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2013 MISSOURI TIGERS FOOTBALL PREVIEW

July 2, 2013
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



Missouri Tigers (0 - Pres)

 

Coach: Gary Pinkel (12th season, 90-61 Missouri/163-98-3 career record).

2012 results: 5-7, (2-6 in SEC East, fifth place)

Offensive starters returning: 7

Offensive starters lost: 4

Defensive starters returning: 6

Defensive starters lost: 5

Key losses: DT Sheldon Richardson, RB Kendial Lawrence, LB Will Ebner, LB Zaviar Gooden

Top returnees: QB James Franklin, WR Dorial Green-Beckham, DE Kony Ealy, LB Andrew Wilson, CB E.J. Gaines, G/C Evan Boehm, RB Henry Josey , RB Marcus Murphy

Missouri Tigers (1986 - Pres)

 

The Tigers experienced a rocky transition from the Big 12 to the SEC last season, with losses by more than 20 points apiece to conference foes Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and fellow newcomer Texas A&M. The move up in competition was even tougher with QB James Franklin battling injuries and inconsistency a season after he threw for 21 touchdowns and ran for 15 more as a sophomore. Coach Gary Pinkel’s team finished with its fewest overall wins since 2004 and fewest conference wins since 2002.

Pinkel’s spread offense may never move the ball in the SEC like it did in the Big 12, but the Tigers should improve dramatically if Franklin shows his 2011 form (3,846 yards total offense, 36 combined TDs). Sophomore Dorial Green-Beckham , the nation’s top wide receiver recruit 2012, will give Franklin a big (6-6, 220), fast (4.47 in 40) target and headlines a talented receiving corps. Senior E.J. Gaines, who had 74 tackles and 11 passes defended last season, should be one of the SEC’s top cornerbacks. Defensive ends Kony Ealy and Michael Sam will be disruptive coming off the edge.

The defense will have to replace four members of the front seven, including All-SEC DT Sheldon Richardson, who was the No. 13 pick in the 2013 NFL draft, and LB Zaviar Gooden, a third-round pick. While the ends are excellent and the secondary experienced, the Tigers will have to prove they can hold up against the SEC’s physical running games. Missouri lost 1,000-yard rusher Kendial Lawrence, but welcomes back Henry Josey, who had nearly 1,200 years in 2011 before a devastating knee injury that would cost him the 2012 season. At just 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, Josey will have to show he can handle a heavy workload. The offensive line never jelled in 2012 because of injuries and will have to develop chemistry before entering SEC in October.

Missouri averaged 9.5 wins per season during its final five campaigns in the Big 12, but likely would settle for a winning record in the second year in the SEC. The Tigers will have four nonconference games to prepare for the SEC schedule and play three of their toughest games (Florida, South Carolina and Texas A&M) at home. Alabama, a 42-10 winner over Mizzou in 2012, is off the schedule. New offensive coordinator Josh Henson has scrapped the empty backfield sets prevalent last year and look to establish the run more —- easier said than done against SEC defenses. Improvement on last season will be critical as Missouri looks to attract the recruits needed to eventually beat the SEC’s heavyweights.

Missouri Tigers (2006 - Pres)

 

2013 schedule

Aug. 31 Murray State

Sept. 7 Toledo

Sept. 21 at Indiana

Sept. 28 Arkansas State

Oct. 5 at Vanderbilt

Oct. 12 at Georgia

Oct. 19 Florida

Oct. 26 South Carolina

Nov. 2 Tennessee

Nov. 9 at Kentucky

Nov. 23 at Ole Miss

No. 30 Texas A&M

Missouri Tigers (1996 - Pres)


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