This Day In History: October 23 – Missouri Beats Oklahoma
I awoke October 23 at nine in the morning still exhausted from the events that transpired on my Friday night. As I rolled out of bed, I heard a knock at my door from Nate Jacobson exclaiming that it was not too late for us to get dressed in Mizzou gear and head to the quad to see the pageantry of Columbia’s first ESPN College GameDay.
Walking on campus, seeing all black and gold t-shirts and hats and hearing every passing M-I-Z chant, a once in a life-time atmosphere was created. The closer Nate and I got to the quad behind Jesse Auditorium, the louder the cheering and chants grew. When we finally arrived, the entire quad was packed, and the bright orange Home Depot big screen towered over the mass of people.
Hearing all the ESPN analysts give their winning picks in person really wasn’t that much better than watching on television, but when Lee Corso chose Oklahoma to win, the booing that my fellow Missouri fans and I let loose towards him was a foreshadowing of just how loud Faurot Field would be for the biggest game in Columbia.
The time between College GameDay and the actual game later that night was spent securing my student ticket and figuring out how early I would have to arrive at the stadium to get inside before the actual kick off. Getting to the stadium with three hours until kick-off was deemed the correct time. Upon arriving at the stadium, I realized this would be one of the longest lines I would ever have to stand in, but the wait would be worth it. This was a game I had anticipated since becoming a University of Missouri student.
Being from North Texas, many of my high school classmates chose the academically prestigious college of Oklahoma as opposed to other institutions; as a result, most of my three hours waiting for admittance was spent trash talking with some of those classmates. Numerous Facebook statuses proclaimed Oklahoma’s dominance due to the fact that it was ranked number one in the opening week of the BCS standings going into the Missouri game. Reading each status and knowing my team was the undisputed underdog gave me a feeling of quiet confidence, something I can’t explain why I felt to this day.
Whatever the reason, I was confident Missouri would win.
Finally in the stadium, I sat about 15 rows up at the 50 yard-line with my other friend Matt Hundley and prepared to enjoy a game for the ages. During the opening kickoff, in which Missouri’s Gahn McGaffie returned the kick for an 86-yard touchdown, Faurot Field was louder than I’ve ever heard it. Coincidentally, a former high school classmate from Oklahoma had sent me the text message “Boomer Sooner” exactly right before the opening kick off. My response?
Oklahoma’s players didn’t let the big play get to them, scoring within the next three minutes. But after a back-and-forth half, Missouri kicker Grant Ressel connected on a 36-yard field goal to send the Tigers to a halftime lead of 17-14. In the third quarter, the Tiger’s kicked another field goal before giving up an Oklahoma touchdown, leaving the Sooners up one point at 21-20.
Nervousness climbed into the back of my head. What if we aren’t good enough to win against the number one team in the nation? What if Oklahoma is destined to break Missouri hearts once again?
Those questions were answered swiftly after a 38-yard pass from quarterback Blaine Gabbert to Jerrell Jackson. Jackson bounced off two Sooner defenders before sprinting into the endzone. A field goal and then a 3-yard goal line run by backup quarterback James Franklin put the Tigers ahead 36-21 with a little over six minutes to play.
The big bad Tiger-killing Sooners had finally been vanquished. When the final second ticked off the clock, euphoria erupted, sending the entire student section onto the football field in what was a defining moment of the 2010 college football season. The goal posts were down within minutes and quickly taken to Harpo’s bar downtown.
As for the post-game festivities, with most people attending GameDay in the morning as early as 8 a.m., the campus overall was somewhat quiet. I was quite content continuing the smack talk that was started before the game and laughing at the excuses presented by the always intelligent Oklahoma students.
For all of the games I’ve attended at Faurot Field, this game will always be the one I remember above the rest. I truly believe there are some people attending Missouri now that were influenced by that ABC broadcast two years ago. Although the Tiger’s would not build on the landmark victory in 2010, beating the top ranked team, rushing the field, and having the nation’s attention because of ESPN College GameDay really capped off a brilliant day for the University of Missouri, as well as the city of Columbia.