Missouri football season preview

Updated: 2013-08-26T14:28:27Z


The Kansas City Star

•  2012 record: 5-7 overall, 2-6 SEC (fifth in East Division)

•  Projected 2013 record: 8-4 overall, 4-4 SEC (fourth in East Division)

•  Key starters lost: DT Sheldon Richardson, RB Kendial Lawrence, LB Zaviar Gooden, WR T.J. Moe, LT Elvis Fisher, SS Kenronte Walker, CB Kip Edwards, LB Will Ebner, G Jack Meiners.

•  Key starters returning: CB E.J. Gaines, LB Andrew Wilson, QB James Franklin, DE Kony Ealy, LT Justin Britt, DT Matt Hoch, WR L’Damian Washington, C Evan Boehm.

•  Leader in the huddle: Senior quarterback James Franklin is looking for a bounce-back season after a disastrous 2012. Missouri has the speed, size and experience at the skill positions to make its spread offense work, but if the quarterback fails to get them the ball — something that happened far too often last season — even a stronger, healthier offensive line won’t be enough to get the Tigers to a bowl game.

•  Here’s the catch: The secondary. Despite the loss of tackle Sheldon Richardson, Missouri returns three starters on the defensive line and a thumper in the middle in linebacker Andrew Wilson. But aside from preseason all-SEC cornerback E.J. Gaines, the secondary is a question mark. Neither junior Braylon Webb nor senior Matt White, the projected starters at safety, had an interception last season, and every corner aside from Gaines must show more consistency.

•  End result: With 15 returning starters and an easier schedule, there’s no excuse not to win at least six games and go to a bowl. In fact, it would be a disappointment if the Tigers, who have a higher ceiling than that if Franklin fully recaptures his sophomore-year form, aren’t sitting at 4-0 entering their Oct. 5 game at Vanderbilt. After a difficult first season in the Southeastern Conference, it’s imperative for coach Gary Pinkel to finish with a winning record and keep the momentum of the program moving forward.

2013 schedule

Date Opponent Time Projection*
Aug. 31Murray State6 p.m.W
Sept. 7Toledo2:30 p.m.W
Sept. 21at Indiana7 p.m.W
Sept. 28Arkansas StateTBAW
Oct. 5at VanderbiltTBAW
Oct. 12at GeorgiaTBAL
Oct. 19FloridaTBAW
Oct. 26South CarolinaTBAL
Nov. 2TennesseeTBAW
Nov. 9at KentuckyTBAW
Nov. 23at MississippiTBAL
Nov. 30Texas A&MTBAL

| Terez A. Paylor, | Projections by The Star’s Blair Kerkhoff

Deal Saver Subscribe today!


The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Kansas City Star uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here