Missouri Preview 2006
Another season and another year when Missouri is supposed to finally turn the corner under head coach Gary Pinkel and be a major player.
Depth Chart |
We've all fallen for this before, especially when the Tigers had
an all-time talent like Brad Smith at quarterback, but each time
they're supposed to be the bright star in the Big 12 North, it
No longer the hot new kid on the block, Pinkel and
Missouri will likely be overlooked by many going into this year
because Smith is gone and the results have been mediocre at best
over the last five years.
But really, truly, really, this should be the year Missouri
becomes a star of the North. Really.
Smith might be gone, but replacement Chase Daniel is a good
young quarterback who'll do just fine. Now the rest of the offensive
playmakers will get more of a shot to shine since the attack can't
be more reliant on Smith, and that's a good thing with four good,
quick backs, a fast receiving corps, and a tremendous tight end
tandem of Chase Coffman and Martin Rucker to catch everything in
Head coach: Gary Pinkel
6th year: 29-30
16th year overall: 102-67-3
Off. 17 Def. 18, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 18
Best Tiger Players
1. DE Brian Smith, Sr.
2. TE Chase Coffman, Soph.
3. TE Martin Rucker, Jr.
4. FS David Overstreet, Sr.
5. C Adam Spieker, Jr.
6. LB Dedrick Harrington, Sr.
7. OT Tyler Luellen, Jr.
8. LB Marcus Bacon, Sr.
9. NT Jamar Smith, Sr.
10. QB Chase Daniel, Soph.
at New Mexico
at Texas Tech
at Texas A&M
at Iowa State
2005 Record: 7-5
Preview 2005 predicted wins
at Oklahoma St W 38-31
W 27-24 OT
Nebraska W 41-24
Kansas L 13-3
at Kansas State L 36-28
South Carolina W 38-31
The defense had to rebuild last
year, and all the inconsistencies should pay off in a big way with a
speedy, talented front seven that should camp out in opposing backfield.
The secondary has the most work to do, but there are big, athletic
prospects to expect big things out of playing around star safety David
So the talent is in place, but then the nagging question has to be
whether or not Pinkel can coach this group. While not on a burning hot
seat, Pinkel could use a good start and a few big wins to keep things
from getting toasty. Teams with 17 returning starters are supposed to
contend for division titles, especially in the average Big 12 North, and
another also-ran season will get the fans grumbling.
Can the team get up for the average non-conference schedule without
falling flat on its face like it did against New Mexico last year and
Troy in 2004? Can it come up with a clutch win in the second half of the
season? Under Pinkel in the last five regular season games of each of
his five seasons, Mizzou has gone a lousy 10-15 and has only beaten one
team (Iowa State in 2004) in November that finished with a winning
But all the problems, all the mediocrity, and all the failed
expectations of the past can go bye-bye with one big season and an
appearance in the Big 12 title game. The wheels were set in motion with
a tremendous victory over South Carolina in the Independence Bowl, and
the schedule starts off nice and squishy to build up a big early record
and some confidence.
In other words, it's time to jump back on the Missouri bandwagon.
Really, it is.
There's no reason the experienced Tigers shouldn't be 4-0 to start the
season against Murray State, Ole Miss, at New Mexico and Ohio, and they
can't afford a slip up with a tough conference slate ahead. The Big 12
schedule is nasty missing Oklahoma State and Baylor and having to go on
the road in back-to-back weeks to face Texas Tech and Texas A&M. The
season will come down to late road trips at Nebraska and Iowa State both
coming off a home showdown with Oklahoma.
Offensive Player: Junior TE Martin Rucker and sophomore TE Chase
Coffman. You can't have one without the other. The two tied for the team
lead in receptions (47) last year and each will be an integral part of
the offense. Coffman has unbelievable hands, while Rucker has next-level
talent as both a receiver and a blocker. They'll be the safety valves
for new starting quarterback Chase Daniel to rely on.
Defensive Player: Senior DE Brian Smith. The school's all-time
leading sacker with 24, Smith is still an unknown around the college
football world. He started off his career as a pass rushing specialist
and has grown into a tremendous, All-Big 12 caliber end. His presence
frees the rest of the line up for plenty of one-on-one blocking.
to a successful season: Sophomore QB Chase Daniel. He doesn't have
to be Brad Smith, but he has to spread the ball around well and he can't
afford to make mistakes. He should throw for more touchdowns than Smith
did and will push the ball deeper, but he obviously won't rush for 1,301
yards and 16 touchdowns. As long as he's effective on third downs and in
the clutch, everything will be fine.
will be a success if ... the Tigers win the Big 12 North. With road games at Texas
Tech, Nebraska and Iowa State, a division title probably won't happen,
but the team is too experienced to shoot for anything less. They don't
have to be perfect to win the North, but they won't be able to slip up
at home and will need to win three of the four conference road games to
be playing in December.
November 4th at Nebraska. Missouri can't win the Big 12 title if it
can't beat the Huskers in Lincoln for the first time since 1978.
Considering it's a sandwich game between Oklahoma and at Iowa State,
this showdown becomes even more important.
The Last Time Missouri…
- Fourth quarter scoring: Opponents 118 - Missouri 79
- Sacks: Missouri 30 - Opponents 16
- Fourth down conversions: Missouri 17 of 28 (61%) - Opponents 8 of 14
…played in a bowl game…2005 (Independence Bowl v. South Carolina)
…missed a bowl game…2004
…pitched a shutout…2004 (Ball State)
…was shutout…2002 (Kansas State)
…scored 50 points…2005 (Troy)
…won a conference title…1969 (share, Big 8)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…Never
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2005 (Brad Smith)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2003 (Justin Gage)
…had a first-round draft choice…2001 (DE Justin Smith)