s made 235-of-246 (95.5%) combined kicks in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Those numbers break out to 56-of-67 (83.6%) on FGs and a perfect 179-of-179 on PATs (that’s 100.0% for any non-math types out there). In fact, Wolfert is on pace to break an NCAA career record for best accuracy for combined field goals and PATs. Wolfert’s combined career mark of 95.5% is currently ahead of the record of 93.3% set by UCLA’s John Lee from 1982-85 (116-of-117 PATs, 79-of-92 FGs). The minimum standard to qualify for this record is 50 career field goals. Additionally, the NCAA record for best perfect PAT mark in a single season is 77-of-77, set in 2004 by Louisville’s Art Carmody. Wolfert enters his final two games as a Tiger with a season mark of 67-of-67 in 2008, putting him in range for the NCAA mark. His accuracy helped play a huge role at Baylor, as he was crucial to MU’s 31-28 win in Waco, Texas. Wolfert was perfect on all 4 PAT tries, but was called on for a 34-yard FG try with the game tied at 28-apiece with just over two minutes left. He drilled it, of course, accounting for the final score, as the Tiger defense forced a turnover on the ensuing Baylor possession to end the game. Wolfert’s kick was the first 4th-quarter game-winning FG for a Tiger kicker since 2005, when Adam Crossett booted a 26-yarder in OT to beat Iowa State in Columbia, 27-24. Wolfert is one of only 10 Division I-A (FBS) kickers to be perfect with a minimum of 100 attempted PATs in a career, and he’s 2nd on the list… Much more on Wolfert’s considerable exploits can be found elsewhere in the PDF edition of the game notes.
MACLIN BREAKS MIZZOU CAREER ALL-PURPOSE RECORD, LEADS NCAA Mizzou’s Mr. All-Everything WR/KR/PR Jeremy Maclin enters Saturday’s game against Oklahoma as the NCAA leader in all-purpose yardage, with a nation-best 205.5 average per game. His last 3 games have been big efforts, as he’s averaged 253.0 yards against Kansas State (278), at Iowa State (240) and last time out versus Kansas (241). Against the Jayhawks, Maclin did most of his damage on offense, as he had 123 receiving yards with 1 TD, on 9 receptions, while adding 32 yards on 3 rushes, while adding 86 yards on kickoff returns (4 tries). Three games ago against Kansas State, he amassed a season-best 278 all-purpose yards, including 118 yards receiving (8 catches, 2 TDs) and 84 rushing yards (1 TD). It was the 7th-best single-game total in MU history, and gave him 638 all-purpose yards in 2 games against K-State (he set the MU single-game record with 360 at KSU in 2007). Prior to that, Maclin had a 161-yard outing at Baylor where the Bear defense held him in check offensively, as he was held to 5 receptions for 31 yards (his lowest receiving total in 2008 since game #2 against SEMO, when he played just 1 quarter in a Tiger blowout win). But, Maclin contributed with 161 all-purpose yards overall, as he rushed 5 times for 26 yards and returned 5 kickoffs for 104 more yards. One of those kickoff returns, his 2nd one in the 3rd quarter against Baylor, was historic in nature, as it pushed him past former Tiger great Brad Smith for the MU career record for most all-purpose yardage. Maclin entered the game at Baylor with 4,322 career all-purpose yards, needing only 98 to pass Smith’s mark of 4,419 from 2002-05. He now stands atop the chart with 5,242 entering the Oklahoma game. Much more information on Maclin can be found elsewhere in the PDF edition of the game notes.
DANIEL LEADS TIGERS TO 2ND STRAIGHT DIVISION TITLE Mizzou senior QB Chase Daniel began the 2008 season on the short list of Heisman Trophy favorites, according to most prognosticators. Even though those preseason expectations won’t be realized, Daniel has still put together an impressive season, and his leadership is a key reason why Mizzou has moved to the top of the heap in the Big 12 North, and just one win shy of reaching a first-ever BCS bowl game. Through 12 games, Daniel has directed the Tigers to the nation’s 5th-ranked outfit in total offense (509.42 ypg) and 4th-ranked scoring offense (45.00 ppg), while the Tigers rank 4th in the NCAA in passing (344.25 ypg) and 7th in pass efficiency (165.40 rating). Individually, he ranks 5th in the NCAA in total offense (343.25 ypg) and is 7th in pass efficiency (168.51 rating). Daniel rebounded from a tough 1st quarter last Saturday against Kansas (going 0-for-6 passing with 1 interception and 1 fumble) to post a solid game against the Jayhawks, as he ended the game 25-of-41 passing for 288 yards and 4 TDs. He twice led MU on long TD drives in the 4th quarter to take the lead, throwing a TD pass to TE Chase Coffman with 6:52 left to give MU a 30-26 lead. That capped a 12-play, 79-yard drive, and after KU regained the lead with 4:26 left, Daniel again calmly engineered a 7-play, 73-yard drive that ended in a Derrick Washington 6-yard TD run with 1:50 left to give MU a 37-33 lead at the time.
PINKEL STANDS 3RD ON ALLTIME MU COACHING WINS LIST Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel is in his 8th season at MU and touts a career record of 131-77-3 (62.8%). The Illinois game to open the 2008 season was the 200th in Pinkel’s head coaching career. Pinkel, who has led MU to a combined record of 49-26 (65.3%) over the past 5+ seasons, and to bowl games in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007, has an 8-year record in Columbia of 58-40 (59.2%). Dating back to the 2005 Independence Bowl win over Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, Pinkel has won 30 of his last 40 games overall. MU’s win in the 2008 opener against Illinois gave Pinkel his 50th MU win, and he now ranks 3rd on the coaching wins list at MU, with 58. 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. For the efforts in 2007, Pinkel was a finalist for several national coach of the year awards, including the Robinson, Bryant and Munger awards. He was also named the National Coach of the Year by FieldTurf in 2007. Pinkel has led MU to 4 bowl games, and if his Tigers reach a 5th in 2008, he will join Devine (6 bowls), and Powers (5 bowls) as the only coaches to guide MU to 5 bowl games. Pinkel has guided Mizzou to 4 winning seasons (8-5 in 2003, 7-5 in 2005, 8-5 in 2006, 12-2 in 2007), with those representing 4 of MU’s 6 winning campaigns dating back to the 1983 season.