This series is basically an excuse to put on the history hat and relive different eras of Mizzou football. We’ve done a lot of that in recent months, between this, the Faurot Years series, the Pinkel Years series, and the 2007 series. It’s more fun than just talking about Mizzou’s defensive tackle situation every single day, right?
The premise of this series was to relive a previous Mizzou win over each 2017 opponent. Wins are good, and I encourage Mizzou to stock up on as many of them as possible. But some are more fun than others ... and some aren’t very much fun at all.
These last two paragraphs have basically been me stalling. It’s time to talk about Missouri’s lone win over UConn, and I don’t really want to. In front of 70,079 fans — an incredible number for a non-conference game against a G5 opponent — Missouri rewarded those in attendance by gaining 270 total yards, turning the ball over twice, punting six times, and just barely beating Bob Diaco’s Huskies, 9-6.
Let’s review the scoring:
- With 7:44 left in the first quarter, Mizzou’s Clarence Green blocked a punt into the end zone for a safety. Mizzou 2, UConn 0.
- Mizzou received the ensuing free kick, and Maty Mauk was immediately picked off by UConn’s Jhavon Williams, who returned the interception to the Mizzou 35. Five plays later, Ron Johnson scored from five yards out ... and Kentrell Brothers blocked the PAT. UConn 6, Mizzou 2. One of the grossest possible scores.
- The score remained 6-2 into the second half, but after UConn missed a 49-yard field goal, Mizzou pulled off its first sustained drive of the day. Ish Witter carried six times for 32 yards and caught a 20-yard pass to set up a two-yard Mauk touchdown. Mizzou 9, UConn 6.
And that was it. Mizzou forced a punt after taking the lead, and Tyler Hunt caught a short pass and powered for 51 yards to the UConn 5. But three Mauk rushes gained just four yards, and Witter was stuffed on fourth-and-goal.
The teams traded punts, and midway through the fourth quarter, Drew Lock came in to breathe some life into the Tiger offense. He completed short passes to Witter, Wesley Leftwich, and Nate Laurent, and Nate Brown drew a big pass interference penalty. But Mizzou turned the ball over on downs at the Husky 33 with 4:33 left, giving UConn one last shot at a tie or the win.
Bryant Shirreffs completed four consecutive passes to advance the ball into long field goal range, but Ian Simon stopped him four yards short of the chains on a third-and-10 scramble. With 53 seconds left, UConn trotted its field goal personnel onto the field for a 42-yard attempt but went for a misguided fake. (Diaco didn’t want this game to go to overtime any more than fans did.) Anthony Sherrils picked off a Tim Boyle pass over the middle. Mizzou survived.
This was a win. Technically. And I couldn’t just skip it for this series. But ... yeah. I apologize.
Here are the “highlights”:
And here’s the whole game, if you just hate yourself.
Mizzou’s offense completely bottomed out in 2015. Two years later, it should be a pretty exciting attack again. I guess it’s not a bad idea to periodically remind ourselves of how bad things can be. Wouldn’t want to take anything for granted...
Note: “Baby I’m Burnin’” is a nod to Holly Anderson’s video tribute to the greatest game ever played.