Mizzou-Illinois from the Jones Dome

Like most Mizzou fans, I couldn’t wait to put yesterday’s game in the rear view mirror.  It was nothing more than a trap game for us.  As we saw last year, a victory means very little, but a loss could cost us a shot at a National Title.

First off, I’d like to point out that Mizzou and Illinois are not rivals.  They are in the Big 10, we are in the Big 12.  When Illinois plays Ohio State and Michigan, I pull for Illinois.  When the team’s fans tailgate, they set up right next to one another.  This doesn’t happen at a Mizzou-kansas game. This game was simply, “Sure, we don’t like you today, we’ll be over it tomorrow.”

Now, having said all that, all these reasons make this game a whole lot of fun.  It was beautiful day for tailgating and there was plenty of it.  We showed up around 2 for the 7:30 kickoff.  We made our way around the PowerMizzou.com tailgate for a little while (great food there), then wandered around some parking lots before ending up at the Official Mizzou Tailgate.  Beer was $6.50 there, so we didn’t stay long.  Eventually, we ran into a friends tailgate over by The Landing, where the beer was free.

As the picture above shows, fans intermingled all day.  I met several Illinois fans who would tell me that they just hoped the Illini would keep it close.  That eased my nerves ever so slightly.

As for the game, I think there were more Mizzou fans in there, but not by a wide margin.  It was a neat atmosphere, even if the Jones Dome isn’t the greatest.  We had an Illinois group to our left, who seemed to think the Illini had very little chance of actually pulling out a victory. Our seats weren’t terrible, not great either, upper deck row DD.

I predicted a 41-27 scoreline, I thought the 68 combined points would be about right.  (Side note:  My girlfriend countered with a 52-38 prediction.  Not bad.)  I wasn’t expecting our D to be completely unable to stop Juice Williams’ passing attack.  Unfortunately, we kept getting burned on the same exact play, which got really, really annoying.  I’d imagine that will get worked on in practice this week and won’t happen again.  As you know, the game ended with a combined 94 total points and 1081 yards of total offense.

As for our offense, I know we hung 52 points on a good Illinois team, but really didn’t play all that well.  This is a scary proposition for opposing defenses on our schedule.  At times they were just out of kilter and I saw more drops yesterday than it seems like we had all of last year.  I chalk that up to it being the first game.  We’ll get Denario Alexander back and look out.

Overall, I was just happy to get out with a win.  From what I understand, Jeremy Maclin’s injury is only a sprain, MRI pending.  He’ll have some time to rest since we don’t play anyone in the next 4 weeks. JMac’s 99-yd kick return was a key turning point since it squashed any momentum Illinois had gained in the 2nd Quarter.

Overall, it was great day.  Perfect day for tailgating, Tiger football, and victory.

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2 Responses

  1. […] Michigan vs Utah, a game that could a preview for the rest of the season for both teams; and the Missouri vs Illinois game, a performance that should make fans from any other Big 12 teams nervous. Unfortunately the […]

  2. […] Football Time! Posted on September 5, 2009 by classic17 Last year at this time, I was in St. Louis watching my Missouri Tigers win a shootout against Illinois and Weller was at home keeping you updated with […]

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