They may not have completely achieved their goals on Saturday vs. Texas Tech, but Mizzou had its most complete effort of the year en route to a 31-point demolition of a good Texas Tech team.
Quarterback Brad Smith ran for 291 yards and a school-record five touchdowns, on runs of on runs of 10, 27, 2, 41 and 61 yards. Smith's yardage total is the second highest in school history.
Overshadowed by Smith's performance, but not forgotten was the performance of Zack Abron, who added 139 yards on 25 carries and scored the Tigers' other three touchdowns.
Mizzou's offensive line completely dominated Texas Tech's defensive front. The experienced unit lead by seniors AJ Ricker, Rob Droege, and Cliff Young, demolished the Red Raider's front seven for most of the day.
"Credit the offensive line. They did a great job up front taking care of business," said Zack Abron.
As impressive as the offense's day was...and it was...Mizzou earned the victory even more on the defensive side of the ball as the Tigers controlled Texas Tech's top-ranked offense, forcing the Raiders into four interceptions and several key penalties.
Pinkel described the Tigers successful defensive philosophy, "We thought it was important to mix man, zone and pressure. He still did pretty well, throwing for 437 yards. I know that is about 100 yards below what he averages, but he did complete some passes. We also got some turnovers, which I thought was critically important."
After receiving a Gatorade shower, Head coach Gary Pinkel summed up his feelings about the victory: "How about our football team? How about our coaches? I am very very proud of them. They work so hard and are so committed to the program."
Missouri (6-2, 2-2 Big 12) became bowl eligible for the first time since 1998. Dedrick Harrington commented on the accomplishment after the game, "We made it a point of focus. Now we want a bigger and better one."
"This game was huge, I told my players that this week. This keeps us in the North Division Title hunt, makes us bowl eligible, gives a chance to get back in the Top 25 and makes a statement about our program," Pinkel said.
A dejected Mike Leach took the blame for his team's performance, "We lost this game because I'm not a good enough coach to get our defensive players to believe in themselves. We lost this game because I'm not a good enough coach to get our offensive players to play in control when the other team scores a couple points and I'm not a good enough coach to get our kick off return team and kick off cover team to play."
Missouri improved to 6-2, and now has two weeks to prepare for their trip to Boulder, Colorado to face the Colorado Buffaloes, and coach Gary Barnett.