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Around the Columns

Thrills and chills

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Story by Marcus Wilkins Photos by Nic Benner

With 27 seconds remaining in the Nov. 29, 2008, Border Showdown against the arch-rival Kansas Jayhawks, the Missouri Tigers looked as if they had dodged a bullet. The Tigers led 37 to 33 in a back-and-forth battle played in muddy slush. Soaked from the snow in 38-degree temperatures, Tiger fans were on their feet, ready to celebrate a victory.

But the Jayhawks’ embattled junior quarterback Todd Reesing found the strength in his weakened arm to shuttle one last fourth-and-long pass. It sailed 26 yards into the wide-open arms of his favorite target of the day, junior wide receiver Kerry Meier.

With 11 seconds ticking on the clock, Tiger quarterback Chase Daniel rallied his team for one last attempt on offense. He hit junior wideout Jared Perry with a 25-yard pass. Senior kicker Jeff Wolfert took the field for a 54-yard field goal attempt to tie the game and send it into overtime, but Kansas sophomore safety Phillip Strozier nicked the ball and time expired.

In a Border Showdown at Arrowhead Stadium that featured four lead changes in the final seven minutes, 663 cumulative passing yards and a steady stream of sleet and snow, KU topped MU 40-37. It was the 117th meeting between the schools. The KU win evened the series 54-54-9. Announced attendance was 79,123.

Tigers Coach Gary Pinkel quickly turned the page to focus on the Big 12 Championship, also at Arrowhead Saturday at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008. After winning the Big 12 North Division with their 52-20 victory over Iowa State on Nov. 15, the Tigers will play the Oklahoma Sooners, who edged the Texas Longhorns in the BCS poll to claim the Big 12 South Division. Tickets are available online at while supplies last.

“We have to turn this thing around in 24 hours,” Pinkel said after the game. “That’s the message, but (our players) really don’t want to hear that right now. They’re competitors.”

Now Mizzou looks toward another significant game against the Sooners. It’s a rematch of last year’s Big 12 title game and the third meeting between the two teams over the past two years. OU won the last two games.

“We’re in the championship game,” quarterback Daniel declared. “Not Kansas. Not Kansas State. Not Baylor.”