Missouri Tigers Football news and notes - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Missouri Tigers Football news and notes

Offensive Player of the Week

Danario Alexander – WR, Sr., 6-5, 215, Marlin, Texas

· Alexander continued his surge for All-American honors with another monster performance in helping lead Mizzou to a huge 38-12 win at North Division-leading Kansas State on Saturday. Alexander had 10 receptions for 200 yards and an MU-record 3 TDs on the day, with his TDs coming from 54 yards, 16 yards and 80 yards, in order…

· His first TD catch came on a play where he beat double coverage and outleaped a defender who was in position to potentially intercept the ball, but Alexander jumped high and came down with the ball around the 10-yardline and scooted into the endzone for a 54-yard TD that gave MU a 10-3 lead in the 2nd-quarter. His second TD grab was from 16 yards out and came with just 20 seconds remaining in the first half that pushed MU’s lead to 17-6…

· His last TD grab was a game-breaker, as K-State closed to within 17-12 thanks to running 22 of the first 25 plays of the quarter. With all the momentum going the way of the Wildcats, and the fact that Mizzou had not scored a 2nd-half touchdown since Sept. 25th at Nevada, Alexander took matters into his own hands, when he got open on a 12-yard dig route, made one defender miss, and burst to the left sideline to daylight. He outraced the entire KSU secondary to paydirt and an 80-yard TD that made it 24-12 with 43 seconds left in the quarter. It was a huge momentum play that jump-started Mizzou to a dominant final 16 minutes of play…

· Not only does Alexander make the big open-field catch-and-run, he also showed that he can get the tough yards on Saturday, when he took a pass from QB Blaine Gabbert in the 4th quarter for a gain of 8 yards on a 3rd-and-7 play near midfield. On the play, he caught the ball just shy of the first down marker, but put his head down and dragged several KSU tacklers to first-down distance. He lost his helmet along the way, but was still fighting for the yardage his team needed to extend the drive. Six plays later, TB Derrick Washington plunged in from 4 yards out to extend MU’s lead to 31-12, and essentially end the game…

· For the season, Alexander now has 81 receptions for 1,238 yards and 11 TDs. He ranks 3rd in the NCAA in receiving yards per game (1st in the Big 12) at 123.80 ypg, and his 8.10 receptions per game average is 2nd in the Big 12 and tied for 5th nationally. His 11 receiving TDs also rank as 3rd-most in the nation through games of Nov. 14th…

· Alexander now stands just 22 receiving yards shy, 21 receptions, and 2 receiving TDs shy of the MU single-season records established just last season by All-American Jeremy Maclin. In 2008 in 14 games, Maclin had MU records of 102 receptions for 1,260 yards and 13 TDs…

· It was the 2nd-straight 200-yard receiving day for Alexander (he had 11 receptions for 214 yards and 1 TD last week against Baylor), who has overcome three surgeries to his left knee which he initially tore up in December of 2007 in the Big 12 Championship Game. He played all of 2008 well below 100% health, and he is only now being able to fully showcase the abilities that he has. His play this season has been very crucial to Mizzou attaining bowl eligibility for the 5th straight year (an MU record), especially given the fact that Mizzou lost 2008 Biletnikoff Award finalist Jeremy Maclin, 2008 Mackey Award winner Chase Coffman and 2007 Heisman finalist QB Chase Daniel to the NFL after last season…

 

Defensive Player of the Week

Sean Weatherspoon – LB, Sr., 6-2, 250, Jasper, Texas

· Weatherspoon led a spirited defensive effort Saturday that helped key Mizzou’s win at Kansas State as he registered 9 tackles, which included one TFL…

· Seven of his tackles came in the second half as Mizzou pulled away from a 17-12 3rd-quarter lead to its 38-12 win. With his nine stops, Weatherspoon moved into sole possession of 3rd place on the MU career tackles chart, and he now has 395 tackles for his Tiger career. He stands 39 stops shy of the MU career tackles record of 434 set by James Kinney (2001-04)…

· Mizzou’s defense was key to the Tiger win, as it held the vaunted Kansas State rushing attack to nearly 80 yards below its average coming into the game. The Wildcats were averaging 190 yards per game on the ground prior to the game, but Spoon and the Tiger defense held them to 112 yards on 43 attempts, which was only 2.6 yards per rush. That included holding the Big 12’s leading rusher, Daniel Thomas, to just 3.4 yards per carry, as he finished with 79 yards on 23 attempts, after he entered the game averaging over 108 yards a game. All K-State could muster was four field goals on the day…

· Spoon currently ranks 2nd in the Big 12 Conference, and tied for 30th in the NCAA with his 9.30 tackles per game average. He’s also 6th in the Big 12 and tied for 29th nationally with his 1.25 tackles for loss average. For the season, Spoon has 93 tackles in 10 games, with 12.0 TFLs (36 yds.), 3.5 QB sacks (16 yds.), 1 interception and 1 forced fumble…

 

Missouri Team, Individual Notes

· The win pushed MU’s record to 6-4 overall (2-4 in Big 12 play) and made Mizzou bowl eligible for the 5th-straight year, and should the Tigers receive a bowl invite, it will establish a school record for consecutive bowl appearances. Mizzou’s current string of 4 straight bowl seasons is tied for the school mark along with the 4 straight from 1978-81…

· Mizzou outscored Kansas State by a 21-6 margin after intermission to pull away for the win. The 2nd-half surge by Mizzou’s offense was a much-welcomed sight, as the Tigers scored 21 points, after managing just 11 points combined in the 2nd half of its its previous five contests (3 FGs, 1 safety from Oct. 8th through Nov. 7th)…

· Mizzou’s win at Kansas State marked the first for MU over a Bill Snyder-coached outfit since 1992, and it was MU’s 4th straight over K-State, and its 2nd straight win in Manhattan, marking the first back-to-back wins there for MU since 1988 and 1989…

· Mizzou used 3 Kansas State turnovers and converted them into 3 TDs. Mizzou had not converted an opponent turnover into a touchdown since Sept. 25th against Nevada, and it entered the game having scored only 23 points for the entire season off of 13 opponent turnovers. Kansas State entered the game ranked 6th in the NCAA in turnover margin (+1.10), while MU ranked just 69th nationally prior to the game (-0.11)…

· Redshirt freshman DE Aldon Smith continued his push for national honors as he made 6 tackles, including 2 TFLs and 1 QB sack. Smith leads all NCAA freshmen in both QB sacks and TFLs through games of Nov. 14th, and it’s by a large margin. He ranks 6th in the NCAA in tackles for loss (1.70 p/g – 17 TFLs in 10 games), with the only other freshman ranking among the NCAA’s top-100 being Luke Kuechly of Boston College, who ranks 71st at 1.00 per game (10 TFLs in 10 games). Smith also ranks 8th in the NCAA in QB sacks (1.00 p/g, or 10 in 10 games), and the next-best freshman on the list is Nick Perry of USC, who ranks 31st nationally, with an average of 0.70 per game (7 sacks in 10 games). Smith stands just 1 QB sack shy of matching MU’s single-season sack record of 11 set in 2000 by All-American Justin Smith…

· Sophomore QB Blaine Gabbert had a big day in the win at Kansas State, as he completed 20-of-27 passes for 298 yards and 3 TDs. He also showed that his injured ankle is getting better and better, as he ran for 35 yards on the day, including a scramble that went for 25 yards which set up MU’s game-opening field goal to take a 3-0 lead. Gabbert now has 2,662 passing yards, with 20 TDs and 7 INTs on the year. His pass efficiency rating of 139.77 currently ranks 3rd-best in the Big 12 Conference, and 30th in the NCAA, while he also ranks 5th in the Big 12 and 18th in the NCAA in total offense (274.50 avg.)…

· Mizzou won Saturday despite facing a massive disadvantage in time of possession of 38:19-to-21:41. The Wildcats held the ball for nearly 22 of the 30 minutes of play in the 2nd half, but it went for naught as the Tigers outscored KSU by a 21-6 margin after halftime…

· Placekicker Grant Ressel continued his outstanding season, as he connected on a 23-yard FG to open the game, and then made all 5 subsequent PATs. The Lou Groza Award semifinalist is now 49-of-50 (98.0%) in combined kicks on the season, which includes a breakdown of 18-of-19 FGs (including 6-of-7 from 40 yards or more) and 31-of-31 PATs. Overall, Mizzou has now connected on 229 consecutive PAT kicks since its last miss, in 2005 at Colorado. The current NCAA record for most consecutive made PAT kicks is 262, set by Syracuse from 1978-1989…

 

 

Mizzou Athletics Media Relations

Powered by Frankly