It wasn't pretty. It wasn't easy. It wasn't anything to write home about. But it was a win, and it was a win in November.
Missouri's 40-26 victory over Texas A&M Saturday won't make it into any pantheon of wins or your NCAA 08 Instant Classics, but sixth-ranked Missouri survived and responded when their backs were against the wall a little bit for the first time since Oklahoma and/or the first drive of the CU game.
Photo courtesy SI.com
Before we turn our attention elsewhere, it's time to break down the Good, Bad, and Indifferent of Saturday's game.
Click "Full Story" for Good, Bad, and Indifferent
-- Tony Temple: In his final start at Faurot Field, No. 22 ran like a man possessed in the first half. He showed the burst we hadn't seen since the Sun Bowl, and his 141 yards were nearly 100 more than any of his counterparts. Hopefully today's performance is a harbinger for the rest of the season.
-- Chase Daniel: Despite blanket zone coverage from A&M and a somewhat effective pass rush, Daniel took what the defense game him and finished 27 of 35 for 352 yards and 3 TD, and most importantly, NO interceptions.
-- Offset O-line: Mizzou went with one lineman on one side of the center and three on the other, overmatching the Texas A&M with two tackles on one side of the line. That change came up huge, especially in the second half, allowing Mizzou to protect the ball, eat clock, and wear away at the Aggie defense.
-- Martin Rucker: Shame I'll never get to see him dragging defenders along the Faurot Field turf again.
-- Jeremy Maclin: So, he's pretty fast. I wanted to see Maclin v. Goodson in a 40-yard dash at halftime to replace the entertainment we missed from the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band not making the trip.
-- 64,000+: The crowd was loud and blacked-out, and the alumni section was rather impressive, beating the students to their seats. Nice ovation from the crowd when it was announced that the crowd averaged 60,000 for the first time since '81.
--William Moore: Once again, all over the field.
-- Justin Garrett and Sean Weatherspoon: Both had large roles in helping to contain J-Train.
-- Pig Brown: Takes his ceremonial spot. I actually saw him at dinner tonight and shook his hand and thanked him for his contribution to the program. He couldn't have been more gracious, even taking time to sign autographs for young fans.
-- Blitz effectiveness: Can be attributed to the quick decisions of Stephen McGee.
-- Play recognition: The team seemed confused by the option on most occasions, as they never seemed to contain the play back towards the middle.
-- Punting: Crossett never looked comortable in warm ups, and the deep snap was atrocious.
-- [editor's note, by rptgwb] Discipline: Overpursuit on screens and a few dumb penalties (here's looking at you, late hit by Del Howard) could have cost Mizzou far more than they did.
-- Wolfert kickoffs: I'd lean more towards good, but the leg of the A&M kickers shows that there is a little left to be desired.
It seems like there's a lot more I'm missing. Help me out?