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ARE WE THERE YET? TIGERS' LAST TUNE-UP
September 24, 2008

SCS.com For the last non-conference game of Mizzou's season, most people were expecting a roll over. While Buffalo was coming in after a big last second win last week, most fans did not expect Mizzou to be tested; however, they were shockingly wrong.

Mizzou came into the game ranked in the top ten as they had been all season, and Buffalo did not seem like a formidable opponent. Despite the rankings, Mizzou led by only six points at halftime, thanks to turnovers and a special teams lapse which allowed Buffalo to return a kick off for a touchdown.

The sellout crowd of 65,556, was noticeably quieter in the first half than they had been all season. That mood transferred into the radio booth where long faces were abound wondering what was happening to the Tiger football team. The one good thing about the lackluster first half performance was that it made the second half more interesting than in the previous games.

Once the second half started, the Mizzou offense regained its original form and the Tigers worked their way to a sloppy 42-21 victory. The sentiment around the radio booth was that hopefully this game will help get the team refocused for the start of our conference schedule, which begins in two weeks.

For me, the most difficult part was after the game. We attempted to get the two hardest players to interview, Chase Daniel and Jeremy Maclin. Chase and Jeremy are far and away the most sought after players, both by media and fans. Since we know how many other media obligations they have, we feel bad asking them to come on our show knowing it is just one more commitment for them.

The other difficult task is that we have recently moved our post game show from the side of the field to the press box. This requires shuffling players up the press box through hoards of fans wanting to get autographs and take photos. Needless to say, it did not help that we had arguably the two most popular players on the team.

In order to avoid the fan rush and protect Chase, our Sports Information Director, Chad Moller, got his car and drove Chase up the hill. While this may seem a bit extreme, it most likely would have taken Chase at least 30 minutes to walk up the hill after being stopped for autographs. Not only did we not want to burden him with that, but also that would run the risk of running out of time on the show.

Jeremy had several media obligations as well and we were worried that we would not get him on the air in time, or that he would politely ask to do the show a different day. Luckily for us, he obliged and we were able to get him up to the press box in a golf cart after turning down several autograph requests. The post game crew talked with Jeremy about his unique ability as both a receiver and a return man, the differences and similarities in both traits, and his favorite things about both positions.

After Chase and Jeremy were shuttled to their cars, the crew talked with tight ends coach Bruce Walker. Coach Walker talked about the rigors of being a student athlete and the number of hours players put in not just for practice, but also watching tape, lifting weights, and attending to their academic endeavors.

Our crew then talked with coach about the upcoming bye week, which will be focused mainly on recruiting efforts. Coach also mentioned that due to the physicality of football, this week was a great time for our bye week and would allow several of our players who are nicked up with injuries to rest their bodies and get ready for conference play.

As we walked away from the stadium the running joke was, “You did such a great job…take a week off!” That week off will be spent thinking about Nebraska, a place where Mizzou has not won since 1978, just the type of history this team loves to rewrite.

U.S.A.
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