Missouri Tigers 2012

Missouri 2011 Statistics

(SEC) The Tigers play home games on artificial (FieldTurf) at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field (seats 68,349)

  • Gary Pinkel is in his 12th year as head coach at Missouri.  Last year they dipped down to 8-5 after finishing 10-3 the season prior.  But unlike their finish to 2010, they completed 2011 with a bowl win. They beat North Carolina 41-24 in the Independence Bowl.
  • Last year, with the loss of quarterback Blaine Gabbert to the NFL as a first round draft pick, the thought was that it would be a tough transition for James Franklin and his meager 14 passing attempts entering the season. But he threw 376 passes last year and had a 63% completion rate.  And overall, the passing offense wasn’t too bad, ranking 63rd in the nation.
  • This year James Franklin is in his second year as quarterback.  Injuries have taken a toll on him already and he sat out spring practice after having shoulder surgery.  He’s a true dual threat quarterback who ran for almost 1,000 yards (and 15 TDs), while passing for over 2,800 yards (and 21 TDs). But now he enters the SEC where he’s been told that the defenders are “7 feet tall and breathe fire.”  The offense is expected to change somewhat in the new conference, but Missouri will predominantly be a spread team, with the use of some pro sets.

    Quarterback James Franklin

  • The passing offense certainly benefited from the threat of the rushing attack.  Last year Mizzou had the #1 rushing offense in the Big 12 (10th in the nation). Henry Josey led the team with 1168 yards and 9 touchdowns and Kendial Lawrence was 3rd after mobile QB Franklin. Lawrence takes the responsibility at running back as the return of Henry Josey is uncertain.  Josey was lost last November after he suffered a torn MCL, torn ACL and a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee. Lawrence enters his senior year with 244 rushes for 1207 yards and 9 TDs over the past three seasons.  What would really help this team transition to the SEC would be if he can match the three year totals in just this single season.
  • Receivers T.J. Moe and Michael Egnew had about 50 catches each (a big decrease from around the 90 catches they had in 2010 from Gabbert).
  • In 2011 that the only offensive linemen they had to replace was at Center and they had 9 of their top 10 back. BUT this year just two starters return on the line. But they also have the return of Left Tackle Elvis Fisher, who had surgery last year to repair a ruptured left patellar tendon shortly after being named a captain.  This year this unit has already seen some injuries during training camp, but hopefully these are just temporary issues. Especially because the defenses they are going up against in the SEC are going to be much more challenging than those that they saw in the Big 12.
  • Defense returns 6 starters.  Defensive line is especially hit by graduation and off-season injuries.  Hopefully the scholarship players and those with starting experience will be healthy by fall.  But they still miss the opportunity to practice in the spring. The good part of that is that the other players gain valuable experience and can help with depth if injuries continue to plague this unit.  The bad part is that they will be facing tougher rushing offenses in the SEC this year so there might be an adjustment period.
  • Experience really makes a difference for the defense backs on this team.  Last year they lost three of their four starters in their secondary and they fell to the 95th passing defense in the nation.  This was a blow considering that the year prior they had all four starting defensive backs and improved to 37th (2010) from 104th the year before (2009).  But this year, the defensive backs as well as the linebackers are in good shape—they are athletic, talented and (unlike the D-line) they return a considerable amount of talent from last year.  The good news is that the SEC passing and scoring offenses are nowhere near as productive as the Big 12.  Now the question becomes is that because SEC teams face tougher defenses, which is why their average passing offense ranks 82nd (vs 47th in Big 12) and average scoring offense ranks 62nd (vs 35th in Big 12)?  But if you look at game-by-game statistics and compare non-conference games vs SEC games, that’s not necessarily the case.  Therefore, this leads me to believe that Missouri’s linebackers and defensive backs will have a chance to really shine this year in the SEC—and they will really have to if they are going to help their inexperienced defensive line stop the much tougher SEC running games they will see.
  • Missouri plays its first conference game against Georgia on September 8.

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