Thursday, October 12, 2006

A rant from a fellow Mizzou fan

From the mouth of SEMO Tiger, a friend of Born-A-Tiger's and former contemporary of Rocky Mountain Tiger-All we're asking for is a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T:

"After listening to "experts" claim for weeks that Missouri hadn't beaten anybody and therefore couldn't be that good, I had a feeling a new excuse was coming after the Tigers blitzed through Texas Tech. And that new excuse is that Texas Tech handed the game to Missouri and that the Tigers will get their wake-up call at Texas A&M.
How exactly did Texas Tech hand us that game? Sure, the Red Raiders turned the ball over five times. But, last I checked, defenses have a lot to do with turnovers. There are such things as gift turnovers, of course. A botched snap is one that a defense doesn't cause, but the Red Raiders had none of those. Colorado's punter dropping the ball against Mizzou earlier this year was a freebie, but Texas Tech refused to punt for the most part, so there went that one. Most sports fans remember Larry Brown winning a Super Bowl MVP thanks entirely to two gift interceptions thrown right at him and nowhere near a wide receiver. But, neither of Graham Harrell's picks fall under this category, either.
Nope, Mizzou's defense is the reason the Tigers won that game — along with some help from Chase Daniel and the offense in putting together the biggest drive in recent Missouri history to answer when Tech pulled within 24-21. The Tigers harassed Harrell into a pitiful performance, one that included him being pulled alongside Red Raiders' coach Mike Leach to see how easy it is to pick apart a defense. The two interceptions were both caused by great defensive plays — one caused by pressure from Brock Christopher forcing Harrell to throw the ball quickly and right into the waiting hands of Xzavie Jackson, who made a great play in smelling out the play; the other just a phenomenal job by William Moore in reading Harrell's eyes and jumping the route. Harrell's three fumbles were the result of consistent pressure. The first popping loose when Marcus Bacon grabbed a hold of Harrell's arm as the Tech QB readied to throw; the second coming out when Brian Smith stripped Harrell, only to watch Harrell scoop the ball up and get stripped again — this time by Lorenzo Williams; the third forced on a Jackson sack. Every single one caused by Tiger pressure. Plus, if Tech was handing us the game, I doubt if Harrell scoops that second one back up.
For the Aggies, if Tech's offense likes to just give away possessions, why did the Wrecking Crew only come away with one fumble?
It's probably because no team just loses possession, repeatedly. The other team's defense forces miscues. Mizzou's does. Which is a large part of why this Tiger team is for real.
The other reason why Mizzou is good, damn good, for the first time since before any of us were alive is as simple as two letters: T.M. Chase Daniel indeed is The Man. He may not measure up in height and he may be a little stocky, but what all those Texas coaches couldn't measure and ignored, was the fact that T.M. is a winner. He makes everyone else on the team better. He knows how to get the best out of each — yelling at some, coddling others. As great as Brad Smith was, he wasn't a leader and he didn't make the other Tigers better. Rather, they stood around and watched as he put on marvelous displays of individual greatness. That is something Chase Daniel can not do. He won't dazzle as an individual, but he is putting on a dazzling performance of greatness — it's called the revitalization of the Missouri football program. His leadership can be summed up best by safety Pig Brown: "It is to the point where if I have Chase Daniel on my team, I'm pretty sure I'm going to win."
To Every True Son, I say, In Chase We Trust."

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