Mizzou to Face Iowa in Insight Bowl

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MUTIGERS.COM

Dec. 17, 2010

#12/#14/#14 Missouri Tigers (10-2, 6-2) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5, 4-4)

GAME CENTRAL:

KICKOFF: 9:00 p.m. CT.

STADIUM: Sun Devil Stadium (56,000 – natural grass 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.

TV: ESPN. Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Matt Millen (analyst), Heather Cox (sideline reporter).

RANKINGS (BCS/AP/Coaches):
   MU – 12th / 14th / 14th.
   IOWA – NA / RV / NA.

SERIES: Mizzou leads, 7-5 overall, but the teams haven’t met since 1910.

COACHES:
   MU: Gary Pinkel (Kent, ‘75), 77-48 at MU (10th year) and 150-85-3 overall (20th year). Pinkel is 0-0 vs. Iowa and Kirk Ferentz.
   KU: Kirk Ferentz (Connecticut, ‘78), 88-60 at Iowa (12th year) and 100-81 overall (15th year). Ferentz is 0-0 vs. Mizzou and Gary Pinkel.

MIZZOU TO FACE IOWA IN INSIGHT BOWL
   It’s been only 100 years in the making, but the Missouri Tigers and Iowa Hawkeyes will square off for the first time since 1910, thanks to the announcement that they will face each other in the 2010 Insight Bowl, set for Dec. 28th in Tempe, Ariz. The game, which will be televised live nationally on ESPN, will kick at 9:00 p.m. (central time).
   The Tigers, ranked 12th in the last BCS standings, come into the game with a 10-2 overall record, including a 6-2 Big 12 record, which was good enough to tie for the Big 12 North Division title for the third time in the last four seasons. Mizzou ended the regular season on a three-game winning streak, including a 35-7 trouncing of arch rival Kansas in the regular-season finale on Nov. 27th. That win gave Tiger Coach Gary Pinkel his third 10-win season in the last four years, and only the 4th double-digit win season in program history.
   Iowa began the season ranked 9th in the Associated Press Top-25, and they won five of their first six games of the season to maintain a hold in the national rankings. The Hawkeyes stood at 7-2 and ranked 13th in the BCS standings heading into the final stretch, but a rough finish included three straight losses, at Northwestern (21-17), at home to Ohio State (20-17) and at Minnesota (27-24) to drop them to 7-5 overall.
   Don’t let the record fool you, however, as the Hawkeyes are one of the top outfits in the Big Ten Conference year in and year out under Head Coach Kirk Ferentz. Their five losses in 2010 came by a combined 18 points, and this Hawkeye team is less than a year removed from winning the Orange Bowl following the 2009 season, when it finished 11-2 overall and ranked 7th in the final polls.

MIZZOU MAKING RECORD SIXTH-STRAIGHT BOWL APPEARANCE
   Mizzou’s appearance in the 2010 Insight Bowl represents MU’s 6th-consecutive bowl game outing, and that has broken the old school standard of four straight, which was achieved back in a stretch from 1978-81, under former Coach Warren Powers.
   This game will also mark the seventh bowl in the last eight years for MU Head Coach Gary Pinkel. He is now the alltime leader in MU coaching history with his seven bowl game appearances, breaking a tie he formerly held with Hall of Famer Dan Devine. Devine led MU to six bowls in 13 years (1958-70), while Powers made five bowls in seven years (1978-84).
   In all, the 2010 bowl game will mark Mizzou’s 28th such appearance in school history – a figure which ranks as 27th-most in FBS history (Alabama leads with 58). The Tigers sport an alltime bowl game record of 12-15, and have won two of their last three bowls, claiming the 2008 Alamo Bowl with an exciting 30-23 overtime triumph over Northwestern, which followed a 38-7 thrashing of #25 Arkansas in the 2008 Cotton Bowl to wrap up the 2007 season. Last season, the Tigers jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the 2nd play of the game over Navy in the 2009 Texas Bowl, but the Midshipmen rebounded to post a 35-13 win over the Tigers.
   Gary Pinkel is 4-3 overall as a head coach in bowls, including a 3-3 mark at Missouri. His other appearance came in a 40-37 overtime win over Nevada in the 1995 Las Vegas Bowl, while at Toledo. That game was the very first game ever played in Division I-A (FBS) history with the then-brand new overtime tiebreaker system in place.

MOST WINS IN THE NATION, 2007-PRESENT
School 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total
1. Boise St. 10 12 14 11 47
2. Ohio St. 11 10 11 11 43
TCU 8 11 12 12 43
4. Alabama 7 12 14 9 42
Florida 9 13 13 7 42
Oklahoma 11 12 8 11 42
Utah 9 13 10 10 42
Virginia Tech 11 10 10 10 42
9. Oregon 9 10 10 12 41
10. Missouri 12 10 8 10 40
Texas 10 12 13 5 40
USC 11 12 9 8 40
12. LSU 12 8 9 10 39

MIZZOU HAS 10TH-MOST WINS IN THE NATION SINCE 2007
   There’s no question that Head Coach Gary Pinkel and his Mizzou Football program has elevated itself to among the nation’s elite. With its 35-7 domination of Kansas to close the regular season, MU won its 40th game since 2007, good for an average of 10 per year during the four-year stretch.
   As it stands entering the bowl game, MU’s 40 wins since 2007 ranks as 10th-most in the nation. Here’s a look at the win totals among the nation’s best during that time frame (through games of Dec. 4th):

TIGERS LOOKING TO CLOSE WITH FOUR WINS FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1965
   There are countless motivations for winning a bowl game, especially one against a high-profile Big Ten program such as Iowa, but there is one other factoid that would make a win in the Insight Bowl particularly pleasing for Mizzou: A win would give the Tigers four straight wins to close a season for the first time since 1965.
   That’s right, it’s been 45 years since Mizzou ended a year with a four-game winning streak. In 1965, under College Football Hall of Fame Coach Dan Devine, the Tigers stood 4-2-1 seven games into the year, but they closed strong, taking games over Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas to close the regular season. They finished the year in style by downing Florida and Heisman Trophy winner Steve Spurrier in the 1966 Sugar Bowl to end 8-2-1 and ranked 6th in the final polls.

MIZZOU BOWL HISTORY UNDER Gary Pinkel
   As noted previously, Mizzou is 3-3 in bowl games under Head Coach Gary Pinkel. Here’s a brief recap, in reverse chronological order, of how the games played out…

2009 TEXAS BOWL – Navy 35, Missouri 13
Mizzou came in as favorites over Navy, and just two plays into the game, the Tigers had a 7-0 lead, thanks to a 58-yard TD pass from Blaine Gabbert to the NCAA’s receiving leader, Danario Alexander. Unfortunately for Mizzou, that was a high-water mark on the day, as Navy used its hard-charging triple option running attack to control the ball for a massive 40:54-to-19:06 advantage in time of possession, and the Midshipmen pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 35-13 win. After MU’s big play, the Tiger offense was held to 298 yards the rest of the day, and Navy QB Ricky Dobbs ran for 166 yards and three TDs as the Midshipmen ran for 385 yards overall against an MU defense which ranked 12th nationally against the run coming in. Navy took a 14-10 lead at half, and extended that to 21-10 in the third quarter, before the Tigers mounted a promising drive late in the quarter. The drive stalled out, however, and MU was forced to settle for a Grant Ressel 31-yard field goal on the first play of the 4th quarter, making it 21-13. But that’s as close as the Tigers would get, as Navy tacked on a pair of rushing touchdowns to close out the game. A pair of Mizzou drives ended inside the Navy 30-yardline in the final quarter to seal the deal…
2008 ALAMO BOWL – #25 Missouri 30, #22 Northwestern 23 (OT)
The winningest senior class in school history went out with a bang, as Missouri rallied from a slow start to force overtime, and won it on a Chase Daniel-to-Jeremy Maclin TD pass of 7 yards to begin overtime. The Tiger defense then ended the game by holding Northwestern out of the endzone on downs, thanks in large part to a QB sack by LB Sean Weatherspoon and FS William Moore which caused a fumble and a loss all the way back to the 32-yard line. The Wildcats faced a 4th-and-goal from there, and QB C.J. Bacher’s desperation heave into the endzone was batted down by Moore to seal the win. Maclin was named the game’s Offensive MVP thanks to his game-winning TD catch in overtime, but it was his 75-yard punt return for a score with just one minute left in the first half (which tied the game at 10-10) which awoke Mizzou from its slumber. The lead would go back-and-forth, as Danario Alexander scored on an 11-yard TD pass from Daniel midway through the third quarter to give MU a 17-16 lead, and PK Jeff Wolfert made it 20-16 later in the third with a 43-yard field goal. Northwestern came back to take a 23-20 lead to end the third quarter, but Wolfert nailed a clutch 37-yard field goal with 2:49 to play to tie it up. The NCAA’s most accurate kicker in history also had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but his 44-yarder at the final gun was pushed just right, forcing the extra period…
2008 COTTON BOWL – #7 Missouri 38, #25 Arkansas 7
Doing a masterful job of motivating his team to forget a snub of the BCS bowl games, Gary Pinkel had his troops dialed in, and they responded with a 38-7 thrashing of 25th-ranked Arkansas to put the finishing touches on a magical season that ended in a 12-2 record and a final A.P. ranking of #4 (the highest in school history). Tony Temple finished his Tiger career in big fashion, by setting a Cotton Bowl record with 281 yards and 4 touchdowns, and Mizzou’s underrated defense held star running backs Darren McFadden and Felix Jones in check. Safety William Moore intercepted his school-record eighth pass of the season and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown midway through the third quarter to give Mizzou a 28-0 lead. After McFadden scored on a short run to cut into the deficit, Mizzou’s Jeff Wolfert hit a 32-yard field goal early in the fourth, and Temple finished it off with a 40-yard TD run which gave him the Cotton Bowl rushing record that had stood since 1954 (by Dicky Maegle of Rice)…
2006 SUN BOWL – #24 Oregon State 39, Missouri 38
After scoring a touchdown with 22.1 seconds left in the game, Oregon State Coach Mike Riley eschewed the game-tying extra point and rolled the dice with a two-point conversion for the win. Oregon State’s Yvenson Bernard pushed near the goalline, and was ruled to have crossed the plane by officials, although it was disputed by Tiger players that he made it across. The conversion was good, though, and it completed a Beaver comeback that wiped out a big day by the Mizzou offense and QB Chase Daniel. Mizzou held a 38-24 lead with 12:08 to play after Daniel hit TE Chase Coffman on an 18-yard TD pass, but OSU drove for a score to cut the deficit in half, and after the Tigers drove into Beaver territory looking to ice the game, a costly sack of Daniel moved MU out of field goal range and forced a punt. Oregon State drove the length of the field for the winning score. The loss spoiled a big day from Daniel, who threw for 330 yards, while TB Tony Temple ran for 194 yards (just three shy of the Sun Bowl record) and two touchdowns, including a 65-yarder in the 3rd quarter that made it 31-21 in favor of the Tigers…
2005 INDEPENDENCE BOWL – Missouri 38, South Carolina 31
Making a return trip to Shreveport, La., things looked dour for the Tigers early on, as they fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter to Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks. But Mizzou CB Marcus King got things jump-started with a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown, and then the Mizzou offense kicked in gear, behind record-setting QB Brad Smith, who was playing the last game of his illustrious career. Smith engineered what turned out to be the biggest comeback win in school history, as he ran for three second-half TDs, and ended the night with 150 rushing yards and 282 passing yards to wrap up his career holding 69 different MU, Big 12 and NCAA records. His 1-yard score with 2:13 left completed the comeback, and DB Darnell Terrell sealed the win on South Carolina’s ensuing possession when he intercepted a ball near midfield…
2003 INDEPENDENCE BOWL – Arkansas 27, Missouri 14
Mizzou’s first bowl outing under Pinkel didn’t go as planned, as Houston Nutt’s Razorbacks used a punishing ground attack to roll up 300 yards, including a game-high 141 yards by Cedric Cobbs. Mizzou’s Zack Abron had 137 yards on the ground himself, and Mizzou outgained Arkansas by a 407-to-385 margin in total offense on the night, but two key 4th-and-1 stops by Arkansas’ defense, coupled with two punt game errors by Mizzou proved too much to overcome. The Tigers had one punt blocked, and had another punt snap sail over punter Brock Harvey’s head to the Tiger 3-yardline, both miscues which the Razorbacks converted into points…
Toughest Schedules (Past Opposition)
Rk. Team G Rec. Opps. Pct.
1. Notre Dame 12 7-5 79-42 .653
2. Texas A&M 12 9-3 75-41 .647
3. South Carolina 13 9-4 77-45 .631
4. Auburn 13 13-0 76-45 .628
5. Minnesota 12 3-9 71-43 .623
6. Arkansas 12 10-2 70-43 .620
7. LSU 12 10-2 69-43 .616
8. Iowa State 12 5-7 72-45 .615
9. MIZZOU 12 10-2 71-45 .612
10. Illinois 12 6-6 68-44 .607
18. Iowa 12 7-5 64-46 .582

MIZZOU HAS GONE 10-2 VS. NCAA’S 9TH-TOUGHEST SCHEDULE TO DATE
   Mizzou has won 10 games during the 2010 season with a fairly young team overall (with only 5 senior starters), despite facing what is ranked by the NCAA as the 9th-toughest schedule in the nation to date. The NCAA figures its toughest schedule rankings in this manner according to the cumulative records of opponents played.
   Here’s a look at the national numbers (thru games of Dec. 4th):

TIGERS HAVE ONLY FIVE SENIOR STARTERS
   While the 2010 season still has a huge game left, it’s fun for a second to look ahead to 2011 and think about the possibilities, as the future seems to be very bright for the Tiger program. That’s because the current Tiger squad features only five senior starters, as well as the fact that there are only seven seniors listed in the latest two-deep depth chart.
   Here’s a breakdown of MU’s projected starters and the offense/defense two-deep for the bowl game. You’ll notice that of MU’s 55 players listed on the 2-deep, more than half (30) are either freshmen or sophomores…

CLASS PROJECTED STARTERS PROJ. 2-DEEP BY CLASS
Seniors 5 [1 off./4 def.] 7 [2 off./5 def.]
Juniors 13 [9 off./4 def.] 18 [11 off./7 def.]
Sophomores 4 [1 off./3 def.] 13 [6 off./7 def.]
Freshmen 0 [0 off./0 def.] 17 [9 off./8 def.]

 

Team FBS Wins Opp. Rec. Opp. Win %
1. Auburn 12 86-60 58.9%
2. Missouri 9 63-47 57.3%
3. Notre Dame 7 48-36 57.1%
4. Oklahoma 11 74-59 55.6%
5. Texas A&M 8 54-44 55.1%
6. Arkansas 9 59-49 54.6%
7. Iowa 6 39-33 54.2%
8. North Carolina State 7 46-40 53.5%
9. South Carolina 8 51-45 53.1%
10. LSU 9 57-51 52.8%

BEATING THE BEST OF THE BEST
   There are many ways to measure strength of schedule, but one way that we think is very interesting to look at is who has beaten the best teams in 2010. Mizzou stacks up very well in this measurement, as our figures show the Tigers as having beaten the second-toughest collection of teams in the nation this year (through games of Dec. 4th).
   Among teams with at least six wins over FBS opponents in 2010, the winning percentage of MU’s nine victims is second-highest in the nation (63-47 = 57.3%), behind only Auburn (86-60 = 58.9%). Mizzou’s opponent in the Insight Bowl, Iowa, also stacks up nicely here, ranking 7th with six wins over FBS schools who have a combined record of 39-33 (54.2%)
   Here’s a look at the figures, with the reminder that we’re only counting wins against FBS opponents (thanks to resident Mizzou historian Tom Orf for the research here):

2010 MIZZOU SEASON OVERVIEW
   Despite returning 16 starters (including eight on each side of the ball) from a team which went 8-5 in 2009, the Missouri Tigers began the 2010 season under the radar. Mizzou drew just a handful of pre-season top-25 votes in the major polls, and were predicted to finish anywhere from second to fifth in the Big 12 Conference North Division by various pundits (most had MU second, including the pre-season Big 12 media poll).
   Part of the doubt was understandable from the outside, as the Tigers lost from 2009 the NCAA’s leading receiver in WR Danario Alexander, who caught an MU-record 113 passes for an NCAA-best 1,781 yards and 14 TDs, along with leading tackler LB Sean Weatherspoon (who went on to become a first-round NFL draft pick by the Atlanta Falcons).
   Even with those losses, the Tigers set out to prove doubters wrong, and they did just that by firing out to only the third 7-0 start in school history. It started with a 23-13 win over rival Illinois in a neutral-site game played in St. Louis’ Edward Jones Dome. The Tigers struggled early, and trailed the Illini at halftime by a 13-3 count, but a dominant second half saw MU outscore Illinois 20-0 to post the big win.
   Following a 50-6 rout of FCS McNeese State to move to 2-0, the Tigers got all they could bargain for against upstart San Diego State (which ended the regular season with a record of 8-4). The Aztecs got touchdown runs of 75 and 93 yards from freshman sensation RB Ronnie Hillman, and after three Tiger turnovers in the 4th quarter, MU faced a dire situation, trailing 24-20 with less than two minutes left. But a play that will go down in history as the “Moe Miracle” saw WR T.J. Moe take a quick out from QB Blaine Gabbert 68 yards for the game-winning TD with just :51 seconds to play for a 27-24 Tiger win. On the play, Moe caught the pass and made a stutter step near the left sideline to shake one would-be tackler, then instead of heading out of bounds to stop the clock, he headed upfield, looking for a block. He got just that, on a superb downfield block by fellow WR Jerrell Jackson, who took out two Aztecs at once, and that sprung Moe free to paydirt and the dramatic win.
   The Tigers closed out non-conference play a perfect 4-0 thank to a much-less dramatic 51-13 win over another solid opponent in Miami, Ohio, who ended the season 9-4 and champions of the MAC Conference.
   Big 12 play began with a 26-0 whitewashing of Colorado, marking MU’s second straight shutout of the Buffaloes in Columbia, and the Tigers fifth consecutive win overall against the Buffs, in the final game scheduled between the two schools for the foreseeable future, as CU moves to the PAC-10 next season.
   At 5-0, the schedule picked up steam, as the Tigers would be faced with a three-game stretch as tough as any team in the country had to play in 2010 – at Texas A&M, at home against Oklahoma and at Nebraska.
   The Tigers were surgical in their dismantling of A&M in College Station, getting that three-game gauntlet off to a great start with a very impressive 30-9 win. Mizzou got out to a 16-0 halftime lead, and stretched it to 30-3 at the end of three quarters, before A&M managed to get into the endzone late in the game. Blaine Gabbert threw for 361 yards and 3 TDs against the famed “Wrecking Crew” defense, while the Mizzou defense made a big impression by holding A&M’s high-powered offense in check, limiting them to 9 points and 379 yards of offense.
   That win set up a huge game at home against longtime nemesis Oklahoma, who came into the game 6-0 and ranked #1 in the BCS standings. ESPN’s College GameDay brought their traveling show to the Mizzou campus for the first time ever, and the energy created throughout the week carried over into the game, as reserve WR Gahn McGaffie returned the opening kick of the game 86 yards for a TD to set the sellout Faurot Field crowd on fire. Oklahoma responded, and the Tigers held a 17-14 halftime lead in a good back-and-forth affair. The Sooners scored late in the 3rd quarter and held a 21-20 lead heading into the final period, but the Tigers rallied with 16 unanswered points to pull away for the breathtaking 36-27 win. That gave MU its first-ever win over a #1-ranked team, and made Mizzou the talk of the college football world for a week, as the Tigers climbed to #6 in the BCS standings that Sunday.
   The momentum of the previous two weeks ran out for Mizzou, unfortunately, as they couldn’t maintain their high level of play in a couple of tough road game environments. Nebraska stunned the Tigers with 24 1st-quarter points, thanks to TDs covering 66 yards (run), 40 yards (pass) and 73 yards (run), to take a 24-0 lead just like that. Mizzou was dazed but fought back to pull to within 24-14 midway through the 3rd quarter, and appeared to have all the momentum, but Nebraska struck once again from long distance, this time on a 53-yard TD run, and the Huskers held on for a 31-17 win to knock the Tigers from the ranks of the unbeaten.
   That loss seemed to carry over to the next game, even though Mizzou jumped out to a 14-0 lead at Texas Tech on two long TD runs of their own on their first two possessions of the night. True freshman TB Marcus Murphy went 69 yards for a TD on MU’s first series, and sophomore TB Kendial Lawrence traveled 71 yards for a score to make it 14-0, apparently putting the Tigers well on their way. But Tech changed quarterbacks, bringing normal starter Taylor Potts off the bench, and Potts rallied the Red Raiders to a 24-17 win, as Tech surprisingly held MU scoreless in the second half to erase a 14-10 halftime MU lead. While the loss stung, it did come at the hands of a Tech team which ended the regular season bowl bound, at 7-5 overall.
   Looking to regroup, the Tigers got well at home with a solid 38-28 win over BCS-#24 Kansas State, to improve to 8-2 overall. The final score wasn’t reflective of the dominant performance the Tigers put together, as K-State scored 14 straight points in the final seven minutes to make the score more respectable. Mizzou’s defense forced 4 Wildcat turnovers against a team which came into the game ranked in the top 10 in turnover margin, and they held KSU star TB Daniel Thomas to 66 yards – well below his average of 122 yards coming in. Mizzou countered with great balance on offense, as it gained 232 yards on the ground, while going for 208 yards and 2 TDs in the air.
   A Nebraska loss at Texas A&M put the Tigers back in a position of challenging for the North Division title, and they were able to keep pace the next two weeks by winning a defensive slugfest at Iowa State, 14-0, followed by the 35-7 dismantling of arch rival Kansas on Nov. 27th, in Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium. In Ames, Mizzou took a 7-0 1st-quarter lead on a Blaine Gabbert-to-Michael Egnew 11-yard TD pass, and the defense took the reins from there, getting MU’s first road shutout in conference play since 1967. Senior P Matt Grabner also sparked the Tigers by running 15 yards on a fake punt from the Tiger 28-yardline late in the third quarter to keep a drive alive. That drive ended in a game-clinching TD run by De’Vion Moore, and the Tiger defense preserved the shutout that improved Mizzou to 9-2 overall and 5-2 in league play.
   Mizzou closed the regular season with its 10th win in dominating fashion, thanks to a 14-0 first quarter that turned into a 21-0 halftime lead. Kansas tried to rally, but got only as close as 21-7 midway through the third quarter, before the Tigers answered with a long TD drive to kill the threat. Mizzou ran for 218 yards and 5 TDs on the day in its 35-7 win, and the Tiger defense held Kansas to just 141 yards of total offense – the lowest yardage total against MU by a conference opponent since 1980.

MIZZOU HAS THREE BIG 12 NORTH TITLES IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS
   Even though Mizzou didn’t represent the Big 12 North Division in the 2010 Big 12 Conference Championship Game, the Tigers did tie for the North title, with a 6-2 league mark along with Nebraska. That gave MU Coach Gary Pinkel and crew their third North Division trophy in the last three years, matching the ones they won in 2007 and 2008.
   While division championships might not be the biggest achievement known to mankind, the North titles are no small feat, at least from an historical perspective at Mizzou. The 2010 title is only the 15th conference or division championship the team has won in its 120-year history.
   There have been only two other times since MU began playing football in 1890 when the Tigers won or shared conference titles three times in a four-year span: winning the 1924, 1925 and 1927 Missouri Valley titles, and later winning the 1939, 1941 and 1942 Big Six titles.
   Mizzou represented the North Division in the Big 12 Championship Game in 2007 and 2008, dropping games to Oklahoma both years.

MU LOOKING FOR JUST 3RD 11-WIN SEASON IN SCHOOL HISTORY
   The 2010 Tigers have already earned distinction, as they are just the 3rd team in Mizzou Football history with 10 regular-season wins. Hoping it doesn’t stop there, the Tigers will be going for win #11 on the year against Iowa in the Insight Bowl, a win total that has been reached only two times in MU’s previous 119 years of existence (began play in 1890). The 11-win seasons include 1960 (11-0), and 2007 (12-2).
   Head Coach Gary Pinkel is already the first Tiger coach to achieve three 10-win seasons. College Football Hall of Fame Coach Dan Devine, with two, is the only other MU coach with more than one 9-win season. Pinkel is already the only MU coach with two seasons of double-digit win totals.

TIGERS EARN 10TH WIN WITH 35-7 TRIUMPH OVER RIVAL KANSAS
   Mizzou came into its regular-season finale as prohibitive favorites over arch rival Kansas, but long-time followers of the Tigers entered the game cautiously, as the nation’s 2nd-most played rivalry almost always seems to feature unexpected results.
   Thanks to a dominating defensive performance, paired with an efficient offense, the Tigers cruised to a comfortable 35-7 win over Kansas, to raise their lead in the overall series history to 56-54-9. Mizzou turned to its improving ground game for five rushing TDs on the day, and the Tiger defense held Kansas to only 141 yards of total offense – the lowest offensive output against MU by a conference opponent since 1980.
   Mizzou took the opening kick and drove for a TD and a 7-0 lead, and after a three-and-out by its defense, another TD drive made it 14-0 just like that. The Tigers held a 21-0 lead at halftime, and after the Jayhawks scored first in the second half to make it 21-7, the Tigers closed the game out in strong fashion, as the offense answered the KU score immediately with its own TD drive for a 28-7 lead. That score would be the only one of the day for Kansas, and the Tigers tacked on one more score in the fourth quarter to end all doubt and seal the 35-7 win.

  • Mizzou got all five of its TDs via its rushing game, with two coming from junior TB De’Vion Moore (3 yards, 5 yards), while sophomore WR T.J. Moe (2 yards), sophomore TB Kendial Lawrence (31 yards) and junior QB Blaine Gabbert (1 yard) all reached the endzone. The Tigers ended up with 218 rushing yards on the day to provide a nice complement to its 179 yards in the air vs. the Jayhawks. Mizzou’s rushing attack has been very effective down the stretch, as the Tigers averaged 194.0 yards per game in the final six games, compared to an average of 131.8 yards on the ground in its first six games…
  • Mizzou outgained Kansas by a 397-to-141 total on the day, and that represents the fewest yards gained by a Big 12 opponent against the Tigers since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1996. The previous low offensive output against MU by a Big 12 team was in 1999 by Texas Tech, when the Red Raiders gained 169 yards in a loss at Mizzou on Oct. 30th (MU 34, Tech 7)…
  • Missouri shutout Kansas in the first half, as well as the fourth quarter. The Tigers shutout Big 12 foes in 18-of-32 quarters this season in eight league games. The Tigers also boast two league shutouts vs. Colorado and Iowa State. Another interesting fact is that Big 12 North teams scored in just five of 20 quarters vs. the Tigers.
SENIOR CLASS WINS, 4-YEAR PERIOD
Rank Class Wins Bowls
1. 2010 40 4
2. 2009 38 4
3. 2008 37 4
4. 1963 33 2
5. 2007 32 3
1962 32 3

2010 SENIOR CLASS OWNS SCHOOL WINS RECORD
   Mizzou’s senior class isn’t very big (just 15 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 10 wins so far in 2010, they have broken the school record of 38 wins over a four-year period, which was established by the 2009 class. The current class broke the mark with their 39th win at Iowa State, and followed up with #40 in the regular-season finale against Kansas.
   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 three Big 12 North Division championship teams (2007, 2008, 2010), they’ve helped lead Mizzou to bowl games in each of the past four seasons overall (2008 Cotton, 2008 Alamo, 2009 Texas, 2010), and they were also part of the 2007 team which ascended to #1 in the BCS polls on Nov. 25th, 2007, in addition to being part of the first Tiger team to defeat a #1-ranked team, when MU downed BCS-#1 Oklahoma this season.
   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-IOWA SERIES HISTORY
   Mizzou and Iowa will meet for the 13th time when they square off in the 2010 Insight Bowl, but it will mark the first meeting in 100 years. The last time the two border state programs met was way back in 1910, when the Tigers claimed a 5-0 win in Columbia. All 12 of those meetings came in the first 20 years of Mizzou’s program, when they met seven times in Columbia and five times in Iowa City, from 1890-1910.
   Mizzou won seven of those meetings, including four shutout wins. Iowa also won twice by shutout, meaning exactly half of the 12 games featured shutouts.

MIZZOU VS. THE BIG TEN
Opponent Overall Road Columbia Bowls Last
Illinois 17-7 5-5 5-1 0-0 2010
Indiana 2-6-2 1-4 1-2-2 0-0 1992*
Iowa 7-5 2-3 5-2 0-0 1910
Michigan 2-2 2-2 0-0 0-0 1975
Michigan State 3-5 1-3 2-2 0-0 2001
Minnesota 4-3-1 2-3-1 2-0 0-0 1970
Northwestern 5-4 2-2 2-2 1-0# 2008
Ohio State 1-10-1 1-9-1 0-1 0-0 1998
Penn State 1-3 1-0 0-2 0-1$ 1980
Purdue 2-6 0-3 2-2 0-1% 1980
Wisconsin 1-4 0-3 1-1 0-0 1984
TOTALS 45-55-4 17-37-2 20-15-2 1-2
#-2008 Alamo; $-1970 Orange; %-(1980 Liberty)
*-Mizzou and Indiana are scheduled for a two-game
home-and-home series beginning in 2013 in Bloomington

MIZZOU VERSUS THE BIG TEN CONFERENCE
   Mizzou has played 104 games in its history against teams that currently comprise the Big Ten Conference, with the Tigers standing 45-55-4 alltime (45.2%). The Tigers have won their last seven games against Big Ten foes, since their last loss in 2001 at Michigan State. Since then, Gary Pinkel’s Tiger teams have won six times against Illinois (winning in 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) and also against Northwestern in the 2008 Alamo Bowl.
   This year’s bowl matchup presents a rarity, as the Tigers have played a Big Ten foe only three times before in post-season play – and one of those was against Penn State in the 1970 Orange Bowl prior to the Nittany Lions joining the Big Ten (they joined in 1990).
   The three bowl encounters against current Big Ten opponents include the 1970 Orange Bowl against Penn State (Penn State 10, Mizzou 3), the 1980 Liberty Bowl against Purdue (Purdue 28, Mizzou 25) and the 2008 Alamo Bowl against Northwestern (Mizzou 30, Northwestern 23 in OT).
   Here’s a breakdown of how MU stands historically against Big Ten foes:

OPPOSING KICKERS HAVING A ROUGH GO AGAINST MIZZOU
   Field goal defense isn’t an official statistic in football, but if it were, the Tigers would have to rank high nationally, as Tiger opponents have now made just 8-of-18 FG tries on the year (44.4%), and that’s a stark contrast to the 2009 season, when Tiger opponents could hardly miss, as they made 18-of-19 FGs against MU a year ago (94.7%).
   In Big 12 play this season, opponents made just 3-of-11 FGs against the Tigers (27.3%). And it’s not like they’ve all been from long distance, as five of the seven misses were from 40 yards or closer, including two misses from 40 yards out by Colorado, a miss from 30 yards away by Oklahoma and a pair of shorter misses by Iowa State from 38 yards and again from 27 yards out.
   Certainly, MU should get partial credit for opponents struggles here, as the Tigers have been credited with blocking five FGs in 2010, and because of that, perhaps that’s influenced opposing kickers when the kick isn’t blocked?

TIGERS RANK 1ST IN BIG 12, 6TH 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 6th in the nation, in scoring defense. Through 12 games, the Tigers, under 2nd-year Defensive Coordinator Dave Steckel, are allowing an average of 15.17 points per game. That’s a nice improvement from last year, when in 13 games, MU ranked 59th nationally in scoring defense, allowing an average of 25.38 points per game.
   Mizzou has allowed only 10 rushing TDs so far, and that total is the lowest in the Big 12, and the 11th-best total in the nation heading into bowl season.
   Mizzou is coming off a stellar defensive outing as part of its 35-7 win over rival Kansas. The Jayhawks managed their only score when they took over the ball on the MU 46-yardline in the 3rd quarter following a Tiger turnover. Even so, the Jayhawks had to go 13 plays to cover the 46 yards before getting a 3-yard TD run to cut the Tiger lead to 21-7 at the time.
   The game was one of MU’s more dominant defensive performances in recent years, as Kansas finished with just 141 yards of total offense. It was the lowest yardage total against Mizzou by a conference opponent since 1980, when the Tigers held Kansas to 126 yards of total offense in a 55-7 MU win.
   Prior to that, Mizzou turned in a 14-0 shutout win at Iowa State, and that, coupled with a 26-0 shutout win earlier in the year over Colorado, gave MU two shutouts in the same season for the first time since 1983. More impressively, the whitewash was MU’s first in a conference road game since 1967, when the Tigers won a 7-0 game at Oklahoma St.
   Earlier, MU put together 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 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. Similarly, the Tiger defense was key in MU’s win over BCS #1-ranked Oklahoma on Oct. 23rd, when it held the Sooners to 27 points in a 36-27 win. The Sooners came into the game averaging 36.0 points per game. Mizzou kept Texas Tech to 24 points, and that was below the Red Raiders’ scoring average coming into the game of 31.88 points per outing.

TIGERS RANK 1ST IN BIG 12, 7TH 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 7th in the nation, in scoring defense. Through 11 games, the Tigers, under 2nd-year Defensive Coordinator Dave Steckel, are allowing an average of 15.91 points per game. That’s a nice improvement from last year, when in 13 games, MU ranked 59th nationally in scoring defense, allowing an average of 25.38 points per game.
   Mizzou has allowed only 9 rushing TDs so far, and that total is the lowest in the Big 12, through 11 games.
   As noted previously, MU is coming off a 14-0 shutout win at Iowa State, and that, coupled with a 26-0 shutout win earlier in the year over Colorado, gave MU two shutouts in the same season for the first time since 1983. More impressively, the whitewash was MU’s first in a conference road game since 1967, when the Tigers won a 7-0 game at Oklahoma St.
   Earlier, MU put together 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 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. Similarly, the Tiger defense was key in MU’s win over BCS #1-ranked Oklahoma on Oct. 23rd, when it held the Sooners to 27 points in a 36-27 win. The Sooners came into the game averaging 36.0 points per game. Mizzou kept Texas Tech to 24 points, and that was below the Red Raiders’ scoring average coming into the game of 31.88 points per outing.

Red Zone Defense National Leaders
Rk. Team G Scores Opp. Pct.
1. MIZZOU 12 17 31 55%
2. Boise State 12 15 27 56%
3. Texas A&M 12 27 43 63%
4. Arizona State 12 31 46 67%
5. Oregon 12 25 37 68%

TIGER DEFENSE #1 NATIONALLY IN RED ZONE STOPS
   It would stand to figure that a good scoring defense performs well in the red zone, and that has more often than not been the case for Mizzou’s defense to this point. Coming into the bowl game, Mizzou’s defense is ranked #1 nationally in red zone defense, as opponents have scored just 55% of the time they’ve gotten inside the Tiger 20-yardline.
   In MU’s 14-0 shutout win over Iowa State, the game was very reflective of the success MU’s defense has enjoyed when it’s been backed up to the red zone, as Iowa State penetrated the Tiger 20-yardline only twice, but they came up empty both times, missing on field goals of 38 yards and 27 yards.
   Earlier in MU’s 38-28 win over #24 (BCS) Kansas State, the Tigers got one stop in three redzone attacks by the Wildcats. While KSU got a pair of TDs on short runs (only the 8th and 9th rushing TDs allowed by MU on the season in 10 games), Mizzou did come up with a game-changing stop just before halftime with their backs against the wall. It wasn’t exactly a forced error, but when K-State had C/QB exchange issues on a snap from the Tiger 1-yardline with just :15 seconds left before halftime, Tiger DE Jacquies Smith gladly pounced on the ball to avert the scoring threat. That stop helped preserve MU’s 21-14 halftime lead, and loomed even larger when the Tigers scored the next 17 points of the game after intermission to surge to a 38-14 lead.
   Even in MU’s defeat at Nebraska, the defense didn’t give up any redzone scores, as the Huskers never took a single snap inside the Tiger 20-yardline. At Texas Tech, the Red Raiders enjoyed uncommon success, as they converted on 3-of-4 red zone tries, turning all three into TDs. Even so, the Tiger defense buckled down and made the most of the 4th Tech red zone appearance, as LB Zaviar Gooden stepped in front of a pass at the Tiger 2 for his second INT of the year, and he returned it 10 yards to the MU 12-yardline to avert the Tech scoring threat.
   A perfect example of MU’s ability to get key stops was on display in MU’s 36-27 win against #1 (BCS) Oklahoma on Oct. 23rd, 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.
   At right is a look at the national numbers, through games of Dec. 4th:

VETERAN O-LINE HAS 141 COMBINED CAREER STARTS
   Those who consider themselves football purists will tell you that it all starts up front on offense. If that’s the case then the Mizzou offense looked to be in pretty solid hands for the 2010 season, as the Tigers returned 4-of-5 starters from the line a year ago.
   That veteran line will take the field with a combined 141 career starts heading into the 2010 Insight Bowl. The front five had an outstanding effort recently in MU’s 38-28 win over #24 (BCS) Kansas State, as the Tigers amassed 440 yards of total offense, including 232 rushing yards (2 TDs) and 208 passing yards (2 TDs). Mizzou had consecutive 200-yard rushing games, after going for a season-best 260 rushing yards the week before at Texas Tech. The Tigers closed the regular season with a 218-yard rushing day in its 35-7 win over Kansas, giving MU 200-yard ground games in three of the last four outings.
   The line had an absolutely stellar performance in Mizzou’s win over BCS-#1 Oklahoma. Against the Sooners, the line paved the way for 486 yards of total offense, including 178 yards on the ground. They also kept QB Blaine Gabbert clean all night long, as Gabbert was not sacked one time against the talented OU front seven.
   At 12th-ranked Nebraska, the stellar Cornhusker defense presented a difficult challenge, and the Tigers were held to 341 yards of total offense, and that included 6 QB sacks allowed, when the Tigers had permitted only 7 sacks total in the first 7 games of the year. The next week saw the Tigers race to a quick 14-0 lead at Texas Tech, thanks to superb blocking by the line which paved the way for long TD runs of 69 yards and 71 by running backs Marcus Murphy and Kendial Lawrence, respectively.
   MU QBs have now been sacked just 21 times in 433 passing attempts on the season, and the average of 1.67 sacks allowed per game is 43rd-best in the nation.
   Headlining the group is third-year starting C Tim Barnes, who is on the watch lists for the Rimington and Outland trophies. Barnes has started 39 consecutive games at center, and he’s only the third starter at center in Pinkel’s tenure at Mizzou – A.J. Ricker started for Pinkel for 3 seasons (2001-03), followed by Adam Spieker for 4 seasons (2004-07), followed by Barnes for three (2008-10).
   Also returning to the fold are bookend tackles Elvis Fisher (LT) and Dan Hoch (RT). Fisher is in his third year as a starter in 2010, as he’s started every one of the last 39 games guarding the blind side of Tiger quarterbacks. Hoch became the first-ever true freshman offensive lineman to play for Gary Pinkel when he saw the field in reserve duty in 2008, and then he took over starting duties for the first time in 2009, when he made all 13 starts at the spot, and after 12 starts in 2010, he’s up to 25 for his career.
   The guards feature RG Austin Wuebbels, who started 13 games at left guard a year ago, and he now slides over to the right side to replace departed star Kurtis Gregory, and with 12 starts in 2010, he’s also at 25 career starts. Junior LG Jayson Palmgren made his first career start in the season opener against Illinois, but he’s got plenty of game experience, as he split snaps last year frequently with Wuebbels in all 13 games. Palmgren’s 12 career starts, plus the 1 start notched by sophomore Jack Meiners in the Oklahoma game (when the Tigers went with a jumbo set to open the game – it worked to produce a 20-yard run by TB De’Vion Moore on the first play from scrimmage), add up to 141 career starts by the Tiger linemen.

TIGER GROUND ATTACK AVERAGING 194 YDS. IN LAST 6 GAMES
   Mizzou’s rushing attack doesn’t garner the attention its aerial game does in the spread offense MU has employed since installing it prior to the 2005 season. However, the Tigers have shown in 2010 that their ground game can be very effective when called upon. Here are some basic factoids regarding the Tiger ground game…

  • Mizzou’s average of 157.91 yards per game on the ground doesn’t pop eyes (it ranks MU 54th nationally as a team), but the production has been building in recent weeks. In the last 6 games, Mizzou is averaging just under 200 yards per game (194.0) on the ground (1,164 yards, 229 attempts, 13 TDs), and has averaged a very solid 5.1 yards per attempt in that stretch. In its first 6 games, MU averaged 131.8 yards per game on the ground (791 yards, 181 carries, 13 TDs), with a per-carry average of 4.40…
  • Mizzou put together consecutive 200-yard ground games recently, after rushing for 232 against Kansas State, after going for a season-high 260 yards the week before at Texas Tech. The Tigers missed out on a third-straight 200-yard outing as they were held to 134 yards in all at Iowa State, even thought they carried the ball a season-high 41 times. Mizzou closed with a 218-yard run game effort last time out against Kansas…
  • It’s been a tailback by committee approach, with the bulk of the carries being split by junior De’Vion Moore (93 carries, 485 yards, 8 TDs, 5.2 avg.), true freshman Henry Josey (74-425, 4 TDs, 5.7 avg.), sophomore Kendial Lawrence (67-382, 4 TDs, 5.7 avg. in 11 games), and true freshman Marcus Murphy (22-181, 2 TDs, 8.2 avg. in 11 games). Lawrence missed the McNeese game due to an injury, and Murphy did not play in the opener against Illinois…
  • Those four backs have been very potent, as they’ve combined to average a solid 6.2 yards per attempt (256 combined carries, 1,473 yards, 18 TDs)…
  • QB Blaine Gabbert has been more involved in the ground game of late, as well, as he’s rushed for 265 net yards in the last 6 games, after going for negative 26 (–26) yards net in MU’s first 6 games. He had a season-high 89-yard rushing day against Kansas State, which included a 32-yard TD run (his 3rd of the season – he added a 4th on a 1-yard plunge last time out against Kansas). Gabbert also had a 74-yard rushing day at Nebraska, and he was MU’s leading rusher at Iowa State (37 yds.)…
  • Tiger wideouts were also a big factor in the rushing attack recently vs. Kansas State. T.J. Moe ran twice for 32 yards, while Jerrell Jackson and Wes Kemp each carried once for 9 yards apiece, with Jackson’s going for a 9-yard TD on a perfectly-executed jet sweep…
  • Mizzou enjoyed great success on the ground at Texas Tech, as it rushed for a season-high 260 yards, including 69-yard and 71-yard 1st-quarter TD runs by Murphy and Lawrence, respectively. In its win over BCS-#1 Oklahoma, as the Tigers gashed the Sooners for 178 rushing yards, which factored heavily in MU’s 36-27 win. De’Vion Moore led the way with 73 yards and 1 TD on 10 carries (7.3 avg.) and Henry Josey added 14 carries for 64 yards (4.6 avg.) in support…
  • Mizzou has 26 rushing TDs through 12 games in 2010, and that has already by far surpassed MU’s 13-game total of 15 rushing TDs in all of 2009…
  • The Tigers have 26 rushing TDs in 410 attempts in 2010, good for a TD per 15.76 attempts. In 2009, MU had 15 rushing TDs in 444 attempts, for a ratio of one rushing TD per every 29.6 attempts…

‘MOE TOUCHDOWNS, MOE PROBLEMS’ FOR TIGER FOES
   It was pretty clear to observers during fall training camp that QB Blaine Gabbert was in the process of developing a good chemistry with sophomore WR T.J. Moe. That comfort level has most definitely transferred to the season, as Gabbert has connected with Moe 77 times for 893 yards and 6 TDs.
   Moe, who caught all of 2 passes as a true freshman in 2009, currently finds himself as the nation’s #19 most prolific pass catcher through 12 games, as his 77 receptions are ranked 19th nationally entering bowl season. His yardage average of 74.42 also ranks him 40th in the nation, and his yardage total of 893 is the 10th-most prolific single-season total in Tiger history to this point.
Moe was a difference maker last time out in MU’s 35-7 win over Kansas, as he led the Tigers with 5 receptions for 83 yards, while he also ran the ball on a jet sweep for a 2-yard TD in the 1st quarter to put MU up, 14-0.
   Prior to that, Moe had a very impactful day in helping guide the Tigers to a 38-28 win over #24 (BCS) Kansas State. In the game, Moe notched the first multi-TD outing of his career, as he caught TD passes of 25 yards (1st quarter) and 4 yards (4th quarter) from QB Blaine Gabbert. He ended the day with 5 receptions for 36 yards (his lowest yardage total of the season), but he also got involved in the run game, as he carried twice for 32 yards on end around sweeps. Moe has now carried the ball 11 times on the year, for a net of 82 yards (7.5 avg.).
   Moe, a prolific and record-setting producer at quarterback in high school, was initially pegged to play safety when he first came to Mizzou. He made his 1st career start in the 2010 opener vs. Illinois, and proceeded to haul in 13 catches for 101 yards and 1 TD. Of course, his legend at Mizzou will be forever cemented in the history books after his 7-catch, 119-yard outing in week #3 against San Diego State, most notably for his 68-yard catch-and-run score with just :51 seconds left that gave Mizzou a dramatic 27-24 win. Moe followed by catching 7 passes for 95 yards against Miami (Ohio), despite not seeing the field much after halftime due to the lopsided score, and had a 7-catch, 85-yard outing against Colorado. He had a very efficient day at Texas A&M, where he notched 110 yards and 1 TD (a 20-yarder in the 3rd-quarter) on just 6 receptions (a season low).
   Moe had a 5-catch, 71-yard, 1-TD day at Nebraska, with the score coming on a pretty 23-yard catch-and-run in the 3rd quarter which pulled the Tigers to within 24-14, and he was MU’s most effective weapon in a tough offensive night at Texas Tech recently, when he had 7 catches and 62 yards – which was most of MU’s passing game that totaled 12 completions for 95 yards.

RESSEL NAMED A GROZA SEMI-FINALIST
   In 2009, Mizzou took to the field with the daunting task of having to replace departed PK Jeff Wolfert, who, in his three seasons (2006-08), set the NCAA combined kicking accuracy record, as he made a combined 244-of-257 kicks (59-of-72 FGs, plus 185-of-185 PATs), for a career percentage of 94.9%.
   In stepped sophomore Grant Ressel, who won the kicking job in the final week of training camp, and who took the field in the 2009 season opener with exactly zero career kicks under his belt. All Ressel did during his sophomore season was establish himself as the most accurate kicker in the nation, as he made a combined 65-of-66 total kicks (98.5%) – a mark which broke the NCAA single-season record for best combined kick accuracy.
   Ressel also led the NCAA in FG percentage among those with 13 or more attempts (96.3%). For the season, Ressel, who joined Mizzou in 2007 as a walk-on (he’s now on scholarship), made 26-of-27 FGs, and was perfect on 39-of-39 PATs.
   Through 12 games in 2010, Ressel has been equally impressive, a for the 2010 season, Ressel is 16-of-18 on FGs (88.9%) and 42-of-44 on PATs, making him 42-of-45 on FGs (93.3%) and 81-of-83 on PATs (97.6%) for his career.
   Although he did start the year with an uncharacteristic miss against Illinois, when a high snap threw the timing off of his first attempt of the season, Ressel’s 37-yarder went just wide to open the 2010 year.    After that, he made 13 consecutive kicks prior to coming up just short at Nebraska on what would have been a career-long 54-yarder in the 2nd quarter. The kick was right down the middle, but fell just underneath the crossbar. Ressel rebounded by making a 23-yarder in the 3rd quarter to pull the Tigers to within 31-17.
   For his efforts, Ressel was named one of 20 semi-finalists for the 2010 Lou Groza Award, which goes annually to the nation’s top place-kicker.
   Earlier in the year, Ressel made 3 pressure-packed kicks against BCS-#1 Oklahoma, to help the Tigers to a 36-27 win. Against the Sooners, Ressel made three shorter kicks, connecting from 36 yards at the halftime gun to give MU a 17-14 lead, and he followed with a 30-yarder to make it 20-14 midway through the 3rd quarter, and ended with a 23-yarder with 9:44 to play that gave MU a 29-21 lead, which proved to be the game-winning points.
   Ressel connected from 33, 27 and 34 against Illinois (the last two which came with the game still in the balance in the 4th quarter), then from 27 and 32 yards against McNeese State, followed by makes from 34 and 38 yards against San Diego State.
   Against Miami (Ohio), he had a mixed bag of a day, as he nailed a 50-yard field goal in the 3rd quarter, which represented his first career make of 50 yards or more. That followed a shocking miss on an extra point attempt in the 3rd quarter where he simply pushed the kick right and banged it off the right upright. That miss broke a string of 252 consecutive made extra points by Mizzou (dating back to 2005), which left them just 10 shy of the alltime NCAA record of 262 consecutive PATs made by a school (Syracuse).
   He followed that by making a 47-yarder in his only try against Colorado and hit a 21-yarder at Texas A&M right before halftime, and that gave him 12 consecutive games with a made field goal. He did have an extra point blocked at A&M, which was the first blocked PAT against MU since the 2005 season.
   He forever etched his name fondly into the hearts of Tiger fans in the 2009 regular-season finale against arch-rival Kansas, when he made four FGs (43, 28, 37, 27 yards), including the game-winning 27-yarder as time expired to give Mizzou a comeback 41-39 win. Ressel’s only miss on the year was a 43-yard attempt against Nebraska in terrible downpour conditions, on a play where the snap that was off a bit, which threw off the timing of the kick.
   For his efforts in 2009, Ressel was named a 1st-Team All-American by Sports Illustrated, becoming MU’s first-ever kicker to achieve 1st-Team All-American status.

MU CAREER LEADERS
CONSECUTIVE STARTS
1. Martin Rucker, TE 2004-07 50
Adam Spieker, C 2004-07 50
3. Carl Gettis, CB 2007-10 49
4. Brad Smith, QB 2002-05 48
5. A.J. Ricker, C 2000-03 47
6. Rob Riti, C 1996-99 42
Mike Bedosky, C 1990-93 42
8. Sean Weatherspoon, LB 2006-09 41
Kurtis Gregory, RG 2006-09 41
Tommy Saunders, WR 2005-08 41
Darren MacDonald, LB 1986-89 41

GETTIS TO TIE MU RECORD WITH 50TH CAREER START IN INSIGHT BOWL
   If it seems like senior CB Carl Gettis has been around awhile, it’s understandable. The O’Fallon, Mo. native came to the Tiger program in the fall of 2007, and despite the fact that he primarily played running back in high school (teaming with fellow Tiger WR T.J. Moe, who was a record-setting QB back then), Gettis was switched to corner back when he arrived on campus. As a true freshman, Gettis made a quick impression in his first fall camp, and he quickly was prepped to see playing time during his true freshman season.
   Gettis ended up playing in all 14 games during Mizzou’s 2007 season, starting 10 of them at cornerback. He hasn’t left the starting lineup since, as he started all 14 games in 2008, all 13 in 2009 and all 12 to this point in 2010. When he takes the field as a starter in Tempe, Ariz. for the 2010 Insight Bowl, Gettis will tie the MU career record for most consecutive starts, of 50.
   He enters the bowl game with 49 consecutive starts, and he’ll tie the record of 50 previously established by Tiger stars Martin Rucker (TE, 2004-07) and Adam Spieker (C, 2004-07).
   Gettis has been an honorable-mention All-Big 12 performer in each of his four seasons. He enters the bowl game as MU’s active career leader in tackles (234), passes broken up (13) and fumbles recovered (5).

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 77 10 (2001-Present) 77-48 .616 7
Warren Powers 46 7 (1978-84) 46-33-3 .580 5

PINKEL NABS CAREER WIN #150 AGAINST KANSAS
   Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel is in his 10th season at MU (20th overall as a head coach) and touts a career record of 150-85-3 (63.7%). Following Mizzou’s recent historic win over #1 (BCS) Oklahoma, the Tigers ascended to as high as #6 in the BCS rankings, and the 7-0 start to the season was only the third in school history, and the first for any Tiger team since 1960.
   Pinkel, who has led MU to a combined record of 55-23 (70.3%) over the past 5+ seasons, and to bowl games in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, has a 10-year record in Columbia of 77-48 (61.6%). Dating back to the 2005 Independence Bowl win over Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, Pinkel has gone 49-18 in his last 67 games overall (73.1%). 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 77. The win over Kansas on Nov. 27th 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.
   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 2010 means that Pinkel has led MU to 7 bowl games overall, and that is the most bowl games by any MU coach.
   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, 8-5 in 2009 and 10-2 in 2010), with those representing 7 of MU’s 9 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 November of 2008, Pinkel agreed to a new seven-year contract, meaning he’ll patrol the Tiger sidelines through the 2015 season.


 

 

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