By Craig Thomas
“Team Missourian” has arrived at Reliant Stadium for today’s Mizzou vs. Navy game – the 4th Texas Bowl. Below are a few pics to check out.
By Sam Wilson
The three of us are here in Houston getting ready to cover Missouri’s Texas Bowl game. Robert and I attended a luncheon today with both teams, Texas Bowl officials, and others in the Houston community who support the Texas Bowl. The emcee jokingly offered Gary Pinkel an extra timeout in the game if Pinkel could spell the last name of his counterpart for Navy. Pinkel did not make an attempt. For the record, his name is Ken Niumatalolo.
On a more serious note, check out the Missourian the next few days for both pregame and postgame coverage. This blog will also be updated during our trip.
Coach Gary Pinkel addressed some of the things on his mind as he prepares the Tigers to play Navy in three days.
CONTAINING NAVY QB RICKY DOBBS: “You do the best you can. We put a couple of our best athletes at quarterback to simulate. He’s a great player. He makes that whole offense go. I don’t know if you can simulate it, percentage-wise, significant enough to get as good a look as you need.
“It’s an offense that you don’t see hardly ever, and it scares you.”
MU SECONDARY MUST STAY AWAKE DESPITE FEW PASS ATTEMPTS: “Well he’s a great thrower and they’ve had a lot of big plays. Thats the problem with the offense. That’s what they do (rushing) and that’s what they’re good at. As soon as you load up on the run they back off the line of scrimmage and hit big (passing) plays. That’s the great challenge that we have.”
JARED PERRY CAN PLAY: “He looked good today. Medical staff has released him. Now can he function? Once that happens, Can he play full speed? – Which he looked like he did well today. I was very happy for him. Looking at him today, he’ll play. How much he’ll play, he hasn’t practiced for a month. He has a lot of experience, hopefully he can use that experience to be ready to help us.”
THE “FUTURE BOWL”: “It’s our last pads practice and we let the players that redshirted and the walk-ons scrimmage at the end, we call it the Future Bowl. So players had a good time.”
By Craig Thomas
According to the MU athletic department, Missouri WR Jared Perry is healthy enough to play in Thursday’s Texas Bowl game against Navy. Perry has been practicing with the rest of the team.
Perry hurt his knee Nov. 14 against Kansas State and missed the rest of the regular season. He spent some time on crutches while the team prepared for its final games against Iowa State and Kansas. Pinkel said at the time that Perry’s progress would be evaluated during December.
This is great news for MU and the senior from La Marque, Texas, a town just 45 minutes from Houston. Perry, who started every game this year up until his injury, has 46 catches for 696 yards and 6 touchdowns this year (second on the team in every category behind Danario Alexander).
By Craig Thomas
The New York Jets are still alive in the NFL playoff hunt. In part, they can thank the previously unbeaten Colts (14-1), who took starters like Peyton Manning out of the game for good. In part, they can thank a former Missouri Tiger.
Brad Smith holds the record for the longest play in Jets history after his 106-yard kickoff return Sunday in Indianapolis. The Jets (8-7) knocked off the Colts 29-15. Smith’s third-quarter dash gave New York a 10-9 lead.
He also carried twice for 16 yards.
“J-MAC” SHINES WHEN IT COUNTS
Jeremy Maclin stepped up today, too. The rookie Philadelphia Eagle and former MUwide receiver managed to keep his toes inbounds as he hauled in a Donovan McNabb pass inside the 10-yard line in the final minute against Denver. That allowed David Akers to drill a game-winning field goal with just seconds left. The Eagles (11-4) beat the Broncos 30-27.
In all, Maclin had six catches for 92 yards. The Eagles are in the playoffs, and will win the division for the sixth time this decade if they beat Dallas next week.
HOOD REPRESENTS OLD MU DEFENSE
Ziggy Hood, a defensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7), got two tackles today including a big sack against Baltimore (8-7). He also recovered a fumble. Pittsburgh, which barely beat Green Bay last week, needed such plays in a critical 23-20 win Sunday. The defending Super Bowl champions still have a chance to make the playoffs.
4 DAYS UNTIL THE TEXAS BOWL!
It’s been slow around here lately, but check back for pictures and info from Houston throughout the week, especially getting to game time. Missouri (8-4) takes the field New Year’s Eve to play Navy (9-4). By Tuesday, all three of us (Robert, Sam and me) will be in town to see what’s up.
By Craig Thomas
Missouri fans got their last chance Saturday to get a preview of the Tigers’ bowl opponent, Navy. In Philadelphia, the Midshipmen (9-4) beat the Army Black Knights 17-3, their eighth straight win in that rivalry.
Navy QB Ricky Dobbs proved his running ability once again, as his one-yard run in the fourth quarter helped put the game out of Army’s reach. That score gave him 29 rushing TDs for the year, the most by a quarterback in NCAA history. It broke the record set by Florida’s Tim Tebow two years ago.
Dobbs had 113 yards rushing on 33 carries.
True to Navy’s typical form, the Midshipmen passed only seven times. One of Dobbs’ three completions went for a third-quarter touchdown. This of course would suggest a markedly different defensive assignment to what the Tigers (8-4) are used to facing.
Navy now has just under three weeks to prepare for Missouri. The Midshipmen and Tigers meet in the Texas Bowl on New Year’s Eve (2:30 p.m.) in Houston.