Bowl season is upon us, and when thinking of Mizzou’s bowl games, Brad Smith’s last career game as a Tiger in the 2005 Independence Bowl, has to go down as the greatest in school history.
The game was a microcosm of Smith’s record-setting career – one which resurrected the Mizzou football program, and a great story-book ending to it. Smith was a one-man show in giving us one of the greatest single-game bowl performances in college football history. Smith seemingly single-handedly brought Missouri back from two 21-point deficits (21-0, 28-7) and willed the Tigers to victory, accounting for 432 of Missouri’s 504 yards of total offense – an amazing 86% of the offense – and for four touchdowns in the Tigers’ 38-31 comeback victory.
If you are interested in the entirety of the game, you can see it here in a 47 minute video.
Gary Pinkel has been on record as saying this one game saved his career, as the Tigers did not go to a bowl the year before, and a bowl loss would have put the Tigers at 6-6.
Many say it is Chase Daniel, but I think there is no doubting that Brad Smith is the integral figure in turning around the football program. He is the most important player in the Gary Pinkel-era. Brad Smith put Mizzou back on the map, and without Brad Smith, there is no Chase Daniel.
Oh, and he ain’t that bad in the NFL, either.