Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Who's ready for some football?

By Tiger Fan

Well folks, football season is FINALLY right around the corner. In case you're not ready yet, here's a look back at the 10 best Mizzou plays from the last five seasons. If these highlights don't get you excited, nothing will. And if I missed anything, let me know!

10. Justin Gage takes a bubble screen to the house - Oct. 26, 2002
Yes, yes... we all hate the bubble screen. But it worked this time to the tune of 62 yards... the longest pass of the Gary Pinkel era. Unfortunately, Gary has been trying to replicate it ever since.

9. Jason Simpson strips away Nebraska's shot at victory - Oct. 22, 2005
In the third quarter, Terrence Nunn was on his way to a touchdown that would have given Nebraska the lead. But Simpson managed to chase him down and rip the ball away around the 10-yard line. David Overstreet fell on it at the 3. Ten plays later, the Tigers were in their endzone, on the way to another win.

8. Shirdonya Mitchell snatches victory from the hands of defeat - Oct. 2, 2004
With the Tigers leading by 8, Colorado was driving for the game-tying score. It looked like Joel Klatt had connected with Evan Judge for a touchdown, but Mitchell wrestled the ball away for an interception with 6:47 to play to seal the win.

7. Brad Ekwerekwu revives his QB skills - Oct. 8, 2005
With 34 seconds left in the first half, the Tigers got the ball back after an OSU fumble in Stillwater. Ekwerekwu took advantage, taking a reverse from Brad Smith, pulling up and throwing into the end zone for Sean Coffey. Coffey managed to fight off the defender and make a circus catch.

6. The longest run of Brad's career - Oct. 22, 2005
Brad Smith had many historic runs, but none was longer than this one. He took the snap and ran right up the middle untouched. He went 79 yards to the house for his second rushing touchdown of the game.

5. Chase Daniel's coming out party - Oct. 15, 2005
We all know the story by now. Brad Smith goes down against ISU with five minutes to play and the Tigers trailing by 10. In comes Chase Daniel. Daniel's 4-yard touchdown pass to Sean Coffey in the back of the endzone with 20 seconds to play tied the game at 24 and send it to overtime.

4. Marcus King makes bowl history - Dec. 30, 2005
There were a lot of big plays in Mizzou's historic Independence Bowl comeback, but none was bigger than King's 99-yard interception return. South Carolina was leading 21-0 and driving for another score when King snagged the ball on the one and raced 99 yards for the score. It was the longest INT return in Mizzou history and set an Independence Bowl record. It also turned the tide of the game as the Tigers went on to win, 38-31.

3. Brad Smith's coming out party - Oct. 5, 2002
The game is legendary: 213 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, 178 yards and a touchdown through the air. Mizzou's near-upset of No. 1 Oklahoma made Smith a household name nationwide. And his 25-yard TD with 10 minutes to play to put the Tigers ahead 24-23 would have been the biggest score of his career... were it not for The Fake I. Still, it was the birth of third-and-Brad. On the play, the Tigers needed just a few yards. Brad smashed into the pile and found nothing. But when he bounced it to the outside, he needed only to juke past one OU defender to take it all the way.

2. Outlaw to Smith - Oct. 11, 2003
We all know what Brad can do with his feet and arms. But on this rainy October night, we got a taste of what he'll be doing in the NFL: using his hands to catch passes. If his 47-yard dash to the endzone against Nebraska was any indication, he's in for quite a pro career. Smith took the lateral pass from former QB Darius Outlaw and got behind of a wall of blockers who escorted him to the endzone and a 14-7 lead.

1. The Fake II - Oct. 11, 2003
Sesay, Sesay! Boom boom, Sesay! It's all Kadlec could say... and who could blame him. It seems Gary Pinkle learned something from Bob Stoops the year before. Trailing 24-21 with 12 minutes to play, the Tigers lined up for what appeared to be the game-tying field goal try. Instead, back-up QB Sonny Riccio rolled out and hit tight end Victor Sesay for a 15-yard touchdown pass. Mizzou took the lead 28-24 and never looked back. They went on to beat Nebraska for the first time in 25 years.

1 comment:

Tiger Fan said...

Others receiving consideration: pretty much any TD run by Brad Smith, Martin Rucker's one-handed grab against OSU in 2005, Chase Coffman's TD grabs against KSU and South Carolina, Tony Temple's rollover TD v. Arkansas State, Justin Gage's TD against kU in 2001, J.D. McCoy's catch on fourth down against Middle Tennessee State in 2003.

In fairness, here are the five worst plays of the last five years:
1. Nick Tarpoff fails to tackle Nebraska's Eric Crouch for a safety and Crouch goes 90-plus yards for the touchdown. They still show the replay every time Crouch's 2001 Heisman Trophy is mentioned.
2. On national television in 2004, Mizzou's secondary is unable to chase down an o-lineman from Troy State who picks up a fumble and rumbles 50 yards for a touchdown.
3. The Fake I. Stoops goes for the jugular and hits it as OU survives Mizzou's upset bid in 2002.
4. Zach Strom launches a snap almost 50 yards past punter Brock Harvey in the Independence Bowl in 2003.
5. On third-and-20, Mizzou is unable to stop Vince Young from running for a first down. Texas went on to score and the route was on in 2005.