The 2007 season was the first of Rock M Nation’s existence. The live thread for the Colorado game was basically me, The Beef, RMN co-founder Ross, and Big Head from the old Mizzourah blog. But we quickly developed our own set of inside jokes, none more fun (to me) than Thrust Nunchuk Upward.
As far as I can remember, the conversation that created the nunchuk basically went something like this:
- Me: We call Jeremy Maclin [whatever the turbo button was on the old NCAA Football games]. We need a hurdle button reference for Chase Coffman.
- Ross: I’m not sure Thrust Nunchuk Upward works.
- Me: THRUST NUNCHUK UPWARD.
Simpler times, simpler times.
Regardless, to the extent that this nickname caught on (our universe wasn’t exactly large at that point), this game was its shining moment.
There were two primary story lines as Missouri, up to ninth in the polls, headed west to face the only team to beat Oklahoma to that point:
- Colorado’s secondary (of which current Mizzou DBs coach Ryan Walters was a part) told the media they weren’t scared of Missouri’s passing game, that they were going to run a lot of Cover-1 coverage, and that they were going to physically dominate Tiger receivers.
- This was Missouri’s first game in a post-Pig universe. Could the Tiger defense, so reliant on red zone stops and turnovers, keep things together without injured safety Pig Brown, who was out for the year with an Achilles injury?
As with basically every game on the schedule at this point, I was paranoid as hell heading into this game. Those feelings didn’t exactly dissipate when, on the second play of the game, CU’s George Hypolite stepped in front of a Chase Daniel screen pass at the line of scrimmage. On the Buffaloes’ third snap, Byron Ellis scored from two yards out, and the home team led, 7-0.
The Cover-1 backfired on the next snap: Daniel hit Will Franklin on a go route down the right sideline; he was pushed out of bounds at the CU 5 after a 72-yard gain. Two plays later, a screen to Martin Rucker resulted in a three-yard touchdown.
The Tiger defense raised its game, thankfully. The teams traded punts, and 10 minutes into the game, CU’s Alonzo Barrett blocked an Adam Crossett punt. The Buffs took over at the Mizzou 37, drove 30 yards, and kicked a 24-yard field goal. Mizzou punted again, and Colorado started the second quarter with a third-and-6 at the Mizzou 43, up three points. Gulp.
It was natural to be waiting for the other shoe to drop following Mizzou’s recent November collapses. The Tigers lost four of six to finish the 2006 season, three of four in 2005, and five in a row in 2004. But this Mizzou wasn’t that Mizzou.
- On the first play of the second quarter, Tommy Chavis sacked and stripped CU’s Cody Hawkins, and Lorenzo Williams recovered the ball.
- On the fourth play, Maclin caught a 46-yard touchdown pass to put Mizzou on top.
- Colorado went three-and-out, and Jeff Wolfert kicked a 27-yard field goal. 17-10.
- Colorado went three-and-out, and after a 37-yard pass to Franklin, Tony Temple scored on a lovely four-yard run. 24-10.
- Colorado went three-and-out, and on third-and-7 from the CU 25, Daniel scrambled out of the pocket, waited for Coffman to break open, and hit the lanky tight end for an easy 25-yard touchdown. 31-10.
- Colorado went three-and-out one last time for good measure to end the half.
It didn’t get any better for the home team after halftime. The Buffs went three-and-out the first three times they touched the ball, and Coffman had his Nunchuk moment, hurdling one defender, spinning around another, and scoring on a 23-yard reception.
Wolfert tacked on another field goal, then Van Alexander stripped Hawkins at the Mizzou 44, following CU’s first first down since the first quarter. Then Coffman scored again, this time catching a lob in the back of the end zone and coming down like a ballet dancer with one foot in the end zone.
Derrick Washington finished the 48-0 run with a three-yard score midway through the fourth quarter.
This was a damn statistical masterpiece.
- Total yards: Mizzou 598, CU 196
- First downs: Mizzou 25, CU 7
- Passing yards: Mizzou 429, CU 112
- Third downs: Mizzou 10-for-17, CU 3-for-17
- Daniel: 26-for-44, 421 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT, and 10 completions of at least 15 yards against the Cover-1 that was going to shut him down.
- Temple, Washington, Marcus Woods, and Jimmy Jackson: 27 carries, 130 yards, 2 TDs.
- Maclin: 6 catches, 108 yards, 1 TD; 4 carries, 12 yards
- Coffman: 5 catches, 60 yards, 3 TDs
- Franklin, Danario Alexander, and Jared Perry: 7 catches, 215 yards
- William Moore: 7 solo tackles, 4 assists, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 QBH
Walters did have 4.5 tackles, for what it’s worth.
Because of the pregame anxiety, the CU smack talk, the deep balls, the virtually perfect second and third quarters, and, of course, the nunchuks (and, according to the live blog, the Flat Branch Great Pumpkin Ale), this was one of the most cathartic, exhilarating wins in Missouri’s history. Mizzou had passed its first post-Pig test, to say the least.