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My 5 favorite Mizzou plays of the last 20 years

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God, this was a fun list to put together.

Missouri v Kansas Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

As the summer wraps up, I’m getting ready to head out the RMN door. So consider this a valedictory series of sorts. I’ve been in Columbia for just over 20 years and just over 20 football seasons. Time to list some of my favorite things from that time. So far we’ve looked at quarterbacks, Faurot Field crowds, tight ends, road performances, linebackers, running backs, unsung heroes, and defensive ends.

It was really, really hard to pick just five defensive ends in last week’s piece. This week I’m raising the degree of difficulty even further and trying to pick five specific plays.

First things first: if this were a list of plays from the last 21 years, Corby Jones to Eddie Brooks in the fourth quarter of the 1997 Nebraska game would be in the top three. I’ve almost never seen a stadium elevate off the ground like it did in that moment.

A lengthy honorable mention section:

  • Carlos Posey’s pick six against Colorado in 1998
  • Carlos Posey’s blocked FG return against West Virginia in 1998
  • Brad Smith’s fourth-quarter touchdown to ice the game against Illinois in 2002
  • Brad Smith’s fourth-quarter touchdown that briefly gave Mizzou a 24-23 lead over Oklahoma in 2002
  • Brad Smith’s touchdown catch from Darius Outlaw against Nebraska in 2003
  • James Kinney’s sack-and-strip, and Dedrick Harrington’s recovery, in the fourth quarter against Nebraska in 2003
  • Brad Smith’s final touchdown — a 61-yarder, capping a 291-yard, five-touchdown day — against Texas Tech in 2003
  • Chase Daniel to Sean Coffey with 20 seconds left in regulation against Iowa State in 2005
  • Adam Crossett’s game-winning overtime field goal and Aaron O’Neal tribute against Iowa State in 2005
  • Brad Smith’s 79-yard first-quarter run against Nebraska in 2005, where every person in the stands noticed “Uh, THEY DON’T HAVE A DEEP SAFETY. THIS IS GOING FOR 79 YARDS,” and then it went for 79 yards
  • Marcus King’s 99-yard pick six that bought Mizzou some time in the second quarter of the 2005 Independence Bowl
  • Brad Smith’s 59-yard fourth-quarter run, which set up his game-winning score, in the 2005 Independence Bowl
  • Darnell Terrell’s game-clinching interception in the 2005 Independence Bowl
  • William Moore’s pick six against Texas Tech in 2006, Mizzou’s second pick six in two plays
  • Tony Temple trucking Justin Thornton against Kansas in 2006
  • Danario Alexander’s 74-yard touchdown in the 2006 Sun Bowl, in which it took him about eight strides to reach the end zone
  • Pig Brown’s 100-yard fumble return against Illinois in 2007
  • Pig Brown’s game-clinching interception against Illinois in 2007
  • Martin Rucker’s fake field goal touchdown against Nebraska in 2007, a.k.a. the ultimate F*** You move
  • Chase Coffman’s hurdle-and-spin touchdown against Colorado in 2007
  • Chase Daniel’s bomb to Jeremy Maclin to clinch the 2007 Kansas State game and officially set the stakes for the game against Kansas the next week
  • Chase Daniel scrambles for about 45 seconds before finding Danario Alexander to put Mizzou up two touchdowns against Kansas in 2007
  • William Moore’s pick six against Arkansas in the 2008 Cotton Bowl
  • Tony Temple’s record-clinching 40-yard run late in the 2008 Cotton Bowl
  • Jeremy Maclin’s kick return touchdown right after Illinois had taken the lead in 2008
  • Jeremy Maclin’s 80-yard touchdown against Nevada in 2008, which put Mizzou up 14-0 after five plays
  • Jeremy Maclin’s 63-yard touchdown against Nebraska in 2008, which basically ended the game after three plays
  • Brock Christopher’s pick six, which really put the game away against Nebraska in 2008
  • Jeremy Maclin’s punt return score that bought Mizzou some time in the second quarter of the 2008 Alamo Bowl
  • Chase Daniel to Jeremy Maclin for the last time in overtime in the 2008 Alamo Bowl
  • William Moore and Sean Weatherspoon teaming to sack C.J. Bacher in overtime in the 2008 Alamo Bowl
  • Blaine Gabbert to Danario Alexander for 46 yards in the second quarter against Kansas State in 2009, complete with kisses to the crowd
  • Danario Alexander’s 80-yard catch-and-run against Kansas State in 2009, in which he nearly came to a complete stop, changed directions, and still outran every defender to the end zone
  • Mizzou fans holding the S-P-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-N sign in the stands after the 2009 Kansas State game ... and someone dropping the S.
  • Brian Coulter, Aldon Smith, and Jacquies Smith sack Todd Reesing for a safety to set up the game-winning field goal against Kansas in 2009
  • Grant Ressel’s game-winning field goal against Kansas in 2009
  • Bob Stoops waving the white flag and punting with two minutes left in the 2010 win over Oklahoma
  • James Franklin breaks 114 tackles to score early in the win over Texas A&M in 2011
  • Jacquies Smith sacks and strips Ryan Tannehill, and Dominique Hamilton recovers to force overtime against Texas A&M in 2011
  • Dominique Hamilton breaks up a fourth-down pass in overtime to clinch the A&M 2011 win
  • Michael Sam picks off a Seth Doege pass at the Mizzou 4 with 32 seconds left to clinch the Gary Pinkel-less win over Texas Tech in 2011
  • T.J. Moe to Wes Kemp early in the 2011 Independence Bowl win over North Carolina
  • L’Damian Washington’s 69-yard catch and run in the third quarter against Georgia in 2012
  • Marcus Murphy’s punt return score against UCF in 2012
  • James Franklin to Dorial Green-Beckham to tie the game in the final minute of regulation against Tennessee in 2012
  • James Franklin to Marcus Lucas in the front corner of the end zone to send the 2012 Tennessee game to a third overtime
  • Ian Simon breaking up a fourth-down pass to give Mizzou a chance at a win in the fourth overtime against Tennessee in 2012
  • Andrew Baggett’s game-winning field goal in the fourth overtime against Tennessee in 2012
  • Henry Josey’s 68-yard “He’s baaaaaack!” run against Murray State in 2013
  • Markus Golden’s almost cartoonish, 70-yard pick six against Toledo that basically involved him shoving Terrance Owens to the ground and the ball popping up into his hands
  • Oh my God, like every play from the 2013 Georgia game. (The most notable: Marcus Murphy’s 36-yard second-quarter touchdown run, Michael Sam’s touchdown return of a fumble caused by Shane Ray, Bud Sasser to L’Damian Washington, Maty Mauk to DGB, and Henry Josey’s game-clinching dive. Among others.)
  • Maty Mauk to L’Damian Washington for 96 yards to give Mizzou a 14-0 lead in front of a drunken, delirious crowd against South Carolina in 2013
  • DGB’s fourth touchdown catch against Kentucky in 2013, each one of which had gotten successively meaner than the one before it
  • Harold Brantley’s fake-punt rumble against Ole Miss in 2013
  • L’Damian Washington demanding Gary Pinkel call for a replay of what would eventually be called a go-ahead touchdown against Texas A&M in 2013
  • James Franklin to Eric Waters for the game- and division-clinching first down against Texas A&M in 2013
  • James Franklin to Marcus Murphy to give Mizzou the lead late in the third quarter of the 2013 SEC title game
  • The fact that Henry Josey’s last carry as a Tiger was a touchdown (to give Mizzou the lead in the fourth quarter of the 2014 Cotton Bowl)
  • Shane Ray’s touchdown return of a fumble caused by Michael Sam in the final minute of the 2014 Cotton Bowl
  • Russell Hansbrough throws on the brakes, changes direction, and scores on fourth down to give Mizzou the late lead at South Carolina in 2014
  • Marcus Murphy’s kick return touchdown against Florida in 2014, or maybe Murphy’s punt return touchdown against Florida in 2014, or maybe Markus Golden’s fumble return against Florida in 2014, or maybe Darvin Ruise’s interception return against Florida in 2014
  • Russell Hansbrough’s 45-yard explosion to give Mizzou an unlikely lead over Texas A&M in the third quarter in 2014
  • Maty Mauk to Jimmie Hunt for 73 yards to all but ice the 2014 Tennessee game
  • Marcus Murphy from 12 yards out to all but clinch the 2014 East title and a win over Arkansas
  • Markus Golden’s strip and recovery that officially clinched the 2014 East title and a win over Arkansas
  • Russell Hansbrough for 78 yards to ice the 2015 Citrus Bowl
  • Drew Lock to J’Mon Moore to give Mizzou the lead in the fourth quarter of the 2015 BYU game
  • Players swarming Gary Pinkel during his post-game interview after the 2015 BYU win, his last as Mizzou coach
  • Aarion Penton picks off a fourth-and-goal pass in the fourth quarter against Arkansas in 2016
  • Marcell Frazier sacks Austin Allen on fourth-and-goal with 35 seconds left to clinch the win over Arkansas in 2016
  • Drew Lock to Emanuel Hall for 50 yards to open up the rout against Tennessee in 2017
  • Richaud Floyd’s punt return score that gave Mizzou a 35-0 lead in the second quarter against Vanderbilt in 2017
  • J’Mon Moore’s physical 24-yard catch to give Mizzou the lead at Arkansas in the fourth quarter in 2017
  • Tucker McCann’s game-winning field goal against Arkansas in 2017

I wanted to make this extensive HM list for a couple of reasons. First, it was really fun. Second, I wanted to call attention to a bunch of other plays because the top five was pretty damn obvious in the end.

5. The Moe Miracle

Never leave early.

4. Gahn McGaffie

Perfect day. Just a perfect day.

3. “OH MY GOD, THEY FAKED IT”

It’s at the 1:14 mark here, but feel free to go ahead and watch the whole thing.

(That quote in the header comes from The Beef, who was watching the play next to me and narrating because I couldn’t watch what I thought was going to be the most tense field goal ever. Instead, his voice cracked, and I turned back around in time to see the ball in the air.)

2. A 57-yard lightning bolt

Bill Carter

1. “Safety! Ballgame! Bingo!”

Missouri v Kansas Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images