COLUMBIA — Ahead 26-0 in the second quarter Saturday at Colorado, Missouri set up its field goal unit for a seemingly insignificant kick. It appeared to close a more successful defensive possession for struggling Colorado, though the Tigers still stood to get three more points.
Unknown to fans, Missouri's plan was entirely different.
Baylor Bears (3-5, 0-4)
at Missouri Tigers (5-3, 1-3)
WHEN: 1 p.m.
WHERE: Memorial Stadium
RADIO: KFRU/1400 AM, KBXR/102.3 FM
Defensive end Jacquies Smith lined up in front of kicker Grant Ressel. As the ball was snapped, Smith moved to his left and caught a soft toss from holder Forrest Shock. He approached the sideline as he moved upfield, working past a defender and following his blocker into the end zone for a touchdown.
An excited Smith ran over to celebrate with his Missouri teammates. As a defensive end, Smith rarely gets a chance to score points.
This was his second touchdown as a Tiger. Defensive end Brian Coulter said Smith was lectured on his post-touchdown behavior the first time, following an interception return earlier this year against Furman.
"I know last time he scored a touchdown he got in trouble because he spiked the ball in the end zone," Coulter said. "And Coach Pinkel kind of got on him and told him to act like he'd been there before."
After the touchdown against Colorado, Smith found Coulter. "Man, did I spike the ball?" he asked.
"Yeah, we think so," Coulter said.
"Aww, man," Smith said, afraid he had repeated his mistake.
Coulter reminded him of the Furman game. "I said, 'Yeah well you can't get mad now, because you've already been there before!'"
Smith, who does not usually help with field goals, had hoped he wouldn't be noticed on the field goal play.
"When I first ran out there, I tried to hide behind a few offensive lineman," the 6-foot-4, 250-pound sophomore said. "I figured if I lined up at wing, they were going to already recognize the No. 3 right there. And I was subbing in for (defensive lineman) Bart Coslet. And you know, it's pretty obvious if I'm out there (that something is different).
Smith soon realized the Buffaloes were not fooled. "They were calling my number, and so basically, we were trying to go out there and get the fake on real quick, and we did that to perfection," he said.
Coach Gary Pinkel was pleased with the execution, despite Colorado's clear awareness of the plan.
"They saw No. 3, and they were yelling, 'Fake, fake!' So they knew something was coming down," Pinkel said. "We really blocked it well, everybody blocked. So we were very fortunate to not only get a first down there but certainly get a touchdown."
Smith's fellow defensive linemen were glad to see him account for points.
"We were really excited that he got an opportunity to score a touchdown," Coulter said. "They had put the fake in last week, and we didn't really think that they were going to run it. So we really didn't see it actually happening until everybody started jumping on the sidelines. All the D-Linemen got up and started looking and were like, 'Is that Jacquies with the ball?'"
Defensive end Aldon Smith said he would have liked to have been involved in the play.
"I was really jealous," Aldon Smith said. "I messed with him all week about how he got on the fake team and I wasn't. But I was glad he got in.
"He thinks he's faster than me, but I mean he made the play, I didn't, so there we go."
Coulter said Smith was not the only person who got especially excited.
"What happened with us is that we enjoyed it so much it became a distraction for us on defense," he said. "Because, before then, everything was going good, we were going out there, (forcing) three and out, and after that touchdown everybody kind of lost their focus on the task at hand.
"It's good for the team and the defense, but you also have to learn how to just see it, celebrate it and just forget about it — move on to the next thing."
Pinkel wondered ahead of time if Jacquies Smith was the right person for the surprise play but was impressed with how well Smith handled it.
"I questioned it a little bit to the staff," he said after the game. "I said, 'You sure you want to do this? This guy's not held the ball that much.' Well golly, we should probably move him to tight end, as athletic he looked."