September 2, 2014

Gary Pinkel happy with the win. Marcus Murphy called his touchdown return (VIDEO)

Plenty of great individual highlights, but more work needed as the Tigers beat South Dakota State (VIDEO)

Russell Hansbrough hits the pylon on his way to a Missouri touchdown (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

Russell Hansbrough hits the pylon on his way to a Missouri touchdown (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

At times it wasn’t pretty, but the Missouri Tigers made enough big plays to pull away for a 38-18 victory over South Dakota State on a steamy Saturday afternoon at Faurot Field.  When the game was hanging in the balance with Mizzou clinging to a three-point lead, the defending SEC East Champs stepped up all three phases of their game to keep down the feisty Jackrabbits.

Quick Hit Game Notes:

-With Duron Singleton’s first half interception, the Tigers have created a turnover in 45 straight games, tops in the nation.

-Darius White’s 44 yard touchdown pass was the longest of his career.  His 83 total yards were a career best

-Russell Hansbrough rushed for a career high 126 yards.

-Marcus Murphy’s 100 yard kickoff return for touchdown was the longest return since 1977.

Watch our postgame comments…looking back, the win wasn’t all that ugly.

FINAL STATS

1st quarter recap

2nd quarter recap

3rd quarter recap

4th quarter recap

What will it take for Mizzou to win the SEC East? The bigger question is what will it take to earn respect? (Google Hangout)

Good morning!  The college football season is finally here. Last year proved the Tigers can compete in the SEC, but yet at Football Media Days in Alabama, the experts picked Missouri for 4th.

I get the feeling the “good ole boys and girls” from the deep south still aren’t ready to give the Tigers enough credit.  That’s not to say the Tigers couldn’t finish in fourth…the East will be competitive with South Carolina, Georgia and Florida expected to be in the mix, but c’mon.  They (the media) couldn’t bring themselves to give Missouri a little bit of respect?

It shows me that many outside this state believe it was a fluke season.

Honestly, there is no clear winner in the SEC East.  We saw what happened to Spurrier’s Gamecocks on Thursday night…they need some fixing.  Can Georgia stay healthy?  How good is their defense?  Florida will have a good defense, but how will the Gators do with a new offensive system?  Those other teams have just as many question marks as the Tigers.

Which leads to today’s Google Hangout.  What will it take for Missouri to compete again in the SEC East?

South Dakota State “Not going to collect a check.  They’re not going to just play a game…they’re going to try to win” (Google Hangout)

Tyler Merriam, the voice of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, said this preseason top 10 FCS football team is coming to Columbia on Saturday with the goal of trying to win a football game.  For head coach John Stiegelemeier, it’s not just a game to collect a payout from and move on.

South Dakota State is coming off a 2013 season in which it made its second straight appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs and third in five years. Missouri State fans are familiar with SDSU, sharing the same Missouri Valley Football Conference.  The Jackrabbits tied a school record for wins in a season en route to a 9-5 overall record and tied for a second-place finish in the Missouri Valley Football Conference with a 5-3 mark.

They’ll present some interesting challenges on both sides of the ball.  The strength of Missouri’s defense in on the line and they thrive on shutting down opposing running backs.  The Tigers get a tough test from senior running back Zach Zenner, who already holds the league record for career all-purpose yards and needs less than 300 yards to set the conference’s all-time rushing mark. Zenner has rushed for 2,000 yards in back-to-back seasons.

With questions about Missouri’s receivers, Merriam says the strong suit of SDSU’s defense is their secondary.  Jimmie Hunt, Bud Sasser and Darius White may be tested.

Watch my Google Hangout with Tyler Merriam

The South Dakota State football roster features six players from the state of Missouri. Two of those players, backup defensive backs Mark Pickerel and Freeman Simmons, will be making a true homecoming Saturday as they are both graduates of Columbia’s Rock Bridge High School.Pickerel is a junior, while Simmons is expected to make his collegiate debut after redshirting during the 2013 season.

Other Missouri natives on the Jackrabbit roster include:
• Jay Carlson, Jr., kicker (kickoffs), Parkville;
• Auston LaBlance, Sr., defensive lineman, Kansas City;
• Andrew Mueller, Sr., offensive lineman, Peculiar;
• Dom Wright, Sr., wide receiver/kick returner, Lee’s Summit

From opposite ends of the state, to opposite ends of the D-line, Ray and Golden will anchor Mizzou’s defense (VIDEO)

Shane Ray grew up in Kansas City…Markus Golden in St. Louis.  These bookends for the Missouri Tigers defensive line go from reserves to starters and much of Mizzou’s success on defense will come from these two players.

Last year they combined for:

–96 tackles
–22 tackles for loss
–11 sacks
–4 forced fumbles
–21 quarterback hits
–2 defensive touchdowns

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