Looking ahead to gameday: Missouri

Editor’s note: In preparation of the upcoming football season, K-Stated will look ahead to all 12 games on the Wildcats’ 2011 schedule. Next up, Baylor.

The Missouri Tigers lost Blaine Gabbert and Aldon Smith to the NFL, and for that reason no one is predicting them as a legitimate contender for a Big 12 championship this season.

But that doesn’t mean they still can’t make a run at 10 wins.

Missouri returns nine starters on offense and seven on defense from a team that lost to Iowa in the Insight Bowl last year. That’s more than enough talent to beat most of the opponents on its schedule.

Even though the Tigers don’t appear to be as strong as Oklahoma, Oklahoma State or Texas A&M, they do look a step above everyone else in the league. They open the season ranked in the Top 25.
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Postgame: Missouri 38, K-State 28

Mizzougame

Mistakes doomed the Kansas State football team on Saturday. The Wildcats turned the ball over four times and let a close game slip away from them in the third quarter. Here’s a deeper look:

THE GOOD
1. Collin Klein once again looked fantastic running the ball. The sophomore quarterback came off the bench to lead K-State on three scoring drives and amassed 141 rushing yards on 18 attempts. He also completed four of six passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.

Defenses have yet to figure him out. In the first half he converted a third-and-long near his own end zone by breaking loose for 36 yards on a quarterback draw. Questions remain about his throwing ability, but the bigger question after Saturday’s game was why didn’t he play more?

2. Tre Walker is making a huge impact on K-State’s defense as a freshman. The linebacker led the Wildcats with 12 tackles and also grabbed an interception in the third quarter.
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Gameday Preview: K-State at Missouri

Mizzou-KSU

Kansas State is out to build off its big win over Texas. Missouri is trying to get its season back on track.

There will be a lot on the line at 11:30 a.m. today when the Wildcats take on the Tigers at Faurot Field. Both teams are trying to improve their bowl stock, and pick up a big win before heading into their final two games.

Missouri is undefeated at home this season and is a two-touchdown favorite according to the odds makers. But with K-State’s uncertain quarterback situation and improved defensive play of late, this game is not easy to figure. At the least, it should be closer than Missouri’s 38-12 win over K-State last season.
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This week’s player to watch: Michael Egnew

Michael EgnewThe Missouri football team is once again prominently featuring a tight end in its offense this season.

His name is Michael Egnew.

Through nine games, he has caught 66 passes for 531 yards and three touchdowns. His receptions total is the most in the nation among tight ends. The next closest (Iowa State’s Collin Franklin) has 40 to his name.

Pretty impressive, but if you are familiar with Missouri’s offense under coach Gary Pinkel, a pass-first tight end is nothing new. Martin Rucker and Chase Coffman were both All-Americans at the position, and some argued that Danario Alexander could have been listed as a tight end last season.

Egnew is simply the latest in a long line of big targets for Mizzou quarterbacks to throw to.
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Looking ahead to Gameday: at Missouri

Gabbert

Editor’s note: In preparation of the upcoming football season, K-Stated will look ahead to all 12 games on the Wildcats’ 2010 schedule. Next up, Texas.

If Nebraska doesn’t win the Big 12 North this season, Missouri will likely be the team that does.

Most college football experts are predicting the Tigers to make a run at double-digit wins, and challenge the Cornhuskers one last time before they leave for the Big 10.

With Blaine Gabbert returning to lead the offense after throwing for 3,593 yards and 24 touchdowns as a freshman last year, and 15 starters returning overall, Mizzou’s offense will once again be powerful. But will the Tigers have enough defense to make it through a brutal four-game stretch in the middle of the season?
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Player to watch: J.T. Tiller

J.T. Tiller

Missouri has won 29 straight home games, and the Tigers’ full-court press is always difficult to handle.

But Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin believes senior Mizzou guard J.T. Tiller can be just as hard to prepare for as either of those factors.

“It’s very important to us that we contain J.T. Tiller,” Martin said. “He’s going to try to come up with every single loose ball during the course of the game. Well, we can’t let that happen, because that’s what he brings to the table.”
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