Mizzou Football Notes and Quotes Before Hosting Texas A&M

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MIZZOU HOSTS TEXAS A&M WITH EYES ON THE PRIZE

The No. 5/6 Mizzou Tigers (10-1 overall, 6-1 in Southeastern Conference play) wrap up the home portion of their 2013 season Saturday night when they play host to the No. 19/21 Texas A&M Aggies (8-3, 4-3) Saturday at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium in a 6:45 p.m. (central time) kickoff set for an ESPN telecast. Saturday's contest is Mizzou's annual Blackout Game, where fans are encouraged to wear black, and it will also serve as Senior Night, with 18 seniors making their final appearance on Faurot Field...
Already guaranteed no worse than an East Division co-championship, Mizzou has plenty still to play for Saturday night. A win over the Aggies would give Mizzou the East title, outright, and stamp their ticket to Atlanta for a berth in the 2013 SEC Championship Game on Dec. 7. Additionally, at No. 5 in this week's Bowl Championship Series standings, the Tigers are looking to keep their chances alive at reaching the school's first-ever BCS bowl game...
Mizzou is coming off a solid 24-10 win last Saturday atNo. 24 Ole Miss in a game in which the Tigers never trailed. The Tigers outgained the Rebels by a 485-378 margin in total offense, as the Mizzou rush attack posted a 260-yard day and three touchdowns. The MU defense held Ole Miss to 10 points, well below the Rebels' average of 34.5 points coming into the game, and stymied Ole Miss in the red zone, allowing only one field goal in three red zone possessions, including a pair of scoreless drives after Ole Miss had achieved a 1st-and-goal situation (blocked field goal and 4th-down stop)...
Coach Pinkel won his 100th game has Mizzou's head coach with the victory, improving his career record with the Tigers to 100-62. He is within one win of matching all-time program wins lead, Don Faurot, who won 101 games from 1935-42, 46-56...

TEXAS A&M comes to columbia

Texas A&M is looking to bounce back from a 34-10 loss at then-No. 18 LSU last Saturday which broke a three-game winning streak for the Aggies, who hadn't scored less than 41 points in any game this year prior to that game...
Texas A&M is led by defending Heisman Trophy winner QB Johnny Manziel, who will be the first reigning Heisman winner to play at Faurot Field since Oklahoma's Billy Sims in 1979 (Sims won the 1978 Heisman)...

MIZZOU KEEPIN' ON KEEPIN' ON

While the 2013 Mizzou Tigers are one of the top turnaround teams in the nation, those who follow the program know that Gary Pinkel's outfit is used to winning at a high level. This marks the fourth time in the last seven seasons that Mizzou has won a conference division title (2007, 2008 and 2010 Big 12 North; 2013 SEC East). Additionally, in all four of those seasons, Mizzou has reached double-digit win totals, as the Tigers went 12-2 in 2007, 10-4 in 2008 and 10-3 in 2010...
The 2013 Tigers have already earned distinction, as they are just the fourth team in Mizzou Football history with 10 regular-season wins (1960, 2007, 2010). Hoping it doesn't stop there, the Tigers will be going for win No. 11 on the year against Texas A&M, a win total that has been reached only two times in MU's previous 122 years of existence (began play in 1890). The 11-win seasons include: 1960 (11-0); 2007 (12-2)...
Pinkel is the first Tiger coach to achieve multiple double-digit win totals. College Football Hall of Fame Coach Dan Devine is the only other MU coach with more than one 9-win season...
Before Mizzou's 2007 team burst onto the scene with its 11-1 regular season and 12-2 overall campaign, the only previous 11-win team in Columbia was under the legendary Devine. His 1960 squad went a perfect 11-0, including a 21-14 win over fourth-ranked Navy in the Orange Bowl...
Mizzou's recent win at No. 24 Ole Miss was also its sixth conference victory of 2013, getting the Tigers to six league wins for seventh time in program history and the first time since the 2010 season. Pinkel and the Tigers compiled a 6-2 conference mark in 2010 and a 7-1 conference mark in 2007. Legendary head coach Don Faurot's 1960 (7-0), 1965 (6-1) and 1969 (6-1) squads accomplished the feat...

BCS RAdar engaged

Mizzou was placed at No. 5 in the latest Bowl Championship Series rankings (Nov. 24), marking the first time since the final six BCS polls of 2007 (9, 6, 5, 4, 1, 6) that the Tigers were ranked in the poll's Top 10 for six-straight weeks...
The Tigers have appeared in the initial six editions of the BCS poll for the first time since the 2010 season, when Mizzou was ranked 11th (Oct. 17), sixth (Oct. 24), 12th (Oct. 31), 17th (Nov. 7),15th (Nov. 14) and 14th (Nov. 21)...
In the 16-year history of the BCS, Mizzou has appeared in every single weekly poll three times (2007, 2008, 2010)...

DOUBLE DOSE OF JOSEY

Junior TB Henry Josey scored two rushing touchdowns in the 24-10 win at No. 24 Ole Miss (Nov. 23), complimenting a solid 95-yard game (15 att.). Josey got Mizzou on the board initially with a 4-yard scoring spurt at 12:15 1Q to go up 7-0, before adding a 10-yard sprint and dive across the goal line at 6:56 3Q to give Mizzou the final 24-10 advantage ...
It marked the second-straight contest that Josey has found the end zone twice on the ground, with the Tiger TB actually accounting for three scores in the 48-17 win at Kentucky (Nov. 9). Besides his 4-yard and 86-yard (career-long) scoring runs, Josey also snagged a 6-yard swing pass from redshirt freshman QB Maty Mauk and turned it into a score...
Josey's multiple rushing TD performance was the sixth of his career. His double against the Rebels goes along with two-TD days against Toledo, Vanderbilt and Kentucky earlier this season. He also rushed for two scores at Baylor on Nov. 5, 2011...
The Tiger TB's career day came on Sept. 17, 2011, vs. Western Illinois in which he scored three times on the ground, which was a part of the well-known Josey running spree that totaled 263 yards on just 14 carries...

THE EASY WAY, OR THE HARD WAY

For the first time in program history, Mizzou has beaten three conference opponents on the road who have 7+ wins to their credit. Vanderbilt (51-28), Georgia (41-26) and Ole Miss (24-10) all enter week of college football with 7-4 records...
But even further research from MU historian Tom Orf shows that after Mizzou's 24-10 win at No. 24 Ole Miss (Nov. 23), the Tigers have defeated five teams with 7+ wins for only the fourth time in program history. Toledo and Arkansas are also 7-4, who Mizzou dispatched by scores of 38-23 and 41-19, respectively, during non-conference action...
Mizzou's 1967, 2007 and 2010 teams also accomplished the feat, with head coach Gary Pinkel's squad in 2010 winning six games against opponents who finished their seasons with at least seven wins (Illinois, South Dakota State, Miami [Ohio], Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Kansas State)...
A win on Saturday against Texas A&M (8-3) would match the 2013 squad with that 2010 team, and any potential postseason scenarios would allow this season's Tigers to carve out a special place in Mizzou Football history...

A WHOLE LOT OF RUSHING GOING ON

Mizzou rushed for 260 yards in the 24-10 win at No. 24 Ole Miss last Saturday, an impressive group performance that included a 95-yard night from junior TB Henry Josey. Junior TB Marcus Murphy rushed for 67 yards, while senior QB James Franklin and sophomore TB Russell Hansbrough added 42 yards and 32 yards, respectively...
The 260-yard rushing total against the Rebels was the 16th time under head coach Gary Pinkel that Mizzou topped 250 rushing yards in a conference game. The Tigers are 14-2 in those games. The results thin out to a pristine 10-0 when the Tigers toe or go beyond the "277-yard threshold"...
The Tigers' 339-yard rushing total in the win over Tennessee (Nov. 2) marked the most rushing yards by a Mizzou team in a conference game since putting 376 rushing yards up against Iowa State on Nov. 29, 2003...
The highest conference rushing accumulation for a Pinkel-led squad came just weeks earlier in the 2003 season when the Tigers rolled to 469 yards (and eight rushing touchdowns) in a 62-31 win over Texas Tech on Oct. 25, 2003...
The road-grading performance vs. Tennessee from Mizzou's offensive line was recognized by the SEC following the win, with senior LT Justin Britt earning Offensive Lineman Player of the Week status from the league...
Mizzou has topped 200 yards rushing 38 times in conference action with Pinkel at the helm. Five of those instances (245 at Vanderbilt, 205 vs. Florida, 339 vs. Tennessee, 223 at Kentucky, 260 at Ole Miss) have occurred this season...

FRANKLIN DELIVERS

Senior QB James Franklin controlled much of the game for Mizzou in his return to the lineup for the Tigers' 24-10 win at No. 24 Ole Miss. The signal-caller's first game in the statering role since the win at then-No. 7 Georgia was a mixture of passing (142 yards) and rushing (42 yards), helping the Tigers to 485 yards of total offense and a stout 260-yard rushing mark...
Franklin led Mizzou to a 28-10 halftime lead at No. 7 Georgia (Oct. 12) and finished the game completing 18-of-27 passes for 170 yards and one score. Franklin also rushed for his third TD of 2013. The signal caller was knocked of the contest midway through the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury. The injury has kept Franklin out until now...
Franklin threw four touchdown passes for the second time in his career in the 51-28 win at Vanderbilt (Oct. 5), matching his four-TD performance in the 51-48 4OT win at Tennessee last season. It was additionally the seventh time in his career he has thrown for at least three scores...
In six games prior to being forced out, Franklin had Mizzou's offense ranked 12th in the NCAA in total offense (515.7 ypg), 8th nationally in scoring offense (45.7 ppg) and 10th nationally in 3rd-down conversion rate (51.0%)...
Franklin amassed a career-best 404 yards of total offense as he led the Tigers to a convincing 45-28 road win at Indiana (Sept. 21). He finished the night 32-of-47 passing for a career-high 343 yards, two touchdowns (7 yards, 14 yards) and two interceptions, while also rushing for 61 yards and one touchdown (1 yard) on 13 carries (4.7 avg.)...
A healthy Franklin is certainly a nuisance to Mizzou's opponents. In games he has started and finished (not counting games left due to injury), Franklin and the Tigers sport a 21-9 record...

WATCH OUT FOR SAM

Mizzou's All-American hopeful DE Michael Sam enters Saturday's game vs. Texas A&M leading the SEC and ranking tied for ninth in the nation in QB sacks (10.0 total). He also leads the league in TFLs (1.55 per game/17.0 total), ranking tied for seventh nationally...
Sam has been named a finalist for both the Bronko Nagurkski Trophy (most outstanding defensive player) and Rotary Lombardi Award (lineman of the year). He is a semifinalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year), and is on the watch list for the Hendricks Award (defensive end of the year)...
The high-motor Tiger has found himself routinely double and triple-teamed during Mizzou's three-game winning streak. He broke through for his 17th tackle-for-loss in the 24-10 win at No. 24 Ole Miss (Nov. 23). Sam's teammates have fed on the distracted offensive lines from UT, UK and Ole Miss, totaling 10.0 sacks in those wins...
Sam provided a huge game to help key Mizzou's 36-17 win over No. 22 Florida (Oct. 19). He tallied 3.0 sacks on the day (22 yards in loss), and added four tackles in all, to go with one other QB hurry...
The Tiger was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Gators, marking the second-straight week a Mizzou player brought home the honor (Kentrell Brothers, at Georgia). The recognition was Sam's third weekly conference honor of the season...
Sam's outing vs. Florida was his third multi-sack game of 2013. He also had 3.0 sacks in wins over Arkansas State and Vanderbilt earlier in 2013. Sam has pushed his career sack total to 19.5, fourth all-time at Mizzou...
Sam also has a knack for finding the ball any way possible, as he picked up a Georgia fumble and returned it 21 yards to break the game open. The touchdown return was his second career score...
The 3.0-sack stat line has only been accomplished across the FBS 31 times, with Sam having three of those outings to his credit, along with one for teammate, junior DE Kony Ealy...
Sam is 2.0 sacks away from becoming Mizzou's all-time single-season leader, with former Tiger Aldon Smith's 11.5 sacks in 2009 currently standing as the top mark...

BRANTLEY MAKES TWO "SPECIAL" PLAYS

Redshirt freshman Harold Brantley had two huge plays that impacted the outcome of Mizzou's 24-10 road win Saturday at No. 24 Ole Miss, as he first blocked a Rebel field goal attempt in the 1Q action to snuff out a scoring threat. Mizzou led 7-0 at the time, and Ole Miss drove to the Tiger 1-yardline before being forced to settle for a 23-yard try. Brantley got a big push and blocked the kick to give Mizzou back the ball with its lead intact. Video review was used to determine the block..
Later, in 3Q action, after Ole Miss scored on its opening possession of the half to cut the Tigers' lead to 17-10, Mizzou's offense went 3-and-out, but on 4th-and-2 from the MU 20-yardline, Brantley's number was called on a fake punt. Serving as one of the shield protectors for the punt, Brantley took the direct snap and raced around to the left edge to daylight. He made a nice move to shake one potential tackler near the first down line, and raced 26 yards to the Tiger 46-yardline to squelch the Ole Miss momentum...
Brantley earned SEC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against the Rebels, a first for that particular honor this season for the Tigers. The weekly recognition is the 11th total from the conference, a season-best for Mizzou after taking eight in 2007...

MIZZOU'S DEFENSE LOOKS TO CONTINUE STREAK OF THIEVERY

Mizzou's nation-leading takeaway steak was extended to 41 games by a stellar read by senior CB Randy Ponder in 1Q action at No. 24 Ole Miss. The Tiger defender cut in front of a pass from Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace and returned the ball 17 yards for Mizzou's 18th interception of the season...
The last time Mizzou didn't record a takeaway was Oct. 30, 2010 at Nebraska (a 31-17 loss)...
An outstanding play by senior LB Andrew Wilson extended the streak in the Tigers' 48-17 win at Kentucky (Nov. 9). A UK 40-yard pass completion was hunted down by Wilson, who stripped the Wildcat. The fumble was recovered by junior LB Darvin Ruise and Mizzou took over at 7:39 3Q...
Turnovers came the Tigers' way in the 36-17 win vs. No. 22 Florida (Oct. 19), with freshman CB Aarion Penton intercepting a pass in 1Q action. The Tigers struck again when sophomore DE Shane Ray blew through the Gator o-line to sack QB Tyler Murphy, stripping the ball for his second-straight game with a sack/strip. The ball was recovered at the Florida 7-yard line by DL Harold Brantley at 7:09 4Q...
Mizzou forced four Georgia turnovers which proved crucial to the Tigers' 41-26 win (Oct. 12). The first was a 2nd-quarter sack/fumble by Ray that fellow DE Michael Sam picked up and raced 21 yards untouched for a TD that made it 28-10 Tigers with 5:46 left in the half...
Mizzou's defense now has 18 interceptions through 11 games (after recording only 7 INTs in 12 games in 2012), and the Tigers are tied for fourth-most in the nation. Mizzou is +14 on the year entering Saturday's game against Texas A&M - 26 takeaways, 12 turnovers lost). The Tigers' 1.27 margin/game ranks sixth in the nation...

STREAK OF THIEVERY SUPPLEMENTED BY SURE-HANDED TIGERS

Mizzou's 31-3 win over Tennessee (Nov. 2) marked the third time this season, and third time in SEC play, that the Tigers gave zero turnovers to its opponent. The Tigers enter Saturday's game vs. Texas A&M ranked tied for sixth in the NCAA (first in the SEC) in turnover margin, at +1.27 per game...
Head coach Gary Pinkel's squad also allowed zero takeaways to Vanderbilt on Oct. 5 (W, 51-28) and at No. 7 Georgia on Oct. 12 (W, 41-26)...
Mizzou's 12 turnovers lost (six INTs, six fumbles) this season ranks tied for 8th nationally and tied for first in the SEC with Alabama...
Mizzou has been plus-3 in TO margin in a whopping seven of 11 games in 2013...

SPREADING OUT THE SCORING

Mizzou's offense has done an excellent job of distributing the ball, and it can not be more apparent with the number of touchdowns scored. For the first time ever, Mizzou has four players with at least eight touchdowns (Junior TB Henry Josey 13, sophomore WR Dorial Green-Beckham 9, senior WR L'Damian Washington 9, junior TB Marcus Murhpy 8)...
The point-scoring frenzies of the 2007 and 2008 seasons saw just three players finish with at least eight touchdowns in both years. Jeremy Maclin (16) Tony Temple (13) and Martin Rucker (8) brought in the points in 2007, with Derrick Washington (19), Maclin (17) and Chase Coffman (10) handling the scoring in 2008...
Green-Beckham and Washington rank highly in the SEC with their nine touchdown catches so far in 2013, standing tied for 3rd in the SEC and tied for 16th nationally...
According to Mizzou historian Tom Orf, Washington's 9 career touchdown catches of 20-plus yards ranks fourth in school history behind Tiger greats Danario Alexander (14), Jeremy Maclin (13) and Mel Gray (11)...

WE FORGOT TO WARN YOU ABOUT EALY

On one side of Mizzou's starting defensive line is senior DE and postseason awards candidate Michael Sam, a well established fact. The opposiste side is nearly equally as imposing with junior DE Kony Ealy, who made his presence widely known in Mizzou's 48-17 win at Kentucky (Nov. 9) with a 3.0-sack game among six tackles...
Ealy's 6.5 sacks thus far in 2013 ranks fourth in the SEC, and with Sam at the top of conference with his 10.0, Mizzou makes up two of the league's Top 5 in sacks...
Keeping opposing quarterbacks on their toes has been one of the finer points of Ealy's game this season, as he leads Mizzou in QB hurries with 13 to his credit...
Ealy additionally impacts opposing offenses when the ball is in the air. His five pass breakups currently leads the team, and he also made one of the most athletic plays for a defensive lineman in this season of college football. Ealy leapt to deflect an Indiana pass attempt in 2Q action of 45-28 win and came away with an interception instead. The 6-5, 275-pound Tiger took the football back 49 yards for his first career pick and touchdown...

MAUK THROUGH THE AIR AND ON THE GROUND

Redshirt freshman Maty Mauk can still expect to see snaps with senior QB and co-captain James Franklin back in the lineup, something Mauk has earned from his performances this season, according to head coach Gary Pinkel...
The Tiger underclassman QB entered the Ole Miss contest in 2Q action and helped Mizzou's offense tack on a field goal. Mauk completed 3-of-7 passes for 83 yards on the drive, including a 60-yard strike that hit junior WR Bud Sasser in stride on a deep post route. The drive ended with a 33-yard field goal from sophomore PK Andrew Baggett at 7:31 2Q to put Mizzou up 10-0...
Mauk's excellent play in relief of Franklin continued in the 48-17 win at Kentucky (Nov. 9), with Mauk etching his name into Mizzou's records with five passing touchdowns...
Mauk's outing tied Mizzou's school record for touchdown passes in a game, a mark only matched by the Tigers' all-time leader in passing and current NFL QB Chase Daniel (who accomplished the feat four times in his Mizzou career)...
He finished the game with 203 yards passing (17-for-28, 60.7 pct.), 5 touchdowns (zero interceptions), and also tacking on 24 rushing yards...
Four of the five TD passes went to sophomore WR Dorial Green-Beckham from distances of 8 yards, 7 yards, 22 yards and 7 yards, with a TD toss to junior TB Henry Josey (6 yards) following Mauk's first 7-yard pass to Green-Beckham...
Mauk posted a 3-1 record as a starter in Franklin's absence. He became the first Mizzou QB since 2011 (James Franklin vs. North Carolina) to throw and rush for 100 yards in a game with his performance vs. Tennessee (Nov. 2). He ended the night with 163 yards passing and 3 touchdowns (zero interceptions) while he ran for a career-high 114 yards on 13 carries (an 8.8 avg. per attempt)...
Mauk also came in to get a "save" at Georgia in the fourth quarter of Mizzou's 41-26 win (Oct. 12), when he replaced the injured Franklin and extended the Tigers' tenuous 28-26 lead at the time...
Mauk received his third Freshman Player of the Week recognition from the SEC for his strong play against the Wildcats. The Mizzou underclassman also brought home the honor after the Tigers' wins over Florida (Oct. 19) and Tennessee (Nov. 2)...

JOSEY DOES HIS THING

Junior TB Henry Josey nearly had his fourth 100-yard game of the season, finishing with 95 rushing yards in the 24-10 victory at No. 24 Ole Miss (Nov. 23). Josey left Oxford with two more rushing touchdowns to his credit, though, pushing his season total to 12 to rank tied for 11th on Mizzou's single-season chart...
Josey topped 100 yards for the third time this season and 10th time in his career with 113 yards (11 att.) in the 48-17 win at Kentucky (Nov. 9), powered by the third-longest rush in Missouri's program history. Josey put the game in Lexington on ice with an 86-yard touchdown scamper with 10:00 left in the 4Q, setting the final score...
Josey ran for a season-high 136 yards in the win vs. No. 22 Florida (Oct. 19). He averaged 7.6 yards per carry against a stout Gator defense which came into the game ranked 4th in the nation in rush defense, allowing an average of only 83.3 yards on the ground per game...
This all, of course, comes after it took 659 days for Josey to make his big return to start the 2013 season. He rushed for 113 yards on just 13 carries (8.7 avg.) and one touchdown in Mizzou's season-opening, 58-14 victory over Murray State...
Josey was awarded with a game ball by Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel in the locker room after the Murray State game, and that was the first time ever in Pinkel's 35-year coaching career that he had ever awarded a game ball to an individual...
His outing at Ole Miss increased his career rushing total to 2,460. Josey enters the Texas A&M game ranked No. 8, and is 73 yards behind No. 7 on the list (Corby Jones - 2,533 yards from 1995-98)...
Josey is ranked 9th in the SEC in rushing (77.7 avg.), and 12th in scoring (7.1 ppg)...

INTERCEPTIONS? MIZZOU HAS THOSE

Mizzou got back into the interception business, with senior CB Randy Ponder intercepting Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace and returning the ball 17 yards at 10:01 1Q. The pickoff was Mizzou's 18th in 2013, the best mark in the SEC (tied for fourth nationally)...
Missouri recorded three interceptions for three-straight games to start the 2013 season, building a solid base for the 18 the defense has collected. The Tigers have more than doubled last season's total of just seven INTs...
Eleven different Tigers have combined for the 18 total interceptions, with senior CB E.J. Gaines leading with four pickoffs. Gaines is also Mizzou's active career INT leader with seven. His 0.44 per-game INT average is the third-best mark in the SEC...

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE

It took one of the receiving performances of the college football season to break a five-way logjam for most touchdown catches in a game at Mizzou, and sophomore WR Dorial Green-Beckham was up to the task in the 48-17 win at Kentucky on Nov. 9. His four TD catches, on a school record-matching five-TD pass game from redshirt freshman QB Maty Mauk, set the Mizzou all-time best...
Green-Beckham used his speed, size and athleticism to make the difference against the Wildcats' defensive secondary, winning jump balls in the end zone from all four TD passes from Mauk (8 yards, 7 yards, 22 yards, 7 yards). His outing, seven catches for 100 yards, goes down as his second career 100-yard receiving game...
The previous school record of three touchdown grabs had been accomplished five prior times in school history, with the most recent instance in 2009 (Danario Alexander vs. Kansas State)...
Green-Beckham's previous career-best was two touchdown catches in a game, which he accomplished twice, earlier this season vs. Arkansas State (4 rec., 95 yards, 2 TD), and last season at Tennessee in the thrilling 51-48 4OT win (2 rec., 35 yards, 2 TD)...
Green-Beckham is one of just seven receivers in the Bowl Championship Subdivision that has recorded four touchdown catches in a game...

SACK SUCCESS A STORY FOR TIGERS

Mizzou now has 32.0 QB sacks in its last eight games, an impressive sight, as the Tigers had totaled only 3.0 combined sacks in its first three outings (with all three coming in the opener against Murray State)...
Mizzou's 35.0 sacks over its 11 games in 2013 is the top mark in the SEC and ranks tied for No. 4 in the country. The Tigers' average of 3.18 QB sacks per game is No. 1 in the SEC heading into the game vs. Texas A&M and it ranks Mizzou fourth nationally...
The Tigers notched 7.0 sacks for the second time this season in its 48-17 win at Kentucky (Nov. 9). Ths sack spree was also a major factor in Mizzou's big win at Vanderbilt (Oct. 5). Mizzou's front four got pressure all night long, and the Tigers ended the game with 7.0 sacks in all - with all of them coming from the line...
The 7.0 sacks in both the UK and VU wins are the most by Mizzou since they recorded 7.0 in a 30-9 win at Texas A&M on Oct. 16, 2010 against Aggie QB Ryan Tannehill...
Individually, senior DE Michael Sam ranks first in the SEC, and tied for ninth in the nation, with his 10.0 sacks (0.91 sacks-per-game average). Sam is also the league's top-ranked performer in tackles-for-loss (17.0) currently, with an average of 1.55 per game, which also ranks him tied for seventh nationally...

DEFENSIVE LINE IS MIZZOU DEFENSE'S ENGINE

Mizzou's defensive line added to the Tigers' SEC-leading tackle-for-loss total with 5.0 of a team total of 8.0 for a mark of 87.0 heading into Saturday's game vs. Texas A&M. Junior DE Markus Golden led the way for the Tigers with 2.0 TFL (including 1.0 sack). The sack from Golden improved Mizzou's league-leading sack total to 35.0...
The Tigers padded their sack total with 6.0 more in the 48-17 win at Kentucky (Nov. 9). Junior DE Kony Ealy had the latest 3.0-sack game for the Tigers, with juniors Markus Golden and Matt Hoch getting 1.0, along with sophomore DE Shane Ray...
The Tigers' defensive linemen have been making plays all season, with 33.0 of Mizzou's total 35.0 sacks going to their credit. The same is true for total tackles-for-loss, with the D-line recording 62.5 of the 87.0 total...

Gary Pinkel IS EIGHTH-WINNINGEST ACTIVE FBS COACH

With his 173 career wins in 23 seasons as a head coach, Mizzou's Gary Pinkel is ranked eighth among active FBS coaches. Pinkel has a career record of 173-99-3 all-time (63.5%), including a 73-37-3 record (64.6%) in 10 years at Toledo (1991-2000) and 100-62 (61.7%) in 13 years at Mizzou...

MIZZOU COACHING WINS LEADERS
Coach Wins # Seasons (Years) Record Pct. # Bowls
Don Faurot 101 19 (1935-42, 46-56) 101-79-10 .558 4
Gary Pinkel 100 13 (2001-Present) 100-62 .617 8*
Dan Devine 93 13 (1958-70) 93-37-7 .704 6
Warren Powers 46 7 (1978-84) 46-33-3 .580 5
* Mizzou has qualified for a 9th bowl game in Pinkel's tenure

PINKEL HAS SECOND-MOST WINS IN MIZZOU HISTORY

Mizzou Head Coach Gary Pinkel is in his 13th season at MU (23rd overall as a head coach) and touts a career record of 173-99-3 (63.5%)....
Pinkel, who has led MU to a combined record of 78-37 (67.8%) in the past 9 seasons, and to bowl games in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, has a 13-season record in Columbia of 100-62 (61.7%). Dating back to the 2005 Independence Bowl win over Steve Spurrier and South Carolina, Pinkel has gone 71-32 in his last 103 games overall (68.9%). MU's win in the 2008 opener against Illinois gave Pinkel his 50th MU win, and he now ranks second on the coaching wins list at MU, with 100, just one win from matching legendary head coach Don Faurot. The win over Kansas in 2010 was the 150th of his career...
Pinkel is in a select group of Mizzou coaches that includes College Football Hall of Famers Don Faurot and Dan Devine, as well as Warren Powers, to be the only coaches to have an MU record of above .500 (with at least one full season coached) dating all the way back to 1935. Here's a quick look at the top winning coaches in MU history...
In 2007, Pinkel guided the Tigers from unranked in the pre-season to a team which won a school-record 12 games and a final ranking of #4 in the Associated Press Top-25. Mizzou ascended to #1 in the BCS rankings following the regular season, and stood just one half away from playing in the BCS National Championship Game (before Oklahoma pulled away from a halftime tie to win the Big 12 title game). For his efforts in 2007, Pinkel was a finalist for several national coach of the year awards, including the Robinson, Bryant and Munger awards. He was also named the National Coach of the Year by FieldTurf in 2007, and his 8 bowl games is an MU record...
Pinkel has directed Mizzou to 9 winning seasons (8-5 in 2003, 7-5 in 2005, 8-5 in 2006, 12-2 in 2007, 10-4 in 2008, 8-5 in 2009, 10-3 in 2010, 8-5 in 2011 and 10-1 in 2013), with those representing 9 of MU's 11 winning campaigns dating back to the 1983 season...
The Big 12 North Division titles won by Mizzou in 2007, 2008 and 2010 represent the only football conference titles of any kind Mizzou has won since 1969 - the last time it claimed a share of the old Big Eight Conference crown. In April of 2011, Pinkel agreed to a two-year contract extension, meaning he'll patrol the Tiger sidelines through the 2017 season.

WITH A TIGER VICTORY, MIZZOU WILL...

Improve to 101-62 under head coach Gary Pinkel, matching Pinkel with Mizzou's all-time winningest coach, Don Faurot, who won 101 games (1935-42, 46-56).
Have recorded just its third 11-win season in school history, but the second in Coach Pinkel's 13-year tenure at Mizzou.
Win its fourth game of the season against a ranked opponent, the most since 2007 when Mizzou won three in the regular season and a fourth in the Cotton Bowl (vs. Arkansas, 38-7).
Win for the fourth time in the last five meetings with Texas A&M (2007, 10, 11).

SERIES HISTORY - Mizzou vs. TEXAS A&M

Saturday's Mizzou-Texas A&M game is the 14th all-time meeting between the two programs, with the Tigers trailing 8-5 to the Aggies...
Mizzou won three-straight in the series (2007, 2010, 2011) while the two schools were Big 12 Conference members, with the Tigers surrendering last season's inaugural SEC matchup, 59-29, in College Station, Texas...
Pinkel and the Tigers sent the Aggies home from Columbia with a loss the last time Texas A&M visited Faurot Field, winning 40-26 in 2007...
As members of the same conference, Mizzou leads the series 5-4...

GARY PINKEL
Opening Statement...
"As usual, we are preparing normally like any game week. It's a little different for the players since they don't have school right now. They were excited about playing this game against Texas A&M, and we worked really hard to be in this position. We are a good football team, and when you are competing for a championship you have to beat good teams. Our focus as always is that we play our best football game. I wanted to mention Coach Frank Lauterbur who passed away a week ago. He used to be the head coach at Toledo. He was a good friend of mine, and a colleague. He passed away last week in Toledo. He was a great coach at Toledo. He also coached at Iowa, as a head coach. He broke a lot of records while at Toledo. I think he had three undefeated seasons there. When I coached at Toledo that is when he became a good friend of mine. He called me for about seven years the night before every game. The guy had a tremendous amount of wisdom. He came out here a lot. He came out during spring football, and I had him out here during two-a-days. He would be sitting in meetings all day long, and hang out on the practice field. He would also come out here for a game or two for years and years, until he could not travel anymore. Anyways, I love that guy. I have lost a lot of coaches, and friends of mine in the last couple of years. Just to Frank Lauterbur I love that guy, I lost a great man and a great friend. I would also like to thank you to our fans. Our fans get it. When we came into the SEC we heard so much about the SEC and the fans and that's true the fan base is awesome. Our fan base is pretty awesome themselves. We've traveled so well this year, and we topped it off Saturday night at Ole Miss. Obviously, we have the game this week where the students will come back early, and it's sold out and the ZOU will be wild and crazy. I am really appreciative on what they've done. I'm looking forward to this football game against Texas A&M."

On this team being able to control its own destiny...
"I wished we got help, and it was over about four weeks ago. We talked about it in the beginning on how it's about us. It's all about us. That has kind of been the theme we've had this whole year. We got into November and we are 10-1 with one game left and our players get what it takes and it's still about playing well."

On any specific game plan for Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel...
"He's a great player, we all know that. I don't know if you ever truly stop him. LSU did a good job though. Everybody will say do exactly what LSU did. I don't think every team and every player is perfect all the time. He's such a great player. If you watch him game in and game out, then you see the consistency on how he plays and the way he does it. You have to contain him the best you can, and you have to score points on offense. There is nothing magic about this. I think we are playing against a pretty good defense. We're certainly going to be tested with this guy. He's a better player than he was a year ago, and he won the Heisman trophy. His pocket presence was excellence, and he reads defenses better. If you are defensive player, it's definitely a challenge. You have to be a competitor, so let's go out and battle and compete and see what happens."

On how LSU has had success with containing Manziel the past two seasons...
"I think everybody looks at everybody. You got to look at your own personnel. You got to look at the scheme of the shoe you are on. You can't all of the sudden run a different defense or coverage you have never played before. I think LSU has their number right now. Nobody else has. I think you look at them and try to learn things and apply them to your own team."

On running back Henry Josey's comeback and performance this season...
"His injury in 2011 was more like a car wreck than an athletic injury. I didn't know if he would ever be 100-percent again. Pat Smith, who did the surgery here, is one of the best surgeons in the nation. Then you got a guy (Josey) who has the will to be great and the desire to overcome all of that diversity. I think he is playing as good as or better than he has ever played. It's great to see it. He's back 100-percent and I'm obviously very happy for him. I know the fans have embraced him. He's untouchable. Do not say a bad word about Josey. I'm happy for him for the success he's had, and how he's came back."

On the importance of the offensive line's health this year...
"There's no question about it. Every single guy has started the entire season. Last year, we only had one guy that finished the whole season healthy. There is no question about it. The ability to get better each and to consistently practice and communicate with one another is big. The eight-minute drive we had at the end of the game against Ole Miss was about our offense line, our running backs making the plays necessary and doing the things necessary to finish the game. Our football team is a lot better than it was 10 weeks ago. No question."

On anything special the team does for Thanksgiving...
"We get in early that morning. The Thursday meeting that we usually have in the afternoon at 3:30, instead takes place in the morning. We are consistent on getting things done that we need to get done. We will go out, and have practice. We will probably be done around 11:30 a.m. We will have a Thanksgiving dinner here all set up for our team, and everybody has to go through it. Some guys will grab food, and take it. Some of the Kansas City and St. Louis players will go back home for the day. They do not have to be back until mid-afternoon on Friday. My biggest concern is that they drive safely. That is my biggest concern as a coach, and as a father. A lot of guys take the out of state guys home with them too. It's something that we have done the last couple years, and it has worked out really well."

On anything that particularly stood out last weekend at Ole Miss...
"The redzone. I think we have been a really good redzone team, and we kept on battling. It's not about yards, it's all about the points. The plays we made on the one-yard line and the five-yard line were huge. They (Ole Miss) had a 19 play and 85-yard drive, but came away with no points. Then we blocked that field goal. Later on, they had a fourth down throw that they made, and we come out of that with no points too. You have to have good players, good coaches and you got to make plays. It's nice to have a team that is so good in the redzone."

On the impact and change of momentum with the fake punt call against Ole Miss...
"Obviously, I would have not called it unless I didn't think we could execute it. We practiced it for weeks. Harold Brantley is an athlete, and he can run well. He doesn't look like a defensive tackle. We had the right guy with the ball, even though he could have gone straight up-field and gotten the two yards right away instead of going all around the outside. I just wanted to keep the momentum on our side. We did it against Iowa State a few years ago, and from then on we kind of dominated the game. We got the first down, and then unfortunately had a turnover after that. Those things are well thought out. It doesn't mean that they will work all the time, but when they do, that means that they are good calls."

Senior Quarterback, James Franklin

On the team putting pressure on themselves this week, knowing the game's significance...
"I am sure there is a little bit, but we just need to try our best and not think about it. We need to focus on playing football, and doing what we have done well all season. Hopefully, we won't let the outside stuff affect us."

On watching tape of Quarterback, Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M...
"I recorded the LSU and Texas A&M game, and watched it. He (Manziel) is a playmaker. He will scramble around and he will see someone down field and make some good throws. He has had some good runs. He is just explosive in every play, and you don't know what is going to happen."

Sophomore Center, Evan Boehm

On Mizzou controlling its own destiny in the SEC East...
"We don't like anything given to us. We knew coming into this year nothing was going to be given to us. All the other teams this year had injuries like we had last year. They counted us out, but we are coming out right now and we are focused on what is in front of us and that is Texas A&M. We are excited to go out there, and we are excited to play this week. We have this week off from school, so it really gives us time to focus in and look at the defense and look at the schemes of what they are doing."

On why the team has done so well this year...
"The coaches have done a great job of getting us ready and getting us prepared every single week. Like I said earlier, we are just having fun and not stressing out about any game. It's more like, `let's go out, let's do our best and let's have fun.' You have to make your best a little bit better each week, and that is what we are set out to do. When you buy into a program like this, you buy into Coach Pinkel and what all the other coaches are saying and that has been successful."

On the stress of the team's performance last year...
"Yes, with the injuries we had some stress. You were losing those games, and you don't want to lose those games. They were down to the wire, and we needed to finish to win those games. We didn't finish like we wanted to. Now, we are coming out this season, and our main focus has been to finish, finish, finish. We have done a great job this year. That one slipped away with South Carolina, but we are not focused on that anymore. It is on Texas A&M and we are ready to play them."

Senior Defensive Back, E.J. Gaines

On the differences of preparing for Manziel versus a traditional quarterback...
"I don't think you can look at it as stopping a great player like Johnny Manziel, rather it's about containing him and slowing him down and helping our defense out. I think that is what Coach Steckel will try to do this week."

On LSU stopping Johnny Manziel and whether that give confidence to Mizzou's defense...
"I mean yes. I guess you could say that, but it doesn't happen very often. So, like I said, not looking on stopping him, but slowing him down and containing him."

On the personal emotions of senior night this Saturday...
"I think it's going to be very emotional. A lot of these guys are close and it's a brotherhood in this senior class that is coming through. It's definitely going to be emotional, but we want the win as well."



 
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