January 2008 blog archives
Black History Month kicks off Friday, Feb. 1, and runs through the end of the month, with a little something for everybody — big-name hip-hop (The Roots) and jazz (Wynton Marsalis) artists, history presentations, films and discussions, a soul food dinner, art exhibitions, and much more.
Check out the MU News Bureau’s full listings for dates, times and information.
Larry Smith, who coached the Mizzou Tiger football team from 1994-2000, died Monday, Jan. 28, after a long illness.
The Mizzou athletics site has reactions from former players, colleagues and others. Smith led the Tigers to two bowl games, and by winning the Insight.com Bowl in 1998, helped the program get its first bowl win since 1981.
In 1971, a battle took place in smoke-filled rooms — government war rooms and newsrooms alike. On one side were administrators concerned about information in the Pentagon Papers, a study that held the promise of embarrassment based on administration actions during the Vietnam War. On the other were top newspapers The New York Times and The Washington Post, both of which published stories with information leaked from the top-secret document.
People can relive that controversy and discuss the ever-relevant issue of the people’s right to know vs. protection of government info at Chancellor Brady Deaton’s forum on the “Battle of the Pentagon Papers.” University experts will provide unique perspectives: Charles Davis, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, regularly deals with issues of open government; Christina Wells, Enoch H. Crowder Professor of Law, is a First Amendment expert; Stuart Loory, Lee Hills Chair in Free-Press Studies, was once included on Richard Nixon’s “enemy list.” The forum takes place at 3:30 p.m. Wed., Jan. 30, in Ellis Auditorium.
Three days later, the University Concert Series will host a “docudrama” about the same topic, Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers, at 7 p.m. Sat., Feb. 2, in Jesse Auditorium.
According to one set of computer rankings — and in the fantasies of many Tiger fans, of course — Mizzou actually captured the football national championship.
The Anderson & Hester rankings, one of six computer rankings that factor into the BCS system, had the Tigers at No. 1 after bowl season. The system ranked Kansas at No. 2 and BCS national champs LSU at No.3 behind the two Big 12 upstarts.
The start of a year often brings the resolve to be healthier. Mizzou offers a lot of resources to help you get healthier, change habits, start exercising, quit smoking and lose weight.
Shape Up Missouri (SUM) encourages people to get healthier by losing weight, increasing physical activity, or both. SUM’s next session is Jan. 21-April 15. Participants are eligible to win incentives and receive weekly newsletters with useful information. Visit Shape Up Missouri for details.
The Healthy for Life:Thomas E. Atkins UM Wellness Program sponsors weight loss and smoking cessation programs:
- Weight Watchers at Work meetings will be happening on campus. Call the Healthy for Life staff at 573-882-1312 or e-mail email@example.com for more information or to start a class in your area.
- For benefit-eligible employees who want to quit smoking, Free and Clear telephone coaching is available. Call the Healthy for Life staff at 573-882-1312 or send e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If you’re looking for exercise, MizzouRec offers everything from dance and exercise classes, to lap swimming and personal training. Student, faculty and staff memberships are available.
The Wellness Resource Center provides Wellbody classes on nutrition, body image and other topics. Resources are available to students, faculty and staff.
After Mizzou’s dominating performance over Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl, fans were left wondering just how much of a bump up the team would get in national rankings.
Well, the season is over, the rankings are in and Mizzou got a nice bump. The team jumped from seventh to fourth in the final AP poll — the highest finish for the Tigers in AP polling history (beating 1960’s fifth-place finish). Mizzou also finished fifth in the USA Today coaches’ poll.
If you had predicted at the beginning of the 2008 Cotton Bowl that a runningback was going to break the bowl’s records, Tony Temple might not have been the first name to come to mind. If you had said that Mizzou would score 38 points with only 136 yards passing and no touchdown passes from Chase Daniel, people would have thought you were crazy.
That doesn’t make those statements any less true.
A little over a year ago, tailback Temple had an MVP-worthy day at the Sun Bowl but missed out on the honor when Mizzou lost late in the game. Today, as Mizzou beat the Arkansas Razorbacks 38-7, Temple had an even better day and earned the title of offensive player of the game.
“Everybody was talking about Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, Peyton Hillis,” says quarterback Chase Daniel, who has always called Temple the “catalyst” for the offense. “No disrespect to those guys, but I wouldn’t trade my back for anything.”
Temple broke Dicky Maegle’s Cotton Bowl all-time rushing record with 281 yards — 212 yards more than his average per game this season. He also broke the rushing touchdown record with four. He knows what’s important, though: “We got the W, and that’s what matters the most.”
The offensive line helped by opening gaping holes for Temple. Daniel, Maclin, Rucker and company helped by connecting on passes all year long and teaching defenses to expect a passing attack. Offensive coordinator Dave Christensen helped by setting a game plan that clearly worked.
Temple almost didn’t get the records. In the fourth quarter, he was sidelined with a tweaked hamstring. With the record in sight, though, Temple told Coach Gary Pinkel, “I think I can go.” He went into the game and got a 40-yard touchdown run. Teammates carried him off the field.
Even Arkansas’ Darren McFadden spoke highly of Temple: “Sitting there watching a runningback do that against you, it’s just a hard thing to watch. You’ve got to give him full credit. He came to play.”
Speaking of McFadden, though, let’s not forget the other side of the ball. The Tiger defense held an Arkansas offense that previously averaged 297 yards per game to just 164 yards. Ziggy Hood got to the quarterback twice, once with the help of Lorenzo Williams. William Moore had 13 tackles and returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown, with the help of a tipped pass by Sean Weatherspoon. Moore earned top defensive honors from the Cotton Bowl.
It was supposed to be an offensive shootout. Williams hates when people say that. “Every time somebody said that about a game, we played really well,” he says. Defensive Coordinator Matt Eberflus told the players today would be a challenge. They accepted, and then some.
At the end of the day, a bunch of extremely happy black-and-gold fans face an extremely pleasant drive or flight home. Coaches and players get to revel in a season in which they won 12 games, something no Mizzou team has done before. They also get to expect a solid ranking at the end of the season after a marquee bowl victory, BCS or no BCS.
Soft-spoken senior tight end Martin Rucker — who was relatively quiet today but was a force this year — offers some parting words on a season that will go down in history: “This is why I came back … I said the guys in this locker room will be a pretty special team this year, and I wanted to be a part of it.”
Photos by Rob Hill
Top right, Tony Temple rolled over Arkansas defenders (and, this time, a referee) for 281 yards. Above, Arkansas’ offense got used to swarms of Mizzou defenders.
The Mizzou Tigers have defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks 38-7, based in large part on Tony Temple’s record-breaking rushing day. Stay tuned for postgame information and images.
First Chase Daniel threw an interception. Then he forced a fumble to get the ball back. Then, Mizzou’s Derrick Washington lost a fumble. Then Mizzou recovered an Arkansas fumble to get the ball back again.
Then, Mizzou recovered a fumbled punt return on the Arkansas 11-line yard. Somebody must have greased the ball.
Mizzou failed to convert, but Jeff Wolfert’s 32-yard field goal put them ahead 31-7 with 10:25 left in the game.
Despite a fumble, Tony Temple keeps on rolling. He has now broken his own school bowl rushing record, set in the Sun Bowl last year with 194 yards.
Mizzou collected a fourth touchdown on another record-setting play. Sean Weatherspoon tipped an Arkansas pass, and William Moore scooped it up for a 26 yard interception return for a touchdown. It’s his eighth interception on the year, a new school record.
Arkansas finally posted points with 3:08 left in the quarter when Darren McFadden ran for a three-yard touchdown on a fourth-down play.
Moving into the fourth quarter, Mizzou leads Arkansas 28-7 and has a first down on the Arkansas 38 yard line.
With a 4-yard run, Tony Temple (pictured at right) now has his third touchdown of the day, and Mizzou leads 21-0. Temple’s three touchdowns ties a Cotton Bowl record; he joins the ranks of other rushers including the legendary Jim Brown. Three unsuccessful drives later, Arkansas’ Felix Jones has fumbled, and Mizzou has the ball again.
Here are a couple of other highlight photos from the first half, thanks to longtime MIZZOU magazine photographer and Mizzou Wire blogging partner Rob Hill.
Above, receiver Jeremy Maclin eludes defenders. Below, Arkansas’ Darren McFadden has had less success evading the Mizzou defense.
Mizzou leads 14-0 at the half. They’ve done it on the ground, and they’ve done it with strong defense against Arkansas’ usually prolific offense.
The numbers tell the story of the half:
- Mizzou’s Tony Temple now has 13 carries for a season-high 159 yards and two touchdowns. Something about bowl games brings out the best in him (remember his Sun Bowl performance, anyone?).
- On the flipside, Arkansas has 82 yards rushing. The Tiger defense has stopped them in crucial situations and forced two field goal attempts by Alex Tejada, both of which have failed.
- Despite an offensive attack skewed toward running (a change from the norm), Chase Daniel also is eight for 13 passing for 78 yards. Martin Rucker leads receivers with three catches, and Will Franklin has the most receiving yardage with 34.
- Brock Christopher has stopped Darren McFadden on several big plays and has eight total tackles. Ziggy Hood has two sacks. The Arkansas offense has 148 yards to Mizzou’s 231.
Mizzou gets the ball to start the second half. Mizzou has scored more than 50 percent of the time on their opening drive of the second half this season.
A runningback in the Mizzou-Arkansas game is on fire, and it isn’t Darren McFadden.
After a five-yard touchdown run on a drive that included yet another 22-yard run, Tony Temple now has 147 yards and two touchdowns. That 147 yards rushing is already a season high, and it’s just the first half.
Arkansas kicker Alex Tejada just missed his second field goal of the day. Stay tuned for the halftime score and stats.
After the first quarter, Mizzou leads 7-0 and is in Arkansas territory again.
Both fast-paced offenses actually got off to a slow start. Arkansas was driving briskly down the field on their first drive, but Brock Christopher got a big third-down tackle on Darren McFadden, which led to an unsuccessful field goal attempt. Mizzou took over and got a first down on a pass to Martin Rucker, but then another first-down catch by Rucker was overturned on review. Mizzou failed to convert on third down and punted. Two drives down, no points on the board.
One Arkansas drive and punt, six Tiger plays, two straight first-down passes to William Franklin and one 22-yard run by No. 22 Tony Temple later, Mizzou was on the board.
On the next drive, the Mizzou defense successfully stopped McFadden, then held firm on a fourth-down play. Next Mizzou drive, No. 22 Temple got a 22-yard run again. Mizzou ends the quarter with second down and nine yards to go on the Arkansas 33-yard line.
On a side note, Pig Brown whooped it up on the field as a captain before the coin toss. Even injured, he’s a leader.
It’s about 20 minutes until game time here at the Cotton Bowl at Fair Park. Fans lived it up at the Mizzou Rockin’ New Year’s Eve Party last night but still managed to get up bright and early for what Coach Gary Pinkel described as the earliest game he has ever coached. Kickoff is at 10:42.
As the game gets going, here are a few more things to watch:
- Look for a fast start, which has been a key to Tiger success this season. Mizzou has scored on its opening possession in six of 13 games, and opponents have scored only once on theirs.
- Look for a high-scoring game. Mizzou’s scoring offense ranks seventh in the NCAA with 40 points per game, and Arkansas isn’t far behind at ninth with 39.83 points per game.
- The Cotton Bowl is honoring retiring Arkansas athletics director Frank Broyles, who has served the Razorbacks for 50 years as a coach and then director. There’s a Mizzou connection, too: Broyles coached the Tigers in 1957, before heading to Arkansas.
Note: I’m seated below the press box, right above Razorback territory. My posting access will be spotty, but I will update the blog as much as I can with game info. Stay tuned after the bowl for postgame quotes and stats, too. Enjoy the game, and please keep blog comments respectful.
Happy New Year from Dallas!
Now, it’s time for business.
Take away the comparisons and peripheral distractions for a minute. Take away the fact that Gary Pinkel has extended his contract at Mizzou while Arkansas is playing under interim Coach Reggie Herring after the departure of Houston Nutt. Take away this past week’s negative focus on Arkansas’ Darren McFadden, who has been deemed eligible to play. Take away any smack-talk.
Take away all of that, and you have two teams with high-profile players and high-level playing potential. When they clash today in the Cotton Bowl, that may be all that matters.
So how do they stack up?
Start with McFadden and the almost-equally dangerous Felix Jones, Arkansas’ dynamic running duo. McFadden averages 143.8 rushing yards per game, and Jones averages 9.1 yards per carry. Combined, the two have amassed 2,842 rushing yards on the year and 26 touchdowns. How do you stop that?
“Stopping them is not what you do,” says Mizzou defensive lineman and team captain Lorenzo Williams. “You contain them and try to get them out of their running game.”
That’s easier said than done, even though the Tiger defense has come on strong and gives up only 118.85 yards rushing per game. To make things even trickier, McFadden sometimes lines up in the “Wild Hog” formation to take snaps and pass, run or hand the ball off. Williams shows respect: “Dude ran it for almost 1,800 yards this year.”
On the flipside, Mizzou’s passing attack vs. Arkansas’ aggressive man coverage will be worth watching. “They’re very physical,” Pinkel says of the Arkansas defense. “They play a lot of bump and run, and it can be a challenge getting the ball into the middle.”
Mizzou’s seventh-ranked passing offense has been impressive this season. Second-team All-America quarterback Chase Daniel has passed for 4,170 yards and 33 touchdowns, and he spreads the ball around. First-team All-America tight end Martin Rucker has an NCAA-leading 81 catches; wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (also an all-purpose first-team All-American) has 77; tight end Chase Coffman has 51. How well will Arkansas’ 36th-ranked pass defense perform against those varied weapons? And how much will leading rusher Tony Temple (68.9 yards per game) open the passing game with success on the ground?
Mizzou will be missing a few players. Early season defensive leader Pig Brown remains injured, although second-team All-America safety William Moore has risen to the occasion in his absence. Backup receiver Greg Bracey was suspended from the team. Fellow receiver Danario Alexander went down with a knee injury in the Big 12 game and will remain on the sidelines.
Chase Daniel says he isn’t too worried. He still has plenty of weapons. “We still have more than any team in the country from my perspective,” he says.