Michael Sam (52) and Dominique Hamilton (90) celebrate a first-quarter safety that put Missouri up 2-0 on Colorado. (Photo by JJ Stankevitz)
With the Missouri Tigers’ 26-0 shutout of the Colorado Buffaloes at Faurot Field on Saturday evening, 1,470 days have now elapsed since the last time Colorado scored a point in Columbia, Mo. And with the Buffaloes defecting for the Pac-10 Conference after the season, that number stands to grow for years and maybe decades to come.
Two seasons ago, Missouri defeated Colorado, 58-0. And even though Missouri’s offensive efficiency wasn’t quite the same as it was two years ago and Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert left the game with a “high hip pointer” according to coach Gary Pinkel, the 24th-ranked Tigers (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) were similarly inhospitable to their future former foes.
Missouri’s offense struggled with its execution early, according to Pinkel. But the Missouri defense put the Tigers on the board first by forcing an intentional grounding by Tyler Hansen in the end zone for a safety. The safety came after a Matt Grabner punt pinned the Buffaloes inside their own two-yard-line, one of two times Mizzou accomplished the feat in the game.
Though Pinkel was disappointed with Missouri’s kickoff coverage in the first half, it was an otherwise banner night for the Missouri special teams. Missouri partially blocked a Colorado in the first quarter and blocked a Colorado field goal in the second quarter. In addition, the special teams contributed one of the biggest plays of the game, a 26-yard rush by Trey Barrow on a fake punt to keep alive a drive that resulted in a 30-yard touchdown pass from Gabbert to Jerrell Jackson.
Gabbert eventually left the game, giving way to true freshman James Franklin at quarterback. Franklin rushed four times for 37 yards, including a 34-yard dash up the middle of the Colorado defense, which set up the first touchdown pass of his career when he lofted a seven-yard pass he labeled as “a duck” to Michael Egnew.
Missouri travels to College Station, Texas to face Texas A&M next week. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m.