This Saturday morning the rooster can sleep in as the day is awakened with the crack of a drum stick to a Kevlar coated drum head. Rise and shine football fans, Mizzou Tiger football opens the 2014 football season against the South Dakota St. Jackrabbits.
There should be no concern regarding who wins this game. This will be the Tigers from start to finish. Little if anything can be squeezed from these non-conference exhibition games. There are, however, four areas that Tiger fans should lend their focus.
Who Catches On?
Who begins establishing themselves at the receiver position? Bud Sasser, Jimmy Hunt and Darius White return with the most cleat-to-turf experience. None have been expected to carry the load an entire season though all three have shown glimpses of being dynamic playmakers. If not one of these veterans, it will need to be either J’Mon Moore, Lawrence Lee or Nate Brown.
Who Runs With It?
Russell Hansbrough is the clear cut number 1 tailback. Hansbrough has nothing to prove on Saturday. Marcus Murphy will continue doing what he does. And that is EVERYTHING. Morgan Steward will be nursing a hip injury and should not even be suited up against the Jackrabbits. So who plays the role of tailback number 3 Saturday? Ish Witter. True freshman Ish Witter burns the redshirt and needs to run up, under , around and thru the Jackrabbits. As we get into the second half, it should be a safe assumption the Witter carries the majority of the load. Prove that you are ready as a true freshman and leave your mark on the Jackrabbits.
Stuck In The Middle With You?
Josh Augusta. 6’4”, 335 lbs. They say he is bigger than he has ever been. They say he is stronger than he has ever been. They say he is more athletic than he has ever been now that his body fat is down to 28% (A shake for breakfast, a shake for dinner and a sensible dinner finally paid off). Now prove all of those sentiments big fella. A kid the size of a small house should push the Jackrabbits offensive line around the line of scrimmage and live in the backfield. Live up to the hype. If you do, I’ll gladly call you Baby Sapp.
Who Roams Free?
The most athletic group of linebackers Gary Pinkel has ever had at Mizzou. That was professed by Pinkel himself. Prove it. Cover the field sideline to sideline Saturday. Fill gaps Saturday. Actually defend the screen pass if presented with the opportunity on Saturday. PROVE. IT. Tiger fans should pay particular attention to backup middle linebacker Eric Beisel. The young man gave himself a nickname in high school. He goes by Zeus and anointed himself this moniker. Zeus has a unique look as well; bright red hair with a bleached beard. It is said that you aren’t cocky if you can back it up. We shall see.