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October 15, 2008 It was by far Mizzou’s biggest game of the season. Oklahoma State was arguably the best team to visit Columbia since Oklahoma came to ‘The Zou” in 2006. It was the second most talked about game of the weekend behind the Oklahoma-Texas Red River Rivalry which had been played earlier in the day. With Oklahoma losing Mizzou was staring at a chance reclaim the number one spot in the polls for the first time since late last season; however, Oklahoma State proved to be too much for the Tigers.

As is typical for all big games, family and friends had been asking everyone for extra tickets. Mike Kelly, our lead play-by-play announcer, joked that the toughest part of his job this week was finding 13 tickets and passes for friends visiting from out of state. The game was a hot ticket, and for good reason.

The Tigers received the kickoff and drove the length of the field, but were forced to settle for a field goal after coming up short on a 3rd and goal from inside the 1-yard line. Oklahoma State took the ensuing possession in for a touchdown and most people expected the shootout was under way. Both offenses came into the game ranked in the top three for scoring; however, that would not be the case in this game as both teams were held under 30 points.

The game went back and forth but it always seemed that whenever Mizzou did something good, the Cowboys had an answer. The mood in the booth was solemn knowing that if Mizzou did not put their opponent away it could bring trouble down the stretch. Mizzou did not play their best game and Oklahoma State took advantage, stealing a 28-23 victory and handing the Tigers their first loss of the season and their first loss at home since 2006.

Losses are always tough, especially when they come at home. The thing I was most worried about was wondering what players would want to walk all the way up to the 3rd floor of the press box and talk about the game, especially at 11:00 in the evening. Luckily as I asked the post-game guys what players they wanted to interview, they told me not to worry about it, that they knew no one would want to talk and that giving them the night off would not kill anybody.

We did interview Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach Dave Christensen. Coach Christensen talked about the game and said that while the game was difficult to swallow and the team did play poorly, most of the mistakes were fixable. Coach also stressed the resilience of this team and said he was confident that they would bounce back starting with practice on Sunday evening.

The Tigers do not have much time to dwell on this loss as they get set to travel to Texas next week to play the number one ranked Longhorns. As we closed the post game show we talked about the potential of still winning the Big 12 North title and playing for a shot at the conference crown in early December; however, as we walked towards our cars there was a feeling of disappointment in the air, knowing that winning this game would have been great.

As Coach Christensen said, “the thing that stinks about coaching football is somebody has to lose.” Unfortunately this week it was the Tigers; however, as the old adage goes, tomorrow is another day.

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