Florida's defense is good, Elvis Fisher is going home, Mizzou's Falcons are doing well, Mizzou Wrestling is ready to roll, and Alex Oriakhi is happy to be here.
Mizzou Football Links
- Game Week
Alligator Army: Florida vs. Missouri: Leave the letdowns to other teams
Florida's defense did one hell of a job. Georgia started three drives in Florida territory that didn't result in points. That opening-drive touchdown was a hellish bit of short-change defense (the Gators didn't look set at all); the last two drives were a fatigue-based failure and a clock-killing chunk of yardage. Those three drives accounted for more than half of Georgia's yardage on the day, as the Gators' D managed to stop the bleeding for much of the middle of the game. And it did that with Damien Jacobs out of the rotation at defensive tackle and Jelani Jenkins chilling on the sideline. Missouri's offense is ... not quite Georgia-caliber.
Will Muschamp's last defense at Texas was underrated even before Manny Diaz's units developed a tendency to spontaneously combust because it was really good despite being put in awful situations by a struggling offense time and again. His defenses at Florida have been similarly underrated: Even though they're not dominant, and even though they still do stupid things from time to time, and especially though they're not proficient at making negative plays happen routinely, they don't make many mistakes when it matters most. Florida's allowed just one team, Alabama last year, to convert more than half of its third downs under Muschamp, and the Gators went 9-for-10 on third down against Georgia ... though the lone conversion was the Dawgs' game-sealing touchdown pass.
Asking a defense to cobble together a game good enough to nullify six turnovers is insane if that defense belongs to the 1985 Chicago Bears — who lost their only game when the offense committed four turnovers against the Miami Dolphins on a Monday night. But Florida's very nearly turned a Sisyphean task into a Herculean feat.
Inside The Gators: Game Week: Missouri Breakdown
The Trib (Dave Matter): Spurrier can't shake memory of '66 Sugar Bowl
On Saturday, Florida and Missouri meet for the first time since that bowl game. Spurrier, now South Carolina's head coach, was asked on Wednesday's SEC teleconference about his memories of the '66 Sugar Bowl.
"I remember we got beat," he said. "We got beat 20-18. It was a game that they dominated until about, oh, the end of the third, fourth quarter. We started throwing every down and our defense stopped them about every time. We went down and scored three times. For some reason one of the coaches persuaded our head coach, Ray Graves, to go for two. We kept going for two. We hadn't made one yet, so we got beat 20-18."
After trailing 20-0, the Gators scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns that day at Tulane Stadium, two Spurrier passes and a 2-yard Spurrier run. But the Gators ignored their kicker and failed to convert all three 2-pointers.
"Well, I think our extra point kicker could have made them," Spurrier said. "But you never know. Yeah, it was a little unusual."
- Well ... Yeah ... Duh
Post-Dispatch: Pinkel points to Franklin injuries as key issue
- I Bet He's Not Sick Of Talking About This At All...
The Trib (Dave Matter): Pinkel: Like every year, MU will reevaluate offense
- Sixth-Year Problems
The Trib: Fisher comfortable with exit strategy
KC Star: Missouri tackle Elvis Fisher returns home to face Gators
Fisher says a number of friends and family will get to see him suit up for the Tigers against the hometown Gators at 11 a.m. Saturday, though there’s a good chance he’ll be sharing a few reps here and there.
In recent weeks, Fisher, who missed all of last year because of a knee injury and three games this season because of a sprained MCL, has been rotating with sophomore Anthony Gatti. It’s a move designed to keep Fisher fresher and get Gatti some experience.
"He still gets tired a little bit," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said of Fisher. "With Anthony getting in there and playing a little bit, that gives him a little bit of a break so in the fourth quarter he can be a little bit stronger."
Gatti said the coaching staff told him a couple weeks ago that he needed to "pick it up a little bit," and it appears he’s answered the bell.
"He’s getting better," Pinkel said. "It’s all based on how you practice and that’s how we determine how guys play, and he’s been practicing better, more consistent, so we decided to get him more reps."
- I'm Pretty Sure Everybody's Written This Story Now, But At Least It's Positive...
The Missourian: Missouri placekicker Andrew Baggett steadily improving despite inexperience
PowerMizzou: 2012 Tiger Mailbag
- Recruiting Rewind
PowerMizzou: Recruiting Rewind: OL
SB Nation: Falcons LB Sean Weatherspoon calls Mike Nolan 'a Christmas present'
YouTube: Falcons Safety William Moore on ESPN
- Last Week
We Are Mizzou (via Mizzou Network): Grand Marshall Mr. Mizzou
We Are Mizzou: Special Teams Play of the Week
Mizzou Basketball Links
- The Feeling's Mutual
The Missourian: Alex Oriakhi more than happy to be on Missouri's roster
- NW MO State
KBIA Sports: What I learned from Missouri's 91-58 win over NW Missouri State
- Still Exciting
MUtigers.com: Missouri Sports Hall of Fame to Host Norm Stewart Reunion
Mizzou Diamond Sports Links
- Big 12 (Tournament) Champs
SimmonsField.com: Big 12 Championship Rings Ceremony
SimmonsField.com: Word on the Tweet: Mizzou Baseball Halloween Practice
SimmonsField.com: SxSE: Georgia Bulldog Baseball, 1886-2012
Other Mizzou Links
- Mizzou Soccer
MUtigers.com: Mizzou Advances to SEC Semis with 2-1 Win Over Kentucky
The Trib (Ross Dellenger): Tigers to the SEC Tournament semifinals
AL.com: Florida, Missouri reach semifinals at SEC women's soccer tournament (photos)
- Mizzou Volleyball
MUtigers.com: Tigers Host South Carolina on MSN
- Mizzou Wrestling
MUtigers.com: Mizzou Wrestling Media Day Quotes
On season expectations...
The goal is to get on the podium as a team. That's a top four team so, where we finish we will find out. But it's also staying healthy, doing the right things, and continuing to get better everyday. The neat thing with this team is the maturity they have. The team brings a lot of experience and experience is a great thing anywhere you go. The experience many of them bring is going to be important for what we want to accomplish. But this team also loves to compete. The difference between the good and the great is the good ones love to compete. Whether it's checkers or the classroom, they love to compete and that's what separates this team. Plus the leadership they bring. Dom Bradley has been a captain for years, Nathan McCormick is a great leader, and I have kids on the team that are battling for spots. We have a good mix of the individuals coming in but the juniors and seniors bring just a wealth of experience. It makes a difference."
On having the talent to be the best team in Mizzou Wrestling history...
"Can it be? Yes. I can say that about a lot of teams. This team has the potential to do great things. And we've had great teams here but this team has the potential to do as much and even more."
- What Say You?
So Good: Would You Rather? 5 lbs of Dots vs. 5 lbs of Flavored Tootsie Rolls