The phrase “for the first time since” is being used a lot in reference to the Missouri Tiger football program lately. For example, after their 37-0 win over Eastern Illinois on Saturday the Tigers are 3-0 for the first time since 1981. Another example: After checking in at #23 in this weeks A.P. poll, the Tigers are ranked for the first time since 1998. Little by little, Missouri is trying to erase its image of a college football doormat. With last week’s win Brad Smith upped his record as Missouri’s quarterback to 8-7, making him the first Tiger quarterback with a winning record since Corby Jones. This wee Mizzou play’s their second straight home game as Middle Tennessee State comes to Columbia for the first-ever meeting between the Tigers and Blue Raiders. MTS comes into the game with an 0-3 record; they’ve lost their season opener at home to Florida Atlantic and have dropped consecutive road games to Clemson and Georgia.