Tag Archives: College Football

Mizzou Football Media Day Notes

By Christian Clark, KBIA Sports

Ground game trending upward: A Missouri offense that looked listless through four games of Southeastern Conference play finally showed signs of life in its weekend win over Vanderbilt.

While was it not a dominant performance, the Tigers at least showed the ability to sustain long scoring drives en-route to racking up 385 yards of total offense — by far their healthiest output through four games of conference play.

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Pinkel agrees to contract extension through 2020

By Mary Kate Burgess

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, with headset, on the sidelines during Saturday's game.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, with headset, on the sidelines during a game at Memorial Stadium.

COLUMBIA- Missouri’s winningest football coach in history has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him around through 2020 an bump his salary to $3.1 million.

Gary Pinkel had his best season to date in 2013, taking the Tigers from a 5-7 record and a failure to qualify for a bowl game to 12-2, a second-place finish in the Southeastern Conference Championship game and a victory in the Cotton Bowl over Oklahoma State. With his win in the Cotton Bowl, Pinkel passed legendary Missouri coach Don Faurot as the Read more of this post

Thinking Out Loud, Saturday Sports: Talking football with Phil Steele

Darren Hellwege logoThis week Darren talks about the selection pick of James Franklin as starting quarterback and Mizzou’s depth at quarterback. He also talks about the possibilities with Dorial Green-Beckham and the need for him to step up his game.

Darren’s long form interview this week is with national college football writer Phil Steele, talking about his predictions for Southeastern Conference teams.


Length: 59:00

Darren Hellwege is a member of the United States Basketball Writers Association and the Football Writers Association of America

Franklin won’t let injuries, criticism get him down

By Peter Marek and Joe Vozzelli

The first year in the Southeastern Conference was tough for Missouri quarterback James Franklin, but not just because of the competition. Franklin suffered three different injuries in the season — and a lot of pressure from the fans. With producer Joe Vozzelli, KBIA reporter Peter Marek talks with Franklin about his year at the helm of the Missouri football team.

Darren Hellwege returns with his weekly sports show

Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012
Darren Hellwege logo

This week Darren talks about Missouri’s win over Southeastern Louisiana, the game against Georgia, and that “old man football” comment by Sheldon Richardson. He also looks at Missouri’s volleyball and soccer seasons so far. Darren’s guest this week is KOMU Sports Director Chris Gervino.

You can listen to Darren’s show Saturdays at 6 a.m. on KBIA FM 91.3

Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk arrested

By the Associated Press

Missouri freshman quarterback Maty Mauk has been arrested on suspicion of four charges including leaving the scene of an accident after a scooter mishap.

Mauk is third on the depth chart after a record-setting high school career in Kenton, Ohio, and is the second Missouri quarterback to have a scrape with the law in recent months. Redshirt freshman Corbin Berkstresser, the backup, was arrested and charged in May with a misdemeanor for hitting a parked car with his truck and leaving the scene.

Missouri spokesman Chad Moller said the school was aware of the situation and was dealing with it internally. The Tigers open the season Saturday night against Southeastern Louisiana.

Campus police said Mauk made contact with two vehicles on his scooter with two female passengers onboard just after midnight Thursday morning, then refused to pull over and ran a stop sign.

Mauk turned himself in later Thursday morning and was arrested on four misdemeanor charges, including leaving the scene/failure to report, operating a vehicle in a reckless manner and running a stop sign. He was transported to Boone County Jail where he posted $1,000 bond.

Moe’s return expected this week for Mizzou football

Receiver anxious to lead by example on the field

By the Associated Press

Missouri receiver T.J. Moe never expects to be covered during a play, and he lets quarterback James Franklin know as much in the huddle.

Moe has the numbers to back up his expectations after leading the team in receptions and receiving yards in 2010 and 2011. This year, he looks to do it again as both a senior and a captain.

“I like being at the top of the totem pole,” he said. “You’re captain, you’re a senior leader, guys listen to you. You can really lead them in a direction. And if you know what you’re doing, it’s a good place to be.”

Although it took three years for Moe to reach the top, leadership isn’t necessarily a new concept. He played quarterback in high school, amassing more than 4,500 yards and a combined 61 touchdowns through the air and on the ground his senior year.

Two years later, as a sophomore at Missouri, he caught 92 passes for 1,045 yards and six touchdowns, leading the team in each category. Last year, he had 54 receptions for 649 yards and four touchdowns.

“I know he’s going to go out there and he’s going to do his job to get open,” Franklin said. “He’s a fast guy and we love getting him the ball.”

Gaudy stats and being atop the depth chart for the third consecutive season have likely contributed to Moe’s outspokenness. But aside from witty sound bites given to the media, what Moe does outside the spotlight commands the greatest respect from his teammates.

“The amount of time he puts in the weight room, the way he works on the practice field, the way he studies to get himself ready to play,” offensive coordinator Dave Yost said. “It’s at the utmost, highest level you could ask from a guy.”

A third-team selection in the Southeastern Conference coaches’ preseason poll, Moe wasn’t sure he’d be able to start in Missouri’s first game in its new league. After hurting his hamstring in June during a workout, he has been withheld from contact drills since practices began Aug. 2.

Moe has also sat out both of the team’s scrimmages during camp as a precaution, but coach Gary Pinkel expects him to fully participate starting Tuesday. A final scrimmage is scheduled for Thursday.

The 6-foot, 200-pound receiver said he isn’t missing anything that will cause him to not be ready for the season opener Sept. 1 against Southeastern Louisiana. Football is football, and he’s been playing it for 15 years.

“It’s just people aren’t hitting me yet, which is good,” Moe said. “If we had a game two weeks ago, I’d have been playing.”

But being on the sideline at times during practice has changed his style of leadership.

“Guys haven’t seen me, it’s hard when you’re not doing the same thing everyone else is doing and leading by example,” he said. “So it’s been a lot more words this camp. But up until this point, it’s always been by example. The best leaders are the guys who have them both.”

Moe isn’t the only experienced receiver, though. Marcus Lucas and L’Damian Washington saw extensive playing time last year — both played all 13 games and combined for 43 receptions, 778 yards and eight touchdowns.

Gahn McGaffie, a senior listed second on the depth chart behind Moe at slot receiver, has been playing with the first-string offense in practice and is likely to improve upon his career totals of nine receptions and 58 yards.

That experience translates to a sense of ease for a quarterback trying to find an open man.

“It definitely helps James,” McGaffie said. “Because he trusts everyone on the field. When you build that trust factor with everybody on the field, it makes him more comfortable out there.”

Moe called Franklin, a second-year starter, one of many leaders who make the Tigers a pretty good football team.

“Everything (Moe) does is for the Mizzou offense, for the Mizzou football team,” Yost said. “And that’s why I think the team voted him a captain. He got a lot of votes from a lot of guys because that’s the respect he has on the team, not just the offense but as a whole team.”

Franklin has strong showing in Missouri scrimmage

Quarterback James Franklin, right, enjoys a laugh with offensive lineman Max Copeland before the start of Thursday’s practice.

The offense fumbled the first play of scrimmage Thursday and things didn’t get much better from there. The defense to recorded an 18-4 victory over the offense, the second in two scrimmages.

A botched exchange between quarterback James Franklin and center Mitch Morse on the first play was recovered by the defense, giving them a quick 2-0 lead in the scrimmage. The offense turned the ball over four times, including one by Tyler Davis, who carried the ball 51 yards for a touchdown.

The Missouri offense is peppered with 10 injured players. The defense has five key players out with injuries.

Despite the rough start, Franklin threw for 177 yards, going 16 of 25, including one touchdown. Coach Gary Pinkel wants to see more consistency and said Franklin’s play improved near the end of the scrimmage.

“It was a little bit like Kansas State last year, or Kansas last year, where he wasn’t playing very well and all of the sudden he looks like he’s going to be first team All-SEC,” Pinkel said. “That’s disappointing. We’ll talk to James about that.

Pinkel said the defense dominated, getting interceptions from Tyler Davis, Ian Simon and Clarence Green. The defense was without linebacker Will Ebner (neck), cornerback Kip Edwards (knee) and tackle Matt Hoch (hamstring).

“We’ll be ready to go, it’ll just be nice to get everyone back,” Pinkel said. “I think the most important thing is the continuity of playing together as a unit.”

Wide receivers T.J. Moe (hamstring) and L’Damian Washington (shoulder) and offensive tackle Justin Britt (foot) missed Thursday’s action.

This story includes Staff and Associated Press reports.

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Mizzou football tickets sell out for the first time

Move to SEC bringing in the fans

Before the first ball has been hiked, the first ball spiked or the first goal scored, the move to the Southeastern Conference is showing its impact on Missouri athletics.

For the first the university has sold out its season tickets for football — approximately 46,500.

Quoted in an email, coach Gary Pinkel said, “What a remarkable showing by our fans. They have really embraced our program and our move to the SEC.”

“This is truly an historic benchmark which everyone in Tiger Nation can take pride in,” said Director of Athletics Mike Alden.

The sell-out leaves only single-game and visiting team tickets are available.

But according to MU Athletics tickets might not be available to the public for all games. Members of the Tiger Scholarship Fund have the first opportunity to buy single game tickets to SEC games, followed by season ticket holders. If tickets remain, SEC games will go on sale to the public on Friday, Aug. 24, beginning at 6 p.m. online at MUTigers.com.

Yost is confident in Mizzou’s running game

By The Associated Press

When Missouri tailback Henry Josey tore his left ACL, MCL and patellar tendon in November, there was little doubt he would be watching the season’s remaining games from the sidelines.

The bigger question was: Would he return in 2012, or ever, for that matter?

Fast-forward nine months and, as the team practices for the upcoming season, Josey is still watching. Coach Gary Pinkel called the timing of Josey’s return “difficult,” saying there’s no hurry to play him this year.

“Time will tell,” Pinkel said. “The most important thing is he’s healed and is 100 percent and ready to go. He’s got two years left and we want to be smart about what we do.”

With last year’s leading rusher out indefinitely, the Tigers need someone to help in the run game besides quarterback James Franklin, who ran for 981 yards in 2011, second only to Josey’s 1,168.

Enter Kendial Lawrence.

Lawrence is currently projected as the starter, a familiar position. He began last season atop the depth chart before breaking his left fibula in practice prior to the team’s second game at Arizona State. De’Vion Moore then sprained his right ankle in the first series against the Sun Devils, paving the way for Josey.

“He was our starting tailback last year coming out of camp and coming out of spring ball a year ago,” offensive coordinator Dave Yost said. “We know he has that ability. I think you saw last year, when Henry did go down, we didn’t have Henry Josey, but we still had a threat at tailback.”

His broken fibula healed, Lawrence ran for 371 yards in the final four games, including the game Josey injured his knee.

“Toward the end of the season, my injuries started going away,” Lawrence said. “Around probably the bowl game was when I was at my best. And I want to pick it up from there.”

Lawrence finished with 566 yards, or 566 yards more than Marcus Murphy, who’s second on this year’s depth chart and returning after sitting out last season with a torn labrum. In his freshman season, Murphy carried the ball 22 times for 181 yards and two touchdowns.

While Lawrence and Murphy — who primarily served as a kickoff-returner as a freshman — are both 5-9, under 200 pounds and threats in the open field, current third-stringer Jared McGriff-Culver provides the team an option to advance in short-yardage situations. The 5-11, 250-pound tailback only rushed 16 times a year ago but played in all 13 games.

Yost said the team isn’t afraid to use different tailbacks for specialized situations or rely on its depth as it did out of necessity in 2011.

“We seem to always have a bunch of small good guys,” Franklin said. “We’re going to have one starter, but we’ve got a lot of guys who are going to play and make an impact.”

With Josey out and Franklin admittedly reluctant to carry as heavy a load again after injuring his shoulder in spring camp, Missouri faces a difficult task in using inexperienced tailbacks against the Southeastern Conference.

The Tigers use a spread offense to create holes for its tailbacks — and Franklin — to run through.

The tactic worked last year against the Big 12 — Missouri finished 11th in the country with 3,172 yards rushing and 5.4-yards per attempt.

Notably stout defensive lines in the SEC may not play along, though. Excluding Texas A&M, which also left the Big 12, six of the Tigers’ seven other conference opponents this season project heavier starting defensive lines than any team Missouri faced last season.

“We’re coming in there new kids on the block,” Culver said. “New style. So they have to adjust to us. We have to adjust to them. But they have to adjust to us.”

But Lawrence thinks the comparison between conferences is overblown, saying the game is the same.

“We know at the end of the day, we’re football players just like they are. And we work just like they do,” he said.