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What was your favorite moment of Missouri’s 2017 season?

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Do you like the big passes? The big rushes? The big picks? The big kicks?

NCAA Football: Missouri at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

It was a weird year for Mizzou Football. The Tigers pulled off both a five-game losing streak and a six-game winning streak, lost a coordinator who was struggling mightily, lost a coordinator to an awesome promotion, played great and terrible offense, played good and beyond terrible defense, played in almost no games that actually ended up close ... and ended up with about the record most of us predicted before the year.

This was a damn roller coaster. What was your favorite moment of it?

1. Johnathon Johnson scores on the first play of the season

The Missouri State game feels like decades ago, doesn’t it? On Mizzou’s first play of the season, Drew Lock completed a short pass to Johnson, who erupted 65 yards for a touchdown.

Tucker McCann missed the PAT, and the roller coaster ride was off and running.

2. Jason Reese up the seam

If you’re looking for the single most optimistic moment of the season, it was probably this one, yeah? Mizzou had beaten Missouri State and took a 10-0 lead on South Carolina when Lock connected with the senior tight end over the top of the defense. At this specific moment, we were perhaps wondering if predictions of 7-5 were too pessimistic.

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

(Then Deebo Samuel struck, and Mizzou wouldn’t recover for a month.)

3. Corey Fatony, golf legend

Everything about the Purdue game was awful. Except this.

4. Lock to Johnson, and Mizzou’s tied with Kentucky

After a dreadful 1-3 start and a bye week, Mizzou showed up in Lexington ... eventually. The Tigers fell behind 13-0 but traded big plays and got to within six points at the half. Down 34-27 early in the fourth quarter, Lock threw maybe his single most NFL-worthy pass of the year, finding Johnson over the middle for what would eventually become a 75-yard touchdown. Mizzou would fall short, 40-34, thanks to some odd late-game shenanigans, but it showed the Tigers still had some fight in them.

5. Lock to Hall, and Mizzou’s tied with Georgia

Only two teams scored even 20 points against Georgia in the regular season: SEC West champ Auburn and Mizzou. The Dawgs would eventually pull away from the Tigers, but against a previously untouchable UGA defense, Emanuel Hall scored on two long bombs. The second one went for 63 yards and tied the score at 21-21 early in the second quarter. It was pretty.

NCAA Football: Missouri at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

6. Larry Rountree III trucks the entire Idaho defense

Idaho scored just two minutes into its Homecoming visit to Columbia. Mizzou would then go on a 68-7 run. The game featured a little bit of everything — Albert Okwuegbunam’s coming-out party (three touchdowns), a lovely Richaud Floyd punt return score, a Mizzou defense that actually seemed organized and capable of doing some damage. But the most memorable play didn’t produce any points. On the final play of the first quarter, freshman Rountree took a carry at his 8-yard line and took on approximately 114 (give or take) tackle attempts, running around some and through quite a few others. He ended up with 12 carries for 97 yards, and with him and Ish Witter, Mizzou proved it was ready to take on life without an injured Damarea Crockett.

7. Terry Beckner Jr. eats UConn

Some time in late-October, #DLineZou became #DLineZou again. And after dominating Idaho, the Tigers did the same up in the Northeast. Drew Lock threw for five more touchdowns in a 52-12 win over UConn, but the defense was equally nasty, allowing just 3.8 yards per play and three non-garbage time points. Beckner had 2.5 tackles for loss to lead the way for a defense that suddenly had a little bit of swagger again.

NCAA Football: Missouri at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

8. Witter and Rountree destroy Florida

Mizzou returned to SEC play with some confidence and took on a Gators team that had none left. Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel sent a message by not really doing anything all that special with his play-calling — Mizzou simple ran over a once-proud Florida defense again and again. And late in the first half, the Tigers put the game away. Within 70 seconds, Witter scored on a 15-yard pass, Anthony Sherrils picked off Malik Zaire, and Rountree rumbled 21 yards for another touchdown. What had been a 14-3 lead was now 28-3, and with Witter and Rountree combining for 181 total yards, Mizzou rolled, 45-16. Suddenly a bowl bid actually appeared within reach.

9. Witter and Rountree really destroy Tennessee

A suddenly unstoppable run game picked up the pace even further the next week, and Mizzou was able to claim another scalp because of it. Five years earlier, UT’s Derek Dooley was fired following a loss to Missouri; on November 11, Butch Jones suffered the same fate.

This game was tied at 17-17 late in the second quarter when Rountree erupted for 64 yards, setting up his own one-yard score with eight seconds left in the half. A 52-yard run by Witter set up another score in the third quarter, and Mizzou finished the game on a 33-0 run. This duo of backs would rush 42 times for a downright insane 371 yards and two scores.

Tennessee v Missouri Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

10. Beckner nearly wins the Piesman

The offense hit a couple of bumps against Vanderbilt, but Mizzou clinched bowl eligibility all the same because of an increasingly exciting defense. Brandon Lee scored on a 42-yard pick six to give the Tigers a 21-0 lead, and Richaud Floyd’s 74-yard punt return made it 35-0 at halftime.

Mizzou fell a bit too far into cruise control in the second half, and Vandy was able to cut the lead to 38-17. But Okwuegbunam’s 57-yard touchdown was the whipped cream on the sundae, and Beckner added the cherry: he picked off Kyle Shurmur at the Mizzou 4, pulled off a nice couple of jukes, and returned it 49 yards to midfield. With one more block, he could have taken it to the house and won the Piesman. Alas.

11. Lock breaks the SEC record

No SEC quarterback has ever thrown more touchdown passes than Drew Lock did in 2017. And it was fitting that his record breaker would go to Okwuegbunam, who put together one of the best red zone seasons ever from a Mizzou tight end (and that’s saying something). Albert O’s second score of the game gave Mizzou a 38-35 lead early in the fourth quarter against Arkansas after the Tigers had trailed 21-7 early.

12. J’Mon takes the lead back

J’Mon Moore’s career ended with 158 receptions, 2,477 yards, and 21 touchdowns, almost all of which came in only three years. He was Lock’s go-to for most of three seasons, and his final touchdown was one of his most memorable, a physical 24-yard grab with 8:14 left that gave Mizzou a 45-42 lead in Fayetteville.

NCAA Football: Missouri at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

13. McCann ices Win No. 7

Tucker McCann is the model of perseverance. The well-touted kicker was tossed into action as a freshman last year and struggled drastically, missing four PATs and half of his field goal attempts. He was benched briefly, and then he came out and missed his first PAT attempt of 2017 to boot. But he made 51 of 52 from there and only missed two of 17 FGs.

His shortest field goal was also his most important. Mizzou got the ball back with five minutes left against Arkansas and ate up 4:55 of clock with a 14-play, 75-yard drive. Witter did most of the dirty work (he would finish with 170 rushing yards), but McCann’s 19-yard field goal provided the winning margin in a 48-45 thriller that clinched a winning record for 2017.

Alright, you make the call:

Poll

What was your favorite Mizzou moment of the 2017 season?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    1. Johnathon Johnson scores on the first play of the season
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    2. Jason Reese up the seam
    (4 votes)
  • 2%
    3. Corey Fatony, golf legend
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    4. Lock to Johnson, and Mizzou’s tied with Kentucky
    (1 vote)
  • 4%
    5. Lock to Hall, and Mizzou’s tied with Georgia
    (12 votes)
  • 5%
    6. Larry Rountree III trucks the entire Idaho defense
    (14 votes)
  • 2%
    7. Terry Beckner Jr. eats UConn
    (7 votes)
  • 5%
    8. Witter and Rountree destroy Florida
    (14 votes)
  • 24%
    9. Witter and Rountree really destroy Tennessee
    (65 votes)
  • 10%
    10. Beckner nearly wins the Piesman
    (28 votes)
  • 19%
    11. Lock breaks the SEC record
    (51 votes)
  • 9%
    12. J’Mon takes the lead back
    (25 votes)
  • 12%
    13. McCann ices Win No. 7
    (32 votes)
265 votes total Vote Now