COLUMBIA — The University of Missouri announced today that it has reached its goal of selling more than 45,000 football season tickets for 2012, the most in school history. According to the athletic department, the previous season high was 41,413, set in 2008. Last year, MU sold 39,879 tickets.
By TEREZ A. PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
And it looks like Missouri isn’t done quite yet. The school says 300 season tickets and 600 football-only student tickets remain. These tickets, plus single-game tickets for the three non-conference home games against Southeastern Louisiana (Sept. 1), Arizona State (Sept. 15) and Syracuse (Nov. 17), are currently on sale.
Starting Wednesday, Tiger Scholarship Fund members at designated levels can purchase single-game tickets to SEC games. Season-ticket holders will follow, and any remaining tickets for those games will go on sale to the general public on Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at mutigers.com or by calling 800-228-7297.
Day 6 practice observations
Today marks the first two-a-day of the fall for the football team. During the morning session, freshman running back Morgan Steward -- a graduate of Staley High School -- received some work with the second team. A high school coach of Steward told me months ago that MU's coaches had made it clear he would have a good chance to play this season, considering the health of the still-rehabbing Henry Josey ... Starting left tackle Elvis Fisher, who is making his way back from a knee injury that caused him to miss all of last season, says he feels "great." He worked with the first team during the scrimmage-like portions of practice, but sat out one-on-one pass rush drills ... Heralded recruit Dorial Green-Beckham hauled in a deep pass with a man draped on him at one point during drills ... Cornerback Randy "Big Possum" Ponder got some work with the first-team defense today. Cornerbacks coach Cornell Ford attributed some of this to the health of starting corner Kip Edwards, who he said is "a little banged up."
Senior offensive lineman Travis Ruth was seen wearing street clothes during today's practice. Ruth left Monday's practice with his left arm in a sling after suffering a triceps injury. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said he is waiting to hear how long Ruth will be out.
"We don't know the extent of it," Pinkel said.
True freshman and Lee's Summit West grad Evan Boehm took Ruth's spot with the first-team offense all practice.
Junior tight end Eric Waters wore a red non-contact jersey after he fell on his knee during practice, Pinkel said. Waters, who starts the spring as the first player in line to replace Miami Dolphins rookie Michael Egnew at tight end, suffered a knee injury during spring camp.
Redshirt freshmen offensive lineman Taylor Chappell limped off the field Tuesday because of a sprained knee. Pinkel said an MRI is forthcoming. Chappell had been earning plenty of work with the first-team offense at right tackle because of projected starter Justin Britt's foot injury. Britt is expected to return before the season, but in the meantime, redshirt freshman Michael Boddie, sophomore Chris Freeman -- who returned Tuesday after he was believed to have quit the team (more on that later) -- and sophomore Anthony Gatti all received first-team reps at offensive tackle today.
Nothing changed for defensive end Brad Madison (ribs), running back Russell Hansbrough (ankle), receiver T.J. Moe (hamstring), defensive tackle Lucas Vincent (pectoral), running back Henry Josey (knee) and Britt (foot), all of whom continued to wear red non-contact jerseys this morning.
The circumstances surrounding the brief departure of Freeman, a 6-foot-8, 320-pound offensive tackle from Trotwood, Ohio., remain unclear. Freeman missed practice on Monday, and team spokesman Chad Moller said he left the team.
Today, however, Freeman was right back on the field -- and Pinkel declined to offer much of an explanation.
"That's just between us," Pinkel said. "But he's back, that's good."
Whatever happened, it appears Freeman's teammates didn't hold it against him. During a grueling conditioning session at the end of practice, at least five players ran alongside Freeman, encouraging him to finish the drill.
To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.