The Missouri Tigers and the Colorado Buffaloes will play for the last time as Big 12 Conference foes Saturday at Faurot Field. They are very familiar and its a nasty one that that Tigers still claim to have 1 more win than the record books show. Exactly 20 years ago from yesterday, the Tigers and #1 Buffalo met at Faurot Field and after the Tigers had stopped the Buffaloes on 4th down they officials had incorrectly counted it as third down. On the subsequent play the Buffaloes pulled a QB keeper in which the Buffaloes never crossed the goal-line but the officials signaled touchdown in the confusion and Colorado would go on to an undefeated season and win the National Championship that season. The Tigers went into a downward spiral until Coach Pinkel was hired 9 years ago and he sold a program to the AD at the time that was slow to build up and he claimed would ultimately lead to Missouri becoming a regular powerhouse. Here we are on October 6th, 2010 and the Missouri Tigers are ranked #24 in the AP and #22 in the Coaches Poll, not to mention he took them to a #1 ranking in 2007 after beating KU before losing to OU in the Big 12 Championship game, to and Colorado is just rebuilding under Dan Hawkins and at 3-1 he has them poised to join the Pac-10 and become a team that can make a difference.
The Tigers will take the field Saturday with a 4-0 record and they have dominated the series against Colorado in recent years, going back to 2007 the Tigers have outscored Colorado 149-27 winning all 3 meetings and haven’t lost to the Buffalo since 2005 when the Buffaloes were ranked 24 in the AP. The Missouri Tigers have had a tough time of it reaching 4-0 by barely beating San Diego State on a last second TD pass to TJ Moe who caught the ball then rumbled the other 60+ yards to the end-zone with just under a minute to play, but the following game against a much better opponent Blaine Gabbert was pulled early in the 3rd quarter because the Missouri Tigers found their running game and put a 51-13 whooping on Miami of Ohio Redhawks with 7 players scoring TD’s 5 of which came on the ground.
Missouri this season has had its share of ups and downs, from having to come back and beat the Illini and San Diego State to putting a monster beat down on McNeese State and Miami of Ohio, but should now the real season begins. The Tigers defense last season had many struggles giving up way too many big plays in the passing game while they had very good pressure up front specifically from Aldon Smith, who is missing his second consecutive game with a broken fibula. The Tigers have limited big plays through the air and have had a solid defense specifically through the air where they rank 29th in passing yards allowed per game in the nation and tied for 5th with just 3 td passes allowed and tied for 9th in the nation in interceptions. Missouri on the ground has allowed about 150 yards a game which ranked them in he 60′s in the nation in rushing per game but has allowed just 3 rushing touchdowns which ties them for 13th in the nation in rushing touchdowns allowed. Colorado on the other side has had a nice defense against the run just allowing 100 yards a game on the ground and just 1 touchdown in their 3-1 start to the season but has allowed some big plays in the passing game where they are allowing 236 yards passing a game and have allowed 8 touchdown passes in their first 4 games.
The Tigers aught to be able to get something going against the Colorado Buffaloes and Pinkel has hinted that the Tigers have only used roughly 60% of their entire playbook that is in place so far saving a lot of plays for Big 12 play and I am sure we will see most of them for the first time not against Colorado but against OU and NU in the following weeks after Colorado. My Prediction for this game is that Mizzou start the swan song for Dan Hawkins and the Colorado Buffaloes with a bang and a zip and Mizzou comes away the big winner 42-21 as the Tigers start the season 5-0 for the 4th time in 5 years.
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Written by Sean Griffith