Missouri coach Gary Pinkel enjoyed his return to Toledo, which produced a 49-24 victory for his Tigers.
He’s also glad that the week is finished.
“I’m glad this day’s over with — coming here and playing and all the stuff that goes with that,” Pinkel said. “I’m glad the game’s over with and we get a chance to move on.”
During postgame remarks, Pinkel, who went 73-37-3 in 10 seasons from 1991-2000 and has the most victories in school history, reiterated his appreciation for Toledo.
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“I love the people of Toledo and am very fortunate to have been the coach here,” Pinkel said.
Of course, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses.
Pinkel wasn’t happy with what he deemed a circuitous route Missouri’s police escort took to the Glass Bowl before the game.
“I thought there was something shaky about that,” he said. “I didn’t say anything, because I want them to have somewhat of a positive opinion about Gary Pinkel. All’s I know is it took twice as long ever to get here than it did before.”
The game also served as a homecoming for four members of Pinkel’s staff. Defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski played at Toledo and spent 11 seasons on staff, while cornerbacks coach Cornell Ford, running backs coach Brian Jones and defensive coordinator Dave Steckel also served on Pinkel’s staff with the Rockets.
“This was a big game for our coaches, so it meant a lot to us,” junior defensive lineman Shane Ray said. “Our coaches came from here, had a lot of people here and had something to prove today. We were 100 percent with our coaches. It felt great and, after the game, I gave coach Kool a big ol’ hug. He hugged me, and said, ‘Good job.’ We were happy with what we were able to accomplish today.”
Missouri failed to muster any sacks during last year’s meeting with Toledo at Memorial Stadium, but that changed in a big way Saturday at the Glass Bowl.
Ray had two sacks and senior defensive end Markus Golden added a 17-yard sack in the third quarter.
The Tigers also were credited with five quarterback hurries and both Ray and senior defensive tackle Matt Hoch were credited with pass breakups.
Missouri senior Marcus Murphy, who made his first career start in the win, joined some elite company when he opened the second-half scoring with a 13-yard touchdown reception Saturday at Toledo.
It was Murphy’s second career receiving touchdown.
According the MU team historian Tom Orf, Murphy is the fourth college player since 2000 with at least six rushing touchdowns, three punt-return touchdowns and two receiving and kickoff-return touchdowns.
The others are former Tiger star Jeremy Maclin, UCLA’s Maurice Jones-Drew and Penn State’s Derrick Williams.