Gone are the days of feeling slighted by the Insight Bowl, the Big 12 or whoever the Missouri Tigers wanted to throw blame toward. While they may have done that internally earlier this month, I give head coach Gary Pinkel a lot of credit. He held his head high, accepted the fate of his football team going to a lower bowl and now has the team just a couple of days away from their Texas Bowl showdown with Navy.
This is a big game for the Missouri program on a number of levels. Now only is Missouri looking for their fourth bowl win in a row, it’s also their fifth bowl appearance in a row. A win would give this senior class the most wins of any class and it also lays the groundwork for next year’s team to get back to the Big 12 championship game.
The Tigers arrived in Houston on Saturday and practiced for the first time on Sunday. Pinkel was not concerned about the layoff in between games. In fact, prior to leaving for Texas, I thought the Tigers looked pretty sharp in their practice before Christmas.
Of course the offense is going to be based around Danario Alexander. Early on, he became Blaine Gabbert’s favorite target. As you’ll hear from Gary Pinkel, they’re able to do so many things with Alexander, line him up in different spots on the field, that he becomes difficult to guard. If Navy does throw an extra defender toward Alexander, the Tigers have enough weapons to go in another direction.
They may also be getting a boost. Wide receiver Jared Perry was able to make cuts on his leg that suffered a hairline fracture late in the regular season. Perry said he’ll talk with head trainer Rex Sharp and his family, but the Texas native believe he’ll play in his final game at Missouri.
Listen to head coach Gary Pinkel.