What got us here
Moments from the Tigers’ historic season
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1: After exiting a team bus and before walking through a tunnel of fans as part of Tiger Walk, defensive back Castine Bridges wears his game face in preparation for the Texas A&M Aggies on Nov. 10. (Click + button to advance slide show.
2: Waiting for players to walk across the pedestrian bridge on Providence before a game against Nebraska, an MU fan shows his support for Heisman Trophy candidate Chase Daniel.
3: In honor of strong safety Cornelius “Pig” Brown, who blew out his Achilles tendon against Iowa State on Oct. 27, fans belonging to the “Pig Pen” wear pig noses and shirts claiming Brown as MU’s 13th man, a reference to Texas A&M’s 12th man.
4: Offensive lineman Kurtis Gregory (left) slaps the hand of “Pig” Brown on Senior Day, before the last home game against Texas A&M.
5: Through a cloud of smoke, the cheers of approximately 70,000 fans lead MU players out of their locker room and onto the south end of Faurot Field.
6: MU players prepare for battle against Western Michigan on Sept. 15. The final score: 52-24, Missouri.
7: Even early in the season, the media found Mizzou fans cheering for their Tigers in the front row, where students stand for the entire game.
8: Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin returns a kickoff against Western Michigan. By end of the game, Maclin earned 275 of Missouri’s 619 total yards. He touched the ball 20 times and scored two touchdowns.
9: Tailback Tony Temple escapes Aggie opponents and runs for 141 yards in a victory over Texas A&M.
10: Tailback Jimmy Jackson celebrates in the end zone after scoring a touchdown against the Aggies.
11: A member of the Mizzou Army ROTC Cannon Crew leads fellow cadets in push-ups after the Tigers put points on the scoreboard. The number of push ups performed mirrors the total points accumulated in the game.
12: Mascot Truman the Tiger gains a better view of the game by standing atop a wall that separates the fans from the field of action.
13: Fans rise from their seats, extend their arms and complete “the wave” for extended periods of time during commercial breaks at a televised game against Nebraska on Oct. 6.
14: Members of the official student cheering section, The Tiger’s Lair, showcase their face and body paint.
15: A member of Marching Mizzou performs for a hometown crowd.
16: Mizzou’s strong safety Justin Garrett (left) and defensive back Carl Gettis shut down Texas A&M’s offense. The final score 40-26, Missouri.
17: Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon holds onto a winning season and refuses to let go of an opportunity to represent the Big 12 North and a possible shot at the national title game.
18: Coach Gary Pinkel points his team in the right direction and leads them to the first 11-win season in program history.
19: Quarterback Chase Daniel floats above mid-field as he chases a Heisman Trophy.
20: Chase Daniel keeps the ball, threatens three Western Michigan defensive players and runs toward the end zone. Daniel threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third, completing 27 of 46 passes for 328 yards.
21: A record-breaking number of fans showed up to cheer on the victorious Tigers against Nebraska. The final score, as indicated on the scoreboard, remained 41-6 at the end of the game.
22: Concerned that fans might tear down the home goal posts, precautions are taken to maintain their integrity at the end of another win at home against Texas Tech on Oct. 10.
23: Instead of carrying a football, senior tight end Martin Rucker holds a white rock that he grabbed as a memento from the “M” on the north side of Faurot Field and says goodbye to fans at the end of his last home game.
24: The Golden Girls pose with Truman one last time on Faurot Field before joining the football team on the road, where they’ll finish their season.
25: At the MU-KU Border Showdown in Kansas City, 80,537 fans, the second-highest attendance in Arrowhead Stadium history, showed up to support the second-most-played rivarly in college football history. The final score: 36-28, Missouri.
26: Despite a KU defensive tackler trying to stop him, wide receiver Tommy Saunders stays on his feet. Saunders had eight catches for a career-high 82 yards.
27: In support of the Tigers, Mizzou fan Kurtis Jones shows off his custom-made hat.
28: Already considering what’s to come after the KU victory and the impending media attention, Chase Daniel turns away from the cameras. The Big 12 Championship game in San Antonio is next.
If there’s a philosophy for the Tiger football team right now, it’s simple: Ignore the No. 1 ranking. Ignore the hype, however well-deserved. Ignore the chance to win a Big 12 title — or even a national title — for the first time ever.
Coach Gary Pinkel sums it up best: “If you’re thinking about all that other stuff, then you’re not doing the things that got you here.”
With that in mind, Mizzou Wire presents a slide show (see right) of some of the moments that got the Tigers here, both on and off the field.
Also, be sure to visit the Big 12 Championship special edition of our Live Wire Blog.