Two accurate Tigers win Big 12 football awards

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 | 1:49 a.m. CST; updated 11:19 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008
In two years’ worth of Big 12 play, Jeff Wolfert has not missed a kick, converting all 23 of his field goals and 64 extra points.

COLUMBIA — Quarterback Chase Daniel had the most accurate performance of his career against Kansas. But he will never be able to match one Tiger’s accuracy.

Daniel completed 40 of 49 (81.6 percent) passes for 361 yards on Saturday. With those impressive numbers, he was named the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the third time this season.

The precision carried over from last week’s practice. Daniel had only one incompletion and one forced throwaway during three days of practice, quarterbacks coach David Yost said. “We’ve had a couple of weeks where’s he’s only missed two or three, but last week was probably his best week,” Yost said.

Daniel’s accuracy against the Jayhawks rivals the nation’s placekickers’. Only 25 kickers in Division I-A have made more than 81.6 percent of their field goals. MU kicker Jeff Wolfert just misses the mark. The former diver has made 17 of 21 attempts this season (80.95 percent).

But even Daniel’s sole incompletion in practice can’t match Wolfert’s streak in the Big 12. Wolfert hasn’t missed a field goal or extra point in all of his 16 conference games, making 23 field goals and 64 extra points.

The streak is buried deep in Wolfert’s mind. “It’s in the back of my head. I try not to think about it too much because I don’t want to jinx it,” he said.

Wolfert’s accuracy was key against the Jayhawks. While Kansas kicker Scott Webb missed two field goals (from 33 and 45 yards), Wolfert connected on two 43-yarders in the fourth quarter, putting the game out of reach from the surging Jayhawks. He won the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week award for his play.

IS RUCKER THE BEST?: National recognition continues to roll in for the Tigers. Tight end Martin Rucker was named one of the three finalists for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s best tight end. USC’s Fred Davis and Wisconsin’s Travis Beckum are the two other finalists. The winner will be announced Dec. 6.

INJURY UPDATE: Tight end Chase Coffman is questionable for Saturday’s game, coach Gary Pinkel said, after his sprained ankle was re-injured against Kansas. Coffman will wear a boot to protect his ankle until Wednesday morning and then take it off to practice.

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