The Tigers are ready for another great season, and no one should doubt them. Led by Head Coach Gary Pinkel who has been with Mizzou since 2001, the Tigers also have junior quarterback Maty Mauk that will be returning, and is known to dominate the game late, and he began to really shine towards the end of last season. While the offense did not dominate last season, the defense often picked up the slack. This year, however, Mauk will be asked to do much more to hold off teams in the second half, but that might be difficult with a relatively inexperienced group at the wide receiver position. This will be the second year in a row that the Missouri (Mizzou) Tigers have lost all three of its starters at this position. The returning wide outs that they do have combined for just 10 catches in their career, with five of those coming from sophomore Nate Brown. Because of the lack of experience at this position, the Tigers will likely rely a bit more on tight ends Sean Culkin, Jason Resse, and Kendall Blanton to pick up the slack. If they cannot get a passing game in check, the team always has a solid running threat to fall back on. Senior Russell Hansbrough will back, fresh off a 1,084 yard and 10 touchdown season. The offensive line struggled a bit last year, but began to develop some consistency towards the end. The entire line will be back, headed by All-SEC center Evan Boehm, along with Connor McGovern. The three other starters are seniors, so experience should help the Tigers here.
Barry Odom will be in his first year as defensive coordinator, having spent the last three years at Memphis. At the defensive end, sophomore Charles Harris will lead the pack, along with freshman Watler Brady and Marcel Frazier, who is highly touted junior college recruit. The tack position is very strong and deep. Harold Brantly returns, as does Josh Augusta and Terry Beckner Jr. One update, however, is that Harold Brantley was injured in a car accident in June, so his status remains a bit of a question mark. The defensive line is a bit inexperienced, but does return Kentrell Brothers and Michael Scherer. They combined for 113 solo tackles and 123 assists last season. Donavin Newsom is poised to start on the strong and should add to the aggressive defense that Odom is sure to implement. Look for the Tigers to finish a solid fourth in the SEC East, and just out of the top 25 nationally.
The Tigers will look to make a strong push the rest of the season to make some noise in the tough SEC. Mizzou has made it into the SEC Championship game the last two seasons and it could prove to be a tough task to make it back to that game. This young team from Columbia will look to rack up some wins and get an invite to a bowl game. The rowdy Columbia crowd will prove to give the Tigers a home field advantage against any opponent that comes into Faurot Field.
Courtesy of Bleacher Report