Despite freezing temperatures and a seemingly easy game against a lame duck coach, over 68,000 Missouri faithful came to Faurot Field to see off the most successful senior class in school history.
And the Tigers didn't let their fans down. A strong night from their defense and an amazing night from Jeremy Maclin led to a 41-24 beatdown of the Kansas State Wildcats. Here are the news and notes from Senior Night of the 2009 Class.
-After the game, quarterback Chase Daniel told the press that his play was "hurting his team." It hasn't cost them a game since the OSU debacle, but Chase is right. He has 10 INTs since the Nebraska game, and he proves week after week that he doesn't have the arm to hook up with Jeremy Maclin on a deep bomb.
-Regarding K-State's NFL potential at quarterback, I don't see what the allure is with Josh Freeman. He looks skinny, isn't that fast, and although he has a cannon, he misses all kinds of open targets. What's all the fuss about?
-Kenji Jackson is an exciting playmaker at safety. He actually started and played for a lot of the game as the nickel back. Jackson has a nose for the ball, and can HIT. It's great to see some promise for the future in a secondary that has gotten flat torched at times this year.
-Another youngster who has promise is Will Ebner. Ebner continues to be all over the field on special teams and blocked a punt in the second quarter. Along with Jackson and Jacquies Smith on the defensive line, Mizzou has some players who make the future look bright in Columbia.
-Everybody knows the seniors played their last game at Faurot Field, but did Jeremy Maclin as well? It's been well-documented that if he's a first-round lock, he'll go. Otherwise, he's coming back for his junior year.
Well, if J-Mac finishes the season like he played on Saturday, there's little doubt he'll be playing on Sundays next year. With Chase Coffman on the sidelines due to turf toe, Maclin had 278 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns.
On his screen play he took for 42 yards in particular, you could see the blazing speed that makes him so tempting to NFL scouts. Ian Campbell, one of the top defensive players in the Big 12, was within a foot of Maclin and couldn't catch him as soon as J-Mac hit the jets.
-He didn't get a ton of time, but it was great to see Chase Patton throw the first TD pass of his career on Senior Night. Patton got the second loudest ovation of all the seniors after Daniel, and as one sign read, "Columbia Loves Chase Patton." The hometown hero deserved every moment of his night on Saturday.