10.04.2008

117. Mizzou @ Nebraska

This was to be a longer post, but I no longer have much longer in me. I'm tired.

Missouri will journey to Lincoln, Nebraska Saturday for some college football action, Big 12 style. The Tigers will be playing their first conference game and if they intend to win the Big 12 and be in the BCS hunt, they gotta win.

Missouri has not won a football game at Nebraska since 1978, a game which is memorable for one fourth quarter run. Watch it on YouTube, I'll give you the link in a minute, but first a story.

My dad and I were watching the game at home. Missouri was very good in the 60's and competitive in the 70's in the Big 8 (at the time). Nebraska and Oklahoma were always favored, but if one of them slipped, Mizzou could steal a second place finish from time to time.

Well, Missouri and Nebraska went back and forth in this game all the way to the fourth quarter. Down 31-28, the Tigers were knocking on the door again. QB Phil Bradley handed the ball off to James Wilder and what happened next lives in Tiger history.

Some Nebraska defender, trying to do his job, met Wilder in the hole. Wilder appeared stopped. But that didn't last long. With a twist of his shoulders, Wilder flung the defender to the turf and proceeded to the end zone. Two more defenders, with bad angles on Wilder, were run over at the goal line. Mizzou had a touchdown and, with the extra point, a 35-31 lead that held up.

But what I'll never forget is the great joy my father got from all this. As they showed replay after replay, Dad laughed every time we saw Wilder knock that first guy flat and then high-step into the end zone. Here's the clip.

There's no question we are enjoying a resurgence of Missouri football, a recovery that has taken up to heights never anticipated just a handful of years ago. Here's hoping that Saturday brings another, long-awaited victory in Lincoln.

1 comment:

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