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Missouri Tigers Notebook: The Note In Which The "Third Side Of The Ball" Wins The Game

By RPT, Rock M Nation

The offense and defense have been addressed, but the Missouri special teams played a massive role in Missouri's win against Colorado. Let us count thy ways:

  • After an opening drive three-and-out by Missouri, Trey Barrow's punt pins Colorado at the 2-yard line. The punt keeps Missouri's streak of downing a punt inside the 5-yard line alive, with the Tigers having done so in all five games this season.
  • On the ensuing Colorado drive, Eric Waters partially blocks a punt to give Missouri the ball on Colorado's half of the field.
  • After the next drive stalls, Missouri downs a Matt Grabner punt at the one. On the first play after the punt, Missouri forces a safety when Tyler Hansen intentionally grounds the ball in the endzone.
  • Leading 5-0 in the second quarter, Barrow takes a fake punt 26 yards down the left sideline for a first down, keeping alive a drive that results in Missouri's first touchdown. Barrow would lead the TIgers in rushing until late in the fourth quarter.
  • Colorado starts a drive at the Missouri 13 after a Blaine Gabbert fumble, but after three big stops from the Missouri defense, Resonno blocks a field goal attempt and Missouri takes the ensuing drive 97 yards for a touchdown.

Save for a couple of mistakes in kickoff coverage (which were addressed by Pinkel after the game), Missouri's special teams has turned into a tremendous weapon for the Tigers. In addition to a Lou Groza award candidate in Grant Ressel, the development of Grabner and Barrow as a double-barrel punting platoon has given the Tigers a kicking unit that ranks amongst the best in the country.