November 23, 2014

Mauk’s two fourth quarter touchdown passes helps Tigers overcome sloppy offensive line play and shaky special teams

The Missouri Tigers are one win away from reaching the SEC Championship game for the second year in a row.  Maty Mauk threw two touchdown passes and Marcus Murphy ran for two other scores Saturday night as 20th ranked Missouri won at Tennessee 29-21.

For the Tigers (9-2, 6-1), it was a school record 10th straight road win and now sets the stage for next Friday, when Missouri can clinch the East Division by beating Arkansas next Friday at home.

Tennessee led 10-7 when they faked a field goal and got a 31 yard touchdown pass from holder Patrick Ashford to Alex Ellis in the second quarter.  The Volunteers ran 24 of their first 32 plays inside Mizzou territory thanks to great punting and multiple penalties that stymied quite a few Missouri drives and kept the field flipped in Tennessee’s favor.  Despite the advantage in field position, The Tigers took a 13-10 lead after Murphy scored on a touchdown but Andrew Baggett missed the first of two extra points.

Andrew Baggett’s 43-yard field goal broke a 13-13 midway through the third quarter and Mauk put the Tigers up by two scores by throwing a 73-yard touchdown pass to Jimmie Hunt and a 13-yard TD to Bud Sasser in the fourth quarter to make it 29-13 with 6:22 to play.

The Volunteers cut the lead to 29-21 when Joshua Dobbs threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Jason Croom with 1:52 remaining and scored a two-point conversion on a rollout to his right.

Tennessee tried an onside kick and recovered its first attempt, but an offside penalty forced the Vols to kick again. On Tennessee’s next kick, officials ruled the Vols had touched the ball before it went the required 10 yards.z

After two impressive wins with Dobbs at quarterback, the Missouri defense shut him down most of the night, limiting the Vols to just 279 total yards with 79 of those coming on the final drive.

They also sacked Dobbs six times.  He had been sacked just three times in the previous three games.  (Dobbs entered after the second series in the game with Alabama, before his two starts)  The Tigers also forced two turnovers.

 

A bold prediction that may upset Mizzou fans. Hear the reasons why one SEC reporter thinks Tennessee wins big (VIDEO)

Where the Mizzou football program is today and does it get the credit it deserves? (Google Hangout)

The Volunteers will be without the middle linebacker (photo: RockyTopInsider.com)

The Volunteers will be without the middle linebacker (photo: RockyTopInsider.com)

With college football having fans in an offensive state of mind, perhaps it is difficult to give the Missouri Tigers their due credit.  The Tigers strive off of winning the battles of special teams and field position and use their defense to shut down opponents.

That’s why I couldn’t believe when I saw the opening lines from Vegas list Missouri as three point underdogs at Tennessee.  We’re seriously talking about the SEC East leader with eight win against a team in a rebuilding year with many freshman and sophomores in the starting lineup playing for bowl eligibility only because their last two wins have come against South Carolina and Kentucky.  Prior to that, this team was 3-5.

This Tennessee team has talent, but their young.  They’ll play hard and give Missouri everything they have.  If Missouri is not focused (I mean like Indiana non-focused), they’ll be in for a surprise.

However, I’m not buying the concerns of Missouri traveling down to Knoxville.  We saw how the Tigers could handle 100,000+ fans.

To talk more about the perception of Mizzou in the SEC, Seth Merenbloom of cfbroundtable.com

He helps me understand why the Tigers still have a ways to go when it comes to earning respect in the SEC.

On top of the already young roster, the Vols are going to be thin up the middle on both sides of the ball.  According to Daniel Lewis of RockyTopInsider.com, the legal investigation and indefinite suspension of linebacker A.J. Johnson and cornerback Michael Williams leaves the Vols without their leader on defense (Johnson) and a key backup in the secondary (Williams).

Offensively, UT head coach Butch Jones downgraded center Mack Crowder to closer to doubtful earlier this week, meaning sophomore Dylan Wiesman will likely make his first career start there against Missouri.

Yet, Lewis is still wavering, while he says he slightly is leaning towards picking Missouri in this game.

You never know what can happen in college football, but be honest.  If you are one of those people who thinks this game is going to be close, should Missouri lose, you’ll be the first to be shocked that they lost this game.

Mizzou is focused.  Mizzou is running the football.  UT is without their defensive quarterback.  Mizzou is pressuring every quarterback they face.  UT is without one of their leaders on the offensive line.  In addition to having a more talented team, the Tigers are given an even bigger advantage with injuries and suspension.  One team is playing for bowl eligibility.  The other is playing for a trip to Atlanta.  Mizzou is tough to beat in November.  I’ve made my case for Missouri, but expect Tennessee to battle.

Get online and vote for Mizzou’s Murphy. He’s a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award. Get the link to case your vote right here

Sept. 28, 2014 - Columbia, South Carolina, USA - September 27, 2014 - Columbia, South Carolina, USA -..Missouri tailback Marcus Murphy (06) during the football game between the University Missouri Tigers  and the University of South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Bryce Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina.(Credit Image:

Missouri tailback Marcus Murphy (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

Missouri senior TB/KR/PR Marcus Murphy  has been named one of five finalists for the fifth annual Paul Hornung Award, given annually to the most versatile player in major college football, as chosen by a 16-member selection committee.

Murphy is the NCAA’s active career leader in all-purpose yardage (4,577 entering Saturday’s game at Tennessee), Murphy holds Mizzou career records for most combined kick return touchdowns, kickoff return touchdowns, punt return touchdowns and punt return yardage.  He is averaging 13.0 yards per punt return in 2014 (ranking him 11th in the NCAA currently), 32.9 yards per kickoff return (which would rank him 3rd nationally, but he doesn’t have quite enough attempts to qualify for the standings), while he’s got 607 yards rushing and 143 yards receiving.

The Hornung Award winner will be announced in December, with the recipient being honored on January 27, 2015 at the annual Paul Hornung award banquet in downtown Louisville.  Created in 2010, the Hornung Award is designed to honor the most versatile player in college football, while preserving the legacy of one of Kentucky’s best-known and accomplished athletes in Paul Hornung – the 1956 Heisman Trophy winner and later NFL MVP for the Green Bay Packers.

The 16-member selection committee will vote for the winner, but fans also will comprise the 17th vote in a fan vote which opened today by visiting www.paulhornungaward.com.

Teki and Clark lead Mizzou as Tigers use a strong second half to knock off Oral Roberts

Montague Gill-Caesar (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

Montague Gill-Caesar (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

Montaque “Teki” Gill-Caesar scored 19 points and Wes Clark added 14 points and nine assists to lead Missouri past Oral Roberts 78-64 on Wednesday night after trailing most of the night heading into the midway point of the second half.

Mizzou used a 6-0 run to break a 52-52 tie with just 11 minutes to go.  Then the Tigers went on a 8-0 spurt, capped by a three-pointer from Deuce Bello with three minutes left for a 73-62 lead.

One player who may be emerging as a scoring threat is Teki Gill-Ceasar.  He leads Missouri averaging just over 16 points a game.  He’s one of four freshman on the roster for Kim Anderson.  He finished with 5-of-11 shooting from the field, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range.

Wes Clark played a vital role in the second half right out of the gate.  Clark’s spark started when he buried a three-pointer, made a tough jumper while being fouled and delivered a great pass inside to put the Tigers on the line.  Clark’ finished with 14 points (nine coming in the second half), nine assists, three rebounds, and two steals.

A fifth freshman, Jakeenan Gant missed his third consecutive game while the school reviews his eligibility.