2013 Missouri Spring Football Analysis
Missouri Tigers 2013 ...
Head Coach: Gary Pinkel
Why To Be Excited ... This might be a different-looking team if everyone is back and healthy. Quarterback James Franklin had an odd season, fighting through injures and never really establishing himself as the type of Johnny Manziel-like all-around playmaker he was supposed to grow into. He lit up Tennessee and he did what he could against Georgia, but he missed a bulk of the season and was never the player he was throughout 2011. Now he’s back and healthy, and the big hope is for running back Henry Josey to finally be back and ready to go after missing all of last year recovering from a brutal knee injury two seasons ago. It’s putting a lot of eggs in one basket, but if he’s close to being back to form, and if star receiver prospect Dorial Green-Beckham can start to play up to his ability, the potential is there to come up with a night-and-day turnaround. Getting back four starters on the line will help.
| 2013 Schedule|
8/31 Murray State
9/14 OPEN DATE
9/21 at Indiana
9/28 Arkansas State
10/5 at Vanderbilt
10/12 at Georgia
10/26 South Carolina
11/9 at Kentucky
11/16 OPEN DATE
11/23 at Ole Miss
11/30 Texas A&M
Why To Be Grouchy ... Is Mizzou built for the big time? Now the Tigers know what life is like in the SEC. It really was a different style of play from the Big 12, and while Texas A&M was able to take its conference by storm with Kevin Sumlin and Johnny Manziel coming up with tremendous years, Mizzou struggled to adapt to grown man football. Injuries played a big role, and there was never any offensive consistency, but more than anything else, the team just wasn’t good enough – Gary Pinkel noticed, too. This offseason, the offense has to be sharper, more of the playmakers have to emerge on both sides of the ball, and the defense has to improve and get saltier despite the loss of its best to players, future NFLers Sheldon Richardson at tackle and linebacker Zaviar Gooden.
What Needs Working On ... The Tigers have to find the passing game again. There might be lots of talk about getting tougher and better, but this year’s team can’t navigate its way through the SEC waters without being Missouri on the short-to-midrange passing game. Pinkel’s teams have been known for having highly efficient, tremendously effective air shows, but last year’s attack finished a shocking 103rd in the nation in passing efficiency with the passing yards mostly coming to catch up rather than attack. Things started to work late in the year, but now Franklin and the offense have to be better.
Non-Conference Games: Murray State, Toledo, at Indiana, Arkansas State
Games Against The West: at Ole Miss, Texas A&M
Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Worst Case Record: 5-7
Likely Finish: 7-5
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Murray State, Toledo, at Indiana, Arkansas State, at Vanderbilt, Tennessee, at Kentucky
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, at Ole Miss, Texas A&M
Schedule Analysis: The Tigers are getting their share of tune-up games before having to dive into the meat of the schedule. Starting out against Murray State and hosing Toledo should get everyone warmed up before getting a week off to prepare for Indiana. Arkansas State is a must win before going to Vanderbilt with, most likely, a shot at a 5-0 start if everything goes according to plan. And then the fun starts.
Mizzou has a rough stretch after the trip to Vandy with a road trip to Georgia followed up by home games against Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee. If the Tigers can win a few of those, there’s a chance to be in a position for a nice bowl game with a road game at Kentucky to close out the stretch. As tough as the schedule is over the back half, getting a week off will help before closing out the regular season against the two teams on the slate from the West with a trip to Ole Miss and finishing against Texas A&M.
Team Concerns For 2013: Will James Franklin be healthy and can the quarterback play be back up to Mizzou snuff? Dorial Green-Beckham and the receiving corps is in place, but either Franklin or Corbin Berkstresser has to get them all the ball after a disastrous season throwing the ball. The running game has to be better - hoping for Henry Josey to be back and healthy - and the line has to be more physical needing to start playing big boy football. The defense has to be better at getting to the quarterback and has to keep the big pass plays to a minimum.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Quarterbacks. The Tiger defensive line has to be tougher and more physical, and that starts with with tackle Josh Augusta and Antar Thompson to try to get the
front four to an elite SEC level. Running back Chase Abbington is a talent who'll get a long look early on, and offensive tackle Clay Rhodes should be a starter once he adds about 30 pounds of muscle. The Tigers, though, were built by Gary Pinkel to get the offense going, and that means Trent Hosick out of Kansas City and Eddie Printz out of Georgia need to recapture the magic of recent great passers and playmakers. Neither one is a Blaine Gabbert-like first round draft pick, but getting another Chase Daniel wouldn't be bad.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 38. That Class Was Heavy On ... Top-shelf players. Helping out the linebacking corps would be nice, and getting a few more defensive linemen to go with last year’s haul would be a plus, but with the move coming to the SEC the Tigers need to get far stronger and far better across the board. Head coach Gary Pinkel has a good-looking class coming in, but he needs to land as many four-and-five star prospects as possible with so many areas already looking good for the next few years.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 21. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. The last two classes brought in the skill players, but Gary Pinkel didn’t ignore the stars this year with another great quarterback prospect in Corbin Berkstresser and big, Tiger-like targets in Wesley Leftwich and Brandon Hannah. The offensive line got stronger at guard, and the secondary got some reinforcements, but the strength is on the defensive front where JUCO transfer Sheldon Richardson will be an All-Big 12 star now, and end Shane Ray will soon be another Aldon Smith. Gerrand Johnson will be a monster of an inside presence once he hits the weights.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 39. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Skill players. It
was a bit of a strange class considering Gary Pinkel
and his staff signed a slew of skill players last
year, but this year's haul might be even more
talented. Quarterbacks James Franklin and Tyler
Gabbert will have years to work and develop behind
Tyler's brother, Blaine Gabbert. WR Marcus Lucas
won't fill the hole left by Danario Alexander, but
he's another big, fast target with NFL upside. Up
front, Nick Demien is a great offensive tackle
prospect who should be the anchor by 2013. End Kony
Ealy leads the defensive side as the team's top end
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 39. That Class Was
Heavy On ... offensive reinforcements. The defense was hardly ignored with DT Sheldon Richardson a sure-thing All-Big 12 talent and JUCO transfer Josh Tatum is a plug-n-play linebacker, but with all the superstars gone off the offense, head coach Gary Pinkel had to find a new wave of offensive prospects to develop. Blaine Dalton is a smallish quarterback who can move, while RB Kendial Lawrence and receivers Jaleel Clark and Kerwin Stricker are going to be counted on to shine by 2011.