COLUMBIA — The Missouri football team won nine games in 2006.
You might look at your schedule from last season and see only eight, but then you probably aren’t looking at the same schedule as MU coach Gary Pinkel.
Yes, the result reads a 21-16 victory for the Cyclones, but a questionable holding call on linemen Monte Wyrick negated a one-yard Chase Daniel touchdown that would have given the Tigers the lead and probably the victory.
Although Big 12 Conference officials later admitted they “blew” the call, which then led Pinkel to turn the loss into a victory, Pinkel says he is not dwelling on the loss at all.
Really. He isn’t.
“It’s over,” Pinkel said. “It’s all over.”
It is an appropriate attitude for a team that has made a point of averting land mines that would derail past teams. The Cyclones visit to Memorial Stadium on Saturday shapes up as a textbook example of a Tigers letdown. They are coming off a big conference victory and are a 28-point favorite.
The Cyclones stayed within a touchdown of No. 4 Oklahoma for three quarters last week, and quarterback Brett Meyer and receiver Todd Blythe are playing the Tigers for the fourth time.
“I’m tired of seeing him (Blythe),” Pinkel said. “I’ve seen him so much, and he’s made so many plays against us, he’s a great football player.”
As effective as those two were, it was 179 yards on the ground from running back Ryan Kock, (who entered the game with 152 yards the entire season), that hurt the most.
But the inspired play from the defense the past three games has MU players confident that a repeat of last season’s game is probably not in the works.
“I think that we just prepared ourselves better,” senior cornerback Darnell Terrell said. ”That was the key for us, and that’s why we’re playing so well right now.”
The Cyclones and Tigers have played each other fairly close the past three meetings with all three contests coming down to the final play. The 2005 Iowa State game introduced Chase Daniel. The then-true freshman came in to relieve an injured Brad Smith and led a come-from-behind victory for the Tigers on homecoming.
Now a junior, Daniel said he remembers the game solely as his first extensive playing time but not for much else.
“I got to play a bunch for the first time that game, but I hadn’t really thought about it until someone brought it up just now,” Daniel said.
If nothing else, past Iowa State games mean little to a Tigers team looking to take another step toward a division title.
“It’s in the past,” Pig Brown said. “We are just thinking about this game coming up and getting the job done.”
EBERFLUS HONORED TWICE: Defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus was honored twice this week for his team’s effort against Texas Tech last week. Rivals.com named Eberflus National Defensive Coordinator of the Week on Wednesday, while he was given the same distinction by the Masters Coaches’ Survey on Thursday.
GABBERT RETURNING: St. Louis prep quarterback Blaine Gabbert reneged from his verbal commitment from Nebraska and is re-opening his recruitment. Gabbert was in attendance at last week’s Missouri game and will be in attendance on Saturday when the Tigers play against Iowa State.