Tiger Time

It’s time for a Missouri/Arkansas Cotton Bowl blog. This is going to be a tough game for the defenses. It’s actually 12:30, and I’m watching the game in TiVo. I prefer to skip the commercials.

Arkansas is going to try a lot of screens and a ton of McFadden. They started with that little slip screen to Felix Jones who got a first down. A backwards pass to Peyton Hillis didn’t work. Arkansas got the first down. McFadden is all legs. He seems to start at full speed. I’m not sure if has any meat on those bones.

Third and 2. Felix Jones gets it. Holding Arkansas to field goals would be a good idea. Missouri’s putting nine in the box and the Razorbacks are throwing more than I thought they would.

Arkansas’ running game is doing in the first quarter what Oklahoma did in the fourth.

Um, why isn’t Bobby Petrino coaching this game? There has been no mention of him during the entire game. He took the job at least three weeks ago.

Pat Summerall and Brian Baldinger are the announcers. They obviously haven’t worked together but it’s a professional pairing.

Missouri stops McFadden on third down. The draw isn’t going to work, especially when McFadden ran into his fullback. Field goal is no good. That’s huge.

When Missouri runs the spread, they aren’t kidding. They start with the one running play to Temple for nine. It seems like Missouri’s shotgun is deeper than most. He’s a good seven yards behind the line of scrimmage. Rucker gets the first catch. I wonder how high he’ll go in the draft next year.

Quick sideline topic: Most experts, or trolls on the footballguys.com message board, think that the Chargers are going to roll the Titans. The Chargers are very similar to the Titans, other than having the best running back in the league. If Philip Rivers is solid, it’s going to be a tough game.

Rucker’s catch was overturned. On the following play Arkansas blitzed on the run. It’s pretty easy to sneak guys through those splits. That’s not good. It’s third and long, and time for the first timeout. Daniel scrambles and completes the pass just short of the first down. If it’s fourth and short, go for it. Late in last night’s Chik fil A Bowl, Clemson refused to go for fourth and one in the fourth quarter. Yep, they lost. Missouri punts, because you give raises for guys who don’t go for it.

Casey Dick (his real name) nearly threw one right to Missouri for a TD. It’s time for the Wild Hog formation. Missouri gets called for roughing the passer on third down. McFadden fumbles but Arkansas recovers. Jones is short on third down and it’s probably punt time.

One more thing about the Chargers/Titans game: Can I ask for more than two cameras at that game? There were more cameras at the Immaculate Reception game than there were at the Titans/Chargers game last month. I still think that Chris Chambers didn’t make that fourth down catch.

So far the game is looking like Missouri/Kansas. Two strong offenses finding their rhythm. One upside to this game is it might help with recruiting. Getting those three-star Texas recruits is giant.

Chase is hitting some good passes so far. Touchdown Tony Temple. Good times.

It’s funny how Temple directed players to block downfield and they did. When Vince Young directed his players to block for him Sunday night, it was whiff city.

Felix Jones has a nice kick return. If he comes back next year, he might have a Barry Sanders-esque senior season.

Marcus Monk is a giant. I wonder how he’ll do in the draft. Arkansas punts from the 35 on fourth and short. That’s a nice fake punt. Little reverse to the short fast dude. Arkansas called a timeout before the play. Excellent. A fake punt is rarely good the second time. Missouri stops them.

Temple had a hole five yards wide and gained about thirty yards. After one quarter it’s 7-0. I’m not going to get too excited since Missouri blew a 14-point lead last year.

Temple got crushed on the first play of the second quarter. He kept going backward. Daniel had 15 seconds to throw but he couldn’t find anyone.

McFadden literally is at top speed in one step. He’s crazy fast.

I wonder if Peyton Hillis will be this year’s Brian Leonard. He’s more of an H-back since Jones and McFadden are super studs.

Arkansas will punt again. Maclin hasn’t been part of the gameplan so far. Maclin trips on his own shoelaces. Penalty on the Tigers.

Temple is having a giant game. He was awesome in last year’s bowl game. Daniel held the ball and got crushed. He isn’t a speed demon. Daniel scrambles twenty yards back and throws a moon ball out of bounds. It’s third and long. The passing game is not working well so far. He threw the ball out of bounds, but short of the line of scrimmage. There’s no consistency to the offense so far.

Missouri gets the sack and Arkansas doesn’t take advantage of field position. Missouri needs points.

Temple gets another giant hole and gets twenty yards. He has 100 already. Maclin shows his speed and gets seven on an end around. Temple is out for a play and gets another 35 yards. He’s outgaining McFadden and Jones. Temple scores. He’s killing the Hogs. He has 147 yards, and about 120 of them are before contact.

McFadden returns a kickoff into Tiger territory. Arkansas tries to pass and it does not go well. They miss another field goal.

Missouri does nothing and Arkansas is going to try the run-only two-minute offense. Oops, Marcus Monk catches one. There’s a Titans two-minute play, the four-yard pass to the middle of the field.

Missouri sacks Dick with 20 seconds left and Pinkel, showing his sleepy nature, doesn’t call a timeout that would have given Maclin a punt-return opportunity. Still, a 14-0 lead is pretty solid at the end of the first half.

It’s a long halftime show that allows me to catch up on TiVo. I haven’t seen Jeanie Zelasko since she was in the White Sox locker room after the 2005 World Series.

Arkansas tried an onside kick. Somehow there wasn’t a good angle of the play. This high-up angle is not working. It’s a little too far from the action.

I expect to see a lot of passing as Arkansas adjusts to stop the run. I write this and then Temple takes the ball almost all the way. Maclin gets a first down. Oops, he was short. Temple scores again. He has 185 rushing yards so far. I’m so winning my third-place game in the college league.

Dick hits a wide open guy who falls down after catching the ball. The Hogs having to pass makes me feel pretty relaxed.

Daniel throws a deep pass and Franklin caught it out of bounds. Temple gets “only” six yards. I don’t know if he’s going to catch Dicky Meagle for the all-time bowl record. It’s fourth down and punt time.

Missouri had a similar lead against Kansas so I’m not comfortable yet. Arkansas is obviously one QB short of being an elite team.

Felix Jones made a nice run off a screen pass but the ball was stripped. Missouri takes over.

Missouri-Arkansas would be a good rivalry game for out of conference play, but it’s not going to happen. Temple gets another 15 yards. He’s over 200 yards and it’s not midway through the third quarter. He takes the ball again and fumbles. Maybe they should bench him.

They just can’t put the Hogs away. If Arkansas can keep the ball on the ground, they could bite into this lead. Dick air-mails it to William Moore and it’s a touchdown. 28-0. Watch Kansas get crushed in the Orange Bowl.

It’s 7:16 to go in the third quarter and they finally mention Bobby Petrino. I guess he couldn’t install his offense in three weeks. Whatever, dude.

Arkansas keeps rolling close to their first score. It’s third and goal. They have a lot of fast running backs. McFadden goes down. Pinkel would kick the field goal. McFadden scores and smartly doesn’t celebrate.

Missouri gets the ball back. Daniel makes a nice completion on third down. Temple gets another big gain. Daniel gets sacked (first time all game). William Franklin catches another third down pass. How do you let someone get a third and 16? How about a blitz?

Daniel throws the ball right to the Arkansas guy and he fumbles it on the return. That was a bad throw.

Bobby Petrino is in the house. What a lame-o. Arkansas has a run-based team and Petrino is going to install the spread. It sounds a lot like the philosophy with the Falcons. He wanted to completely change the offense and quit before one year was up. There were some weird silences with Petrino there. I still don’t get why he isn’t coaching or at least on the sideline.

Jimmy Jackson is getting some carries later in the game. Daniel gets a nice QB draw for a first down.

Derrick Washington gets his first carry and it’s a fumble. I don’t think the Tigers are going to score again today.

Hillis fumbles and Missouri recovers. This is turning into a turnover-fest. Franklin drops an easy pass. Missouri punts and the Arkansas guy tries to catch a punt over his head at the five yard line. Fumble, first down Tigers.

Give Temple the freaking ball. Missouri does not and it’s field goal time. Temple needs 26 yards to set the Cotton Bowl record. Missouri doesn’t have too many bowl records, I wager.

I’m sorry that I gave up on Prison Break. Every other year they break out of prison, and on the other year they get back in.

Temple gets the record and his fourth TD. Has Arkansas given up?

It’s time for some garbage points. Tony Temple may end up as a fifth round pick in next year’s draft. Heck, Darren McFadden isn’t even playing anymore.

On fourth down, Dick threw a ball to a wide open guy. Missouri gets the hit and it’s over.

Wow, Daniel has 137 passing yards. That’s almost shocking. I guess I need to look up Cotton Bowl champs gear online. This was the most impressive Tiger game of the year. Senior Marcus Woods gets the last carry.

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