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Missouri Tigers take on the Syracuse Orange

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From the University of Missouri

TIGER NEWS & NOTES

Syracuse Orange (5-5) at Missouri Tigers (5-5)

Nov. 17, 2012 – Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium – Columbia, Mo.

 

SENIOR DAY / BLACKOUT GAME / SALUTE TO VETERANS GAME

KICKOFF: 6:02 p.m. (central time).

STADIUM: Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field (71,004 – FieldTurf surface).  Opened in 1926.  MU is 264-171-20 there alltime and has won 37 of its last 46 overall and is 47-14 there since 2003 (3-3 in 2012).

RADIO: Tiger Network.  Mike Kelly (play-by-play), Howard Richards (color), Chris Gervino (sidelines), Scotty Cox (producer), Matt Winegardner (director).  Carried on over 50 stations across the Midwest, and on the Internet at mutigers.com (subscription only). Also carried live on satellite radio (Sirius 123 & XM 194).

TV: ESPNU.  Clay Matvick (play-by-play), Matt Stinchcomb (analysis), Allison Williams (reporter), Tom Scofield (producer).

RANKINGS (AP/USA): MU – None; SU – None.

SERIES: Syracuse leads, 2-0, claiming a home-and-home series in 1986 (41-9 in Syracuse) and 1987 (24-13 in Columbia).

COACHES:

Mizzou: Gary Pinkel (Kent State, ‘75), 90-59 at MU (12th year) and 163-96-3 overall (22nd year).  Pinkel is 0-0 vs. Syracuse and Doug Marrone.

Syracuse: Doug Marrone (Syracuse, ‘91), 22-25 at SU and overall (4th year).  Marrone is 0-0 vs. Mizzou and Gary Pinkel.

The Missouri Tigers (5-5 overall), wrap up the 2012 home schedule this Saturday when they step out of conference one last time to play host to the Syracuse Orange (5-5) at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium.  Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. (central time), with the game being televised live nationally on ESPNU.

The Tigers will pay tribute to 18 seniors who will be suiting up for the last time at The Zou, and a win would not only send them off the right way, but it would also make Mizzou bowl eligible for a school-record 8th straight season.

Mizzou hopes to carry momentum from their thrilling four-overtime 51-48 win at Tennessee last week into Saturday's game.  The Tigers were down 21-7 at halftime, and also faced a 28-14 deficit midway through the 3rd quarter before rallying to tie the game with just :47 seconds left in regulation, on a 25-yard TD pass from QB James Franklin to freshman WR Dorial Green-Beckham on a 4th-and-12 play. 

The teams traded TDs in each of the first three overtimes, and the Tiger defense got a stop on downs in the fourth, to set up what was a 35-yard game-winning field goal by redshirt freshman PK Andrew Baggett (his first-ever game-winning field goal attempt in his life at any level).

Syracuse is also coming off of a huge win, as the Orange destroyed previously unbeaten and 11th-ranked Louisville, by a 45-26 score in Syracuse, N.Y.  The Orange used a 21-point 2nd quarter to break open a tie game, as they took a 31-13 halftime lead and cruised from there.  Syracuse had a balanced offensive attack against Louisville, as they totaled 524 yards of offense, including 278 on the ground and 246 in the air.  The trio of QB Ryan Nassib, WR Alec Lemon and RB Jerome Smith all had big days, with Nassib throwing for 246 yards and 3 TDs, while Lemon had 9 receptions for 176 yards and 2 TDs, with Smith adding 144 rushing yards and 1 TD to the ledger.  A win Saturday would also make Syracuse bowl-eligible.

TALE OF THE TAPE

[NCAA Ranking in Brackets]

MIZZOU  SYRACUSE

332.80 [103rd] Total Offense 469.80 [24th]

135.30 [89th] Rushing Offense 167.90 [55th]

13 TDs Rushing 14

197.50 [95th] Passing Offense 301.90 [20th]

105.85 [115th] Passing Efficiency 143.85 [37th]

11 TDs Passing 21

25.30 [84th] Scoring Offense 28.30 [65th]

353.30 [35th] Total Defense 379.70 [50th]

143.10 [41st] Rushing Defense 149.10 [T-49th]

19 TDs Allowed Rushing 11

210.20 [41st] Passing Defense 230.60 [57th]

132.71 [64th] Pass Effic. Defense 138.74 [88th]

14 TDs Allowed Passing 18

25.10 [52nd] Scoring Defense 26.10 [57th]

+0.20 [47th] Turnover Margin –0.30 [77th]

21 / 7 Fumbles/Lost 18 / 9

12 Interceptions Thrown 8

5 Interceptions Gained 6

27.60 [9th] Kickoff Return Avg. 19.32 [90th]

16.17 [5th] Punt Return Avg. 4.24 [103rd]

35.41 [92nd] Net Punting Avg. 33.55 [112th]

2.00 [T-53rd] Sacks By 1.70 [78th]

2.40 [90th] Sacks Allowed 1.40 [29th]

29:25 [75th] Avg. Time of Poss. 29:23 [77th]

33.3% [104th] 3rd Down Conv. 48.5% [16th]

40.9% [89th] 4th Down Conv. 66.7% [T-18th]

 

lots of things going on saturday

In addition to the important football game being played Saturday, there are several other things to make note of taking place when Mizzou and Syracuse match up.

Saturday is the traditional Blackout Game, when fans are asked to wear black.

In addition, Saturday will also represent the annual Senior Day ceremonies, as 18 Tigers will be honored for their contributions to the program (see following note for more details). 

Saturday will also represent Salute to Veterans Day, with several elements in the works to pay tribute to the men and women of the services who sacrifice for our country.  Weather permitting, the famous U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team is scheduled to parachute into Memorial Stadium at halftime.

 

 

mizzou has won a record 18 straight at home versus non-conference foes

The Tigers will take to Faurot Field Saturday looking to defend a nice streak of 18 consecutive home wins against non-conference opponents.  The streak is a school record in "modern day times" which we consider began in 1936, when the Associated Press poll debuted.  The current string began in 2005, with a 52-21 win at Faurot over Troy, and the Tigers haven't lost at home to a non-league foe since, including this season's 62-10 and 24-20 wins over Southeastern Louisiana and Arizona State, respectively.

One other thing to note: Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel is a sterling 25-2 (92.6%) in his MU career at home against non-conference opponents.  The only losses have been to Bowling Green in his MU debut in 2001 (L, 20-13) and to New Mexico in 2005 (L, 45-35).

The previous school record home win streak versus non-conference foes was 11, way back from 1937-44.  Here's a look at the longest home non-conference win streaks in MU history:

No.  Began With  Ended With

• 18  9-17-05 vs. Troy  Current

• 11  11-20-37 vs. Wash. (Mo.) 11-18-44 vs. Iowa Navy Pre-Flight

•   8  9-12-81 vs. Army  10-1-83 vs. East Carolina

•   7  9-8-01 vs. SW Texas 9-10-05 vs. New Mexico

 

 

senior class roster/notes

Here's a quick glance at the 18 seniors who have helped Tiger Nation stand proud for the last few years.  This class has won 31 games entering Saturday's game against Syracuse, and has been part of three bowl games (2009 Texas, 2010 Insight, 2011 Independence), one bowl game victory (2011 Independence), and the first-ever win in school history over a #1-ranked opponent (vs. BCS #1 Oklahoma in 2010) among many other noteable achievements...

Most importantly, everyone in this group of 18 scholar-athletes is scheduled to graduate by May, 2013...

Tiger (Jersey) Position Hometown Career Notes

Trey Barrow (97) P/PK Moberly, Mo. MU record holder for career punting avg. (43.7 yds)

Jimmy Burge (91) DL Houston, Texas 33 career games, 30 tackles incl. 11 in 2012 season

Will Ebner (32) LB Friendswood, Texas Has 219 tackles in 46 career gms; 70 in 2012

Kip Edwards (1) CB Arlington, Texas 21 starts, 47 gms, 14 PBUs, 5 INTs, 3 rec. fumbles

Elvis Fisher (72) OL Saint Petersburg, Fla. 6th-yr. senior will start for 48th time Saturday (he's old)

Trey Foster (66) OL Appleton City, Mo. Transferred to Mizzou from NW Missouri State

Zaviar Gooden (25) LB Pflugerville, Texas Leading active career tackler (239); 47 gms, 5 INTs

Mark Hill (73) OL Branson, Mo. Health issues cut playing career short (8 gms played)

Kendial Lawrence (4) TB Rockwall, Texas 13th on alltime rush list w/2,026 yds (has 19 TDs)

Brad Madison (57) DL Bethany, Mo. Has 15.5 career sacks, needs 1 to move into MU top-10

Gahn McGaffie (3) WR Galena Park, Texas 38 rec., 284 yds for career; KOR for TD vs. Okla. in 2010

Jared McGriff-Culver (38) TB Downers Grove, Ill. 36 career gms, 113 rush yds, 1 rush TD; 2 rec. in 2012

Jack Meiners (75) OL St. Louis, Mo. Has 9 career starts, hopes to return from injury still

T.J. Moe (28) WR O'Fallon, Mo. 8th Tiger in history w/2,000 rec. yds (2,005)

Joe Plevel (22) WR St. Louis, Mo. Veteran walk-on is majoring in biological sciences

Travis Ruth (53) OL Jefferson City, Mo. 25 gms, 8 starts, has missed all of 2012 w/injury so far

Kenronte Walker (30) SS Fayetteville, N.C. 23 gms, 14 starts, 102 tackles, 3 fum. rec., 1 INT

Rolandis Woodland (5) WR St. Louis, Mo. 32 career games, 11 rec., 139 yards, long of 51 yards

 

 

tigers claim first sec road win in heart-stopping fashion at tennessee

Evidently figuring that if they were going to get their first SEC road win, they were going to make it one to remember, the Missouri Tigers evened their season record to 5-5 (2-5 in SEC play) with a thrilling 51-48 quadruple overtime win at Tennessee that likely induced some quadruple bypasses in the state of Missouri, thanks to its heart-stopping suspense.

Tiger QB James Franklin bounced back from a rough first half (Tennessee led 21-7 at halftime), and threw 4 touchdown passes, including his first with just :47 seconds left in regulation which forced OT, followed by TD passes in each of the first three extra periods.  Mizzou's defense forced one last 3-and-out to get Franklin and company the ball back with 4:43 left, trailing 28-21.  Taking over on his own 24-yardline, Franklin calmly led a drive that saw him convert improbable 4th-and-9 and 4th-and-12 situations.

The first came on a 17-yard pass to WR Marcus Lucas with about 1:30 left to play that took it down to the Tennessee 23-yardline.  After three plays lost three yards total, Mizzou faced do-or-die, 4th-and-12 from the UT 25, with a crowd of nearly 90,000 howling strong.  Unfazed, Franklin escaped pocket pressure and found freshman WR Dorial Green-Beckham alone in the left corner of the endzone for a 25-yard TD pass with :47 seconds left to tie the game and force overtime.

Franklin would proceed to throw TD passes of 24 yards to WR Jimmie Hunt, 19 yards to WR Marcus Lucas and 10 yards to Green-Beckham, respectively, in the first three OT periods as the teams traded scores.  After the Tiger defense got a 4th-down stop of the Volunteer offense in the 4th OT, Franklin got the ball centered up at the UT 17-yardline, which led to PK Andrew Baggett's game-winning 35-yard field goal.

It was quite a turnaround for the Tigers, as Tennessee dominated the first half, outgaining MU by a 383-to-64 margin in total offense on their way to a 21-7 halftime lead.  Mizzou turned the tables in the 2nd half, outgaining Tennessee by a 307-to-125 margin in total offense.

 

call him captain comeback?

Come-from-behind wins are hard to come by, but in just 20 career starts at Mizzou, junior QB James Franklin has already engineered three fourth-quarter comeback wins.  He also directed a 4th-quarter comeback to force overtime at Arizona State a year ago, only to see the Tigers fall in overtime.

This past Saturday at Tennessee, Franklin rallied the Tigers from 14 points down in the 2nd half (twice trailed by 14, at 21-7, and later at 28-14), for the 51-48 4-overtime win in Knoxville.  He tied the game at 28-28 with just :47 seconds left on a clutch 25-yard TD pass on a 4th-and-12 play.

In 2011, in his first year as a starter, Franklin led comeback wins late at Texas A&M, when MU trailed 28-17 in the 4th quarter, before the Tigers rallied to post a 38-31 OT win in College Station.  That 11-point 4th quarter deficit is the 2nd-largest Mizzou has ever overcome (13 points against Nebraska in 1949).  Three weeks later, Franklin was at it again, as he guided MU to a 31-27 home win over Texas Tech, after Mizzou trailed 27-17 heading into the 4th quarter.

In just his 2nd career start, at Arizona State in 2011, Franklin showed he had late-game ice in his veins, as he led a Mizzou rally from a 30-16 4th-quarter deficit, to forge overtime in Tempe, only to see the Tigers fall by a 37-30 score in the end.

Here's a look at the top double-digit deficit overcome for a win in MU history:

Top MU Comeback Wins From Double-Digit Deficits

• 21 pts. – 2005 vs. S. Carolina – Trailed 21-0 (1st) & 28-7 (2nd), Won, 38-31

• 14 pts. – 2012 at Tennessee – Trailed 21-7 (3rd) & 28-14 (3rd), Won, 51-48 (4-OT)

• 14 pts. – 2011 vs. Texas Tech – Trailed 14-0 (1st), Won, 31-27

NOTE – Trailed Texas Tech, 27-17 entering 4th quarter

• 14 pts. – 2009 vs. Bowling Green – Trailed 20-6 (3rd), Won, 27-20

• 14 pts. – 2001 at Kansas – Trailed 14-0 (2nd), Won 38-34

• 14 pts. – 2001 at Oklahoma St. – Trailed 14-0 (2nd), Won, 41-38 (3-OT)

• 14 pts. – 1981 at Colorado – Trailed 14-0 (2nd), Won, 30-14

• 14 pts. – 1977 at Colorado – Trailed 14-0 (2nd), Won, 24-14

• 14 pts. – 1976 at Ohio State – Trailed 21-7 (3rd), Won, 22-21

• 14 pts. – 1966 at Illinois – Trailed 14-0 (2nd), Won, 21-14

• 13 pts. – 1979 vs. San Diego State – Trailed 13-0 (3rd), Won, 45-15

• 13 pts. – 1975 at Illinois – Trailed 20-7 (2nd), Won, 30-20

• 13 pts. – 1972 vs. Oregon – Trailed 13-0 (2nd), Won, 24-22

• 13 pts. – 1951 vs. Oklahoma A&M – Trailed 13-0 (1st), Won 27-26

• 13 pts. – 1949 vs. Nebraska – Trailed 20-7 (4th), Won, 21-20

• 11 pts. – 2011 at Texas A&M – Trailed 28-17 (4th), Won 38-31 (OT)

 

 

mizzou late score history

It's hard to imagine a more clutch play than James Franklin's 25-yard TD pass to WR Dorial Green-Beckham with :47 seconds left in regulation (on 4th-and-12) which tied last Saturday's game at Tennessee and sent it into overtime.  But there have been plenty of late dramatics in Tiger history, of course, so we thought it would be fun to take a look back at the instances where Mizzou has scored a touchdown in the final minute of play to either tie the game, or take the lead in what ended up being Tiger victories. 

By our count, last Saturday marked only the 8th time in MU history that the Tigers scored a TD in the final minute of regulation play to either win a game, or tie it and force overtime.  Here's a look at those instances:

Alltime MU TDs in Final Minute of Regulation to Tie or Win Game

• 2012 at Tennessee – Green-Beckham 25 pass from Franklin (0:47) to tie it 28-28

(Won, 51-48 in 4-OT)

• 2010 vs. San Diego St. – Moe 68 pass from Gabbert (0:51) to win, 27-24

• 2005 vs. Iowa St. – Coffey 4 pass from Daniel (0:20) to tie it 24-24 (Won, 27-24 in OT)

• 1997 at Oklahoma St. – Ross 38 pass from Jones (0:18) to tie it 37-37

(Won, 51-50 in 2-OT)

• 1991 vs. Indiana – Chamberlain 2 pass from Johnson (0:24) to tie it 27-27 (Tied, 27-27)

• 1976 at Ohio St. – Lewis 2 pass from Woods (0:12) to win, 22-21

• 1959 at Michigan – Haas 1 run (0:02) to win, 20-15

• 1958 vs. Idaho – Snowden 1 run (0:05) to win, 14-10

 

 

 

 

 

mizzou players with ties to the armed services

As we pay tribute this weekend to the men and women of our country's armed services, we thought it would be of interest to list those who have family ties to the military.  Here's a listing (huge thanks to Kat Lucchesi of the football staff for compiling the information):

• WR Jake Brents: Father, Marines, Desert Storm

• OL Justin Britt: Father, Army – Stepbrother, Air Force

• OL Steve Carberry: Father, Army – Brother, Army

• WR Levi Copelin: Father, Marines, Desert Storm

• S Tyler Davis: Father, James Davis, Air Force

• DL Kony Ealy: Willie Ealy, Father, Air Force

• OL Trey Foster: Father, Army

• WR Dorial Green-Beckham: Brother, Army

• RB Russell Hansbrough: Father, Army

• DL Rickey Hatley: Chadrick Larry, Brother, Army

• OL Mark Hill: Stepbrother, Air Force

• CB David Johnson: Father, David, Army 2nd Lieutenant

• QB Eric Laurent: Sister, Air Force

• WR Gahn McGaffie: Brother, Army

• RB Jared McGriff Culver:  Uncle, Marines

• OL Nick Monaghan: Father, Air Force

• OL Mitch Morse: Army

• CB Randy Ponder: Father, Navy

• DL Shane Ray: Emanuel McCraiey, Stepfather, Army

• DL Michael Sam: Ethan Purl, Brother, Army

• S Ian Simon: Brother, Julian Berry, Army

• DB Ka'Ra Stewart: Capt. Janice Davis, Mother & Major Donovan Davis, Step Father

• DL Lucas Vincent: George Redfern, Grandfather, Army

• S Matt White: Brother, Brandon White, Army

• WR Rolandis Woodland: Sister, Army, Germany and Afghanistan

 

 

baggett nails game-winner, wins sec weekly award

Redshirt freshman PK Andrew Baggett had never tried a game-winning field goal in all of his life before Saturday, but he sure didn't appear to be fighting nerves, as he calmly drilled a game-winner from 35 yards out in the fourth overtime to give Mizzou a dramatic 51-48 4-OT win at Tennessee.  He was also perfect on all 6 PAT tries on the day, and for his efforts, on Monday was named SEC Special Teams Co-Player of the Week.

Baggett is now 11-of-16 on the year in field goals, and 28-of-30 in PATs.  He has made 8 of his last 9 FG tries, with the only miss on a kick that was blocked at Florida due to a missed blocking assignment on the edge.  He ranks 6th in the SEC with his 1.10 field goals per game average (54th in NCAA), and he's 16th in the SEC in scoring, at 6.10 points per game.

Let the record reflect that this is only the 9th time in MU history that the Tigers have won on a field goal in the final minute of regulation or overtime.  Here's those instances:

Alltime MU Game-Winning Field Goals

• 2012 at Tennessee – Andrew Baggett 35 yds in 4th OT period to win, 51-48

• 2009 vs. Kansas –  Grant Ressel 27 yds (0:00) to win, 41-39

• 2005 vs. Iowa St. – Adam Crossett 26 yds in 1st OT period to win, 27-24

• 2004 at Iowa St. – Adam Crossett 25 yds in 1st OT period to win, 17-14

NOTE – MU defense got stop on ensuing ISU possession to preserve win

• 2001 at Oklahoma St. – Brad Hammerich 36 yds in 3rd OT period to win, 41-38

• 1993 vs. Iowa St. – Kyle Pooler 40 yds (0:00) to win, 37-34

• 1972 vs. Colorado – Greg Hill 33 yds (0:06) to win, 20-17

• 1972 vs. Oregon – Greg Hill 31 yds (0:06) to win, 24-22

• 1969 vs. Air Force – Henry Brown 30 yds (0:11) to win, 19-17

 

 

 

 

plenty of other stars to tout from saturday

Saturday's epic win at Tennessee will be remembered for a long time by Tiger fans, and there were plenty of game balls to go around for stellar play.  Here's a quick look back at some of the other standouts from MU's 51-48 4-OT win:

• – LB ANDREW WILSON – Made 8 tackles, and made two huge plays which directly contributed to the thrilling win.  In the 1st quarter, he pounced on a fumble at the Tiger 7-yardline which snuffed out a prime UT scoring threat on the opening drive of the game.  Later, in the 3rd overtime period, he broke up a pass just short of the goalline on Tennessee's 2-point conversion pass try that, if successful, would have won the game for the Vols.  Was also credited with a tackle for loss as well as a QB hurry on the day against Tennessee…

• – OL ELVIS FISHER – Helped pave the way for Mizzou's offense to post the dramatic comeback.  After falling behind 21-7 at halftime, Mizzou scored 21 points in the second half of regulation, and then scored TDs on the first three OT possessions, before the game-winning field goal came in the fourth.  MU's offense had a season-high 454 yards of total offense, including season-high totals against FBS foes in both points (51) and rushing yards (228).  Fisher graded out at a team-best 93% at Tennessee, and he was credited with 6 knockdown blocks, 2 pancake blocks, 1 downfield block and 1 cut block.  When TB Kendial Lawrence went off left tackle for a 77-yard TD, he went through the hole created by a big seal block that Fisher made on the defensive end…

• – WR DORIAL GREEN-BECKHAM – Caught only 2 passes on the day, but they couldn't have been any more impactful, as he totaled 35 yards and 2 TDs.  His first catch of the day will go down as one of the most clutch plays in recent Tiger football history.  On 4th-and-12 from the Tennessee 25-yardline with less than a minute left and Mizzou trailing 28-21, Green-Beckham snuck behind zone coverage into the left corner of the endzone.  Tiger QB James Franklin eluded pocket pressure to keep the play alive, and he zipped the ball toward Green-Beckham, who secured the ball while tap-dancing his feet in bounds for the game-tying TD with just :47 seconds left in regulation.  His next catch was a 10-yard TD grab in the 3rd overtime which gave Mizzou a 48-42 lead at the time.  Green-Beckham became the first Tiger receiver in 2012 to post a multi-TD receiving game…

• – TB KENDIAL LAWRENCE – Was another star on the day in the win at Tennessee, as he ran for a career-high 153 yards and 2 TDs.  He burst off left tackle for a 77-yard TD on the 1st play of the 3rd quarter to pull Mizzou to within 21-14, and the play was a huge momentum boost for the Tiger offense, which had been held to only 64 total yards in the first half.  He later scored on a 1-yard plunge late in the 3rd quarter to pull the Tigers to within 28-21, and he got 8 yards in the 4th overtime to help set up the game-winning field goal...

• – DE MICHAEL SAM – Was credited with only 1 tackle against Tennessee, but he still had an impactful game.  His 1 tackle was the only sack of the game registered by Mizzou against UT's Tyler Bray, and it snuffed out a Volunteer drive which had reached the Mizzou 44-yardline right after MU had closed to within 28-21.  Sam also had a QB hurry on the day, and after film review by Tiger coaches, it was determined that Sam should be credited with the 1st-quarter forced fumble that Mizzou recovered on the Tiger 7-yardline to snuff out a Volunteer scoring threat (it was initially credited to Kenronte Walker).  His 4.5 sacks on the year so far is most on the team…

 

 

those who win in november will be remembered

Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel has used it time and again, and he touted it again to his troops when the calendar fliped away from October – Those who win in November will be remembered.

Mizzou fans hope that the 2012 edition of the Tigers takes this mantra to heart as well as recent MU teams.  In the last 6 seasons (2007-12), Mizzou has gone 17-5 (77.3%) in the month of November. And that includes the tough recent loss at #8 Florida, when the Tigers won most of the statistical battles, but lost the game by a 14-7 count.  

Mizzou entered the final three games of the 2012 season with a 4-5 overall record (now 5-5 with last Saturday's 4-OT win at Tennessee).  If that sounds familiar, there's a reason, because just a year ago, the Tigers stood 4-5 overall going into their final three games as well.  With the season in the balance, the 2011 squad dug in and went on to finish with wins last 3 regular-season games to finish at 7-5, including home wins over 21st-ranked Texas (W, 17-5) and Texas Tech (W, 31-27) while ending the regular season with a win in Kansas City over Kansas (W, 24-10). 

The Tigers then extended their overall win streak to 4 to close the season, and make it 5 wins in their last 6 games overall, with a commanding 41-24 Independence Bowl win over North Carolina to end the year 8-5 overall.

 

 

penalties trending the right way for mizzou

In what is likely to be the biggest jinx move ever, we do want to point out how Mizzou has cleaned up the penalties significantly of late.  In Mizzou's first three games of the 2012 season, the Tigers were whistled 26 times for a combined 222 yards – averages of 8.7 penalties and 74.0 yards per game.

Since then, in MU's last 7 contests, the Tigers have been hit with only 24 penalties for just 151 yards in all – averages of just 3.4 penalties and 21.6 yards per game.  Last Saturday at Tennessee, the Tigers had only 2 penalties for 10 yards.  Prior to that, Mizzou was flagged for 5 penalties at Florida, for only 25 yards total, and had only 2 penalties in its win over Kentucky (15 yards), and the week before against #1 Alabama, MU was hit for only 9 yards in penalties on 2 infractions.

Here's a breakdown of the game-by-game penalties:

OPPONENT  MU Penalties  OPP Penalties

SE Louisiana  9-94   9-63

Georgia  7-43   12-79

Arizona State 10-85   7-54

at South Carolina 2-20   4-24

at UCF  5-35   1-5

Vanderbilt  6-35   5-40

Alabama  2-9   7-62

Kentucky  2-15   5-40

at Florida  5-25   4-25

at Tennessee  2-10   11-80

TOTALS  50-371   65-472

SYRACUSE Penalties SYRACUSE OPP Penalties

TOTALS  82-681   74-627

 

 

tiger defense taketh away - 28 straight games with a takeaway

Defensive coaches preach takeaways at all levels of the game of football.  Mizzou's coaches have gotten their message through to the Mizzou defense of late, as the Tigers carry an active streak of 28 games having gained a takeaway into Saturday's game vs. Syracuse.  The last time Mizzou's defense didn't come up with a turnover was Oct. 30, 2010 at Nebraska (a 31-17 loss).

Mizzou got a big turnover last week in the 4-OT thriller at Tennessee, as it came on the Volunteer's game-opening drive and thwarted a likely score.  The Vols took the opening kick and quickly drove to a 1st-and-goal at the MU 10-yardline.  On 2nd-and-goal from the Tiger 7-yardline, a pass in the flat was knocked out of the hands of a Tennessee back by MU's Michael Sam (it was originally credited to Kenronte Walker, but film showed it was Sam who gets credit), with LB Andrew Wilson falling on the ball at the 7.  That was the only turnover MU managed to create on the day, but the points it prevented from scoring certainly played a factor in the Tigers' eventual overtime win.

The Tigers forced a pair of fumbles two weeks ago in their tough-luck loss at #8 Florida, with CB E.J. Gaines recovering one of them on the Gator 27-yardline in the 2nd quarter.  That set up Mizzou's only score of the day, and it gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead which it held until midway through the 3rd quarter.  The other fumble was recovered by Florida.

Prior to that, Mizzou forced five fumbles, and got three more takeaways (all on fumbles) against Kentucky.  Mizzou converted those into 20 points (after having just 30 points off turnovers in the seven games prior to that this season), in the 33-10 win.  All-star DT Sheldon Richardson made one of the defensive plays of the season to date for the first takeaway, when he tackled and stripped a Kentucky tailback of the ball on the Tiger 11-yardline on the opening drive of the game.  Richardson threw the Wildcat aside, picked the ball up at the 15-yardline, and raced 60 yards the other way before the 295-pounder got hauled down at the Kentucky 25-yardline.  That set up a TD run by TB Kendial Lawrence for a quick 7-0 lead. 

The other takeaways were induced by DE Brad Madison and LB Will Ebner.  Madison got a sack/fumble on the Kentucky 12-yardline that was recovered by MU's LB Zaviar Gooden.  That set up a Tiger TD on the first play of the 4th quarter.  Later in the 4th, Ebner pursued a pass play to the boundary, and popped the ball loose right after a catch.  Teammate E.J. Gaines scooped the ball up at the Kentucky 13-yardline and tightroped his way down the sideline for the touchdown which put a cap on MU's 33-10 win.

Prior to that, Mizzou's defense was able to create takeaways in its 42-10 loss to #1 Alabama.  The Tiger defense forced a pair of Crimson Tide fumbles, which were both forced by DE Michael Sam, with LB Zaviar Gooden pouncing on one, and DE Shane Ray snagging the other.  The first was recovered by Gooden at the Mizzou 12-yardline to thwart a potential Tide score, while the second one came on a hit by Sam of Tide QB A.J. McCarron, with Ray recovering at the Alabama 48-yardline.

Mizzou managed one takeaway against Vanderbilt, courtesy of a Kip Edwards interception in the the 3rd quarter (his team-leading 2nd of the season, 5th career).  The turnover streak came oh-so-close to ending the previous Saturday at Central Florida, but just like that, with only 2:29 remaining in the game, junior CB E.J. Gaines popped the ball loose from a UCF receiver after a short catch, and junior DT Sheldon Richardson gladly pounced on the fumble to effectively end the game.

 

 

 

Mizzou's defenders are doing something right in terms of getting the ball out.  Their 20 forced fumbles so far this season is most in the nation.  Here's a look (thru games of Nov. 10th):

RK SCHOOL  FUMBLES FORCED

1. Mizzou  20

2. Utah  17

Boise State 17

Fresno State 17

5. San Jose State 15

SMU  15

 

 

gary pinkel is 9th-winningest active fbs coach with 163 wins

Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel stands ranked as the 9th-winningest active coach in the NCAA FBS ranks, with his 163 career wins (163-96-3 overall).  Pinkel, in his 12th season at Mizzou, stands 90-59 overall at MU, while he went 73-37-3 in 10 seasons at Toledo (1991-2000).  Here's a rundown of the winningest active coaches, based on win totals (through games of Nov. 10th)...

WINNINGEST ACTIVE FBS HEAD COACHES

Coach, School   Yrs. W L              T Pct.

1. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech  31 255 126 4 .667

2. Mack Brown, Texas  29 235 115 1 .671

3. Chris Ault, Nevada  27 231 107 1 .683

4. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina 23 205   77 2 .725

5. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame  22 197   67 2 .744

6. Mike Price, UTEP   31 176 182 0 .492

7. Larry Blakeney, Troy  22 169   95 1 .640

8. Bill Snyder, Kansas State  21 168   83 1 .669

9. Gary Pinkel, Mizzou  22 163   96 3 .628

10.Paul Pasqualoni, UCONN  21 150   88 1 .630

 

 

pinkel has third-most wins in mizzou history

Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel is in his 12th season at MU (22nd overall as a head coach) and touts a career record of 163-96-3 (62.8%). 

Pinkel, who has led MU to a combined record of 68-34 (66.7%) over the past 7+ seasons, and to bowl games in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, has a 12-year record in Columbia of 90-59 (60.4%).  Dating back to the 2005 Independence Bowl win over Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, Pinkel has gone 62-29 in his last 91 games overall (68.1%).  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 90.  The win over Kansas in 2010 was the 150th of his career.

Pinkel is in a select group of Mizzou coaches that includes College Football Hall of Famers Don Faurot and Dan Devine, as well as Warren Powers, to be the only coaches to have an MU record of above .500 (with at least one full season coached) dating all the way back to 1935.

Here's a quick look at the top winning coaches in MU history...

MIZZOU COACHING WINS LEADERS

Coach Wins # Seasons (Years) Record Pct. # Bowls

Don Faurot 101 19 (1935-42, 46-56) 101-79-10 .558 4

Dan Devine 93 13 (1958-70) 93-37-7 .704 6

Gary Pinkel 90 12 (2001-Present) 90-59 .604 8

Warren Powers 46 7 (1978-84) 46-33-3 .580 5

In 2007, Pinkel guided the Tigers from unranked in the pre-season to a team which won a school-record 12 games and a final ranking of #4 in the Associated Press Top-25.  Mizzou ascended to #1 in the BCS rankings following the regular season, and stood just one half away from playing in the BCS National Championship Game (before Oklahoma pulled away from a halftime tie to win the Big 12 title game).  For his efforts in 2007, Pinkel was a finalist for several national coach of the year awards, including the Robinson, Bryant and Munger awards.  He was also named the National Coach of the Year by FieldTurf in 2007, and his 8 bowl games is an MU record.

Pinkel has directed Mizzou to 8 winning seasons (8-5 in 2003, 7-5 in 2005, 8-5 in 2006, 12-2 in 2007, 10-4 in 2008, 8-5 in 2009, 10-3 in 2010 and 8-5 in 2011), with those representing 8 of MU's 10 winning campaigns dating back to the 1983 season.

The Big 12 North Division titles won by Mizzou in 2007, 2008 and 2010 represent the only football conference titles of any kind Mizzou has won since 1969 – the last time it claimed a share of the old Big Eight Conference crown.  In April of 2011, Pinkel agreed to a two-year contract extension, meaning he'll patrol the Tiger sidelines through the 2017 season.

 

 

mizzou has 12th-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 10-win season in 2010, MU won its 40th game since 2007, good for an average of 10 per year during the four-year stretch.

Including a 5-5 start in 2012, MU's 53 wins since 2007 ranks as 12th-most in the nation (among BCS automatic qualifying conferences).  Here's a look at the win totals among the nation's best during that time (through Nov. 10th):

MOST WINS IN THE NATION, 2007-PRESENT (BCS AQ Conferences Only)

School  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Total

1. Alabama  7 12 14 10 12    9 64

2. Oregon  9 10 10 12 12   10 63

3. LSU  12  8  9 11 13    8 61

4. Ohio State 11 10 11 12  6   10 60

  Oklahoma 11 12  8 12 10    7 60

6. Florida  9 13 13  8  7    9 59

7. Virginia Tech 11 10 10 11 11    4 57

8. USC 11 12  9  8 10    7 56

  Texas 10 12 13  5  8    8 56

10.Wisconsin  9  7 10 11 11    7 55

11.Oklahoma St.  7  9  9 11 12    6 54

12.Missouri 12 10  8 10  8    5 53

   West Virginia 11  9  9  9 10    5 53

Non BCS-AQ League Schools:

Boise St. 10 12 14 12 12    8 68

TCU   8 11 12 13 11    6 61

BYU  11 10 11  7 10    6 55

Utah   9 13 10 10  8    4 54

NOTE – Utah & TCU are not listed among BCS Conferences, due to being in a non-BCS AQ league prior to 2012.

 

 

lawrence doing well with increased workload

Senior TB Kendial Lawrence has excelled since taking over as Mizzou's feature back, after the Tigers lost Henry Josey to a season-ending knee injury in game #8 of the 2011 season.  Lawrence is averaging 81.90 rushing yards per game in 2012, ranking 5th in the SEC in that category.  He enters the Syracuse game with 10-game totals of 157 carries for 819 yards and 10 TDs (all career highs), with a per-carry average of 5.2.

He's coming off a stellar outing at Tennessee, where he ran for a career-best 153 yards on 21 carries (7.3 avg.).  He scored a pair of TDs in the 4-OT win, with both coming in regulation in the 3rd quarter.  His first was a 77-yard burst off left tackle on the very first play from scrimmage in the 3rd quarter, and that was a huge momentum play which cut Tennessee's lead at the time to 21-14.  His 2nd score came later in the quarter on a 1-yard plunge and that, too, turned a two-score deficit into a one-score game (28-21).

His big day at Tennessee bumped him over the 2,000-yard mark for his career, and he now has 2,026 career yards, making him the 13th Tiger in history with 2,000 career yards.

A crunching of some numbers shows how much Lawrence has blossomed since taking over the bulk of the tailback carries.  Per the table below, he's gained more yards and more rushing TDs in his last 14 games than he did in his first 29 career games combined.  Here's a look:

 

KENDIAL LAWRENCE CAREER NUMBERS

Category  1st 29 Games Last 14 Games

Rush Attempts 178  223

Rushes/Game 6.1  15.9

Rushing Yards 836  1,190

Yards/Game  28.8  85.0

Rushing TDs  6  13

Yards/Rush  4.7  5.3

Lawrence was held to a net of 34 yards in MU's hard-luck loss at #8 Florida, on 18 carries (1.9 avg.).  He did manage Mizzou's only touchdown of the day, when he scored from 1-yard out in the 2nd quarter which gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead.

Lawrence had a 23-carry (career high), 108-yard, 2-TD outing three games ago in MU's win over Kentucky.  He scored on runs of 5 yards and 2 yards, and accounted for 115 of Mizzou's 273 yards from scrimmage on the day.

Prior to that, he had a 10-carry, 37-yard outing against #1 Alabama that saw Mizzou's rushing game held to a season-low 3 yards against the vaunted Crimson Tide defense.  Lawrence had a 22-yard run against the Tide in the 1st quarter, which was the longest run Alabama had allowed to date in 2012.

Before that, Lawrence turned in a 92-yard rushing night in the loss to Vanderbilt.  He carried 21 times in the game, as the Tigers gained 150 yards on the ground in total against the Commodores.

Lawrence had quite a second half at Central Florida, and his production after intermission was a huge key to Mizzou's 21-16 win at UCF.  The Tigers fell behind 10-7 at halftime, and Lawrence was held to a single rush for 3 yards (on MU's 2nd snap of the game), and a 14-yard reception on MU's second series.

Tiger coaches made a concerted effort to get the playmaker more involved in the second half, and the strategy paid dividends, as Lawrence accounted for 137 yards from scrimmage after halftime, including 101 rushing yards on 18 carries.  He finished the game with 104 rushing yards on 19 attempts, for a solid average of 5.5 yards a rush.  He had a nifty 33-yarder in the 4th quarter which took the ball to the UCF 10-yardline, and on the next play, he scampered around the right edge for a 10-yard TD with 9:31 left in the game to give MU some breathing room, at 21-10.

He also established career highs in receptions (4) and receiving yards (50), as QB James Franklin used Lawrence effectively as a safety outlet out of the backfield.

The 100-yard rushing game was the 2nd of the season for Lawrence, who opened the 2012 campaign with a career-high 121-yard, 2-TD outing against Southeastern Louisiana.  He's got 6 100-yard rushing games to his credit, with all six coming in his last 14 games overall.

 

 

richardson playing at elite level

Junior defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson has been playing at a high level all season long, as he's looking to establish himself among the best in a league with a reputation for having the best defensive linemen around.

With 70 tackles through 10 games, Richardson is amazingly Mizzou's leading tackler, despite being a defensive tackle.  He also ranks 1st in the SEC among interior defensive linemen with his 70 total tackles, and his per-game tackles average of 7.0 ranks him 17th in the SEC among all players, and 2nd among all defensive linemen (DE Damontre Moore of Texas A&M has 74 tackles in 10 games).

Richardson had a 7-tackle game at Tennessee last Saturday, including a half-tackle for loss and a pass break up.

The previous week, at #8 Florida, Richardson totaled 6 tackles, but he was much more impactful than just that figure, as he got behind the line for 1.5 tackles for loss (including a huge one in Mizzou territory that came on the first play after Florida got an interception – a play which set the Gators behind the chains and eventually forced them into a field goal try, which Richardson ended up blocking himself!).  He also forced a fumble on the day, as the Tiger defense held the Gators to just 276 yards of total offense.

Richardson was front and center in MU's Homecoming win over Kentucky, as he had 5 tackles.  His biggest play was perhaps the biggest single defensive play of the game, as he made a tackle of a Wildcat ball carrier on the Mizzou 11-yardline, stripped the ball, picked it up on the Tiger 15-yardline, and raced the other way 60 yards before he was dragged down at the Kentucky 25-yardline.  That was on the game's opening possession, and not only thwarted a Wildcat scoring opportunity, but it set MU up for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead, instead of trailing 7-0.  That following Monday, Richardson was named the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week.

The Tiger defense had a tough time bottling up #1 Alabama on Oct. 13th, but Richardson was a bright spot for Mizzou, as he led the team with a career-best 14 tackles, while adding 1 QB sack on the night.  In his last 5 games, Richardson has amassed 44 tackles, 4.0 QB sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble and 1 recovered fumble.

Richardson had a QB sack and 1.5 TFLs in all the against Vanderbilt, as the Tigers limited the Commodore offense to just 295 yards on the night.  He finished the game with 5 tackles and added a QB hurry to his stat line, as well.

Prior to that, Richardson continued his all-star caliber play in Mizzou's Sept. 29th win at UCF.  Richardson was again a high-impact performer, as he contributed with 9 tackles, 2.0 TFLs, 1.0 QB sack, and 2 QB hurries.  Additionally, he pounced on the game-saving fumble with 2:29 to play in the game near midfield, which gave Mizzou possession while holding onto its 21-16 lead.

The previous week at South Carolina, Richardson was in on virtually every defensive play in the 1st quarter.  First, he had a QB hurry which forced what proved to be the only pass incompletion of the day by Carolina's Connor Shaw.  Then he sacked Shaw, and on the very next play forced a fumble after a completed pass to give the Tigers the ball back on their own 16-yardline.  He added another tackle in the quarter, and ended the day with a 7-tackle outing.

That was a follow-up performance to a big game Richardson had the previous week against Arizona State, when he was a big part of Mizzou's solid defensive effort in a 24-20 win over the Sun Devils.  In that game, Richardson notched a career-high 9 tackles, with 1.5 tackles for loss and a half-QB sack thrown in the mix, to go with 1 QB hurry as well on a night when it seemed he was either in on, or influenced every play.

Mizzou's defense held Arizona State to 236 yards and 34 points below their average offensive output, as the Sun Devils entered the game averaging 532.0 yards and 54.0 points a contest.  Richardson's effort was a big reason why the Tigers held ASU to just 296 yards of total offense and 20 points.

 

 

marcus murphy leads ncaa in combined kick return scores

Sophomore TB and return man extraordinaire Marcus Murphy has made quite a name for himself nationally in 2012.  He enters Saturday's game against Syracuse with a nation-best 4 special teams returns for touchdowns, including a nation-leading 3 punt returns for scores and 1 kickoff return for a TD.  The only other players in the NCAA with a touchdown in both categories are Bernard Reedy of Toledo, who has 3 total kick return TDs (2 KOR/1 PR) and Tavon Austin of West Virginia (1 KOR/1 PR)

Murphy electrified top-ranked Alabama recently, when he took a kickoff back 98 yards for a touchdown in the 2nd quarter which pulled the Tigers to within 28-7 with 8:24 left in the half.  It was MU's 1st kickoff return for a score since Gahn McGaffie went 86 yards on the opening kick in 2010 vs. Oklahoma, and it marked the longest kickoff return at Mizzou since 2008, when former All-American Jeremy Maclin went 99 yards for a score against Illinois.

Additionally, it marked the longest kickoff return for a TD by a Tiger in Columbia since 1969, when former great Jon Staggers went 99 yards for a score against Kansas State.

Recently, several national outlets released their midseason All-America teams, and Murphy was prominently featured on as many as three of them: CNNSI.com, Sporting News and ESPN.com. 

Murph came close to breaking big returns at #8 Florida, but couldn't quite break free.  He did manage 2 punt returns for 22 yards and had one kickoff return for 25 yards, while he also saw his role increase on offense, as he carried 4 times for 32 yards (8.0 avg.) and caught a career-high 3 passes out of the backfield for 20 yards in all.

He didn't have his best day against Kentucky, as he netted only 5 yards on 4 punt returns, while he gained 21 yards on his only kickoff return attempt.  He uncharacteristically muffed two of his punt return tries, falling on the first one, but losing the second one.  He did contribute on offense in a bigger way, as he ran for a season-best 43 yards against Kentucky, including a nifty 9-yard TD run in the 4th quarter make a few juke moves to get to the right edge – much like he does on his returns.

Murphy enters Saturday's game ranked 7th in the NCAA (1st in the SEC) with his punt return average of 14.83.  His kickoff return average of 29.00 would be ranked 15th nationally (2nd in the SEC), but he doesn't have enough kickoff returns to qualify for the leaders list (he has 10 in 11 games, and the minimum to qualify is an average of 1.2 per game played).

Murphy's 4 combined return TDs is most in the nation, and he's one of only 17 players who enter this weekend with multiple return TDs on the year.  Here's a look:

PLAYER, SCHOOL  Total Ret. TDs Punt Ret. TDs Kickoff Ret. TDs

Marcus Murphy, Mizzou 4  3  1

Reggie Dunn, Utah  3  0  3

Bernard Reedy, Toledo 3  1  2

Dri Archer, Kent State  3  0  3

Quincy McDuffie, UCF  3  0  3

Mike Edwards, Hawai'i 3  0  3

Tavon Austin, West Virginia 2  1  1

Chase Clayton, New Mexico 2  0  2

Tyler Ervin, San Jose State 2  0  2

Venric Mark, Northwestern 2  2  0

Rashad Greene, Florida State 2  2  0

Tyler Lockett, Kansas State 2  0  2

Colin Lockett, San Diego St. 2  0  2

Duke Johnson, Miami (Fla.) 2  0  2

Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech 2  0  2

Giovani Bernard, No. Carolina 2  2  0

Nick Williams, Connecticut 2  2  0

 

 

 

 

 

mu defense getting off the field on third downs

The Mizzou Tiger defense has made a living off of stopping opposing offenses on third down.  Through 10 games, opponents are converting at just a 29.2% rate against Mizzou on third downs, and that percentage ranks the Tiger defense 8th in the NCAA.

South Carolina is the only team to date to reach the 50.0% mark against the Tigers this year, and the Gamecocks went exactly that, at 6-of-12 back on Sept. 22nd.  Even #1 Alabama could convert only 2-of-9 third downs recently, while Kentucky converted just 1-of-12 third downs, followed by Florida succeeding on just 2-of-13 tries two weeks ago.

Here's a look at the NCAA leaders in 3rd-down defense:

RK SCHOOL   3rd-Down Def. Pct. Allowed

1. Florida State  24.5%

2. BYU   24.8%

3. North Carolina State 25.3%

4. Florida   26.4%

5. Oregon State  27.4%

6. TCU   28.2%

7. Texas A&M  29.0%

8. MIZZOU   29.2%

9. Stanford   29.3%

10. LSU   29.4%

 

 

barrow pinning opponents deep; leads sec with 25 punts inside 20-yardline

Senior P Trey Barrow has been doing an outstanding job this season of creating field position for Mizzou, and his punting average of 42.41 yards per punt through 10 games ranks him 36th in the NCAA and 7th in the SEC.

One thing he's shown big improvement on this season is the ability to pin opponents deep in their own territory.  Entering the Syracuse game, Barrow has registered 25 punts which have been killed inside the 20-yardline – that's most in the SEC, as Florida's Kyle Christy is second in that category, with 22.

Barrow was an unsung hero last Saturday in MU's win at Tennessee, as he averaged averaged 49.6 yards on 5 punts, with a long of 66, and 3 punts which died inside the Volunteer 20-yardline, including a beautifully-executed sky kick in the 4th quarter which pinned Tennessee at their own 1-yardline. 

Barrow was outstanding at #8 Florida, as he averaged 41.1 yards on 7 punts, with 3 of them dying inside the Gator 20.  He got that trio of punts to end at the Florida 6-yardline, the 11-yardline and the 8-yardline.  The final two helped keep Florida deep in their own end in the 4th quarter, and after the Tiger defense forced 3-and-outs both times, the Tiger offense was given the opportunity to go back and tie the game up.

Barrow is currently the MU career record holder for punting average, with a career mark of 43.70.

 

 

mizzou defense getting in the backfield - 2nd in sec, 8th in ncaa in tfls

Mizzou's defense has been very aggressive at the line of scrimmage this season, and it's shown in the amount of plays they've made in the backfield.  The Tiger defense enters Saturday's game against Syracuse ranked 2nd in the SEC in tackles for loss (7.70 per game), a figure which ranks them 8th nationally.  Here's a look at that:

NCAA LEADERS, TACKLES FOR LOSS

Rank School   TFL/Game

1.  Stanford   9.10

2.  Arizona State  9.00

3.  Tulsa   8.30

4.  North Carolina  7.90

UCLA   7.90

USC   7.90

Vanderbilt  7.90

8.  Mizzou   7.70

3 others tied  7.70

 

 

 

 

 

tiger defense holding its own

Mizzou's defense has played very well through 10 games in 2012, as it has held opponents under their season averages in most every category.  The Tiger defense is coming off an outstanding effort at #8 Florida, as it held the Gators to only 276 yards of total offense and just 11 first downs in the tough 14-7 defeat.

Top-ranked Alabama is the only opponent to get 400 yards of total offense or more against MU this season.  That balanced out the next week against Kentucky, when the Tigers allowed only 179 yards of total offense (an opponent season low).  Georgia's point total from Sept. 8th was a bit misleading – keep in mind the Bulldogs had only 27 points until two MU turnovers late in the game gave UGA possession on the MU 1-yardline and the MU 5-yardline, leading to 14 points.

Here's a look at how Mizzou's defense has held up its end of the bargain so far, when compared to FBS opponents updated offensive averages thus far (thru games of Nov. 10th):

MIZZOU DEFENSIVE COMPARISONS TO OPPONENT AVERAGES (FBS OPPONENTS ONLY)

Current vs. Current vs. Current vs. Current vs.

Opponent Rush Avg. MU Pass Avg. MU Tot. Off. Avg. MU Pts. Avg. MU

Georgia 199.70 113 271.40 242 471.10 355 36.90 41

Arizona State 176.00 113 261.00 183 437.00 296 35.00 20

at S. Carolina 141.00 144 232.20 252 373.20 396 32.60 31

at UCF 189.20 128 227.90 267 417.10 395 36.10 16

Vanderbilt 166.00  89 217.70 206 383.70 295 25.60 19

Alabama 200.30 362 225.00 171 425.30 533 37.00 42

Kentucky 115.60 101 175.70  78 291.30 179 16.40 10

at Florida 188.30 170 142.30 106 330.60 276 26.10 14

at Tennessee 161.10 153 334.00 432 495.10 585 37.90 48

•NOTE – Tennessee had 28 points, 148 rush yards, 360 pass yards and 508 total yards at the end of regulation in MU's 51-48 4-OT win in Knoxville...

 

 

defense clamping down out of the lockerroom

Mizzou's defense, which enters Saturday's game against Syracuse ranked 35th in the NCAA in total defense (353.30 avg. yds. allowed), has been outstanding thru 10 games coming out of the lockerroom.  Only once has MU's 10 opponents scored on their initial series of the 1st half and 2nd half.  In those 20 initial series, MU foes have a grand total of just 7 points, 21 1st downs, and a net total of 414 yards!  Here's a look:

• 1st Q vs. SELA – 2 plays, (-2 yds), 0:38 TOP (Ended w/MU interception)

• 3rd Q vs. SELA – 2 plays, 2 yds, 0:17 TOP (Ended w/MU fumble recovery)

• 1st Q vs. Georgia – 3 plays, (-12 yds), 2:17 TOP (Ended w/punt)

• NOTE - This UGA possession started on the MU 37-yardline

• 3rd Q vs. Georgia – 3 plays, (-7 yds), 2:24 TOP (Ended w/punt)

• 1st Q vs. ASU – 4 plays, 28 yds, 1:21 TOP (Ended w/punt)

• 3rd Q vs. ASU – 6 plays, 20 yds, 3:07 TOP (Ended w/punt)

• 1st Q at S. Carolina – 4 plays, 27 yds, 1:50 TOP (Ended w/punt)

• 3rd Q at S. Carolina – 6 plays, 53 yds, 3:22 TOP (Ended w/MU fumble recovery)

• 1st Q at UCF – 7 plays, 25 yds, 4:10 TOP (Ended w/punt)

• 3rd Q at UCF – 3 plays, (-1 yd), 1:26 TOP (Ended w/punt)

• 1st Q vs. Vandy – 3 plays, 8 yds, 1:31 TOP (Ended w/punt)

• 3rd Q vs. Vandy – 5 plays, 7 yds, 2:50 TOP (Ended w/punt)

• 1st Q vs. Alabama – 2 plays, 75 yds, 0:45 TOP (Ended w/TD run)

• 3rd Q vs. Alabama – 3 plays, (-2 yds), 2:30 TOP (Ended w/punt)

• 1st Q vs. Kentucky – 10 plays, 60 yds, 3:54 TOP (Ended w/MU fumble recovery)

• 3rd Q vs. Kentucky – 3 plays, (-13 yds), 1:44 TOP (Ended w/punt)

• 1st Q at Florida – 8 plays, 28 yds, 3:04 TOP (Ended w/punt)

• 3rd Q at Florida – 4 plays, 20 yds, 2:38 TOP (Ended w/punt)

• 1st Q at Tennessee – 6 plays, 65 yds, 2:34 TOP (Ended w/MU fumble recovery)

• 3rd Q at Tennessee – 6 plays, 33 yds, 1:44 TOP (Ended w/punt)

 

 

mizzou is ncaa's alltime overtime king

If it seems like Mizzou has been involved in a lot of overtime games, well, you're not crazy, because the Tigers have now played more OT games than any FBS school since the rule was put in place for the 1995 bowl season.

Mizzou is coming off a heart-stopping, acid reflux-inducing 51-48 four-overtime win at Tennessee last Saturday in Knoxville.  The Tigers never led in regulation, and forced the extra sessions by scoring a TD to tie the game with just :47 seconds left to play.  Mizzou and the Vols then traded TDs in the first three overtime periods, before the Tiger defense got a 4th-down stop to begin the 4th OT period.  Needing only a field goal for the win, the Tigers got exactly that, when PK Andrew Baggett nailed a 35-yard FG to end the game.

The win also broke a tie that Mizzou held with, incidentally, Tennessee, for most OT wins in FBS history. , ; The Tigers now have an FBS-best 11 alltime overtime wins (11-4 overall), while Tennessee fell to 2nd place in that category, with 10 wins (10-3 overall).

The Tigers played 2 overtime affairs in 2011, and after its thrilling comeback 38-31 OT win at #16 Texas A&M, Mizzou went 1-1 on the year in overtime games.  Pittsburgh (6-8 alltime) and TCU (also 6-8) are next on the OT list, with 14 games.  Next on the list with 13 overtime games include Tennessee (10-3), LSU (8-5), Fresno State (5-8), North Carolina State (8-5), Texas A&M (7-6), SMU (3-10) and Syracuse (7-6).

Mizzou had won five straight OT games before falling at Arizona State in 2011.  Saturday's win at Tennessee gave Mizzou

Here's a quick glance at MU's overtime history:

Year Opponent (Rank) Result #OTs

1996 Oklahoma State W, 35-28 OT

1996 at Baylor W, 49-42 3-OT

1997 at Oklahoma State (12) W, 51-50 2-OT

1997 Nebraska (1) L, 45-38 OT

1999 at Colorado L, 46-39 OT

2001 at Oklahoma State W, 41-38 3-OT

2002 Colorado (18) L, 42-35 OT

2002 at Texas A&M W, 33-27 2-OT

2003 Middle Tennessee State W, 41-40 OT

2004 at Iowa State W, 17-14 OT

2005 Iowa State W, 27-24 OT

2008 Northwestern (22) W, 30-23 OT

2011 Arizona State (23) L, 37-30 OT

2011 at Texas A&M (16) W, 38-31 OT

2012 at Tennessee W, 51-48 4-OT

Interestingly, MU Head Coach Gary Pinkel is credited with winning the very first overtime game ever played in Division I history, when his Toledo Rockets beat Nevada, 40-37, in the 1995 Las Vegas Bowl.  The overtime rule was put into effect for that bowl season, and has been in use ever since.

Pinkel is now 10-2 alltime in his career in overtime games, including 8-2 at Mizzou.

NCAA OVERTIME LEADERS

Thru Games of 11/10/12

 

Games Schools Record

15 Mizzou 11-4

14 Pittsburgh 6-8

14 TCU 6-8

13 Tennessee 10-3

13 LSU 8-5

13 North Carolina St. 8-5

13 Syracuse 7-6

13 Texas A&M 7-6

13 Fresno State 5-8

13 Notre Dame 5-8

13 SMU 3-10

12 Arkansas 9-3

12 Northwestern 8-4

12 Oregon 8-4

12 Auburn 7-5

12 Utah 7-5

12 Mississippi 6-6

12 East Carolina 6-6

12 Alabama 4-8

12 Purdue 4-8

12 Washington St. 4-8

11 Air Force 6-5

11 Central Michigan 6-5

11 Cincinnati 6-5

11 Clemson 6-5

11 Idaho 5-6

11 Miami, Fla. 5-6

11 UNLV 3-8

10 California 6-4

10 Colorado 5-5

10 Houston 5-5

10 Minnesota 4-6

10 Iowa State 3-7

 

 

tiger schedule ranks as 5th-toughest per sagarin; 7th per NCAA

According to two major rankings entities, very few teams have played a tougher schedule to date than the Missouri Tigers.  According to the Sagarin rankings, Mizzou's schedule is the 5th-toughest so far, while the NCAA puts Mizzou's slate of past foes as the #7-toughest in the nation to date.

Here's a look at the schedule rankings (thru games of Nov. 10th):

SCHOOL  SAGARIN RANK  NCAA RANK

Kansas  1st   9th

Washington  2nd   4th

Oregon State  3rd   24th

Iowa State  4th   3rd

MIZZOU  5th   7th

Auburn  6th   29th

Florida  7th   8th

California  8th   13th

Colorado  9th   27th

Arizona  10th   1st

Kentucky  12th   2nd

Texas A&M  13th   4th

Nebraska  33rd   6th

LSU   21st   10th

 

ebner making plays behind the line

Senior LB Will Ebner is getting a second chance at a senior season, thanks to being awarded a 5th year by the NCAA, after he missed all but the first game of 2011 due to injuries (concussion, hamstring). 

Ebner is making the most of his last go-around in a Tiger uniform, and he enters the Syracuse game tied for 1st on the squad with 70 tackles, including a team-best 10.5 tackles for loss (34 yards).  That per-game average of 1.22 tackles for loss ranks him 37th overall among all defenders in the NCAA, and 4th in the SEC.

He's coming off a 7-tackle outing in MU's 4-OT win at Tennessee, and that followed a 7-tackle outing at #8 Florida, which was a team-high total, as the Tiger defense bottled up the Gator offense for most of the day.

Prior to that, Ebner had a very impactful performance against Kentucky, as he ended with 6 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss, a half-QB sack and a forced fumble.  The fumble was picked up by teammate E.J. Gaines and returned for a touchdown to cap the scoring in MU's much-needed 33-10 win.

In 2009, Ebner won honorable-mention All-Big 12 status when he racked up 78 tackles (3rd on the team) as a sophomore, before fighting through an injury-plagued 2010 season that saw him limited to just 9 games. 

He's made 25 career starts and has 46 games of experience under his belt, to go with 219 career tackles and 24.0 tackles for loss.  Ebner was a late scratch versus Vanderbilt, due to a bum hamstring, and his presence was missed, no doubt. 

He returned to the field the next week against #1 Alabama and added 8 tackles and a half tackle for loss.  The previous two games saw Ebner register 26 tackles, including 12 in a win at UCF, which included 3.0 tackles for loss, 2 QB hurries and a pass break up.  That followed a career-high 14-tackle performance at #7 South Carolina.

 

 

wilson, bonner 6th in ncaa in forced fumbles

Take a poll among members of the Missouri Tiger team, and you'll likely get a near unanimous vote that says junior LB Andrew Wilson is the hardest hitter on the team.  Wilson has been especially good at popping the ball loose against opposing ball carriers, as he forced a fumble in each of Mizzou's first four games of the 2012 season, and his per-game average of 0.40 forced fumbles per game is currently tied for 6th-best in the nation, along with teammate and junior LB Donovan Bonner.  Here's a look at that category:

 

RK PLAYER, SCHOOL   FF/GAME

1. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers  .67

2. Jarvis Jones, Georgia  .63

3. Phillip Steward, Houston  .50

4. Calvin Pryor, Louisville  .44

4. Eddie Porter, Arkansas State .44

6. Andrew Wilson, Mizzou  .40

6. Donovan Bonner, Mizzou  .40

6. 9 others tied with   .40

30. Sheldon Richardson, Mizzou .30

 

Wilson is coming off an 8-tackle game at Tennessee, where he made a game-saving play in the 3rd overtime, when he broke up Tyler Bray's two-point pass attempt which, if successful, would have won the game for the Volunteers.  Wilson also recovered a fumble at the Tiger 7-yardline on the first series of the game to thwart a Tennessee scoring threat.

Wilson had a 6-tackle outing at #8 Florida.  He combined with Bonner for a tackle in the 2nd quarter on Florida TB Mike Gillislee in which the ball came out, and was recovered by Mizzou CB E.J. Gaines to give the Tiger defense 27 straight games with a turnover gained.  Both Wilson and Bonner were in on the tackle at the same time, and Florida officials awarded credit to Bonner for forcing the ball out, although it could have gone to either Tiger.

Prior to that, Wilson had a 5-tackle day against Kentucky in which he added one pass break up to go with a half-tackle for loss.  That was preceded by an 8-tackle outing vs. #1 Alabama (with a half-tackle for loss).  Prior to that, he couldn't knock a ball out against Vanderbilt, but he was still an active part of Mizzou's solid defensive effort which allowed only 295 yards of offense, as he totaled 9 tackles (1/2 TFL), and broke up one pass.  Through 10 games in 2012, Wilson ranks 3rd on the squad with 63 tackles.

At UCF Wilson contributed to the cause with 6 tackles to help Mizzou in its 21-16 road win.  He didn't cause a fumble in that game, and that broke a personal string dating back to last season, which had seen him force a fumble in five consecutive games.   

Against Arizona State, Wilson tied for the team lead with 9 tackles, including 8 of the solo variety.  He also forced a fumble which was recovered by the Tigers.  Wilson, who was MU's leading tackler in 2011 (98 tackles in 13 games), is the son of former Tiger standout LB Jay Wilson, who lettered from 1980-83 (All-Big Eight in ‘83), and who left MU holding the school's career tackles record, with 323 (he now ranks 12th on the list).

late turnovers indicator of success

Mizzou has been on the good side of the turnover battle more often than not in 2012, as six times MU has either been positive or even in turnover margin.  The three times the Tigers have faced a negative turnover margin, they've seen defeat (Georgia, Alabama, Florida).  In only one game (at South Carolina), Mizzou was positive in TO margin (+1), but still tasted defeat.

For the season, Mizzou is +3 in turnovers (20 gained, 17 given), and the turnover margin of +0.33 per game ranks the Tigers 40th in the NCAA and 6th in the SEC.  Mizzou has scored 57 points off of its 20 turnovers gained, while opponents have tallied 45 points off of MU's 17 giveaways.

In looking deeper at the TO numbers, to this point one category clearly stands out as a determining factor for success – 4th quarter turnovers.  In 6 games this season, there has been a turnover committed in the 4th quarter, and the team committing the miscue has lost all 6 times.

Mizzou is 3-0 this year in games in which it gains a 4th-quarter turnover.  Similarly, the Tigers are 0-3 this season when committing a 4th-quarter turnover.

Mizzou got 4th-quarter turnovers out of Arizona State (1) and at Central Florida (1) to help them hang on to victories of four and five points, respectively.  Two weeks ago, the Tigers were able to break open what was a 10-point game at the time against Kentucky, thanks to two Wildcat turnovers in the final period, to break the game open.

On the flip side, Georgia, Alabama and Florida all used 4th-quarter takeaways against the Tigers.  Back on Sept. 8th, Mizzou trailed Georgia by just 7 points midway through the final period, and had the ball with a chance to drive for the tying score.  But Georgia's star LB Jarvis Jones went nuts from there, returning an interception down to the MU 1-yardline, and later getting a sack/strip that was recovered by the Bulldogs on the Tiger 5-yardline.  After punching both opportunities into the endzone, all of a sudden Georgia had changed a game that was up for grabs into a 41-20 win.  Alabama already had a sizeable lead against the Tigers in the 4th quarter of their 42-10 win, but they got one turnover and converted that into 7 points to cap things off.  Last week in the Swamp, Florida took advantage of a pair of Mizzou interceptions in the 4th quarter to eventually hold off the Tigers for a 14-7 win.  The Gators didn't score  off of either pick, but both came in UF territory and squelched opportunities for the Tigers to tie the game up.

 

 

these stats don't compute

While statistics can be shaped to support all sorts of arguments, there were some oddities that surfaced in MU's recent 14-7 loss at #8 Florida for the Missouri Tigers, as MU held advantages in several important categories – categories which, when controlled, more often than not lead to a win.  Not so for the Tigers on that day, however, as the Gators rebounded from a 7-0 halftime deficit to post a 14-7 win and deny Mizzou its first SEC road win.

Consider the fact that Mizzou lost, despite amassed statistical edges in the following categories:

Category   Mizzou Florida

Total Offense   335 276

First Downs   23 11

Plays   86 56

Time of Possession  33:57 26:03 (UF was 4th in NCAA at 34:04)

3rd Down Conversions 6-of-16 2-of-13

Despite owning these statistical categories, the Tigers couldn't close out the win, thanks to two areas where the Gators made their chops: turnovers and QB sacks.  Mizzou lost the turnover battle by a 4-to-1 margin.  It's hard to imagine Florida ever losing in the Swamp when it is plus-three in turnovers.  Secondly, the Gators got to QB James Franklin for 4 sacks totaling 35 yards.  Three of the sacks came in Gator territory and essentially killed two different promising Tiger scoring opportunities.  The first came right before halftime, with the Tigers on the Florida 42-yardline, but an 8-yard sack of Franklin put that drive on ice and left the score 7-0 in favor of MU at the break. 

Later in the 4th quarter, right after Florida had taken a 14-7 lead, Franklin drove Mizzou from its own 25 to a 1st-and-10 at the Gator 24-yardline.  Just when it appeared the Tigers were ready to tie the game, Franklin was sacked on consecutive snaps, moving the ball back to the 44-yardline, and forcing a punt.

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