After a much needed 36-17 win over the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder, the Tigers will be looking to end their two game home losing skid when they take on the Baylor Bears this Saturday at 1 p.m. Missouri jumped up to a 33-0 lead against Colorado which included two touchdowns for wide receiver Danario Alexander before settling for a 36-17 win.
The calendar has flipped to November and Coach Gary Pinkel wants to make sure his team knows the importance of November for the team.
"If you want to have great success as a football team, you've got to win in November. We all know that and November's here," Pinkel said.
"We want to come out and finish the season strong. Baylor's next on our schedule, and we've got to just try to take it one game at a time. November is where you're remembered, and every game counts for the bowl situation," Alexander said.
The Tigers have played well in November the last two years. In 2007, the Tigers won all four of their November games including the epic 36-28 win over Kansas in Kansas City which put them one win away from a trip to the National Championship. Last year, the Tigers went 3-1 in November which helped them win the Big 12 North for the second straight year. Another good November will be necessary for the Tigers to win the Big 12 North as they are currently tied with Colorado and Kansas for fourth in the Big 12 North at 1-3 and will need to catch Kansas State(5-4, 3-2), Nebraska(5-3, 2-2) and Iowa State(5-4, 2-3) by the end of the month. The Tigers know that in order to have a good November, they need to be more consistent.
"We haven't been consistent this year," linebacker Sean Weatherspoon said. "I feel like we played a good game this past weekend but it wasn't a full game. We want to put it together for a full four quarters."
"We've got some good players too but it's all about consistency," Pinkel said. "I think obviously, we're more consistent on defense right now and that's what we're trying to find ourselves on offense."
The inconsistency on offense has been evident since Big 12 play started. The Tigers have yet to score a second half touchdown in conference play. In the Nebraska game, the Tigers scored a touchdown near the end of the first half to take a 9-0 at halftime but they could only muster a field goal in the second half and Nebraska came back with 27 unanswered fourth quarter points to defeat Missouri. The Tigers were able to put up 17 points against Oklahoma State in the first half and they went into halftime down just 24-17. However, they were shutout in the second half and Oklahoma State went on to defeat the Tigers 33-17. The Tigers scored four touchdowns Saturday in Colorado to take a 33-3 lead at halftime but they were only able to score a field goal as they settled for the 36-17 win.
"We know what we can do when our offense is on a roll but we just got to keep that going for the whole game," quarterback Blaine Gabbert said.
The Tigers should be encouraged by the re-emergence of the running game in recent games. The Tigers were able to run for 131 yards in the 41-7 loss at home against Texas which was a season high in rushing until this past Saturday and Texas has the best rushing defense in the nation allowing just 52.88 rushing yards a game. The Tigers rushed for 184 yards this past Saturday. Tailback Derrick Washington ran for 99 yards against Colorado and tailback De'Vion Moore had his best rushing game of the season with 58 rushing yards.
And Missouri also had a season high four takeaways against Colorado after just nine takeaways in their first seven games.
"We see the impact of turnovers what they do in a game, it's staggering what they do," Pinkel said. "We created all those."
The Tigers know Baylor has yet to win a game in conference play, so they know Baylor will be hungry for that first win when they come to Columbia.
"We know that those guys are definitely looking for a big time win," Weatherspoon said. "We know we're going to get their A game. We've been pretty much getting everyone's "A" game so we're excited for the opportunity."
Two Missouri Tigers will be going under the knife on Friday. Walk-on Gabe McCrary is going to have surgery on his ACL and Luke Lambert is going to have surgery on his labrum tear. Lambert is expected to be out for the season. Munir Prince, who's had a hamstring injury for a while, will try to play Saturday and Jayson Palmgren, who's got a sprained ankle, is probable for Saturday's game.
After the Tigers host Baylor Saturday, they will pay a visit to Manhattan, KS for a date with Kansas State on November 14. It was announced Monday that the game will be at 11:30 a.m and will be televised on Versus.