The energy and excitement leading up to a game was never at more of a crescendo than it was heading into the weekend of October 23rd, 2010.
The Missouri Tigers, led by Blaine Gabbert, were trending upwards on the season with a #18 ranking, and preparing to take on the nemesis in the #3 ranked Oklahoma Sooners. The Sooners were making the trip to Columbia, as was College GameDay. GameDay is the premier Colllege Football program which airs the morning before the games start, and all Missouri did was set the attendance record.
The rest of the day would drag along as the networks slotted the game late at 7 pm. The captains marched onto the field. Oklahoma won the toss, elected to defer, kicked off, and watched Gahn McGaffie set the world on fire.
From Bill’s Game Day Diary:
14:46 - It took one play for Faurot Field to go completely apes***. Mizzou receives the opening kickoff (shocking!), and up man Gahn McGaffie takes a short kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Mizzou lead. It is the first opening kickoff touchdown for Mizzou since 1967. (This is the second “since 1967” reference we’ve gotten to make in two weeks -- last week Mizzou pitched six straight shutout quarters in conference for the first time since, you guessed it, 1967.) Kicking short wasn’t the intention, but the return still would have been stopped for a short gain if not for a lovely, patient effort from McGaffie. When McGaffie signed, we heard great things about his potential as a return man, but he never really earned, nor was given, an opportunity to shine in this regard. If not for the success Marcus Murphy had returning kicks in recent games, I think you’d be hearing some clamor for McGaffie to get a shot as the No. 1 return man. Regardless, what a great moment for this guy. A huge play in a huge win.
The rest of the game would follow suit. There was some back and forth, but Missouri capitalized on every Sooner mistake and built a lead in the fourth quarter they wouldn’t relinquish.
Oklahoma kicked the ball, but McGaffie kicked off what would be, arguably the best win of the Gary Pinkel era to date. OU was #1 in the BCS, #3 in the polls, and a longtime foil of Pinkel’s program.
The win spawned a meme with Celebration Dog, which usurped every other celebration meme here at Rock M. If you want to relive it through the illustrious eye of Bill Carter, his photo gallery is still up here. If you’d also like to read Bill Connelly’s Beyond the Box Score, it’s here as well: Oklahoma BTBS.