Spotlight shines on Missouri, Nebraska
OF THE POST-DISPATCH
COLUMBIA, MO. — Unlike playing on national television on a Saturday saturated with college football games on various networks, the spotlight on a Thursday night is singular.
And the exposure of being the only game going was irresistible for Mizzou and Nebraska, especially since each was coming off a bye week.
"(It's) like 'Monday Night Football'; that's a no-brainer," MU coach Gary Pinkel said earlier this week, adding, "It's great, not only for our football program but for the University of Missouri and the town of Columbia. It was a win-win in every way."
The game, televised by ESPN, was the first on a Thursday at Faurot Field since 17 years ago to the day against Colorado.
In similarly miserable weather, MU lost 6-0 to Colorado.
Thursday's game represented the third straight week the Tigers didn't play on Saturday. MU took up another opportunity for exclusive exposure by playing at Nevada on Friday, Sept. 25, and had the bye last week.
The Tigers resume more conventional scheduling Oct. 17 at Oklahoma State.
DARKNESS ON THE
Edge Of Campus
At approximately 6:53 p.m., just over an hour before the scheduled start of the game, the outdoor lights and main stadium scoreboard went out.
The Tigers were on the field warming up at the time, then retreated into the locker room moments later. No immediate word on whether the teams were left in the dark in the locker rooms.
Nebraska and MU skill position players took the field again before the lights came back on at about 7:06.
But the new, $3.8 million scoreboard remained out as of game time, and the public-address and audio systems also were conked out — sadly leaving country singer Sara Evans of New Franklin, Mo., crooning the national anthem largely to herself.
"Welcome to Faurot Field," Missouri media relations director Chad Moller announced in the press box, where the internal audio remained functional.
There was no immediate explanation for the blackout, other than a message on the still-functioning south scoreboard: "We are experiencing a campus power outage. Stand by for more details."
Forty-five minutes before game time, only a smattering of fans were in the stands as hundreds of cars could be seen stuck in the inclement weather outside the stadium. But that changed radically before kickoff. The stadium may not have been crammed to its 71,004 capacity, but it appeared full.
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