Mizzou Gameday at the Texas Bowl:
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike "To The House" Kelly, John Kadlec, Chris Gervino)
TV: ESPN HD (Mark Jones, Bob Davie, Quint Kessenich)
Weather: Hourly Forecast
Online trackers: CSTV, ESPN
Game Notes: Missouri | Navy
LIVE BLOG AFTER THE JUMP.
Make Rock M Nation your base of operations tonight and weigh in with your predictions, questions, worries, bold statements and observations by signing up for a free account. Mizzou can send off Spoon, 'Nario, Jaron and others out with a win, and can make a statement with its ninth win in a rebuilding year. Do the Tigers have what it takes to sink the Midshipmen?
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2:27 - Alright, Culvers in the belly ... let's do this!! I'm not sure why I still insist on liveblogging the football games when the comments threads are so good, but I'm nothing if not a creature of habit.
2:29 - So I've found the one thing that will make my wife root against OU (where she attended for two years): picking against them in a bowl pool she's leading. Suddenly she's a big-time Stanford fan.
2:30 - Damn. I was going out of my way to avoid looking at who was calling our game because I feared it was Mark Jones. It's Mark Jones. I LOVED him about 12-15 years ago. Not so much now.
2:36 - And here we go ... Mizzou to receive ... and Jasper Simmons fights for some nice extra yardage. Another nice return from #9, and Mizzou will start near their 40.
2:37 - Hey, hey! It's an Andrew Jones sighting!! Only went for three yards, but ... we threw to the tight end!!
2:38 - Okay, pro scouts and All-America voters: ARE YOU FREAKING WATCHING THIS NOW? DO WE HAVE YOUR ATTENTION? Second play of the game: 58-yard catch and run by Danario Alexander on the screen. HE DOES THIS EVERY GAME. HE IS THE BEST RECEIVER IN THE COUNTRY, AND HE HAS BEEN FOR A WHILE. 7-0 Mizzou.
2:39 - That felt good. It also revealed quite the wellspring of bitterness, didn't it?
2:40 - After a short kickoff return, Navy will start at their 24. Navy audibles ... into an option. Uhh, what was the original call? Nine yard gain, followed by a 5-yarder in the other direction. First down, Navy.
2:42 - Dobbs to pass? Huh. The secondary is as stunned as I am, and it's a 15-yard gain. Navy's band is really close to the mics ... and off-key, it seems. That's going to get old.
2:43 - Alright, so apparently Navy is allowed extra time ... play clock goes to zero, but Navy gets an 8-yard run anyway.
2:44 - After Dobbs takes a shot into the endzone (incomplete), it's 3rd-and-2 ... and a nice student-body left pitch for the first down. Their best quarter is Q1. That's what I'm reminding myself right now. Navy to the Mizzou 19.
2:45 - Ball on the ground! Marcus Malbrough recovers! Mizzou ball! Dobbs waited too long to rip the ball out of the fullback's belly and lost the ball. I'll take it!
2:49 - Three plays by Mizzou, three dinks-and-dunks, 70+ yards. This one goes to Derrick Washington for a first down.
2:50 - After a dropped pass by Perry that was almost picked off (I'll blame that one on nerves/rust), De'Vion Moore (who Mark Jones calls "Da-Wann") gets about four yards, setting up Mizzou's first third down of the game...
2:51 - ...and Gabbert can't find an open receiver and runs for no gain. Mizzou to punt. Navy dodges a bullet.
2:52 - Ho hum, another 51-yard punt downed inside the 10 by Jake Harry. Mark Jones calls him "Blake Harry." Come on, dude.
2:52 - Five-man front by Mizzou, and a Dobbs sneak is stuffed for a yard. On second down, Dobbs completes a 7-yard pass. Nice tackle by Carl Gettis, but 3rd-and-3 is obviously quite makeable for this offense. And apparently my computer's spell check tells me "makeable" isn't a word. And while I typed that, Vince Murray, the absolute stereotypical fullback, bulled forward for a first down.
2:55 - Navy's succeeding with the quick toss type of plays. This one goes for another first down. Navy to their 34.
2:55 - After another nice gain on the pitch, second-and-short sees an option keeper by Dobbs. Somebody (Spoon?) overplays the outside, and Dobbs cuts inside for a big gain. Shoestring tackle by Kenji Jackson saves a touchdown. Navy to the Mizzou 33.
2:57 - I was really hoping we'd stop the run without having to bring the safeties too far up, but uhh ... not so far. Another pitch for six, followed by a leap for first down. And just like that, Navy's back into the Mizzou redzone. Ouch.
2:58 - Five yards for the fullback, followed by a bad pass into the endzone, and it's 3rd-and-5 from the MU 18 ... and Dobbs keeps it up the middle for the first down. This is basically like KU's dink-and-dunk passing, only on the ground. And like I always say, it's hard to maintain that all game long. But if anybody's capable of it, it's Navy.
3:00 - Damn ... Aldon Smith almost got a stop in the backfield but couldn't quite get a handle on the slotback, and it's a 9-yard gain. Navy to the 3 ... and they call timeout.
3:01 - Great. The same "ZZ Top thinks Houston is great!" commercial that ran 26 times during the Texas Bowl preview show is running again. Have the feeling I'll be seeing that another 117 times today.
3:04 - Short run by Dobbs gets the first down, then a keeper goes nowhere. Second down, but it's just a matter of time...
3:04 - ...and there it is. Touchdown, Dobbs. 7-7. The only thing that has stopped them in two drives is a fumble.
3:09 - Ouch...poor return that time by Simmons (who Jones called "Lawrence" ... because a #9 looks a lot like a #30), and Mizzou will start at their 19.
3:10 - Another quick pass to Alexander, who gets good blocking and goes for another first down. Two catches, 69 yards for the guy who just became Mizzou's all-time receiving yards leader.
3:10 - Um, Blaine? That wasn't fun. A little "decide" play with a run-screen option goes for a loss of five when Blaine forgets that he can just go ahead and throw the ball away. Yikes. Then he throws a bad pass to Washington ... 3rd-and-15. Navy will probably drop 9 into coverage and almost get a pick...
3:11 - ...I swear I typed that before it actually happened. Blaine tries to go over the D, and it's almost picked off. That drive was killed by the bad first-down decision. That said, let's try running the ball next time around. No need to get too tricky.
3:12 - GODDAMMIT, MARK, IT'S JAKE HARRY. NOT BLAKE. LOOK AT YOUR FREAKING SHEET. I BET IT SAYS JAKE. Meanwhile, Harry is disheveled by the mispronunciation too, and his punt checks up at the Navy 40.
3:13 - Damn...Hobbs almost fumbles again but holds on. Five-yard gain to the Navy 44, followed by an easy pass for a first down. Navy to midfield.
3:14 - Jacquies Smith (pronounced "Jacques" by Jones) stops Dobbs for a four-yard gain, and that's the end of the first quarter. Get some rest for the D, and get a new freaking announcer.
3:18 - And the second quarter starts ... with a play-action pass? Will Ebner and Aldon Smith eat Dobbs up, and it's 3rd-and-13. Navy got too fancy there, but I'll take it.
3:19 - Nice! Pitch is eaten up by Jarrell Harrison, and Navy will punt. Nice start to the quarter. Gettis calls fair catch at the 9. Alright, O...relax and play ball. And run a bit.
3:22 - Hey, 42SchoolConnection.com people? Your commercial sucks. Bad. And you're completely whiffing on your target audience by advertising nonstop on ESPN. Just thought you should know.
3:23 - Bob Davie: "Missouri just refuses to run the ball!" Five seconds later, De'Vion Moore gets the handoff. Two carries gets Moore 13 yards. A third run by Moore is lazy...he cuts back too slowly and is stopped for two yards.
3:24 - Ugh...Gabbert throws another inaccurate sideline pass. That's about four on the day, and now it's 3rd-and-8...and Navy will drop nine into coverage again.
3:25 - God, guys. Gabbert throws a dart to Alexander, and it bounces off his hands. I think he thought the nickel back was going to break it up. Actually, on replay the dude did get a fingertip on it. Either way, Mizzou will punt again.
3:26 - Wow, Harry just had a 50-yarder with a hangtime of 0.8 seconds...bounced once and went out of bounds. I'm going to miss that guy.
3:27 - Two short runs, and Navy's quickly got a 3rd-and-3 ... and Dobbs throws? I would NEVER throw on 3rd-and-3 if I were Navy. Ball was a little off-target and dropped. Navy to punt again.
3:28 - Wow...Mizzou comes after Delahooke, who barely gets it off...and uncorks a 47-yarder with great hangtime. Well done, Delahooke. Mizzou to start at their 23.
3:32 - Derrick Washington plows forward for about six yards (Jones said it was three), then an inside screen to Alexander goes for 16. He hits the ground hard and comes out. Mizzou to the 45.
3:33 - Kendial Lawrence goes for three, then Gabbert short-arms it to Mike Egnew. Gabbert has not been sharp so far. Third-and-7. Danario is back on the field.
3:34 - Blaine, you're thinking too much. Or not enough. Not sure. He stares down Danario, who is covered, then waits too long to try to escape the pocket. Second sack of the game for Navy, and Mizzou will punt. Harry's boot is fair-caught at the Navy 18.
3:38 - Woah...Dobbs is rocked by Dominique Hamilton and is BARELY down before pitching the ball on a reverse. The reverse would have gone for about 50, but instead it's a 3-yard loss.
3:39 - Of course, Navy gets about ten of it back on second down. Option pitch gets the first down and then some. Navy to the 37.
3:40 - Navy is also overthinking things and passing too much, I think. Dobbs throws into the dirt on first down, closer to Gettis and Harrison than a Navy guy. Then again, when you get 1! yards on a second-down option, you can take chances on first down. Oh goodie, now Gettis is holding his knee. Fun. Simmons is pissed, saying Gettis was chop-blocked.
3:42 - Well, i was right about one thing -- the slotback doesn't get the ball as much as the QB and the fullback, but their runs go for more yards. Another option pitch, another first down.
3:43 - Fullback is stuffed on first down, but a misdirection pitch gets nine yards ... but there's a flag down ... um, do you want to tell me what the penalty was? No? Davie decides to talk about how few penalties Navy gets, and nobody actually says what the penalty was. It's 2nd-and-12, so apparently it was on Navy. Thanks.
3:45 - Jarrell Harrison makes a nice open-field tackle on second down, but a dump off to Finnerty gets about 8 on 3rd-and-10. I'm sure Navy will go for it. Yup, they are...
3:46 - ...DAMN. Jasper Simmons misses a tackle in the backfield, and Navy gets the first down. That would have been huge. Instead, they're almost certain to go into halftime ahead. (There are 3:00 left in Q2.)
3:47 - First-and-10 from the 27 is an incomplete pass, and a Vince Murray run gets 4. Third-and-6 here ... REALLY need a stop...
3:48 - Um, what? Dobbs gets away from two tacklers in the backfield and breaks into the open. He is stripped between the 2 and 3 yardline, but the side judge calls it a touchdown. Mizzou recovered, and I'm sure this will be overturned by replay, but holy crap ... how do you make that call in the first place? That wasn't even close!
3:50 - Needless to say, if this call stands, just ditch the freaking replay system.
3:52 - "After further review, the ruling on the field stands." But apparently the ruling on the field was fumble. Even though the side judge signaled touchdown. And even though the announcers and production crew thought the ruling was a touchdown and touchback. Whatever, our ball. The officiating crew is apparently trying to compete with Jones/Davie in the "Who sucks the most right now?" competition.
3:53 - Ugh. Holding on Mizzou. First-and-17. Timeout on the field.
3:56 - Okay, apparently Navy is challenging the ruling on the field ... they're saying he fumbled. Thanks for the heads-up, ESPN. Oh wow, yes he did fumble. Davie says you can now recover fumbles after the whistle blew -- you just can't return them. I've always WANTED that rule changed, but I didn't know it had. And for the moment, I HOPE it wasn't changed, though I'm sure Davie's right ... and yes, I just said that.
3:59 - Yup, first down Navy at the 23.
4:00 - A keeper by Dobbs goes nowhere, and GODDAMMIT, MARK JONES, IT'S NOT JACQUES SMITH. WE DON'T HAVE A JACQUES SMITH. YOUR JOB IS NOT THIS HARD. Unless your job is to make Pam Ward seem like a good announcer, in which case a) your job is very hard, and b) you're amazingly good at it.
4:01 - Another pitch goes for another first down. Navy to the 12.
4:01 - Keeper by Dobbs, touchdown. He kept two hands on the ball this time. 14-7, 0:45 left in Q2. Let's just get this freaking half over with.
4:03 - Hey, it's a Munir Prince sighting! He returns the kickoff to about the 35. Mizzou's got all three timeouts left, but going downfield plays into Navy's hands. Am curious what we do here.
4:04 - Hey, it's a Wes Kemp sighting! DeSmet represent! Nineteen yards, and Mizzou's to the 46...
4:04 - Wow...Derrick Washington finds a hole in the deep Navy zone, and it's a 36-yard gain! Mizzou to the 10!
4:05 - Ouch...we thought we'd catch Navy off-guard with a Gabbert keeper. We did not. One-yard loss, and Mizzou calls timeout with 0:13 left.
4:06 - Second-and-goal...ugh! A little behind Danario and dropped. He should have caught that, but it was tough. Third down. Just don't throw a pick. Get a field goal out of this.
4:08 - Good god...Danario is QUINTUPLE-covered, and Blaine throws it at him anyway. Pretty sure somebody had to be open on that one. We're lucky it's just broken up. Ressel will come on for a field goal with 0:05 left. After Niumatalolo calls back-to-back timeouts, anyway.
4:10 - You can't ice Grant Ressel. Ressel nails it, and it's 14-10 at halftime. That was a REALLY annoying half of football.