August 12, 2008

2008: Grading the non-conference schedules


We've created a vicious cycle in college football. Sure we all love the fact that just about every game is on TV nowadays. And because coaches and athletic directors want their teams to look good on TV, so they schedule a lot of limp fish opponents. Because wins beget bowl games. Bowl games begets job security. Job security begets more money. Thus, more money is insured by wins. You spin me right round baby right round, like a record.

No longer do college football teams across the country take chances. Or, well, rarely do they. Have you noticed how boring Septembers have become, except for the occasional Appy State upset of Michigan or Ohio State showdown with Texas?

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January 01, 2008

Missouri, Temple Roll Arkansas in Cotton Bowl

DALLAS - Missouri and tailback Tony Temple showed Arkansas why it deserved its No. 1 ranking for a week this season, routing the Razorbacks 38-7 in the Cotton Bowl.

Arkansas shocked LSU to end its regular season, but it couldn't stop these Tigers - or Temple.

"To be honest with you, I'm a little bit blindsided by the way we played," Arkansas interim coach Reggie Herring said.

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Fumbling All Around

DALLAS - Fumbles are abounding at the Cotton Bowl, sealing the victory for Missouri against Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl.

The Tigers lead 31-7 with 10 minutes, 25 seconds remaining in the game.

The fumbling started after Arkansas defensive end Adrian Davis intercepted a pass from Chase Daniel. But Daniel chased down Davis and forced a fumble, which the Tigers recovered.

But on the ensuing drive, Missouri tailback Derrick Washington gave it back to Arkansas.

Then the Razorbacks returned the favor. Missouri linebacker Luke Lambert forced a fumble from Arkansas wide receiver Andrew Davis.

The turnovers ballooned for Arkansas. After it forced Missouri to punt, Arkansas muffed the punt, and the Tigers recovered in the red zone.

Jeff Wolfert kicked a 32-yard field goal after the MU offense stalled.

No Shutout for Missouri in Cotton Bowl

DALLAS - Arkansas is finally on the board.

Darren McFadden scored a touchdown on a 3-yard run on fourth-and-goal. The Razorbacks trail Missouri 28-7 with 3 minutes, 8 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Casey Dick will have to make some plays if Arkansas hopes to make a comeback against the Tigers.

No Shutout for Missouri in Cotton Bowl

DALLAS - Arkansas is finally on the board.

Darren McFadden scored a touchdown on a 3-yard run on fourth-and-goal. The Razorbacks trail Missouri 28-7 with 3 minutes, 8 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Casey Dick will have to make some plays if Arkansas hopes to make a comeback against the Tigers.

Defense Strikes for Missouri

DALLAS - After Arkansas and Missouri traded fumbles, the Tigers' defense broke the Cotton Bowl open.

Arkansas quarterback Casey Dick was attempting a pass to fullback Peyton Hillis. But linebacker Sean Weatherspoon tipped the ball, and safety William Moore returned it 26 yards for a touchdown.

Missouri leads 28-0 midway through the third quarter.

Tony Temple Continues to Dominate

DALLAS - With tailback Tony Temple leading the way, Missouri scored a touchdown on its opening drive of the second half. The Tigers lead Arkansas 21-0.

Arkansas tried an onside kick, but the Tigers recovered on the Razorbacks' 48 yard-line. On the six-play drive, Temple had three carries for 24 yards and scored on a 4-yard run. He now has 16 carries for 183 yards and three touchdowns.

Arkansas Shut Out at the Half

DALLAS - In a game that was supposed to be a shootout, Missouri held Arkansas scoreless in the first half.

The Tigers lead the Razorbacks 14-0. The Razorbacks had chances to score, but Alex Tejada missed two field goals, from 36 and 37 yards.

To catch Missouri, the Razorbacks have to be less predictable on first down. They are rushing on almost every first down. Darren McFadden has been contained so far. He has 13 carries for 56 yards. Felix Jones has run seven times for 36 yards. Arkansas needs to try more play-action passes and screens to throw off Missouri's defense.

For Missouri, it needs to continue to run - believe it or not. Tailback Tony Temple, not quarterback Chase Daniel, was the star of the first half. Temple rushed for 159 yards and two touchdown on 13 carries. Daniel was only 8-of-13 for 78 yards.

The Tigers' special teams will to improve, however. Punter Adam Crossett had a measly 29-yard punt in the second quarter, and Arkansas has sprung several long kickoff returns.

Tony Temple the Star

DALLAS - Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel did not throw a single pass on the the Tigers' latest touchdown drive.

The Tigers lead Arkansas 14-0.

Tailback Tony Temple led the rushing attack on the six-play, 82-yard drive. He had 22-yard and 38-yard runs before his 4-yard touchdown.

Arkansas running back Darren McFadden has 12 carries for 47 yards.

Wake Up, Offense

DALLAS - The offenses are still trying to wake up at the Cotton Bowl.

Missouri still leads 7-0 midway through the second quarter.

Arkansas has not scored on its first four drives. There was an odd sequence at the end of their third drive. The Razorbacks faced fourth-and-4 on Missouri's 35-yard line. On a fake punt, Reggie Fish picked up a first down on an end-around. But after the play, the referee announced Arkansas had called a timeout. The Razorbacks were stuffed on the ensuing play.

The star running back so far is Missouri's Tony Temple, who has 81 yards on seven carries. Darren McFadden has 44 yards on 11 carries for the Razorbacks.

Missouri Strikes First

DALLAS - Tony Temple, not Darren McFadden, scored the Cotton Bowl's first rushing touchdown.

Temple's 22-yard run capped off a six-play, 73-yard drive late in the first quarter. Missouri leads 7-0.

Arkansas opened the game with a drive into the red zone. But Missouri stuffed McFadden on third-and-4, and Alex Tejada missed a 36-yard field goal.

Will the Defenses Show Up Today at the Cotton Bowl?

DALLAS - Will Arkansas run wild in the Cotton Bowl? Or will Missouri Chase down the Razorbacks?

While Arkansas is trying to persevere through the turmoil of the past month with a victory in the Cotton Bowl, Missouri is attempting to rebound from its disappointing loss in the Big 12 Conference Championship to Oklahoma.

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December 01, 2007

Don't call them spoilers

SAN ANTONIO - It has been a wonderful season in Columbia. The Tigers approached heights previously left unconsidered. Yet none of it can change the fact they where whipped but good Saturday night at the Alamodome. Indeed, Oklahoma has spoiled their chance at a national championship, yet the focus should lie elsewhere.

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Thinking it over

SAN ANTONIO - There may never be another college football season like this one.
But let's hope there is. Maybe it will produce a playoff. Most important, it would mean another college football season like this one.

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Second punch has landed

SAN ANTONIO - We'll have to wait to see if the national voters take notice of Oklahoma linebacker Curtis Lofton. Assuming they're watching this game and not the one in Morgantown, W.V., they very well might, because Lofton just made another play.

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Who wants it?

SAN ANTONIO - Still tied, and now the pressure's on.
For a moment, it looked like Missouri was the team handling it the best.
But only for a moment.

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Shaping up for a classic

SAN ANTONIO - Well, we're tied at the half her at the Alamodome. Better, though, was how it happened: OU going 50 yards in eight plays to lead 14-6, only to be answered by Missouri going 84 yards in 10 plays, only to throw for two, receiver to tight end, Jeremy Macklin to Martin Rucker, to force the deadlock.

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Bullet dodged again ... and controversy

SAN ANTONIO - Oklahoma has already been penalized for 58 yards. Missouri for only 10.
Yet, right now, it's the Tigers thinking they can't catch a break.

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One bullet dodged

SAN ANTONIO — Oklahoma trails 3-0.
The Sooners are fortunate it's not 7-0.

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A lot of defense

SAN ANTONIO - Oklahoma is just now beginning its second drive. Missouri has had the ball twice. Nobody's going anywhere.

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Welcome from the Alamo City

SAN ANTONIO - Well, here we are at the Alamodome and the weather's great. Oh, sure it's nice inside, but the odd thing of it, though the Alamodome is way cool, one has to admit, if ever there was a city that counted on tremendous year-round weather, it migh be San Antonio. Nonetheless, it remains a fine setting for today's Big 12 championship game.

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November 25, 2007

No comeback for the Jayhawks

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas put together a late rally but didn't have enough to hang with Missouri.

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November 24, 2007

Kansas mounting a comeback?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas just marched 57 yards in 1:27 to cut the Missouri lead to 12 points.

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Kansas running out of time

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - As Yogi Berra might say, it's getting late early for the Kansas Jayhawks.

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Kansas gets on the board, trails 21-7

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It took two and a half quarters, but Kansas' offense has finally come to life.

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Tigers jump out to 14-0 lead at the half

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Missouri engineered two long scoring drives and held the Kansas offense in check to take a 14-0 lead at halftime.

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Missouri offense proving too much to handle

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Missouri offense is making a strong case for the title of "Best in the Nation".

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Big drive for the Tigers: Mizzou leads 7-0

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tensions are high here at Arrowhead. Missouri just scored on a one-yard pass to tight end Martin Rucker on fourth-and-goal.

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Mizzou misfires early

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Missouri blew a perfect scoring opportunity by getting greedy and attempting a fake field goal.

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Gearing up for the Border Showdown

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kickoff of the biggest college football game of the season is just minutes away and the atmposphere at Arrowhead Stadium is electric.

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November 17, 2007

Missouri Surges in Second Half to Defeat Kansas State

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Missouri can finally look ahead.

Led by freshman wide receiver and all-purpose guru Jeremy Maclin, the Tigers defeated Kansas State 49-32. They will play Kansas for the Big 12 North Division title Saturday in Kansas City, Mo., at Arrowhead Stadium.

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Fourth-Down Gamble Pays Off for Missouri

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Missouri coach Gary Pinkel decided to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. The decision turned out to be a good one. The Tigers scored a touchdown.

Missouri leads Kansas State 42-25 with 9:28 left in the game.

Quarterback Chase Daniel jumped and tossed the ball to tight end Martin Rucker for the touchdown.

Kansas State is running out of time to catch up with Missouri.

Kansas State Responds

MANHATTAN, Kan. - After forcing Missouri to punt out of its own end zone, Kansas State used a short field to score a touchdown.

On third-and-18, quarterback Josh Freeman found wide receiver Ernie Pierce for a 20-yard touchdown.

Missouri leads 35-25 late in the third quarter.

Missouri's Maclin Having Another Big Day

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Missouri freshman wide receiver Jeremy Maclin has scored his third touchdown of the game.

Missouri leads Kansas State 35-18.

Somehow, Maclin got behind the KSU secondary on third-and-17. Quarterback Chase Daniel escaped pressure, rolled out and hit him for a 44-yard touchdown.

Kansas State needs a touchdown on its next drive.

Missouri's Runs Out to Quick Score

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Missouri needed only 59 seconds to score a touchdown on its opening drive of the second half. Kansas State needs to keep up and probably gamble on fourth downs this half.

Missouri leads Kansas State 28-18.

Tailback Tony Temple broke some big runs (15 and 12 yards) for the Tigers after gaining only 10 yards in the first half. He capped off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

Kansas State Outplayed Missouri in the First Half

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State is playing better than Missouri, but the Wildcats trail 21-18 at halftime.

Kansas State has outgained Missouri 248-145 in the first half. It controlled the clock 17:14-12:46. So how are the Wildcats behind?

Two KSU drives stalled inside MU's 10-yard line. Coach Ron Prince elected to kick two short field goals instead of going for it on two short fourth downs (fourth-and-1 in the first quarter and fourth-and-2 in the second).

Special teams' lapses cost KSU. It got two extra points blocked and surrendered a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

KSU also needs to stop beating itself. A fumble recovery in the first quarter was negated by a 15-yard penalty for illegal hands to the face. It didn't cost the Wildcats, however, because Missouri didn't end up scoring on the drive. In the second quarter, wide receiver Deon Murphy was wide open on a crossing route, but he dropped a pass, forcing a three-and-out.

Missouri has to stop Kansas State running back James Johnson and get the ball back in quarterback Chase Daniel's hands. Johnson carried the ball 17 times for 148 yards in the first half.

The Tigers get the ball to start the second half. If they score a touchdown, they'll be up 10 points without dominating the Wildcats.

Getting Back to Normal

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The craziness has abated. Both teams failed to score on their last drives.

Missouri leads Kansas State 21-15 midway through the second quarter.

Earlier in the quarter, Missouri tight end Martin Rucker caught a 8-yard touchdown pass, capping off an 81-yard drive. Quarterback Chase Daniel finally threw downfield, hitting Jeremy Maclin for a 23-yard gain.

Block Party in Manhattan

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Special teams have cost Missouri. Kansas State's Ernie Pierce just returned a blocked Missouri punt 32 yards for a touchdown. But the Tigers blocked another extra point.

Kansas State leads 15-14.

Special teams are the difference so far. Missouri returned a kickoff for a touchdown and has blocked two extra points.

Kansas State Running Well

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State running back James Johnson just brought his team back. He ran up the middle for a 66-yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked.

Missouri leads 14-9 at the end of the first quarter.

The Tigers' rushing defense looks suspect so far. Johnson has had gaping holes in the middle, gaining 119 yards on 10 carries.

Missouri's Jeremy Maclin Breaks Record

MANHATTAN, Kan. - With a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, Missouri freshman wide receiver Jeremy Maclin just broke the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision record for all-purpose yards gained by a freshman. It was also Missouri's first kickoff return for a touchdown since 1982, which was the longest drought in the country.

Missouri leads 14-3 midway through the first quarter.

Maclin broke the record set by Rutgers' Terrell Willis in 1993.

Before the kickoff, Missouri made a goal-line stand. Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman tried a quarterback bootleg on third-and-goal from the 2-yard line, but he was stuffed. The crowd wanted the Wildcats to go for it, but they kicked an 18-yard field goal.

Missouri Strikes Quickly

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Missouri needed just 1 minute, 7 seconds for its first score. Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman threw a pass directly to safety William Moore. Two plays later, Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel threw an 8-yard touchdown to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

The Wildcats must answer quickly. The crowd is subdued.

Before Colliding with Kansas, Missouri Takes on Kansas State

MANHATTAN, Kan. - In the past, Kansas State has dominated Missouri here. "History's on K-State's side," the main headline proclaimed on the front page of the Manhattan Mercury, underscoring how Missouri has lost eight consecutive times at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

But a smaller headline revealed this season's reality: "Tigers' offense presents many problems for KSU," it read.

Kansas State (5-5, 3-4 Big 12) has had its glory. Now Missouri (9-1, 5-1), ranked No. 5 in the BCS standings, is trying to claim its share. The Big 12 North is not the only possible prize. A national championship is also obtainable.

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November 10, 2007

Missouri Outlasts Texas A&M

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Texas A&M tested Missouri. But the Tigers and their offense were too strong in the fourth quarter for the Aggies, outlasting A&M 40-26 for a historic victory.

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Texas A&M Hanging Around

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Stay tuned. The Aggies should be in this until the end. They just answered a Tigers' touchdown and trail 31-26.

They are exploiting a Tigers' defense that's getting worn down and isn't tackling well. On a key 3rd-and-6 conversion, A&M quarterback Stephen McGee found tight end Martellus Bennett across the middle. Bennett then spun out of safety Del Howard's tackle and ran 42 yards for a touchdown.

Aggies Dominating, But Not Capitalizing on Chances

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Texas A&M has squandered several chances in the red zone against Missouri. It will have do more if it wants to regain the lead. The Aggies trail 24-19.

In the third quarter, the Aggies had 3rd-and-goal from the MU 3-yard line, but the Tigers forced them to kick a 22-yard field goal.

At the start of the fourth quarter, the Aggies had another time-consuming drive into the red zone. But again, the drive stalled, and A&M kicker Matt Szymanski missed a 36-yarder. The Aggies will be forced to shut down the MU offense again, which could light up at any moment.

With Touchdown and Turnover, A&M Regains Hope

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Texas A&M is back in it against Missouri. But the Aggies need to capitalize on a Tigers' turnover. Otherwise, the momentum will be lost.

They took the opening kickoff and scored, getting lucky when a deflected pass was tipped directly to A&M running back Mike Goodson, who ran 43 yards into the red zone. Four plays later, A&M running back Jorvorskie Lane ran it in from 2 yards.

A&M strong safety Alton Dixon forced a fumble, hitting quarterback Chase Daniel on a blitz and recovering it himself. The call was upheld after a challenge.

Using Maclin's Speed, Missouri leads

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin showed why he's one of the top freshmen in the country by showing off his blazing speed against Texas A&M. The Tigers lead 24-9 at halftime.

After MU safety William Moore picked off A&M quarterback Stephen McGee, MU quarterback Chase Daniel found Maclin wide open on the right side of the field. MU wide receiver Will Franklin blocked the only defender Maclin needed to beat, and Maclin streaked down the sideline to score an 82-yard touchdown. It was the longest pass of Daniel's career.

For A&M to regain momentum and have any chance to come back, it will have to take the opening drive and score, going for it on fourth down if necessary.

The Aggies also need to continue to stretch the field and take shots down the field, even though McGee has one interception. That's the only way they will keep the Tigers honest and score enough points to keep up with them. They also need to stop making stupid penalties, such as false starts. They got seven for 44 yards in the first half.

If the Tigers can continue to hold the Aggies and control the clock by running the ball effectively, they should be able to hold the lead and get the victory. Except for one sack, Daniel has had plenty of time to find holes in the Aggies' pass defense and continue his Heisman Trophy campaign.

Aggies Fighting Back

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Texas A&M has answered Missouri. The crowd clad in black at Faurot Field is silent. The momentum is with the Aggies, who are down 14-9 midway through the second quarter.

After a long MU touchdown drive, the Aggies finally threw the ball downfield, and it worked. Quarterback Stephen McGee found Kerry Franks for a 60-yard gain. A&M scored three plays later on tight end Martellus Bennett's 6-yard touchdown catch.

On MU's ensuing drive, the Aggies stuffed tailback Tony Temple and sacked quarterback Chase Daniel on successive plays to force a punt.

Stalemate Broken by Long Missouri Drive

COLUMBIA, Mo. - After some sloppy play, Missouri has put together a methodical drive to go up 14-2 against Texas A&M.

An errant snap cost the Tigers two points in the first quarter. Punter Adam Crossett ran down Steven Blair's errant snap in the end zone and knocked it out for a safety. Later in the quarter, MU safety William Moore dropped an interception.

But quarterback Chase Daniel responded by leading the Tigers on their longest drive of the season, a 17-play, 87-yard march ending with Chase Coffman's 5-yard touchdown reception.

MU tailback Tony Temple is looking like he's fully healed from the right ankle he sprained against Nebraska a month ago. He had a nifty run on the touchdown drive, spinning away from three A&M defenders in the backfield to pick up a 5-yard gain.

Tigers Pounce Early

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The high-powered Missouri offense needed only five plays to take a 7-0 lead against Texas A&M, scoring on tailback Tony Temple's 44-yard dash off tackle. It was the Tigers' longest run of the season. The Aggies need to answer quickly, or this game could be over early.

Missouri Looks to Keep Pace with Kansas

COLUMBIA, Mo. — While Missouri is trying to keep pace with surprising, undefeated Kansas, Texas A&M is looking to salvage its season by playing for its embattled coach, Dennis Franchione.

Continue reading "Missouri Looks to Keep Pace with Kansas" »

November 03, 2007

Mizzou rolling at the half 31-10 over Colorado

Boulder, Colo.- The Daniels led offense continues to roll. Daniels started off with a interception, but was able to put it in his rear view mirror. Despite Colorado converting an early interception and a blocked punt into points, they have since gone cold ending the half with five straight three and outs. The Buffs also have no answer for Mizzou's spread offense. The first half has been highlighted by big plays through the air with Daniels hitting his primary receivers William Franklin and Jeremy Maclin, who combined account for 194 of Daniels' 289 yards. The biggest play has come off the Tigers final drive of the half. The Tigers had the ball at the Colorado 25 yard line and were facing a third and six. Daniels dropped back and looked through his reads, seeing no one open. Daniels, feeling pressure, rolled out of the pocket to his right. He threw across his body to his open tight end Chase Coffman who broke two Buffs tackles to rumble into the endzone putting Mizzou further ahead 31-10. We'll see if the Buffs can answer.

Student Body

BOULDER, Colo. - Folsom field is filled at capacity tonight thanks to the students. The CU student body has often been accused of being fair-weather fans. The most recent example was during the Oklahoma game where nearly half the student section was absent before the Buffs began their comeback. By the time Eberhart's game winning field goal cleared the uprights, the student section was magically full again ready to rush the field. Tonight the student section is full despite their team trailing Mizzou 24-10.

Tom Brady-like Review Swings Momentum Tigers Way

BOULDER, Colo.- The tide shifts the Tigers' way with the first play of the second quarter. During Colorado freshman quarterback Cody Hawkins' attempted throw, Missouri defensive lineman Lorenzo Williams hit the ball loose before Hawkins' arm started to go forward. The play was briefly reviewed and the play stood. Missouri took. Daniels and the rest of the Mizzou offense did not waste time and took advantage via a 46-yard pass to freshman wideout Jeremy Maclin to put the tigers up 14-10 with plenty of time left in the second quarter.

#9 Missouri at Colorado turnover battle

Boulder, Colo. - On Missouri's second play from scrimmage, QB Chase Daniels' throw was tipped in the air and intercepted by Colorado Defensive Tackle George Hypolite (his first career interception) who took it to Missouri's 11 yard line. Three plays later, senior tailback Byron Ellis' three yard run put the Buffs up 7-0 sending Folsom Field into an early frenzy.

#9 Missouri at Colorado pre-game warm-ups

Nov. 3 2007
Boulder, Colo.- The Buffaloes appear to be loose during warm-ups doing their best impression of rap artist Soulja boy's superman. The Colorado cheerleaders joined in the dance. The edge has to go to the players.

#9 Missouri at Colorado preview

Nov. 3, 2007
BOULDER, Colo.- Over the past few years the Big 12 North has been lacking intra-conference games, Big 12 North v. Big 12 North, with potential BCS impact in November. There will be such a match-up today as No. 9 Missouri (7-1, 3-1 Big 12) squares off against Colorado (5-4, 3-2 Big 12).

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October 14, 2007

Wrapping Up OU-MU

NORMAN, Okla. - 85,041 saw Oklahoma take down Missouri, 41-31 tonight at Memorial Stadium, and after a wild game, a crazy elevator situation, and one really long traffic jam, here's tonight's wrap up from Norman.

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October 13, 2007

Sooners Tame Tigers, 41-31

NORMAN, Okla. - It was an exciting game for most of the 60 minutes here tonight, but when it became crunch time, the Oklahoma Sooners pulled away, handing the Missouri Tigers their first loss of the season, 41-31 here at Memorial Stadium.

OU's defense was the key late, as they were able to get pressure on Chase Daniel again, forcing key turnovers and taking advantage each time the Tigers made a critical mistake. Missouri put up a gallant fight here tonight. The Tigers drove down and scored on a four yard pass from Daniel to Martin Rucker with 12 seconds left. However, the last quarter showed who the best team was on the field.

We'll have more to come from Norman tonight, including post-game comments and a final wrap-up. Once again, Oklahoma has defeated Missouri tonight, 41-31.

OU Finishing This One Off

NORMAN, Okla. - Chase Daniel has tossed his third interception of the night, this one picked off by Nic Harris after it was tipped by Auston English, and the Sooners are milking the clock, up 35-24.

It just hasn't been Daniel's night tonight. Give him credit for bringing the Tigers back from down 23-10 to giving them a 24-23 lead, but in the fourth quarter, the best team usually steps up their game an extra notch, and it's been the Sooners who have done that tonight.

Just as I typed that, Chris Brown sprinted down the left side of the field for a 20 yard touchdown, but Garrett Hartley's PAT was blocked, making it 41-24 in favor of the Sooners with 2:39 to go.

Stick a fork in this one folks. This one is going to the boys in crimson and cream.

Lofton Pushes Sooners Further Ahead

NORMAN, Okla. - Missouri, needing to answer the OU score, did the absolute worst thing possible.

Chase Daniel, trying to hand off to Jeremy Maclin, fumbled the ball, and OU's Curtis Lofton took it to the house from 11 yards out, bringing bedlam to the crowd in Memorial Stadium. The Sooners again tried for two, but Bradford's pass fell incomplete, and the Sooners now lead 35-24 with 11:40 to go.

Mizzou's not out of it...but they need a quick drive and answer. This OU crowd is getting raucous again, sensing blood in the water, and that usually spells doom and gloom for visiting teams here in Norman.

Long Drive Gives Sooners Lead Again

NORMAN, Okla. - The sign of a good team is when the momentum is shifted dramatically in their opponent's favor, they rise to the occasion and answer the call.

In other words, Oklahoma's a good team.

The Sooners pounded the Missouri defense in a 12 play, 66 yard drive, and Chris Brown's one yard walk into the endzone put OU back on top here in Norman. Oklahoma went for two, but Sam Bradford's pass was tipped incomplete, making the score 29-24 Sooners with 12:26 to go.

In games like these, this is the time for great leaders to step up. Can Chase Daniel answer the Sooners? That's what we have to look forward to as OU kicks off to the Tigers.

Mizzou Regains Lead

NORMAN, Okla. - Just when you thought OU was locking this game up, the Tigers roared back to life.

Taking advantage of the Iglesias kickoff fumble, Missouri marched down the field on an eight play drive, and Jimmy Jackson's four yard run on the right end has given the Tigers a 24-23 lead on Oklahoma with 1:30 to go in the third.

The Missouri fans are definitely letting themselves be heard, as the majority of crimson-clad OU fans are absolutely shellshocked at what's going on right now in the game. But give Mizzou all the credit. Gary Pinkel and company found what was wrong with their OL in the first half, and Chase Daniel hasn't had too much to worry about pressure-wise in the second half. It shows in the stats, as Mizzou has 313 yards to OU's 270.

Can OU come back? Will Hartley's missed PAT haunt them? We'll find out...what a game so far!

Missouri Fighting Back

NORMAN, Okla. - Missouri needed a momentum shift. 12 plays and 4:41 later, they got it.

Chase Daniel, showing the leadership that Mizzou has counted on all season, led a gutsy drive down the field that was capped off by a 10 yard touchdown run off the reverse by Jeremy Maclin, who has been the tailback/receiver/hot dog vendor, etc. for the Tigers. The guy has done everything for them when Daniel doesn't have the ball.

The crowd here in Norman has turned silent all of the sudden, with the exception of the Missouri fans whooping it up in the south end of the stadium. All of the sudden, despite the two interceptions, Mizzou has found their way back into the game, and OU fans are getting a little nervous.

**UPDATE** - OU fans are REALLY nervous now, after Juaquin Iglesias fumbled the kickoff return, and Connell Davis recovered for Missouri, giving the Tigers the ball at the OU 46 with the chance to take the lead.

OU Adds to Lead

NORMAN, Okla. - As per the norm this season, when OU gets a gift, they return it in style.

Following the Chase Daniel interception, the Sooners marched with very little trouble, scoring on an Allen Patrick run from five yards out. Garrett Hartley missed the PAT, but Oklahoma's up 23-10 on Mizzou with 9:30 to go in the third.

How easy was OU's drive? The Sooners, taking 2:48 off the clock, never faced third down once.

Missouri mistakes are once again haunting the Tigers, who need to find some momentum fast here at Memorial Stadium.

Reg-gie, Reg-gie!

NORMAN, Okla. - It looked as if Missouri had found their stride at the half. The Tigers shut down the Sooners on their opening drive, and Chase Daniel and company were marching down the field with ease. But with Missouri facing third and two, Daniel ran to his right out of the pocket and threw a soft pass that fell into the hands of OU's Reggie Smith. Smith took it to the OU 44 yard line, and what could've been a major momentum shift was doused again by the OU secondary.

Although, admittedly, Daniel's pass was weak, missing any Tiger receiver by several yards. The pressure from the Sooner D has been tough for Daniel to overcome right now.

17-10 Oklahoma as they're on the move with 10 minutes to go in the third.

Some Halftime Stats

NORMAN, Okla. - Quick Halftime Stats...

Rushing Yards:
Missouri - 11 carries, 15 yards
Oklahoma - 13 carries, 14 yards

It's all about the aerial assault here tonight...

Passing Yards:
Chase Daniel: 16-22, 154 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Sam Bradford: 16-19, 188 yards, 2 TDs

Daniel's being outshadowed tonight, but that's mostly because of OU's defense.

Kickoff Returns:
Missouri: 2 for 79 yards
Oklahoma: 1 for 22 yards

Mizzou's had the field position; they just haven't been able to get it done.

Some Halftime Stats

NORMAN, Okla. - Quick Halftime Stats...

Rushing Yards:
Missouri - 11 carries, 15 yards
Oklahoma - 13 carries, 14 yards

It's all about the aerial assault here tonight...

Passing Yards:
Chase Daniel: 16-22, 154 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Sam Bradford: 16-19, 188 yards, 2 TDs

Daniel's being outshadowed tonight, but that's mostly because of OU's defense.

Kickoff Returns:
Missouri: 2 for 79 yards
Oklahoma: 1 for 22 yards

Mizzou's had the field position; they just haven't been able to get it done.

A Little Mizzou Momentum at Half

NORMAN, Okla. - Finally, Missouri had some of their offensive punch back, and just before the half ended.

The Tigers went on a 9 play, 85 yard drive that was capped with a Jeff Wolfert field goal as time expired, cutting the Sooner lead to 17-10 as we've hit the end of the first half. The key plays: Daniel's 31 yard pass to Danario Alexander that put the Tigers in OU territory with just under 20 seconds left, and the 22 yard pass on the next play to Will Franklin, who dove out of bounds at the OU two yard line with just two seconds left, allowing Mizzou to pick up some much needed points.

Marching Mizzou has taken the field here in Norman, something that's very odd if you've watched a lot of Southern football. Usually, the opposing band has no chance to get on the field, but in the Big 12, things are a little more diplomatic. In fact, VERY diplomatic. As the Mizzou band public announcer yelled to fans to cheer for Mizzou, the OU fans didn't boo at all, remaining silent for the Missouri fans to cheer.

As the Missouri Waltz is being played, it's time for me to refuel on caffeine! Second half starts in 15 minutes.

OU fans have a LOT of radios

INORMAN, Okla.- I had Sugar Bowl reps and a lot of people behind me, as the TV showing LSU-Kentucky was right above my head. As soon as LSU was down and UK had won it, a huge roar came from the crowd here at Memorial Stadium.

Think there's a lot of handheld radios in the stadium tonight? I think so.

Anyways, the crowd is pumped, as OU remains on top, 17-7, with under three minutes to go in the half.

Bradford, Sooners Cruising

NORMAN, Okla. - The OU offense started on their own 14 yard line, and seven plays later, Sam Bradford found a WIIIIIIIDDDE OPEN Jermaine Gresham for a 30 yard touchdown, sending fireworks in the air, the Sooner Schonner riding back out on the field, and the crowd into yet another roar of approval.

OU is in total control of this game, and you've got to give the Sooners credit for the way they responded to Missouri's opening drive touchdown. The Sooners now have 161 yards of offense to Mizzou's 44, and the Tigers have to find a way to get back in this game, something that's easier said than done, given the way the OU defense has stiffened up and rattled Chase Daniel.

17-7 Sooners with 11:47 to go in the half.

Trouble On The Line

NORMAN, Okla. - Chase Daniel's first drive was a great one, but since then, OU's defensive line has given him fits. The Sooners have kept Daniel from staying in the pocket, chasing him out and sacking him twice. Daniel looks flustered, and he's been a bit panicky when he hears the footsteps coming his way.

Missouri's offense has gone for -9 yards of total offense since that first drive, and Gary Pinkel has to get the offensive line in gear and allow his star QB to get more time. Otherwise, the Sooners are on a roll right now in the second.

Mizzou Mistake Gives OU Lead

NORMAN, Okla. - One thing is for can't give OU gifts. The Sooners will return those gifts in a not-so-nice way.

The Sooner defense put intense pressure on Chase Daniel, and on third-and-10, Daniel's pass was picked off by D.J. Wolfe, who took the ball back to the Missouri 16 yard line. Missouri, though, was able to hold the Sooners to just a field goal, as three straight runs mustered only five yards for Oklahoma.

We start the second quarter with the Sooners up 10-7. However, Missouri has the ball on the OU 44, following a terrific kickoff return.

The Longest Review

NORMAN, Okla. - Sam Bradford found Chris Brown over the middle on a short pass, and was being brought down by Missouri's Sean Weatherspoon. Brown's knee hit the ground, but the rest of him rolled over, and when no whistles were blown, Brown trotted in for what was called a Sooner touchdown.

After about an eight minute delay, the refs managed to get the call right, and the ball was spotted on the Missouri 18 yd. line. However, the Sooners never flinched. Sam Bradford found Malcolm Kelly for two straight passes, setting up OU with first and goal from the eight, and on second and goal, Bradford found Juaquin Iglesias for the tying score.

With 3:33 to go in the first, it's 7-7 between Oklahoma and Missouri.

Missouri Draws First Blood

NORMAN, Okla. - A rare OU turnover has led to the first score of the game for Missouri. Sam Bradford found Juaquin Iglesias on the first Sooner offensive play, but a vicious hit by Stryker Sulak popped the football out of Iglesias's hands, and MU's Darnell Terrell recovered the loose ball at the Oklahoma 38 yard line.

Once the Tigers had the ball, Chase Daniel went to work, going 4-4 on the drive for 32 yards, including a 17 yard strike to a wide open William Franklin down the left sideline on fourth and one. The Tigers ran a reverse play on second and three from the OU five yard line, and Jeremy Maclin dove into the end zone, sending screams of jubiliation from the Missouri fans tucked in the inside corner on the south end of Memorial Stadium.

It's 7-0 Missouri as OU has the ball on their 35 with 10:04 to go here in the first quarter.

Getting Set for OU-MU

NORMAN, Okla. - We are less than 15 minutes away from a game that has all eyes in the Midwest on Memorial Stadium here in Norman, as the #6 Oklahoma Sooners will try to keep their hopes of defending their Big 12 title alive. Standing in the way of the Sooners are the undefeated and 11th-ranked Missouri Tigers, who are out on a mission to firmly establish themselves among the elite teams this year in college football.

Continue reading "Getting Set for OU-MU" »


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