A look at Mizzou’s best Homecoming football games since 2000

With overtime wins, multiple tie games and big upsets, Mizzou Homecoming has been a wild ride in years past.
Maneater File Photo

With Greek house decorations, the crowning of school royalty and events like a blood drive and parade, Homecoming is one of the most storied traditions on the University of Missouri campus.

The 106-year-old tradition started in 1911 with a football game against the University of Kansas and still caps off with a game each year.

Through a little over a century of Homecoming games, the Tigers have had some interesting matchups, including the first overtime game in school history, five games that finished as a tie and multiple wins over the Kansas Jayhawks. Here’s a look back at three of Mizzou’s most interesting Homecoming games since 2000.

Oct. 25, 2003: Missouri 62, Texas Tech 31

With a 93-point split between the Tigers and Red Raiders, this was Mizzou’s second highest-scoring Homecoming game in school history, second only to last season’s 51-45 Homecoming loss to Middle Tennessee State.

The Tiger offense was led by sophomore quarterback Brad Smith, who threw for 128 yards and rushed for 291 more, tacking on five rushing touchdowns. Paired with senior running back Zach Abron’s 139-yard, three-touchdown performance, the two helped the Tigers produce 597 yards from scrimmage and beat the Red Raiders.

Tech was close to matching the Tigers’ offensive performance with 531 total yards, including 408 passing yards from senior quarterback B.J. Symons and 102 receiving yards from senior receiver Wes Welker.

Welker and Smith would both go on to play multiple years at receiver in the NFL.

Oct. 15, 2005: Missouri 27, Iowa St. 24 (OT)

Heading into Mizzou’s 2005 Homecoming, the Missouri-Iowa State matchup wasn’t necessarily a highly-anticipated one.

“We were coming off a losing season,” said Tom Orf, Missouri sports historian and statistician. “If [Pinkel] had a losing record, then he may not have been back for his sixth season.”

Trailing 24-14 in the fourth quarter, Smith went down with a head injury and his backup, Chase Daniel, stepped in at the helm for the Missouri offense.

Down seven with 4:44 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Missouri defense stopped Iowa State and Daniel was able to lead the Tiger offense down to the Cyclones’ 4-yard line. With 20 seconds left, Daniel threw a touchdown to senior receiver Sean Coffey, and after a PAT attempt from kicker Adam Crossett, Mizzou tied the game. Crossett went on to kick a game-winning field goal in overtime.

“If they wouldn’t have won that game — they won six — so without that game, they would not technically have been bowl eligible,” Orf said.

This was the 11th overtime game in Mizzou history and the second Homecoming overtime win in 11 years. Daniel finished the game with 185 yards passing and one touchdown. Coffey had four receptions for 51 yards, to go with his game-saving touchdown grab.

Oct. 23, 2010: (11) Missouri 36, (1) Oklahoma 27

One of the more exciting Homecoming games of recent memory, Missouri beat an Oklahoma team that was not only ranked third in the AP Poll but sat atop the Bowl Championship Series rankings coming into the week.

“That’s one of the more memorable games of the last 20 years, easily,” said Paul Blackman, Missouri class of ‘70 and Tiger Club of Kansas City board member. “Everything about that was tremendous. It was as electric as I’ve seen Faurot Field.”

While Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones threw for 303 yards on the Mizzou defense, the Tigers shut down Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray. Murray had 1,808 yards from scrimmage his senior year, but the Tigers held him to just 97 total yards in that game.

The only time Oklahoma led in the game was heading into the fourth quarter up 21-20, but Mizzou was able to put up another score just a few minutes into the final quarter of play with a 38-yard touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert.

After tacking on 10 more points in the fourth, fans rushed the field as Mizzou was able to pull out the upset on Homecoming.

Gabbert’s 308-yard performance was one of the best of his senior season and it helped the Tigers climb to No. 7 in the AP Poll the following week.

Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

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