Tag Archives: Vanderbilt

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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Mizzou soccer shuts out Vanderbilt

By Greg Dailey, KBIA Sports

The Missouri Tigers defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores 2-0 Sunday afternoon at Walton Stadium, completing a home weekend sweep.

The Tigers scored in the first minute and never looked back, Read more of this post

Missouri overcomes first half shooting troubles, beats Vanderbilt 67-64

Story by: Cody Mroczka
Photos by: Michael Losch

Missouri forward Torren Jones (24) attempts a shot over a Vanderbilt defender. Jones finished the game with four points, four rebounds and three steals in 18 minutes of action for the Tigers.

Missouri forward Torren Jones (24) attempts a shot over a Vanderbilt defender. Jones finished the game with four points, four rebounds and three steals in 18 minutes of action for the Tigers.

COLUMBIA – It wasn’t pretty.

Shots kept falling short, more than a couple missing everything. The ones too long clanked off the rim and bounced in every direction. What seemed like routine passes, tipped off fingers and landed out of bounds. It wasn’t the defense, just an off night for both teams.

For the first half between Missouri (19-7, 7-6 Southeastern Conference) and Vanderbilt (14-11, 6-7 SEC), it seemed like neither team was going to make it to 50 points on Wednesday at Mizzou Arena. The Commodores led 21-20 going into the break. The 20 points were the lowest the Tigers had scored in a half all season.

“I didn’t expect to hold them to 20 in the half,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings semi-joked. “I’ve seen us get 21, Read more of this post

Missouri set for rematch with Vanderbilt

By Michael Losch

COLUMBIA – Missouri will be ending its three-game home stand against Vanderbilt Wednesday night, hoping to expand on the two-game win streak.

In their last meeting in Nashville, the Commodores gave the Tigers all they could handle behind the 3-point line in a 78-75 win.

Vanderbilt senior forward Rod Odom hit six of the Commodore’s 12 3-pointers on his way to 24 points. Kyle Fuller, a senior guard, added four 3-pointers of his own and finished the game with 22 points.

Missouri will have to step up its perimeter defense if it hopes to stay in the win column. The Tigers had one of their worst defensive outings of the year, allowing the Commodores to shoot 37.5 percent behind the 3-point line. Missouri is currently allowing teams to shoot 31.6 percent and give up an average of seven 3-pointers a game.

While Vanderbilt was hot behind the 3-point line, the Tigers did some damage of their own as Jabari Brown scored 22 points and Jordan Clarkson added 18. The two guards combine for 39.5 points per game, the fourth highest combination in the nation.

Brown has had no trouble finding ways to score in 2014. The junior guard has scored 20 or more points in nine of his last ten outings. He continues to lead the Southeastern Conference in scoring, averaging 22.8 points per game during league play.

Vanderbilt (14-10, 6-6) has won five of its last seven games, recently beating Texas A&M in a 57-54 in overtime. They are tied with Missouri for fifth place in the SEC. Odom leads the Commodores in scoring, averaging 14.7 points per game and shooting 42 percent from the 3-point line. If he can find his stroke at Mizzou Arena, the Tigers may be in trouble.

Missouri (18-7, 6-6) began its win streak by knocking off Arkansas in the final seconds 86-85. Last Saturday, they survived in a 75-70 win over Tennessee. Since 2010, three of the four meetings between Vanderbilt and Missouri have been decided by six points or less.

Missouri is in the hunt for a NCAA tournament bid and must continue to win to be considered. After beating Arkansas, Brown talked about the remaining games on the schedule.

“We got seven games left and we’ll try to get all seven of them. We just have to take it one game at a time.”

So far, the Tigers have done just that.

Mizzou baseball overpowered in Vanderbilt sweep

By Zach Garcia

The Missouri baseball team endured a rough road trip, dropping all three games of a weekend series at the hands of No. 3 Vanderbilt Commodores (33-4, 14-1 Southeastern Conference) in Nashville, Tenn.

In losing three in a row, the Tigers (12-20, 4-11 SEC) were outscored by a combined run total of 39-10 and surrendered double-digit run counts in each of the three losses.

While Missouri’s starting pitching corps has arguably been strong this season, poor performances on the mound sunk the Tigers. None of the Tigers’ starting pitchers (Rob Zastryzny, Brett Graves and Keaton Steele) were able to make it through five innings in their starts and combined to allow 24 runs (23 earned) while only striking out a combined 12 batters. All three starting pitchers were also charged with losses.

At the plate, Missouri produced several strong at-bats but were overmatched by Vanderbilt’s consistent offensive production. Leadoff man Case Munson and Dylan Kelly led the tigers at the plate. Munson reached base six times and lifted his first collegiate home run just over the left field fence and off of a low-standing scoreboard during Saturday’s game at Hawkins Field. The sophomore outfielder finished the series with three runs batted in. Kelly continued a season-long hot streak on offense, reaching base four times and holding his batting average steady at .333.

Missouri will begin this week’s action by finishing a home-and-home series with Missouri State (21-10). The Tigers beat the Bears in a tightly contested 5-4 game last Tuesday in Springfield, and the in-state rivals will face each other once more for a 6 p.m. game Wednesday at Taylor Stadium.

Game Capsules:

Friday: Vanderbilt 11, Missouri 5

The Tigers squandered two early-inning leads, including a 4-3 mark after an inning and a half, as the Commodores eventually powered their way past Rob Zastryzny and four Missouri relief pitchers. Zastryzny was tagged with his sixth loss of the season after giving up six runs on eight hits and four walks in 4 innings pitched. He also struck out six. Missouri pitchers Jake Walsh (three runs in an inning pitched) and Peter Fairbanks (two runs on two batters faced and no outs recorded) were also roughed up, but John Miles pitched two scoreless innings. Missouri outfielder Dane Opel hit his third home run of the year, a solo shot in the seventh inning, but Vanderbilt countered with three home runs of its own – including two from outfielder Connor Harrell.

Saturday: Vanderbilt 12, Missouri 1

Case Munson hit a home run in the fourth inning to put the Tigers on the board, but it was all Vanderbilt for the rest of the afternoon. The Commodores used a strong effort on the mound from starting pitcher Tyler Beede (7 innings pitched, three hits and 10 strikeouts with no walks) and 19 hits at the plate to cruise to their second win of the weekend. Missouri starting pitcher Brett Graves was battered around, giving up nine earned runs on 12 hits in 4 1/3 innings to fall to a personal 0-5 mark on the season.

Sunday: Vanderbilt 16, Missouri 4

The Tigers managed a better output on offense Sunday, scoring three times on a rally in the fourth inning and adding another run in the seventh, but the Commodores were once again too much for visiting Missouri to handle. Vanderbilt set a season-high mark for runs in the blowout, led by Connor Harrell’s four hits and four runs batted in. Reigning SEC Player of the Week Keaton Steele was inserted into the lineup as both the starting pitcher and the third hitter for Missouri on Sunday but faltered in both slots. He went hitless in three at-bats on offense and lasting only 3 2/3 innings on the mound, giving up nine runs (eight earned runs) on eight hits and four walks.

Quick hits from the weekend:

• With a 4-11 record midway through its Southeastern Conference schedule, Missouri is ranked 13th in the 14-team SEC Conference standings with fifteen more conference games to play. Only the top 12 teams qualify for the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. in May, and the Tigers currently trail both Auburn (5-10) and Tennessee (5-10) by one game in the standings. Georgia (3-12) is one game behind Missouri.

• Missouri pitcher Eric Anderson saw his first action since the opening weekend of the season this week, with relief appearances against both Missouri State and Vanderbilt. Anderson, a junior from Highlands Ranch, Colo., was one of Missouri’s top starting pitchers in 2012 before receiving Tommy John Surgery in May. He had a minor restrain of the injury following the Memphis series in February and was brought along slowly by the Missouri coaching staff for precautionary reasons. Anderson pitched a scoreless inning against Missouri State on Tuesday but surrendered two runs on three hits over two innings in Sunday’s loss to the Commodores.

• Sunday’s game concluded a stretch in which the Tigers played 11 of 15 games away from Taylor Stadium. They went 5-10 over the 15-game span. Missouri will play 12 of their final 18 games at home.

 

SEC coaches predict Mizzou baseball to finish last

By John Guminski

Last year was a strong year for the Missouri Tigers baseball team: they finished the 2012 season with an overall record of 33-28, captured the Big 12 postseason championship, and won a game at the College World Series Regional tournament. So it came as somewhat of a shock Tuesday when the annual preseason Southeastern Conference coaches’ poll predicted Missouri to finish in last place in Eastern Division play.

The same poll predicts that the Arkansas Razorbacks will win the 2013 SEC baseball championship.

While the Tigers had what was considered an above-average season in Big 12, similar to the football season, the Tigers are going to have to prove that they can compete in the SEC.

Missouri coach Tim Jamieson believes that his team needs to get onto the field to prove they belong. He said, “There is always going to be naysayers and critics and it’s always relative to the weather or whatever reason we don’t deserve it. We get to Omaha and maybe that will change.” The annual College World Series is held in Omaha, Neb.

The competition in the SEC will be stiff. The conference is loaded with eight preseason top 25 teams. With nine College World Series titles, the SEC is second to the Pac 12’s 16 titles. The Big 12 has two.

The SEC also has a knack for getting fans to games, owning six of the top 10 average attendance spots in 2011, the most recent year available.

Senior outfielder Scott Sommerfeld is not concerned with the critics, saying,

“I’ve heard a lot of opinions and what not but I am just here to play ball. We have 35 guys fighting for the same goal and that’s college baseball.”

Arkansas (46-22) took the number one spot in both the SEC Coaches poll and the USA Today preseason national rankings. Since 1996, the Razorbacks have won nine SEC championships. Vanderbilt is predicted to win in the East Division.

All-time, Missouri is 38-36-1 against SEC schools.

The 2013 SEC regular season begins Friday, February 15, with conference play set to begin Friday, March 15. The SEC Tournament will be played at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Ala., May 21-26.

Points were compiled on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division.  Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.  Each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.

SEC coaches’ preseason poll

Eastern Division  
Team Points
1) Vanderbilt 89 (12)
2) Florida 67
3) Kentucky 59 (1)
    South Carolina 59 (1)
5) Georgia 41
6) Tennessee 29
7) Missouri 23
Western Division
Team Points
1) Arkansas 90 (12)
2) LSU  75 (1)
3) Mississippi State  59 (1)
4) Ole Miss 54
5) Texas A&M 51
6) Alabama 26
7) Auburn 24
SEC Champion: Arkansas (9), Vanderbilt (3), Kentucky (1), LSU (1)

Missouri frustrated, beaten by Vanderbilt for second SEC home loss

Story by Joe Vozzelli

Photos by Peter Marek

MIssouri defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson drags Jordan Rodgers to the ground for his only sack of the night on Oct. 6, 2012 at Faurot Field. The sack was a lone bright spot in the 19-15 Missouri loss. Photo by Peter Marek.

For the second straight time in a home Southeastern Conference game, Missouri’s players listened as the opposing teams’ fans serenaded them.

While Vanderbilt ran out the clock late in the fourth quarter to secure a 19-15 victory over Missouri, Commodores fans chanted “S-E-C, S-E-C, S-E-C” to remind Missouri that the team has yet to record a conference win in its inaugural SEC season.

The barb was reminiscent of Georgia’s “old-man football” chant after beating the Tigers on September 8, turning lineman Sheldon Richardson’s comments into a derisive farewell.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said it’s hard to formulate a message for his players after a tough loss.

“It’s just difficult. I don’t think there’s any magic (answer) to it there,” he said. “Our guys are very competitive and they want to win and be successful. I’ve been here before and we don’t like it.”

Missouri defensive back Kip Edwards didn’t shy away from being honest about scene in the Tigers’ locker room after the game.

“It’s quiet, you don’t hear anybody talking. It hurts,” he said.

Edwards had an interesting reaction, though, when he was asked if this loss to the Commodores has led to frustration within the locker room.

“Frustration? No, I don’t think there’s any frustration when we’ve got a game next week,” he said.

Pinkel saw a combination of emotions from his players after they walked back to the locker room following the game.

“They’re frustrated, they’re angry and they should be,” he said.

Part of the dismay had to stem from Missouri’s offensive woes after quarterback James Franklin suffered a knee injury. Franklin appeared to suffer the injury on a 23-yard run in the first quarter, receiving a helmet-to-knee hit from Commodores safety Eric Samuels. Franklin stayed in the game for the remainder of Missouri’s offensive series, which resulted in a 28-yard Andrew Baggett field goal to give Missouri a 6-0 lead.

The injury forced Franklin into the Missouri locker room. He emerged later, wearing sweatpants and a black baseball hat. Franklin has a strained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, Pinkel said, and will miss “a few weeks.” The coach doesn’t expect Missouri’s starting quarterback to play against Alabama next Saturday.

Franklin also missed Missouri’s game against Arizona State on September 15 because of an inflamed bursa sac in his right throwing shoulder.

Pinkel said this season has been tough on Franklin.

“James was really playing good. So I feel bad for him. Seems like, for some reason, the injury bug has hit him,” Pinkel said.

Franklin wasn’t the only Missouri player to leave the game with an injury. Tailback/punt returner Marcus Murphy left with a dislocated ring finger and starting center Mitch Morse came out with a knee injury. Pinkel doesn’t expect Morse to play against Alabama either. The Tigers also missed linebacker Will Ebner, the team’s leading tackler, who sat out the contest with an injured hamstring.

Also missing from the game was freshman Dorial Green-Beckham, who was suspended from the game after being arrested earlier in the week on a drug charge.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Corbin Berkstresser, who took over for Franklin, struggled for much of the game, going 9-for-30 with 189 yards and a touchdown.

Most of Berkstresser’s passing yards happened on an 85-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Bud Sasser. The touchdown reception was Missouri’s longest pass completion since a 98-yard hookup between quarterback Pete Woods and tailback Joe Stewart against Nebraska in October 1976.

Sasser wasn’t sure if the pass was intended for him, or wide receiver Gahn McGaffie, who jumped for the ball, as well.

The long touchdown closed Missouri’s deficit to 16-15 with an extra point left but the Tigers weren’t able to tie the game, bobbling the point after snap.

Sasser said mistakes like those can be “game changers.”

Defensive end Kony Ealy said Missouri’s struggles on offense didn’t cause the Missouri defense to become frustrated, even though the defense held the Commodores to 295 total offense yards.

“We’ve got to execute our plays. You can’t get frustrated with anybody else. You’ve got to do your job,” he said.

Missouri (3-3) will need to execute on a high level next week when it faces No. 1 Alabama (5-0). The Tigers will play host to the Crimson Tide at 2:30 p.m. at Faurot Field on CBS.

Edwards was blunt about how the team should approach the week leading up to the Alabama game.

“It’s time for our leaders to lead and our captains to lead as well,” he said.

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Both Mizzou and Vanderbilt looking for first conference win

By The Associated Press

One school is looking for its first Southeastern Conference win – ever. The other continues a century-long quest for SEC respect and relevance, let alone a rare winning season.

Missouri (3-2, 0-2 SEC) and Vanderbilt (1-3, 0-2) don’t have much of a rivalry. The schools have only played four times and last met more than 50 years ago, though they first squared off in 1895. Missouri continues to seek SEC success in its first season after leaving the Big 12.

The Tigers lost lopsided conference games to No. 5 Georgia and No. 6 South Carolina, both by 21-point margins. And they will be without wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, one of five freshmen suspended for one game after a Wednesday night campus drug bust.

Green-Beckham and teammates Torey Boozer and Levi Copelin were arrested on misdemeanor drug charges after allegedly being caught smoking marijuana in a parking lot near Memorial Stadium.

One week before a visit from No. 1 Alabama, Missouri can’t afford to look past the Commodores, who have just two winning seasons in 30 years and five bowl appearances in school history. Missouri is seeking its eighth straight bowl appearance under coach Gary Pinkel, but a home loss this weekend could jeopardize that streak. Missouri’s conference schedule includes trips to No. 10 Florida, Tennessee and fellow Big 12 expat Texas A&M.

“This is just as big as any Georgia game or Alabama game,” said cornerback E.J. Gaines, who collected a career-high 13 tackles in the Tigers’ 21-16 win at Central Florida last week. “We need a victory this week.”

Second-year Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, who is not related to the Missouri quarterback with the same name, led the once-woeful Commodores to a 6-6 regular season record and a Liberty Bowl berth in 2011 after consecutive 2-10 seasons preceding his arrival. The ‘Dores played South Carolina tough in a 17-13 Week 1 loss in Nashville but lost to Georgia 48-3 in Athens and by 10 points at No. 24 Northwestern.

Vanderbilt’s only win this season was a 48-point shutout of Presbyterian, a lower-level Football Championship Subdivision school.

Franklin, a former offensive coordinator at Maryland and Kansas State who also coached NFL wide receivers with the Green Bay Packers, said the challenges of competing in SEC football as an academically rigorous private school haven’t gone away.

“We’ve been dealing with those challenges since the day we arrived on campus,” he said. “That’s part of the culture change, that’s part of the expectations, and that’s part of the process we’re still working through.”

Franklin said he expects senior Jordan Rodgers to start at quarterback, though he replaced the younger brother of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers with Wyoming transfer Austyn Carta-Samuels for the Presbyterian game. Rodgers started against Georgia and completed 13 of 23 passes for 218 yards with no interceptions and no touchdowns.

Vanderbilt faces Missouri after a bye week, the second of three straight Tiger opponents to get an extra week of preparation. Pinkel downplayed the significance of the free week for his opponents. “I would love to have two weeks to prepare for every team we play,” he said. “If you have a bye, it’s good, but if you don’t, you don’t really think about it because it doesn’t really matter.. ..It doesn’t change anything we do.”

Missouri’s injury-plagued offensive line expects the return of starting left tackle Elvis Fisher, who missed three games with a knee injury. The three-year starter also missed the 2011 season after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament in the preseason, gaining a sixth year of eligibility counting his redshirt season.

Pinkel was among the most vocal advocates at Missouri for bolting the Big 12 in favor of the SEC, even if he now realizes that joining the conference responsible for the last six national champions can make for some sleepless nights. “The big thing I see in this league – and I knew it going into it – there’s just a lot more good teams,” he said. “That’s the difference. Not to be disrespectful to anybody. That’s just fact.” ___

Missouri’s Dorial Green-Beckham among five freshmen suspended for Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt

This story was updated at 8:08 p.m.

By Joe Vozzelli

From left: Freshmen Dorial Green-Beckham, Levi Copelin and Torey Boozer were arrested just before midnight Wednesday.

Missouri freshman wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham and four other players have been suspended for Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt.

Green-Beckham, the No. 1  recruit in the 2012 class according to Rivals, was arrested Wednesday night on suspicion of marijuana possession, according to MU Police Capt. Brian Weimer. Freshman receiver Levi Copelin and freshman linebacker Torey Boozer were also arrested, Weimer said.

Green-Beckham, Copelin and Boozer were found in a white 2004 Lincoln Navigator in parking Lot G, which is just south of Memorial Stadium. The three of them had less than 35 grams of marijuana, according to Weimer. Green-Beckham is the registered owner of the Lincoln Navigator.

Each was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of possession and released with a summons to appear in court next month. Under a 2004 ballot measure approved by city voters, possession of small amounts of pot in Columbia is treated as a low-level offense in municipal court similar to a traffic citation. Violators typically pay a fine of no more than $250 and receive community service in lieu of jail time.

Capt. Weimer was able to confirm that freshman defensive lineman Harold Brantley and freshman tight end Brandon Holifield were also in the car. They were not arrested, though.

Green-Beckham, who is listed as a reserve but is often on the field in three- and four-receiver sets, is the only player among the five to see meaningful action this year. The rest are expected to redshirt their freshman seasons.

The MU Provost Office couldn’t comment on whether or not Green-Beckham, Copelin or Boozer would be subject to any academic suspensions.

Green-Beckham, Copelin, Boozer, Brantley and Holifield have all been suspended for Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt (1-3), Missouri football spokesman Chad Moller said in a statement.

The statement also said the situation would be handled internally and that the team had no further comment.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.

Vanderbilt struggles with poor start, quarterback troubles

By the Associated Press

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin says the open date came at a good time for his Commodores after their most lopsided loss for the program since 2003.

The Commodores (1-2, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) had a week off after a 48-3 loss to then-No. 5 Georgia on Sept. 22 – a game that easily was the worst since Franklin arrived on campus in December 2010.

“We’ve had some very honest discussions this week and last week,” Franklin said on Monday.

Coaches spent last week recruiting and also compared this year’s start to opening 3-1 a year ago. Franklin said the Commodores are very similar to a year ago in throwing and running the ball. The big difference comes on defense where Vanderbilt forced more turnovers, 16 compared to just four this season.

“I think there were times last year where we played physical offenses but we were able to get huge momentum plays at critical times,” he said. “We just haven’t had them right now . The competition we’ve played, all these different things, we’re really not that far off of where we were last year.”

Besides the lack of turnovers, Vanderbilt’s defense has been stellar with the exception of the Georgia game.

The Commodores allowed 27 points by halftime and gave up 567 yards, including 302 on the ground. Even so, Vanderbilt still ranks eighth nationally in pass defense giving up 141.8 yards per game and 28th in total defense allowing 328 yards.

“We’ve got to come out with a mentality and a swagger that we are going to hit you in the mouth every play,” defensive end Walker May said. “Forget what happens next, we’re going to make it happen.”

Now Vanderbilt will prepare to visit Missouri (3-2, 0-2) Saturday night for the first time since 1958 with each team looking for the first league win. Franklin gave the Commodores three days off last week, though his coaches started working on Missouri last week.

The Commodores practiced Sunday and were able to dive right into preparing for Missouri without having to look back at a game.

“There’s no doubt it gives you an advantage,” Franklin said.

The Commodores also need more production from their offense, especially in the red zone.

In 15 trips inside opponents’ 20, they’ve scored just four touchdowns and all came against Presbyterian of the Football Championship Subdivision. The Commodores have settled for field goals six times and turned the ball over three times – all by quarterback Jordan Rodgers.

The senior remains atop the depth chart this week. He lost his job to Wyoming transfer Austyn Carta-Samuels prior to the Presbyterian game. But Rodgers started against Georgia and completed 13 of 23 passes for 218 yards with no interceptions but no touchdowns either.

Franklin said Rodgers will start against Missouri “if he practices well this week.”

“If we would probably have played last Saturday, he would have been the starter,” Franklin said. “But this week stands alone and we’ll see how this week goes.”