As Missouri’s defense took the field Saturday night in Death Valley, two familiar names stood on the sidelines: senior cornerback Aarion Penton and sophomore safety Cam Hilton.
The two members of the Missouri secondary who started in last week’s game against Delaware State were benched by Missouri coach Barry Odom.
“I wanted to get (the other guys) in there because I didn’t like the way those two prepared the last 24 hours of the week,” Odom said.
Penton only sat the first four possessions — true freshman cornerback DeMarkus Acy took snaps in his place — and he returned with 1 minute, 30 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Hilton, who was replaced by junior safety Anthony Sherrils, sat the duration of the contest.
Neither player spoke after the game. Penton finished with six tackles in the 42-7 loss to LSU.
Not on the trip
As is the case weekly, the injury conversation was an essential discussion point in Odom’s press conference Monday. And of those injuries, Odom said “the biggest question mark” was junior cornerback Logan Cheadle, who suffered a left ankle injury two weeks ago against Georgia.
Odom said Cheadle could need a little time away, something confirmed by his absence on the trip to LSU.
Junior transfer wide receiver Dominic Collins didn’t make the trip, and sophomore running back Nate Strong and redshirt freshman wide receiver Justin Smith, who suffered ankle and knee injuries, respectively, in the days leading up to last week’s Delaware State game, also stayed back home in Columbia.
A couple of firsts
The trip down to Baton Rouge was rough for many, but it had its share of highlights for Richaud Floyd, a native of Gulfport, Miss., and Trey Baldwin, a Houston native.
Floyd, a redshirt freshman, caught a pass for the first time in black and gold, while Baldwin, a true freshman, played his first game as a Tiger.
In the second quarter, sophomore quarterback Drew Lock connected with Floyd on the left sideline for 11 yards. Baldwin didn’t record a tackle Saturday night, but he did play multiple special-teams snaps.
Senior Bowl watch
The Reese’s Senior Bowl had a scout on hand at Saturday night’s game to view the 11 players on the organization’s preseason watch list.
Missouri’s players on the list are linebacker Michael Scherer, defensive tackle Josh Augusta, running back Alex Ross and Penton.
Scherer finished with 13 tackles and a half-sack, Augusta didn’t record a tackle, and although Ross, a graduate-transfer from Oklahoma, suited up and participated in pregame warmups with a heavily taped left ankle that he injured against Eastern Michigan, his only touch came on a 22-yard kick return with 4:23 left in the game.