In an effort to look back fondly at the successes of Tiger football, the Rock M Nation football staff compiled and ranked the greatest games of the past 20 years. There’s no science or math involved here: we simply listed what we thought were the 20 best games of the past 20 years and counted the votes. We’ll start with the games getting the fewest votes and work our way up to #1.
2012: Missouri 51 - Tennessee 48: 4 OTs
While the Missouri Tigers fell one win short of making a bowl game in their first season as a member of the SEC, they still provided one memorable game that many Mizzou fans can point to positively from the 2012 season.
On November 10, 2012, Gary Pinkel and Missouri notched their first ever SEC road win – and there was no better place to get it done than at historic Neyland Stadium. Coming off a frustrating 14-7 loss at No. 8 Florida in The Swamp, the Tigers were in need of a win to get their overall record back to .500. Of course the Tigers didn’t make it easy on themselves — they never do —but they nabbed a much-need victory in a quadruple-overtime game in Knoxville.
To reach overtime, the Tigers had three big-time plays in regulation. Let’s reminisce, shall we?
- After Tennessee took a 7-0 lead with 4:08 remaining in the first quarter, Missouri responded right away as Jimmie Hunt took the ensuing kick-off 87 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at seven.
- After being down 21-7 at the half, Missouri needed a spark. A 77-yard touchdown run by Kendial Lawrence would do the trick – the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. Missouri was right back in the game, as they cut the deficit to 21-14.
- With less than a minute to go in the game, Missouri trailed 28-21. That’s when James Franklin delivered one of his biggest moments of his Tiger career. On 4th down and 12 with the game on the line, a 25-yard touchdown pass to Dorial Green-Beckham tied the game with 47 seconds left.
In overtime, Missouri and Tennessee traded touchdown for touchdown three times, with both teams missing the two point conversion in the third OT... because of course. In the fourth OT, the Tigers stopped the Vols on four downs, setting up the opportunity for kicker Andrew Baggett.
35-yard field goal, GOOD. The marathon game was over, and Missouri beat Tennessee 51-48 in four overtimes for their fifth win of the season.
Here are all the highlights:
This game had just about everything. Missouri was down by two touchdowns (twice), were outgained 585-454 in total yards, and trailed 32-20 in first downs. But somehow, some way, the Tigers managed to get it done.
While this wasn’t exactly a statement win by any means, it certainly turned out to be a classic game – and beating Tennessee is always fun.
Unfortunately, this win didn’t carry any momentum as Mizzou would lose their final two games of the regular season against Syracuse (ugh!) and Texas A&M to miss a bowl game. However, this game did start Missouri’s success against Tennessee, as the Tigers won five out of the first seven meetings against the Volunteers.