Tigers’ backup fills in nicely

Fourth-string running back, Jimmy Jackson, ran for a 12-yard TD.
Tuesday, October 4, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:30 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 1, 2008

As an unheralded 5-foot-9 fourth-string running back among bigger, taller superstars, Missouri’s Jimmy Jackson didn’t figure to get a lot of attention at Memorial Stadium on Saturday against Texas.

But with Tony Temple and Earl Goldsmith, two of the Tigers’ top three running backs, injured, Jackson not only saw some playing time but also made the most of it, rushing five times for 36 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown run five minutes into the game that tied the score at 7.

Two days later, however, Jackson was less concerned with his small breakthrough than with the game’s result, a 51-20 loss for Missouri (2-2, 0-1 Big 12 Conference).

“I did OK,” he said. “I just wish we would have gotten that win.”

Still, the redshirt freshman performed admirably for a player who had only seen mop-up duty in the season’s first three games and was suddenly thrown into the mix against the No. 2 team in the country.

“He did an excellent job...,” coach Gary Pinkel said. “We asked a Jimmy Jackson, who’s lined up at fourth team, and this guy slides up to second team and plays like a starter. So that’s very impressive.”

MUM’S THE WORD: Pinkel said Saturday that not playing Temple, whose right ankle was injured Sept. 17 against Troy, was a game-time decision. But that doesn’t mean Temple will be sure to play in the Tigers’ game at 1 p.m. Saturday at Oklahoma State.

Monday, Pinkel said Temple would “hopefully work his way back in” to action this week but said he wasn’t sure if the sophomore would play against the Cowboys.

Meanwhile, Temple did not appear to be limping at all. He was told not to directly comment about his injury or his availability Monday, a situation that left him using roundabout answers to reporters’ questions.

“I just wasn’t ready to play, but I’ll play next week,” Temple said.

But when asked to confirm that he would play Saturday, Temple was more vague.

“Hopefully, if I’m ready,” he said.

HOMECOMING MATINEE: Missouri announced Monday that the Tigers’ Oct. 15 homecoming game against Iowa State will start at 1 p.m. at Faurot Field.

The game will not be televised. Former Missouri basketball coach Norm Stewart and his wife Virginia will serve as homecoming grandmarshals.

SLEEPING GIANT AWAKE?: Surprise, surprise: Oklahoma seems to be back to its old self, just in time for its annual Red River Rivalry game with No. 2 Texas in Dallas on Saturday.

After losing two of their three nonconference games, the Sooners opened Big 12 play by beating up on Kansas State 43-21. Coach Bob Stoops said Monday that the win gave his players proof that they were improving.

“Definitely our locker room was more alive and excited than I’ve seen it all year,” Stoops said. “When you’re successful and the players see that, it’s pleasing. They see the results of their labor and their work and they gain confidence.”

That’s not good news for Texas, which hasn’t beaten the Sooners since 1999.

“I thought their game against Kansas State looked like all the other Oklahoma teams we’ve seen,” Longhorns coach Mack Brown said. “They’re tough, they’re aggressive, they ran the ball well, (Quarterback) Rhett Bomar made tremendous progress, so I think we’re seeing Oklahoma back to where they’ve been.”

Texas enters this year’s game, the 100th meeting between the teams, as a two-touchdown favorite, but Brown said that doesn’t matter.

“I’m tired of hearing the cliche, but you can throw all that stuff out when you get to a game like this,” he said. “It comes down to who plays the best on Saturday.

“Three of the last four games have been within six points going into the fourth quarter and they’ve outplayed us in the fourth quarter. It’ll probably come down to a fourth-quarter game again.”

SHIFT IN POWER?: Colorado broke an embarrassing streak with a 34-0 win against Oklahoma State, the team’s first win against a team from the Big 12’s South Division in 10 tries.

It was also the first win by a North team against a South team other than Baylor since the 2003 Big 12 Championship.

“It’s pretty cylical,” Colorado coach Gary Barnett said. “If you go back and look at when the conference was formed, the South couldn’t win a game against the North. It just comes and goes.”

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