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Missouri Tigers Football news and notes

Offensive Player of the Week

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

· Continuing his surge for Biletnikoff Award and All-American honors (and why not Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, for that matter?), Alexander had another huge day, as he amassed 11 catches for 173 yards and 1 TD in Mizzou's 34-24 win over Iowa State on Senior Day. He came up just 27 yards shy of 200 yards, which would have made him only the 3rd player in NCAA history to post three consecutive 200-yard receiving days (his last two games included 13 catches, 214 yards, 1 TD vs. Baylor and followed by 10 catches, 200 yards, 3 TDs at Kansas State)…

· Iowa State Coach Paul Rhoads compared him to Jim Brown and Usain Bolt after Alexander amassed another huge day. Alexander provided one of the game's biggest plays, when he took a swing pass in the right flat, and ran 63 yards for a TD in the 3rd quarter to break a 17-17 tie…

Rhoads' quote: "He's phenomenal. … He's got a little Jim Brown to him," Rhoads said. "You look at him on the field, and you think he's done and not going to be able to play this play very fast, and then he comes out of the blocks like the Olympic guy from Jamaica."

· He also caught a critical 22-yarder on 3rd-and-4 with MU clinging to a 27-24 lead late in the 4th quarter which took the ball down to the Iowa State 9-yardline. Two plays later, TB De'Vion Moore scored from 1-yard out to essentially ice the win with 4:43 to play…

· Alexander is tops in the Big 12 Conference, and ranks 3rd in the NCAA in both receiving yards (128.27 avg.) and receptions (8.36 avg.) per game. His current yardage total of 1,411 yards has broken the MU single-season record of 1,260 set just last year by 1st-round NFL Draft pick Jeremy Maclin, and it also ranks #6 on the Big 12 Conference single-season yardage list…

· Alexander is the only player in FBS in 2009 with two 200-yard receiving games. Only 10 200-yard games have been turned in this season, including only 4 of which have come against BCS-conference opponents, with Alexander owning two of those four…

· Alexander has tried his best to put the Tigers on his back of late. In MU's last 6 games, he is averaging 160.7 receiving yards per game, thanks to 57 receptions for 964 yards (a 16.9 avg. per catch) with 8 TDs…

· His updated season numbers include 92 catches for 1,411 yards and 12 TDs – all bests in the Big 12…

· He's proven to be the nation's most dynamic long-distance threat, as he is averaging a nation-best 46.3 yards on his 12 TD grabs, with 5 of them covering 63 yards or more. Only seven players through games of Nov. 21st have reached double-digits in TD reception in FBS this season, and none of the other six have any TD catches that have covered 70 yards. Here's a look at the average distance of TD receptions for the nation's receiving TD leaders…

 Receiver, school TDs Total Yds. Avg. Distance of TDs

Danario Alexander, Missouri 12 555 46.3 yds.

Golden Tate, Notre Dame 12 337 28.1

Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma 12 261 21.8

Freddie Barnes, Bowling Green 14 276 19.7

Dorin Dickerson (TE), Pittsburgh 10 150 15.0

James Cleveland, Houston 11 129 11.7

Austin Pettis, Boise State 14 157 11.2

 

 

Defensive Player of the Week

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

· Spoon closed out his home career in fine fashion, as he registered 8 tackles, including 2 huge tackles for loss and 1 QB sack, as the Tigers put a dominating 4th-quarter defensive showing together to help MU to its 34-24 win against Iowa State…

· Two plays stand out from his game against the Cyclones. The first was a tackle for no gain in the 2nd quarter on an attempted fake field goal from the MU 35-yardline. With the Tigers leading 10-3 at the time, the Cyclones faced a 4th-and-3, and tried the surprise play, but Weatherspoon was not fooled as he nailed holder Derek Schmidgall for no gain to give the ball back to the Tiger offense…

· Later, in the 3rd quarter, with the score tied at 24-apiece, Weatherspoon sacked ISU QB Austen Arnaud for a loss of 5 yards on a 3rd-and-8 play from the Cyclone 17-yardline. That forced a Cyclone punt, and the Tigers responded with a drive that ended in a field goal for a 27-24 lead…

· The Tiger defense pitched a 4th-quarter shutout as it held the Cyclones to just 21 yards of offense, including minus-7 yards rushing and 1 interception…

· Mizzou held the Cyclones to just 77 net yards rushing on the day (28 attempts, 2.8 avg. per rush), a full 109 fewer than their per-game average of 186.45 coming into the contest…

· Weatherspoon currently ranks 2nd in the Big 12 Conference with his 9.38 tackles-per game average and he ranks 5th in the Big 12, and 19th in the NCAA with 1.32 tackles-for-loss per game…

· His updated season numbers include 101 tackles (71 unassisted, 30 assisted), 14.0 tackles for loss (42 yards), 4.5 QB sacks (21 yards), 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 2 pass break ups…

 

 

Special Teams Player of the Week

PK Grant Ressel – 6-2, 190, So., Jackson, Mo.

· Ressel continued to nail clutch kick after clutch kick, including what proved to be the game-winning field goal, as he was a perfect 6-of-6 on the day connecting on a pair of field goals and 4 extra points in Mizzou's 34-24 win over Iowa State…

· Ressel hit a 38-yarder in crunch time with just 11:56 to play in the 4th quarter that broke a 24-all tie after a promising Tiger drive stalled out. He also connected from 20 yards out in the first quarter to give Mizzou a 10-7 lead at the time…

· Through games of Nov. 21st, Ressel leads the NCAA in field goal accuracy, with his 95.2% success rate (20-of-21). For the season, he's made 55-of-56 combined kicks (35-of-35 PATs, plus 20-of-21 FGs), for a combined kick accuracy rate of 98.2%. The only kick missed by the walk-on was a 43-yard attempt against Nebraska came in terrible kicking condiditions during a driving rain storm on a play where the snap was a little high, which threw the timing of the kick off a little...

· The Groza Award semi-finalist's updated numbers for the year include 7-of-7 from 20-29 yards, 7-of-7 from 30-39 yards, and 6-of-7 from 40-49 yards, with three made kicks from 46 yards…

· Ressel is tied for 1st in the Big 12 and ranked 3rd in the NCAA with his per-game field goal average of 1.82 makes. He also ranks 2nd in the Big 12, and 18th nationally in scoring, averaging 8.64 points per game…

 

 

Mizzou News & Notes

· Sophomore QB Blaine Gabbert had another big day, as he completed 23-of-32 passes for 337 yards and 2 TDs (with the TDs covering 70 and 63 yards, respectively). He also showed that he's closer to being fully recovered from the ankle injury which hampered him so much during MU's three-game losing streak in October, as he rushed for a career-high 51 yards versus the Cyclones. In his last 4 games, Gabbert has a QB rating of 161.50, as he's completed 90-of-139 passes for 1,295 yards and 9 TDs (vs. 2 INTs) in that stretch as the Tigers have won 3-of-4 games…

· Mizzou's offensive line paved the way for a season-high 202 rushing yards, and a season-high total offense output of 539 yards. It did not allow a sack of QB Blaine Gabbert for the 2nd-straight game…

· Sophomore WR Jerrell Jackson stepped in nicely for injured senior Jared Perry (broken tibia suffered vs. Kansas State last week), as he caught a career-best 8 passes for 142 yards and 1 TD. His score, just the 2nd of his career, was a huge momentum play which came early in the 3rd quarter to tie the score at 17-apiece, after the Tigers trailed 17-10 at halftime. He also threw a key block on a bubble screen that helped spring Danario Alexander free for a 63-yard TD that gave Mizzou a 24-17 lead on its next possession…

· Mizzou owned the ball Saturday against Iowa State for 35:55, and that improved MU to 14-0 since 2005 (when it installed its current spread offense set) when it has a time of possession number of 31:00 or more…

· Junior TB Derrick Washington ran for 62 yards and a touchdown (3 yards) in the first half, but had to sit out the entire second half due to a concussion sustained late in the 2nd quarter. His status for Saturday's game against Kansas was uncertain immediately after the game, but it is hoped he'll be cleared to play. In his absence, sophomore TB De'Vion Moore carried the bulk of the load in the 2nd half, as he rushed 12 times for 42 yards and 1 TD after intermission (he finished the game with 15 carries for 51 yards in all), and his TD was a big one, as it came from 1 yard out with just 4:43 to play to give MU a 34-24 edge…

· Mizzou faces rival Kansas this Saturday in Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium, and they'll look to avenge a bitter 40-37 loss suffered to the Jayhawks last season there. The alltime series, which is the nation's 2nd-most played rivalry, is deadlocked at an even 54-54-9, although the schools don't agree on the series standing, due to a 1960 game which Kansas won on the field, but later forfeited due to the use of ineligible players.

 

Mizzou Athletics Media Relations

www.mutigers.com

 

 

 

 

 

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