Independence Bowl Game Notes

Dec. 24, 2005

Missouri Tigers (6-5) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (7-4)
2005 Independence Bowl
Independence Stadium - Dec. 30, 2005 - Shreveport, La.

KICKOFF: 2:30 p.m. (central time).
STADIUM: Independence Stadium (50,015). Artificial Surface.
RADIO: Tiger Network (Mike Kelly, play-by-play/John Kadlec, color). Carried on 55 stations statewide, and on the Internet at TV: ESPN. Sean McDonough will call the action, along with analysts Mike Gottfried and Craig James. Alex Flanagan will report from the sidelines. RANKINGS (AP/ESPN-USA): MU - None/None; USC- RV/RV.
SERIES: MU leads, 1-0, with the only previous meeting coming in the 1979 Hall of Fame Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., where MU won, 24-14. COACHES:
Mizzou: Gary Pinkel (Kent, '73), 28-30 at MU (5th year) and 101-67-3 overall (15th year). Pinkel is 0-0 against Steve Spurrier and South Carolina. Pinkel is 1-1 in bowl games as a head coach.
South Carolina: Steve Spurrier (Florida, '66), 7-4 at USC (1st year) and 149-44-2 overall (16th year). Spurrier is 0-0 against Gary Pinkel and Mizzou. Spurrier is 6-6 in bowl games as a head coach.

Date MU Rank Opponent (AP/Coaches Rank) TV Time/Result Quick Facts
Sept. 3 -/- vs. Arkansas State (@KC) - W, 44-17 Brad Smith has 412 yds. of tot. off. & career-high 4 TD passes in win
Sept. 10 -/RV New Mexico - L, 45-35 Lobos score game's last 10 points in final 5 minutes to get win
Sept. 17 -/- Troy - W, 52-21 Special teams star with 73-yd. PR for TD, blocked punt & 3-of-3 FGs
Oct. 1 -/- Texas (2/2) ABC L, 51-20 3 1st-half MU turnovers led to 21 UT points as Texas cruises to win
Oct. 8 -/- at Oklahoma State - W, 38-31 Tigers get 549-yd. total offense day and hold on for road win
Oct. 15 -/- s Iowa State - W, 27-24 (OT) MU comes back to win after trailing by 10 with 9 minutes left
Oct. 22 -/- Nebraska FSN W, 41-24 Brad Smith has 480 yds. of tot. off/Def. holds NU to -2 yds. rushing
Oct. 29 RV/RV at Kansas - L, 13-3 MU offense held to season-low 180 yards in total offense
Nov. 5 -/- at Colorado (25/24) ABC L, 41-12 Buffs 17-0 2nd-quarter surge proves too much to overcome
Nov. 12 -/- Baylor - W, 31-16 MU defense scores once (INT return) & gets 5 QB sacks in win
Nov. 19 -/- at Kansas State - L, 36-28 KSU scores game's final 22 points to post comeback win
Dec. 30 -/- vs. South Carolina ESPN 2:30 p.m. Only other meeting was 1979 Hall of Fame Bowl (MU won, 24-14)



For the 2nd time in 3 seasons under Head Coach Gary Pinkel, Mizzou is playing in a post-season bowl game.
Mizzou, which went 6-5 overall, and 4-4 in the Big 12 Conference (North Division), will take on the South Carolina Gamecocks (7-4 overall, 5-3 in the SEC East) in the Independence Bowl, set for Friday, December 30th at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Each school tied for 2nd place in their respective divisions. Mizzou was picked to finish 4th in the Big 12 North this season, according to the pre-season Associated Press poll.
The post-season feat is no small accomplishment for Mizzou, as the bowl appearance will mark only the 4th for the Tiger program since 1983.
Mizzou's last bowl game also came at the Independence Bowl, but the Tigers hope to produce a better end result this time, as MU lost to Arkansas in the 2003 MainStay Independence Bowl by a 27-14 score.
Mizzou and South Carolina have met only once previously, with the Tigers claiming a 24-14 victory in the 1979 Hall of Fame Bowl, played in Birmingham, Ala.

Seventeen seniors will suit up for the final time in Mizzou uniforms, when the Tigers play South Carolina on Dec. 30th in the 2005 Independence Bowl. It seems like just yesterday that a relatively unknown redshirt freshman by the name of Brad Smith drove Mizzou on a TD drive covering 77 yards in the opening possession of 2002, as MU defeated defending Big Ten champ Illinois. Since then, the senior class has helped build the Tiger program bit by bit, and there is no question that they will have left it in better shape than it was when they came here.
J - This senior class was the 1st one to sign with Gary Pinkel and his staff. The group was put together in a short amount of time, as Pinkel came on board in December of 2000, just 2 months prior to the February signing period... J - This senior class helped guide the Tigers to 2 bowl games in 3 years, and a total of 25 wins from 2002-05, entering the Independence Bowl...
J - The class played a significant role in many great wins, but none more high profile than the pair of victories over Nebraska, in 2003 and 2005. Up until the win in 2003, Mizzou had lost 24 straight games to the Huskers, with MU's last win coming in 1978. This group helped give MU consecutive home wins over Nebraska for the 1st time since 1967 and 1969... J - Of the 17-member senior class, 16 of them have either already graduated, or will get their degree this December, or in May of 2006. Three of them (QB Brad Smith, DL Scott Wheatley and DL Elgin Childress) graduated last May and are taking graduate-level work currently. Six more - WR Arnold Britt, DL Zach Kauflin, LB Derrick Ming, OL Tony Palmer, S Quincy Wade and CB Calvin Washington - got their degree in December.
J - This class displayed unwavering leadership in the face of the tragic death of linebacker Aaron O'Neal this past July. See elsewhere in these notes for more details.

The Missouri Tigers opened the 2005 season looking to make amends for the disappointing 2004 season, in which Mizzou went 5-6, after an 8-5 season in 2003. Head Coach Gary Pinkel knew he had good talent to work with in 2005, but that it still was a young team overall.
Mizzou returned only 11 starters from the 2004 team, which included 7 starters on offense, 3 on defense and 1 kicker. This youthful squad was picked to finish 4th in the Big 12 North Division in 2005 by league writers, but the Tigers eventually won 6 games, including 4 in Big 12 play, to finish tied for 2nd in the division. By virtue of wins over Nebraska and Iowa State, the Tigers would win the tiebreaker to finish alone in 2nd.
While there is still 60 minutes of a bowl game to be played in 2005, it is fun to look ahead to 2006 and see what returns for Mizzou. That look provides warm and fuzzy feelings for Tiger fans, as the following facts indicate...
J - Mizzou is in line to return as many as 15 starters in 2006, including 8 on offense, and 7 on defense. That number goes up to 17 when factoring in the positions of placekicker and punter, meaning the Tigers will return a starter at 17-of-24 positions in 2006... J - On the latest 2-deep depth chart, there are 50 players listed on offense, defense and at placekicker and punter. Of those 50 players, Mizzou stands to return 40 of them in 2006, meaning that 80% of MU's current 2-deep will be back next year... J - Of those 40 returnees on the current 2-deep, 25 of them are either freshmen or sophomores this season. The breakdown includes 15 freshmen, 10 sophomores and 15 juniors currently...
J - Broken down further, the Tiger offense will return in 2006 19-of-23 players currently listed on the 2-deep. The Tiger defense will return 17-of-23 players, while placekicker and punter spots will return 4-of-4 currently listed...
Now, that is not to say, of course, that there won't be big shoes to fill with the departure of the 2005 senior class. Record breakers like QB Brad Smith and Sean Coffey, and all-league performers such as OG Tony Palmer and FS Jason Simpson will be missed sorely. But the cupboard certainly doesn't appear to be bare, which points to a bright future at Mizzou.

For universities that reside in towns of identical names (Columbia, Mo. and Columbia, S.C.), Mizzou and South Carolina have hardly any history together in the sport of football.
As mentioned previously, Mizzou and South Carolina will be playing for only the 2nd time when they battle in Shreveport in the 2005 Independence Bowl.
Sure enough, that one previous matchup also came in a bowl game, and it was the Columbia, Mo. school that came out on top, as the Tigers claimed a 24-14 win over the Gamecocks in the 1979 Hall of Fame Bowl, played in Birmingham, Ala. In that game - which was the 2nd of a string of 4 consecutive years of bowl games for Mizzou - the Tigers used a strong ground attack and an explosive 2nd quarter as keys to the big win.
After falling behind early, 6-0, QB Phil Bradley engineered three scoring drives in the 2nd quarter, as the Tigers jumped out to a 17-6 lead, and never trailed again. The first drive ended in a 22-yard field goal by PK Ron Verilli. The next two resulted in TDs by Bradley, the first a 28-yard pass, and the second a 1-yard keeper which gave MU a 17-6 edge at the half. After USC closed to 17-14 in the third quarter, MU's Gerry Ellis ran 12 yards for a score, as Mizzou answered to take a 24-14 lead. That score held up, as the 4th quarter was a scoreless stalemate.
Ellis had 81 yards on 12 carries and TB James Wilder added 95 yards on 24 attempts. Bradley led an offense which controlled the ball by rushing for 209 yards, and he completed 7-of-11 passes for 72 yards and the 1 score.
South Carolina was paced by TB George Rogers, who ran for 133 yards. Rogers would go on to win the Heisman Trophy in 1980.

Here's hoping that history repeats itself for Mizzou this bowl season - in 25 previous matchups with teams currently in the SEC, MU stands 16-8-1 alltime.
Mizzou also has a stellar record in bowl games versus the SEC, as the Tigers stand 5-2 alltime in bowl games versus the league. Mizzou had won 5 straight over SEC teams in bowl games dating from the 1965 Sugar Bowl (20-18 over Florida) through the 1979 Hall of Fame Bowl (24-14 over South Carolina), before having that streak broken in 2003 Independence bowl, losing 27-14 to Arkansas. Here's a look at those games:
J - 1959 Orange - Georgia 14, Mizzou 0
J - 1965 Sugar - Mizzou 20, Florida 18
J - 1968 Gator - Mizzou 35, Alabama 10
J - 1973 Sun - Mizzou 34, Auburn 17
J - 1978 Liberty - Mizzou 20, LSU 15
J - 1979 Hall of Fame - Mizzou 24, S. Carolina 14
J - 2003 Independence - Arkansas 27, Mizzou 14

While the statistical edge in most categories between Mizzou and South Carolina could be debated, the one fact that rings clear is that the Tigers have a decided edge in post-season experience.
South Carolina's last bowl game came in the 2001 season (Outback Bowl), while the Tigers last played in the 2003 Independence Bowl. Sixteen players on Mizzou's roster for the 2005 game saw the field in 2003, giving the Tigers a big edge in experience. Included in that total is 7 starters (4 offense, 3 defense) and 9 reserves (1 offense, 8 defense).
QB Brad Smith had 251 yards of offense in the Tigers' 27-14 loss to Arkansas in 2003, as he threw for 155 yards (17-of-30 passing with 1 INT), and ran for 96 more (1 TD). WR Sean Coffey caught 4 passes for 68 yards in that game. Other offensive starters in the 2003 game that return in 2005 for Mizzou include OG Tony Palmer and WR Brad Ekwerekwu.
Defensively, the 3 starters in 2003 that return for Mizzou include DE Xzavie Jackson, LB Dedrick Harrington and SS David Overstreet. In 2003, Jackson had 5 tackles, while Harrington and Overstreet had 2 stops apiece. Current senior FS Jason Simpson came off the bench in the 2003 game, and registered 8 tackles. Other current Tiger defenders who played in the 2003 game include CB Calvin Washington (4 tackles in 2003), S Quincy Wade (2), DE Brian Smith (2), CB A.J. Kincade (2 tackles and 2 PBU), and LB Marcus Bacon (1).

While it's not fun taking a look back at losses, it is interesting to recall what took place in previous games, so we'll delve back a couple of years to rehash the 2003 MainStay Independence Bowl, which saw the Arkansas Razorbacks improve to 9-4 by defeating Mizzou (which fell to 8-5) by a 27-14 score.
The matchup featured two punishing rushing offenses that had dual-purpose QBs, in Mizzou's Brad Smith and Arkansas' Matt Jones. The game was back-and-forth early on, as MU held a 7-6 lead midway through the 2nd quarter. Then disaster struck, when a punt snap went high over the head of MU punter Brock Harvey, and Arkansas recovered on the MU 3-yardline. The Razorbacks punched it in and had momentum on their side, as they would score once more before the half to hold a 21-7 lead.
Arkansas drew first blood in the 2nd half with a short field goal to push the lead to 24-7, before MU could answer on a TD run by Smith to make it 24-14. But MU would get no closer, as Arkansas got a record 4th field goal from PK Chris Balseiro to account for the final score.
Mizzou outgained Arkansas on the night, 407-to-385 in total yards, and the Tiger defense held the Razorbacks to just 4-of-14 on 3rd downs. But Mizzou, which led the nation in fewest turnovers lost on the year (10 in 12 games), uncharacteristically turned it over 3 times - miscues which led to 11 Razorback points. The Tigers, in turn, could not force a single Arkansas turnover. The Razorbacks rushed for an Independence Bowl-record 300 yards, and the Tiger offense was stymied 4 times on 4th down attempts (MU went 2-of-6 overall on 4th down), including twice inside the Arkansas 13-yardline, as it missed out on numerous scoring opportunities. Amazingly, the Tigers managed only 13 points, despite the fact that 8 of their 10 possessions reached Arkansas territory.

Mizzou's ground attack, neutralized late in the season in consecutive weeks by stout defenses of Kansas and Colorado, got back on track in the final 2 games of the season.
In game No. 10, a 31-16 win over Baylor, the Tigers rushed for 298 yards and 3 TDs on 50 carries, averaging just under 6 yards per attempt. Mizzou followed that with a respectable 178-yard, 1 TD day at Kansas State to close the regular season.
On Oct. 22nd, Mizzou gouged the nation's top-ranked rushing defense for 277 yards and 4 TDs on the ground, in MU's 41-24 dismantling of Nebraska. The Huskers brought into the game the nation's #1-ranked rushing defense, allowing just 65.0 yards per game coming in. After that game, however, stellar defenses of Kansas and Colorado contained the Tiger ground attack. The Jayhawks held MU to a season-low 33 yards on the ground as KU upset the Tigers, 13-3, breaking MU's 3-game winning streak. KU entered the game with the nation's 2nd-ranked rushing defense, allowing just 74.7 yards per contest.
The next week marked the 3rd-straight week that MU had faced a top-5 ranked rushing defense, as Colorado carried the nation's #4-ranked rushing defense into the game, allowing just 84.3 yards per game. Mizzou entered the game ranking 17th nationally in rushing, averaging 215.63 yards per contest.
The Buffs contained Mizzou on the ground just as effectively as the Jayhawks, as MU managed just 59 yards on the day, on 30 attempts (a 2.0 average per attempt). The Buffs kept MU out of the endzone on the ground for the second straight week. In its first 7 games of the year, MU had 16 rushes of 20 yards or more. In MU's back-to-back losses, the Tigers had zero plays of that length, with the longest run coming in at just 11 yards against Kansas.
Versus Baylor, Mizzou had 3 rushing plays of 20 yards or more, as Brad Smith had a pair of 56-yard TD runs, and TB Tony Temple added a 35-yarder on the day..
Here's a quick look at the last 5 games and what has transpired in the ground game...
Opp. Opp. Rush Def. Rank (Avg.) MU Rush Yards MU Rush TDs
Nebraska 1st (65.00 ypg) 277 4
Kansas 2nd (74.71 ypg) 33 0
Colorado 4th (84.38 ypg) 59 0
Baylor 73rd (154.56 ypg) 298 3
Kansas State 30th (124.00 ypg) 178 1

Overtime has become old hat around Mizzou. Since the rule was put into effect for the 1996 season, Mizzou has played the most overtime games in NCAA history, with 11 through games of Dec. 3rd, 2005. With MU's 27-24 OT win Oct. 22nd versus Iowa State, the Tigers improved to 8-3 alltime in overtime games, a win total which also is most in the NCAA.
The Tigers have won their last 4 OT affairs, winning 1 OT game in each of the last 4 seasons. MU's last OT loss came in 2002. Mizzou went 1-1 in 2002 in overtime affairs, dropping a tough 42-35 home overtime game to #18 Colorado and the very next week winning a 33-27 double overtime thriller at Texas A&M, the week after A&M beat #1-ranked Oklahoma on the same field. Mizzou made some history with its consecutive overtime games - that marked the first time in NCAA history that a Div. I-A team played overtime games in consecutive weeks.
Here's a quick glance at MU's overtime history:
Year Opponent (Rank) Result #OTs
1996 Oklahoma State W, 35-28 OT
1996 at Baylor W, 49-42 3-OT
1997 at Oklahoma State (12) W, 51-50 2-OT
1997 Nebraska (1) L, 45-38 OT
1999 at Colorado L, 46-39 OT
2001 at Oklahoma State W, 41-38 3-OT
2002 Colorado (18) L, 42-35 OT
2002 at Texas A&M W, 33-27 2-OT
2003 Middle Tennessee State W, 41-40 OT
2004 at Iowa State W, 17-14 OT
2005 Iowa State W, 27-24 OT
Interestingly, MU Head Coach Gary Pinkel won the very first overtime game played in Division I history when his Toledo Rockets beat Nevada, 40-37, in the 1995 Las Vegas Bowl. The overtime rule was put into effect for that bowl season, and has been in use ever since.
Pinkel is now 7-1 alltime in his career in overtime games, including 5-1 at Mizzou.

History shows that MU Head Coach Gary Pinkel has fared pretty well in bowl games as a coach. Pinkel carries a 9-4 coaching record in bowl games into MU's matchup with South Carolina in the 2005 Independence Bowl.
Pinkel is 1-1 as a head coach in bowl games, after his Mizzou Tigers were defeated by Arkansas in the 2003 Independence Bowl, 27-14. As head coach at Toledo, Pinkel's Rockets beat Nevada in the 1995 Las Vegas Bowl, 40-37 in overtime. That game was the first-ever overtime game played under the current overtime rules.
As a top assistant coach under the legendary Don James at Washington, Pinkel coached in 11 bowl games in 12 years, from 1979-90, and the Huskies went a solid 8-3 in those outings.
Here's a recap of Pinkel's bowl game coaching experience:
Season School Position Bowl Opponent Result
1979 Washington Asst. Coach Sun Texas W, 14-7
1980 Washington Asst. Coach Rose Michigan L, 23-6
1981 Washington Asst. Coach Rose Iowa W, 28-0
1982 Washington Asst. Coach Aloha Maryland W, 21-20
1983 Washington Asst. Coach Aloha Penn State L, 13-10
1984 Washington Asst. Coach Orange Oklahoma W, 28-17
1985 Washington Asst. Coach Freedom Colorado W, 20-17
1986 Washington Asst. Coach Sun Alabama L, 28-6
1987 Washington Asst. Coach Independence Tulane W, 24-12
1989 Washington Asst. Coach Freedom Florida W, 34-7
1990 Washington Asst. Coach Rose Iowa W, 46-34
1995 Toledo Head Coach Las Vegas Nevada W, 40-37 (OT)
2003 Missouri Head Coach Independence Arkansas L, 27-14

With each game, graduate QB Brad Smith seems to establish record after record.
One of the more significant marks that he has established has to do with the fact that he has become the 1st player in Division I-A history to throw for 8,000 yards and rush for 4,000 yards in a career. He was also the first to ever reach the 8,000/3,000 standard, and just the 3rd alltime to join the 7,000/3,000 club.
Smith entered the Baylor game with 8,197 passing yards and 3,907 rushing yards for his career. In leading MU to the 31-16 win on Nov. 12th, he amassed another 161 rushing yards (3 TDs) to bump his career total to 4,068 yards (already an NCAA D-IA career record for QBs). He added 72 yards passing, which increased his MU-record total to 8,269 yards.
With 95 rushing yards Sept. 3rd against Arkansas State, Brad Smith passed the 3,000-yard plateau for his career. That put MU's signal caller in rarified air from a national perspective, as he became only the 3rd player in NCAA Div. I-A history to achieve at least 6,000 yards passing and 3,000 yards rushing. In fact, only 4 others altogether have ever achieved the 3,000/3,000 feat. Here's a look at those who have 7,000/3,000 for their careers:
Player (School) Years Passing Rushing
Brad Smith (Mizzou) 2002-Present 8,517 4,139
Antwaan Randle-El (Indiana) 1998-2001 7,469 3,895
Joshua Cribbs (Kent State) 2001--04 7,169 3,670

Brad Smith enters his final game as a Tiger with season totals of 2,022 yards passing (12 TDs) and a Big 12-best 1,151 yards rushing (13 TDs). He broke the 2,000-yard passing plateau with a 248-yard passing day at Kansas State in the regular-season finale. That marked only the 3rd time in NCAA Div. I-A history that a player has recorded 2,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a season - and Smith has done it two of those 3 times. As a redshirt freshman in 2002, he threw for 2,333 yards and ran for 1,029 yards. With 3,173 yards of total offense this season, Smith has become only the 6th player in D-IA history to reach 3,000 yards in 3 different seasons. The others he joined in that exclusive club include Ty Detmer of BYU; Chad Pennington of Marshall; Tim Rattay of Louisiana Tech; Kliff Kingsbury of Texas Tech and Timmy Chang of Hawaii.
Smith has already become only the 3rd player in NCAA Div. I-A history to have 4 seasons of at least 2,500 yards of total offense (Antwaan Randle El of Indiana and Chang of Hawaii).

As touted previously, QB Brad Smith needed just 5 rushing yards entering MU's game Nov. 12th at Colorado to break the NCAA career rushing record for quarterbacks. The Buff defense held Smith in check certainly, but Smith still managed to break the record, as he totaled 16 yards on the day on the ground, to secure his place in the NCAA record books.
Smith entered the CU game with 3,891 rushing yards, just 4 shy of the record of 3,895 set by Indiana's Antwaan Randle-El (1998-2001). With a 4-yard scramble at the 5:20 mark of the 1st quarter, Smith broke the record, pushing his career total at the time to 3,895 yards. He lost 14 yards on a QB sack early in the 2nd quarter, which put him under the rushing record, but he later regained the mark with a 3-yard gain with 1:50 left in the quarter to push his career total back to 3,897. He enters Mizzou's bowl game with the NCAA Division I-A record of 4,139 yards.
J - Another major milestone fell recently, as Smith broke the Big 12 career record for total offense. He entered his final home game at Mizzou standing just 160 yards away from the record of 12,263 by Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury (1999-2002). He got the record with a 4-yard pass to freshman TE Chase Coffman in the 4th quarter...
Smith broke the Big 12 career record for rushing yards by a QB during a 184-yard rushing game at Oklahoma State, breaking the old Big 12 record of 3,434 by Nebraska's Eric Crouch (1998-2001) on an 11-yard keeper in the 2nd quarter against Oklahoma State.
Smith's rushing total of 1,406 yards during the 2003 season was the 4th-most ever in a season by a quarterback, behind only Beau Morgan of Air Force (1,494 in 1996), Stacey Robinson of Northern Illinois (1,443 in 1989) and Jamaal Lord of Nebraska (1,412 in 2002). Here's a condensed look at the NCAA chart for QB career rushing yards...

Player, Team Years Yards Player, Team Years Yards
1.Brad Smith, Mizzou '02-05 4,139 6.Eric Crouch, Nebraska '98-01 3,434
2.Antwaan Randle El, Indiana '98-01 3,895 7.Chris McCoy, Navy '95-97 3,401
3.Joshua Cribbs, Kent St. '01-04 3,670 8.Beau Morgan, Air Force '94-96 3,379
4.Dee Dowis, Air Force '86-89 3,612 9.Brian Mitchell, La.-Lafay. '86-89 3,335
5.Kareem Wilson, Ohio '95-98 3,597 10.Fred Solomon, Tampa '71-74 3,299
J - Smith enters the Independence Bowl ranked 5th in NCAA D-I history in total offense (12,656), and he needs only 76 more to move into 4th alltime...

Here's an abridged look at the NCAA chart for career total offense...
Player, Team Years Yards Player, Team Years Yards
1.Timmy Chang, Hawaii '00-04 16,910 11.David Neill, Nevada '98-01 11,664
2.Ty Detmer, BYU '88-91 14,665 12.Gino Guidugli, Cincinnati '01-04 11,661
3.Philip Rivers, N.C. State '00-03 13,582 13.Charlie Frye, Akron '01-04 11,478
4.Luke McCown, La. Tech '00-03 12,731 14.Antwaan Randle El, Indiana '98-01 11,364
5.Brad Smith, Mizzou '02-05 12,656 15.Doug Flutie, Boston College '81-84 11,317
6.Tim Rattay, La. Tech '97-99 12,618 16.David Greene, Georgia '01-04 11,270
7.Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech '99-02 12,263 17.Carson Palmer, USC '98-02 11,093
8.Chris Redman, Louisville '96-99 12,129 18.Tim Lester, Western Michigan '96-99 11,081
9.Byron Leftwich, Marshall '98-02 12,084 19.Ben Roethlisberger, Miami, Oh. '01-03 11,075
10.Drew Brees, Purdue '97-00 11,815 20.Peyton Manning, Tennessee '94-97 11,020

In his penultimate performance on MU's Faurot Field, QB Brad Smith turned in one of the more memorable single-game performances in MU history as he led the Tigers to a scintillating 41-24 win over Nebraska on Oct. 22nd.
Smith had a school-record 480 yards of total offense (246 rushing / 234 passing) and was responsible for 4 TDs on the day (3 rushing / 1 passing) as the Tigers pulled away for the win. Smith became the first player in NCAA Div. I-A history to throw and rush for 230 yards in a game. He was named National Offensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, and by several other national media outlets. Smith was also named as the SBC Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the 2nd time this season and the 6th time in his career.
Here's a little (okay, it's actually quite a lot) more detail on Smith's exploits against Nebraska, just in case you hadn't heard enough about them...
J - Broke the MU single-game record with 480 yards of total offense in a scintillating performance as he led Mizzou to a 41-24 win. Completed 21-of-36 passes for 234 yards and 1 TD and also ran 28 times for a season-best 246 yards and 3 TDs. Had one INT that was a meaningless hail-mary pass on the last play of the 2nd quarter...
J - Smith became the first player in Division I-A history to throw and rush for 230 yards in a game, and became only the 6th player alltime to amass both 200 yards passing and rushing in a single game (Texas' Vince Young became the 7th the next week at Oklahoma State). See accompanying chart for details.
J - His performance came against a Nebraska defense that entered the game ranked 1st in the nation in rushing defense, allowing just 65.0 yards per game coming in. The Husker defense was also allowing only 289.17 yards of total offense per game coming in, which ranked them 12th overall nationally. Smith led MU to 523 yards of total offense on the day...
J - Smith averaged 8.8 yards per rush against a Husker defense that came in allowing just 1.9 yards per carry to opponents...
J - Smith broke the MU single-game total offense record of 471 yards, set by Jeff Handy vs. Oklahoma State in 1991. He also broke the MU career record for all-purpose yardage, breaking the old mark of 3,824 set by former All-American TB Devin West (1995-98). He enters Saturday's game against Kansas State with an MU-record 4,198 all-purpose yards in 46 career games...
J - Smith accounted for 6 plays of 20 yards or more on the day, with rushes of 79 (TD), 53 and 45 (TD) yards and passes of 50, 37 and 22 yards against the Husker defense. His 79-yard TD run in the 1st quarter was a career-long for Smith, and was also the longest scoring run by a Tiger since Corby Jones scored from 80 yards out against Kansas in 1996...
J - Smith's rushing total of 246 yards was the 2nd-most ever against Nebraska, and was just one yard shy of the record of 247 set by former Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims in 1979...
Here's a quick listing of the 200/200 club that Smith joined with his day against Nebraska...
Year Player, School Opponent Pass. Yds. Rush Yds.
2005 Brad Smith, Mizzou Nebraska 234 246
2005 Vince Young, Texas Oklahoma State 239 267
2000 Antwaan Randle El, Indiana Minnesota 263 210
1999 Marques Tuiasosopo, Washington Stanford 302 207
1987 Brian Mitchell, La.-Lafayette Colorado State 205 271
1986 Steve Gage, Tulsa New Mexico 209 212
1950 Reds Bagnell, Pennsylvania Dartmouth 276 214

In the same week that University of Missouri graduate quarterback Brad Smith earned national player of the week honors for his performance against Nebraska, he also earned one of the most prestigious academic distinctions, as well. Smith was named on Oct. 25th to the 2005 National Scholar-Athlete Class as announced today by the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. He is one of eight Division I-A players (16 in all divisions) to earn the distinction, which earns him an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship.
Smith was also one of 16 finalists for the Draddy Trophy, which is considered to be the "Academic Heisman." Smith was selected from a pool of 184 nominees nationwide.
Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.
Selected by the NFF Awards Committee, the 16 National Scholar-Athlete Award recipients were honored at the 48th NFF Awards Dinner on December 6 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Each will receive an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship.
Established to honor former NFF Chairman Vincent DePaul Draddy, a Manhattan College quarterback who developed the Izod and Lacoste brands, the award comes with a stunning 24-inch, 25-pound bronze trophy and increases the recipient's scholarship to a total of $25,000.
Smith is the 10th Tiger football player to win the NFF's scholar-athlete award. He joins former Tigers Rob Droege (2003), Corby Jones (1998), Mike Bedosky (1993), Kent Kiefer (1990), Van Darkow (1981), Chris Garlich (1978), Bill Powell (1966), David Gill (1963) and Fred Brossart (1960) with that distinction.
A Business Administration major, Smith is two-time member of the Big-12 Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll. He graduated last May and is currently working toward a graduate degree in Economics at Mizzou.
Smith volunteers with the Mike Jones Football Clinic, Chancellor's Lunch, Big Brothers and Big Sisters Bowl for Kids Sake, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Food Drive, Truman Club and Athletes-in-Action, among many other activities.

MU's game vs. New Mexico was bittersweet for the Tigers, because despite the loss, they witnessed history not once, but twice, in the third quarter, as QB Brad Smith broke two major school career records.
First up on the hit list was the MU career passing yardage record of 6,959 by Jeff Handy (1991-94). Smith entered the game against New Mexico with 6,812 yards, just 148 yards from the record. He got that total by early in the 3rd quarter, and the record fell on a 7-yard pass to TB Marcus Woods on MU's 3rd possession of the quarter.
Next up was the MU career rushing record of 3,198 set by Zack Abron (2000-03). Smith entered the game in 2nd place, with 3,083 yards, and needed 116 to break the record. He had 41 yards on the ground at halftime, but really came on in the third quarter as the Tiger offense racked up 203 yards of offense. Smith broke off two highlight-reel runs of 31 and 15 yards that went for TDs as MU rallied from a 21-14 deficit to take a 28-21 lead.
The rushing record came on a 32-yard run by Smith on the next-to-last play of the 3rd quarter. That pushed his game total to 140 yards, and he ended the evening with 165.
Smith holds an impressive 59 various MU, Big 12 and NCAA game, bowl game, season and career records. By our best tally, here are all of the records we have uncovered to this point...

MU Career Records (22) Smith Previous Record (Pre-Brad)
1. Total Offense 12,656 6,640 by Jeff Handy (1991-94)
2. Passing Yards 8,517 6,959 by Jeff Handy (1991-94)
3. Rushing Yards 4,139 3,198 by Zack Abron (2000-03)
4. All-Purpose Yards 4,269 3,824 by Devin West (1995-98)
5. Points 266 252 by Zack Abron (2000-03)
6. Touchdowns 43 42 by Zack Abron (2000-03)
7. Rushing Touchdowns 42 40 by Zack Abron (2000-03)
8. Touchdown Passes 55 39 by Jeff Handy (1991-94)
9. Touchdowns Responsible For 98 64 by Corby Jones (1995-98)
10. Games with 100 Yards Rushing 17 11 by 3 others
11. Games with 200 Yards Rushing 3 2 by 2 others
12. Most Seasons with 1,000 Yards Rushing 3 1 by 5 others
13. Most Seasons with 2,000 Yards Passing 3 2 by 2 others
14. Passes Completed 814 618 by Jeff Handy (1991-94)
15. Passes Attempted 1,447 1,058 by Jeff Handy (1991-94)
16. Rushes Attempted 778 692 by Zack Abron (2000-03)
17. Average Yards Per Rush (Min. 300) 5.3 5.2 by 2 others
18. Games with 400 Yards Total Offense 4 2 by Jeff Handy (1991-93)
19. Games with 300 Yards Total Offense 15 4 by Phil Johnson (1990-92)
20. Lowest Interception Percentage .022 .028 by Jeff Handy (1991-94)
21. Plays 2,225 1,291 by Phil Bradley (1977-80)
22. Consecutive Games Started 47 47 by A.J. Ricker (2000-03)
Big 12 Career Records (5) Smith Previous Record (Pre-Brad)
23. Total Offense 12,656 12,263 by Kliff Kingsbury, Texas
Tech (1999-2002) 24. Plays 2,225 2,156 by Kliff Kingsbury, Texas
Tech (1999-2002) 25. Rushing Yards by a QB 4,139 3,434 by Eric Crouch, Nebraska
(1998-2001) 26. 2-Point Conversions 6 4 by Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech
(1999-2002) 27. 2-Point Conversion Attempts 8 8 by 2 Others
MU Season Records (11) Smith Previous Record (Pre-Brad)
28. Total Offense 3,383 (2003) 2,545 by Corby Jones (1997)
29. Touchdowns Scored 19 (2003) 18 by 2 others
30. Touchdowns Scored by Rushing 18 (2003) 17 by Devin West (1998)
31. Touchdowns Responsible For 30 (2003) 26 by Corby Jones (1997)
32. Rushing Yards by a QB 1,406 (2003) 887 by Corby Jones (1997)
33. Highest Avg. Gain Per Rush (Min. 150) 6.6 (2003) 5.6 by Devin West (1998)
34. Passes Completed 216 (2005) 196 by Jeff Handy (1992)
35. Passes Attempted 369 (2004) 329 by Jeff Handy (1992)
36. Freshman Rushing Yards 1,029 (2002) 641 by Brock Olivo (1994)
37. Lowest Interception Percentage .016 (2002) .021 by Kirk Farmer (2001)
38. Plays 570 (2005) 390 by Jeff Handy (1994)
MU Game Records (8) Smith Previous Record (Pre-Brad)
39. Total Offense 480 vs. Neb. (2005) 471 by Jeff Handy vs. OSU (1992)
40. Touchdown Passes 4 vs. Ark. St. (2005) 4 by 5 others
41. Touchdowns Scored 5 vs. TT (2003) 4 by 4 others
42. Rushing Touchdowns 5 vs. TT (2003) 4 by 4 others
43. Points Scored 30 vs. TT (2003) 24 by 4 others
44. Plays 84 vs. UNM (2005) 77 by Jeff Handy vs. OSU (1992)
45. Rushing Yards by a QB 291 vs. TT (2003) 193 by Corby Jones vs. OSU (1996)
46. Rushing Yards by a Freshman 213 vs. OU (2002) 151 by Brock Olivo vs. KSU (1994)
MU Bowl Game Records (4) Smith Previous Record (Pre-Brad)
47. Total Offense 251 vs. Ark. (2003) 213 by Phil Bradley vs. Purdue
(1980 Hall of Fame)
48. Most Passes Completed 17 16 by Phil Bradley vs. Purdue
(1980 Hall of Fame)
49. Most Passes Attempted 30 29 by Phil Bradley vs. Purdue
(1980 Hall of Fame)
50. Most Plays 50 38 by Phil Bradley vs. Purdue
(1980 Hall of Fame)
Big 12 Game Records (3) Smith Previous Record (Pre-Brad)
51. Rushing Yards Gained by a QB 291 vs. TT (2003) n/a
52. Yards Per Rush 15.3 vs. TT (2003) n/a
53. Plays 84 vs. UNM (2005) 81 by Josh Heupel, Oklahoma
vs. Texas A&M (1999)
NCAA Season Records (1) Smith Previous Record
54. Freshman QB Rushing Yards 1,029 (2002) 1,019 by Joshua Cribbs, Kent
State (2000)
NCAA Career Records (5) Smith Previous Record
55. Rushing Yards by a QB 4,139 3,895 by Antwaan Randle-El,
Indiana (1998-2001)
56. Seasons Gaining 2,500 Yards Tot. Off. 4 4 by 2 others
57. Seasons1,000 Yds. Passing & Rushing 3 2 by 2 others
58. Seasons 2,000 Yds. Passing & 1,000 Yds. Rushing 2 1 by Smith and 1 other
59. Most Seasons Gaining 3,000 Yards Tot. Off. 3 3 by 5 others

Mizzou has the Big 12 Conference's top tight end combo, in sophomore Martin Rucker and true freshman Chase Coffman.
Alot of times, we're guilty of writers' embellishments, but the above statement is grounded in absolute fact, as the dynamic duo of Rucker & Coffman are tops in the conference in receptions among tight ends, with 42 and 39, respectively, entering the bowl game. The 81 combined catches outdistances the next-most prolific league tandem, as Colorado's Joel Klopfenstein and Quinn Sypniewski have combined for 57 catches.
Rucker leads all Big 12 tight ends with 42 catches for 484 yards, good for a per-game average of 3.82 receptions. He's coming off a monster game at Kansas State, when he hauled in 8 receptions for a career-high 102 yards and 1 TD. That performance netted him the John Mackey National Tight End of the Week Award.
Coffman also tied his career high by catching 6 balls at Kansas State, for a career-best 88 yards and 1 TD, as MU's tight end tandem was never more deadly. Coffman ranks 2nd in catches per game in the Big 12 among tight ends, at 3.55 per game. He was right on his average on Oct. 15th against Iowa State as he had 4 catches for a team-best 54 yards - including a huge 25-yarder on 4th-and-7 from the MU 41-yardline in the 4th quarter that kept alive the 1st of MU's 2 drives that ended up tying the game. The catch marked a career-long for the budding superstar. The week prior, Coffman had a 5-catch outing at OSU that saw him gain a career-high 60 yards on the day.
Coffman is also the 2nd-most productive freshman pass catcher in the Big 12 Conference, among all positions. He trails only WR Nate Swift of Nebraska, who has caught 42 passes for 610 yards thus far. The next-best freshman TE in the league is Martellus Bennett of Texas A&M, who has 18 catches for 162 yards.
Coffman has earned 1st-Team Freshman All-American honors from many outlets.
Here's a look at how the tight ends stack up currently in the Big 12 Conference...
Name (School) Year Catches Yards TDs Catches/Game
1. Martin Rucker (MU) SO 42 484 1 3.82
2. Chase Coffman (MU) FR 39 404 3 3.55
3. David Thomas (UT) SR 40 525 5 3.33
4. Joe Klopfenstein (CU) SR 32 463 4 2.67
5. Bristol Olomua (TECH) SR 28 309 1 2.55
This marks the second season in a row that a freshman tight end is making eye-opening contributions for Mizzou. Last year, it was redshirt freshman Martin Rucker who made a splash as he earned freshman All-American status by catching 19 passes for 263 yards and 4 TDs.
Both tight ends for MU have NFL bloodlines. Coffman's father, Paul, was a standout tight end for the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs (1986-87), and the Green Bay Packers (1978-85), after playing collegiately at Kansas State.
Rucker is the younger brother of Mike Rucker, who is a standout defensive end with the NFL's Carolina Panthers, and was an All-American collegiately at Nebraska.

While Mizzou's offense and record-setting Brad Smith generally grab all the headlines, the Tiger defense has made big contributions throughout the year. The defense, which returned only 3 starters from the 2004 season, doesn't have eye-popping numbers to throw out, but we wanted to throw a few things out for consideration on their behalf... J - The Tigers have scored 4 defensive TDs in 2005, after having just 1 defensive score in all of 2004. Safety William Moore (62-yard INT return) and DE Xzavie Jackson (16-yards fumble return) scored on consecutive 1st-quarter possessions against Iowa State to put the Tigers up 14-0, which were undoubtedly key plays in what ended up a 27-24 OT win for Mizzou... J - The other defensive scores came from CB Marcus King on a 32-yard INT return to open scoring against Baylor in game No. 10, and DL Jamar Smith, who picked up a fumble on a QB sack at Colorado, and ran it 12 yards for a TD... J - The Tigers have allowed opponents an average of 3.8 yards per rushing attempt, but that number has decreased to 3.2 per carry in MU's last 7 games... J - Mizzou held Nebraska to minus 2 yards rushing on Oct. 22nd, as the Huskers managed only 279 yards of total offense - an opponent low against MU in 2005. NU had only 3 rushes on the day that went for over 3 yards (16, 12, 8) and had 8 others that went for 1 yard or less. The rushing yardage marked the 2nd-lowest in Nebraska's single-game history, and was the lowest total for the Huskers on the ground since 1951. Mizzou's defense only gave up two scoring drives on the day, per se, as 2 of NU's TDs on the day came after taking possession on Mizzou's 1 yardline (after a blocked punt) and Mizzou's 8 yardline (after a fumble return). Aside from those two scores, the defense held Nebraska to 10 points on the Huskers' other 13 possessions. Nebraska managed only 3 drives of only 30 yards or more, and had 11 possessions overall go less than 10 yards - including 5 that went for zero or negative yards.

Junior safety David Overstreet came to MU as a highly-touted QB prospect, but after switching to defense as a redshirt freshman, he's now firmly entrenched as one of the top playmaking safeties in the Big 12 Conference. Overstreet is MU's leading tackler (93 tackles) and also leads the team in both interceptions (2 INTs) and fumble recoveries (3). His 5 total takeaways is a team-leading number. He also ranks 3rd on the team with 7 passes broken up... His 3 fumble recoveries is currently tied for the Big 12 lead, along with Ted Sims of Kansas State and Chris Hudler of Texas Tech. Overstreet had 7 tackles at Kansas State to close the regular season. Prior to that, he had a 4-tackle day at Kansas, but his biggest play set up what ended up being MU's only score on the day, when he picked up a KU fumble and returned it 19 yards to the Kansas 43-yardline in the 1st quarter. Overstreet had a stellar performance against Nebraska, in a game in which he made numerous big plays that helped make the difference in MU's 41-24 win on Oct. 22nd. Overstreet led MU's improving defense with a 10 -tackle performance against the Huskers. He was involved in a number of game-changing plays, as he broke up a near TD-pass in the endzone to snuff out a Nebraska drive in the 1st quarter, and on consecutive possessions in the 3rd quarter, he recovered a fumble on the MU 3-yardline and intercepted a pass near midfield to help MU preserve a 24-24 tie at the time. Overstreet also later had a highlight-reel hit of a Nebraska receiver in the 4th-quarter to break up a 2nd pass as the Tigers pulled away to their big win... Overstreet, a native of Dallas, Texas, is the son of the late David Overstreet, who was a standout running back for the Oklahoma Sooners and in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins.

Spoiled by Mizzou's loss on Oct. 29th at Kansas was the fact that junior DE Brian Smith became MU's alltime QB sack king. Smith entered the game with 21.5 career sacks, just 1 shy of the record set by former All-American DE Justin Smith (22.5 from 1998-2000). Smitty didn't waste much time, as he recorded his first sack of KU QB Jason Swanson midway through the 1st quarter (loss of 7 yards) to tie him with Justin Smith. He later broke the record as he combined with DT Lorenzo Williams in the 3rd quarter on another sack to give him 1.5 for the day, and an MU-record 23.0 for his career. Smith ended the day with 7 tackles in all, including 2.5 for loss (1.5 sacks), and added 1 QB hurry and 1 pass broken up. After being shut of the sack column at Colorado, Smith got to the QB once again against Baylor last Saturday, upping his MU record to 24.0 sacks. He also had 6 total tackles on the day, and added 2 QB hurries and broke up 1 pass. Smith had a big game at Oklahoma State, as he was a disruptive force all day long for the Cowboy offense. Smith had a career-high 11 tackles on the day, including 2 QB sacks, 4 tackles for loss overall, one forced fumble, one QB hurry and one pass broken up. His QB hurry led to a forced throw which resulted in David Overstreet's interception in the final minute to ice the game for the Tigers. He was named the Big 12 defensive player of the week for his efforts - MU's first league defensive award since 2002. Smith's forced fumble was a huge play in the game, as he sacked OSU QB Bobby Reid with :34 seconds left in the 1st half, with teammate Lorenzo Williams pouncing on the ball at the Cowboy 30 yardline. On the next play, MU threw a 30-yard TD pass to put the Tigers up, 21-9 at halftime. The Denton, Texas, native led all NCAA freshmen defenders as a redshirt freshman in 2003 with 8 QB sacks. He followed last season with 7 more as a sophomore, and carries a total of 9.0 sacks into the bowl game. The MU single-season QB sack record is 11, set by Justin Smith in 2000.

On Oct. 15th, Mizzou staged a huge comeback win, as MU rallied from a 10-point 4th-quarter deficit to post a thrilling 27-24 overtime win against Iowa State. Research indicates that the 10-point rally equalled the most prolific 4th-quarter comeback win in recent school history (dating back to 1958). The only other time MU has won a game when it trailed by as many points in the 4th quarter came in 2003, when the Tigers beat Nebraska in 2003 after entering the 4th quarter down by a 24-14 count. Here's a quick look at the top 4th-quarter comeback wins since 1958...
J - 2005 vs. Iowa State - 10 points. Trailed 24-14 in the 4th quarter, won 27-24 in OT;
J - 2003 vs. Nebraska - 10 points. Trailed 24-14 entering the 4th quarter, won 41-24;
J - 2003 vs. Middle Tennessee State - 8 points. Trailed 34-26 in 4th quarter, won 41-40 in OT;
J - 1997 at Oklahoma State - 7 points. Trailed 37-30 in 4th quarter, and 44-37 in 1st OT, and won, 51-50 in 2 OTs;
J - 1985 at Iowa State - 7 points. Trailed 24-17 and 27-20 in 4th quarter, and won, 28-27;
J - 1976 at Ohio State - 7 points. Trailed 21-14 in 4th quarter, won 22-21;
J - 1966 at Illinois - 7 points. Trailed 14-7 in 4th quarter, won 21-14.

What made MU's comeback win against Iowa State even more dramatic than just the final score was the underlying fact that MU overcame a 10-point 4th-quarter deficit to win on a day where its offense had been held scoreless all day long. Making it even more improbable was the fact that the rally was led by its backup quarterback, due to the injury of star signal caller Brad Smith. Iowa State's defense held Smith and Mizzou's high-powered offense in check for 3-plus quarters, as the Tigers' only points came on a pair of defensive scores in the 1st quarter. Mizzou's offensive struggles were surprising, given the fact that the Tigers entered the game with the nation's 7th-ranked offense, averaging 508.00 yards per game. Up until the time that Daniel entered the game in the 4th quarter, MU had amassed only 152 yards of offense, and the offense was shut out after entering the game averaging nearly 38 points a contest. In the final 8-plus minutes of regulation and overtime, Daniel sparked the Tigers and led an offense that put up 176 yards and 13 points. Just how good was Daniel? Well, since we like to ask, and answer, our own questions, we'll tell you!! The numbers show he was pretty good, as he went 12-of-17 passing for 146 yards and 1 TD in the 4th quarter and OT periods, and added 9 rushes for 18 yards as well. He converted four 3rd-downs and one 4th-down in the process... Daniel ended the day 16-of-23 passing overall (he played one pre-determined series in the 2nd quarter) for a career-high 185 yards and 1 TD, and added 12 rushes for 26 yards overall.

Hearts have been heavy all season on the Tiger sideline, for while MU's team looks to focus on the football side of life, weighing on everyone's mind throughout the season has been the loss suffered over the summer of redshirt freshman linebacker Aaron O'Neal. On July 12th, O'Neal participated with his teammates in a voluntary workout in Columbia. He collapsed after the workout and efforts to save him were unsuccessful. His tragic death was later determined to be due to complications arising from Lymphocytic Meningitis (viral). While the loss was devastating for everyone, the team resolutely decided to dedicate its season to A.O.'s memory. A helmet decal (#25) is being worn to honor the St. Louis, Mo. native. Additionally, several other means of honoring Aaron took place throughout the 2005 season, and beyond. Here's a listing of the tributes... o A moment of silence was held prior to the Sept. 3, 2005 game with Arkansas State at Arrowhead Stadium... o A moment of silence was held prior to the Sept. 10, 2005 game with New Mexico at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Mo. For this moment, the MU team lined up on the 25-yardline, in honor of Aaron's jersey number (25)... o The team has worn a commemorative sticker on its helmet (#25) for the 2005 season... o A page dedicated to his memory was put in the game program for the New Mexico game on Sept. 10, 2005... o A page dedicated to his memory was put in the 2005 Media & Recruiting Guide, and the cover of the book reads "In Memory of Aaron O'Neal #25 - Forever a Tiger"... o Aaron will be kept on official team rosters in all publications until his eligibility would have expired, following the 2008 season... o Aaron will have a page dedicated to his memory in future media guides, through the 2008 season... o Aaron will be honored on Senior Day in 2008, along with his fellow recruiting classmates... o The jersey number 25 will not be assigned to anyone through the 2008 season... o Aaron's locker in the Tom Taylor Complex has been preserved behind plexiglass... o "AO #25" was painted on the grass berm near midfield beyond both sidelines at Faurot Field for the 2005 season... o A room (to be determined later) will be named in his memory in the new $16 million renovation and expansion project that broke ground this fall...

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