No doubt football season underway at Mizzou -

No doubt football season underway at Mizzou

Missouri rolls in second halfPosted: Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008 at 9:02 p.m.

The second half was more of the same for the Missouri Tigers as they came out of the locker room with a 42-0 lead after the Redhawks missed a 28-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter.

With 367 yards of Tiger offense and six touchdowns, Southeast Missouri State head coach Tony Samuel would certainly have had a tough time rallying the troops.

Chase Daniel torched the SEMO secondary for 245 yards on 16 attempts and three TD's. On the grass, the Tigers already had 119 yards using four different rushers.

The third quarter didn't yield any more scores for the Tigers, but it did have some points of interest.

To start, a Columbia native caught an 18-pound salmon while he was fishing last month, a point the public address announcer felt warranted proclamation.

More pertinently, Jeremy Maclin is resting his strained ankle on the sidelines. Despite his injury, Maclin put up over 60 all-purpose yards and a touchdown in the first half.

Chase Patton made several appearances in the third quarter going 4-5 for 37 yards.

Mizzou fans were also treated to their first look at Blaine Gabbert, the freshman out of St. Louis who decommitted to Nebraska to sign with the Tigers last year.

While he probably won't make SportsCenter with his effort, it was nice to see number 11 get a crack at running the team's complex offense.

The most exciting game going on might be Florida at Miami, Tiger fans -- especially the student section -- seemed content to get rained on and watch the backups make their case for more playing time, even if the crowd was missing a few of the 62,000 who initially showed up Saturday.

With names like Tru Vaughns, Jerrell Jackson, and Michael Egnew being called over the PA for the Tiger offense, the crowd was still wild in their support despite wondering who he was.

Following a big run from De'Vion Moore (don't feel too bad if you don't own his jersey), Jimmy Jackson punched it in with 9:38 to go to make it 52-3.

With the press box emptying out and the Tiger faithful finally admitting this one is in the bag, another Saturday night at Farout Field looks to be all but wrapped up.

While this is certainly cause for celebration -- the Tigers just covered two thirds of the field in 1:45 with no starters in play -- the celebration can't last too long.

After all, Tiger Nation has to be in form for next week when Nevada comes to town. The Wolfpack is already giving No. 12 Texas Tech a game in the second quarter and the Tigers can't afford to look past them.

Missouri is already well-versed in the fairness and understanding of the BCS system and they have to know an early season loss to Nevada would be a big stain on their resume.

But hey, I'm a worrier

Fans in midseason form at Mizzou's home openerPosted: Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008 at 7:10 p.m.

With a rash of gold spreading through the streets and cries of "M-I-Z-Z-O-U" being echoed from all corners of campus, it's obvious that football is back in Columbia. With Southeast Missouri State as the first home challenge, and with the skies clouding up like a Cohen Brothers' film, one might expect less-than-stellar support for the Tigers.

Try to get a parking spot within the city limits and you'll learn quickly that such a notion is ludicrous. With every lot for miles filled to the brim and cars lining the streets in every direction, it seems as though fans couldn't care less if the Tigers were playing their own cheerleaders.

Flocking to the stadium in droves, a driver could see lines of people marching in like something out of "War of the Worlds."

The smoke from hundreds of grills filled the air as tailgating was seemingly at an all-time high.

It isn't hard to see why the university had to stop taking applications from incoming freshman this year. With the lawn packed and the student section awash in gold, the Tigers came out to a near-packed house.

The only question left was whether these rabid fans would play host to a devastating second week upset.

Now that's a ridiculous question anytime an FCS school is on the schedule, but ask Michigan if they considered the possibility last year.

On a Saturday that has already seen Ohio lose to the Buckeyes, Boston College drop to Georgia Tech, and BYU and Wake Forest narrowly escape upsets, a fan wouldn't want to take any chances. Couple that with Illinois' Juice Willaims' statline from last game, and consider the fact that SEMO has the second best passing offense in the FCS, and you might feel a flicker of doubt.

The Tigers quickly assuaged any fear of a flat showing when they came out and stuffed the Redhawks' first drive. Following that, a two-minute drive that went over 70 yards and featured a Chase Coffman hurdle ended in a 5-yard TD run for Derrick Washington assured anyone watching that the Tigers were more than ready to play for their fans.

After another effortless stop, Mizzou marched 83-yards in six plays to score with 7:44 remaining in the first. For those worried about Jeremy Maclin's ankle, rest easy. The sophomore took a 3-yard pass from Daniel into the end zone, breaking a tackle on his way in. An early lead means less snaps and more Gatorade for the All-American.

Just after No. 8 West Virginia dropped to East Carolina 24-3 for the Pirates' second upset of the season, Missouri further proved to their supporters that they are in control.

Picking off a pass inside their own 20, the Tigers went 75 yards in four plays for their third score with 1:13 left.

Daniel already has two TD's and 167 yards on 10 passes, and Washington has over 50 yards and a TD on the ground and another 28-yard touchdown reception.

Each score might as well be in the BCS Title Game judging from the fans' response.

Rabid cheers, jeers, and chants fill the stadium while the stands undulate with a crowd jumping, high-fiving and dancing after nearly every play.

With the first quarter ending 21-0 and no one heading for the exits, it looks like the Redhawks are in for a long night.

Who said anything about an upset?

Note: J.J. Bailey is a journalism student at the University of Missouri at Columbia.

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