I did not get to watch this game. I could have, but I chose not to shell out $29.95 for the pay-per-view broadcast. Just a thing I have, where I disagree with the concept of pay-per-view broadcasts of games against what is supposed to be inferior competition.
I say supposed to be because Bowling Green was anything BUT inferior. I don't know if it was Mizzou believing their hype this week, or enjoying its spot in the rankings, or if Bowling Green is just that well coached and prepared but the Falcons have certainly had Mizzou's number this decade.
I was away from home this afternoon and when I got home this evening, I had some errands to run before the game. I got back home about half an hour after the game started and when I turned on the computer to see how things were going (thank God for Gametracker!) Imagine my surprise to see Mizzou trailing 7-0, followed by a Bowling Green punt that was fielded by Mizzou, then fumbled away. The Tiger defense managed to hold the Falcons to just a field goal, but I still had hopes that it was just a fluke.
That was late in the 1st quarter.
Mizzou actually trailed 13-0 before they managed to put a pair of field goals on the boards to make the score 13-6 by halftime. Incidentally, is anyone going to give props to Mizzou's new field goal kicker, Grant Ressel?? Where the heck did this guy come from? He only has to replace the most prolific kicker in Mizzou history (no pressure though) and so far this season he has been money from over 40 yards out.
In the second half, Bowling Green came out and scored another touchdown on their opening drive to make the score 20-6. Mizzou could have easily quit at that point, but I like to think that these guys saw the moment as a true gut-check and decided right then and there that they were not going to give up. They battled back and scored three unanswered touchdowns to steal the win away from the visiting team. Twice they went for it on 4th down and twice they succeeded in keeping the drives alive.
This team may be full of youngsters, but tonight they showed that they have no quit in them. If they go down, they will go down swinging. From a fan's perspective, I would have preferred to see a blowout, but when I reflect on this game, I think what we ended up with is much more valuable. These Tigers were given a test. A chance to battle back from adversity and fight for respect. Bowling Green had aspirations of coming in to Columbia and scoring an upset on the road (much like Houston did to Oklahoma State) but it wasn't to be. These Tigers passed their test and I would venture a guess they will be better prepared for Furman next week.
I don't think Mizzou will go undefeated this year, but I do think we are looking at something special. The start of something Mizzou fans have been dreaming of for years. Watch for good things to happen as this team begins to gel and barring early defections to the NFL, an undefeated season is certainly possible within the next two years.