Campus Corner

Injuries hit MU offensive line, but help is on the way

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel confirmed Thursday that he expects senior left guard Travis Ruth and redshirt freshman offensive tackle Taylor Chappell to miss the season because of injury.The news is the latest blow to a line that has suffered a rash of injuries since fall camp opened.

“We’ve got three guys that would have been in the top 10 (at offensive line) that will most likely not play this year,” Pinkel said, referring to Ruth, Chappell and junior guard Mark Hill, who had to quit football due to complications stemming from blood clots.

Ruth, the projected starter at left guard, was scheduled to have surgery Thursday for a torn triceps, while Chappell, the top backup at offensive tackle, tore an ACL in his knee and is set to have surgery within two weeks.

Also, with senior left tackle Elvis Fisher sitting out Thursday’s practice because of an ankle injury, sophomore offensive tackle Chris Freeman limping off the field because of a “tweaked” knee and Justin Britt suffering a Jones Fracture in his foot a few weeks ago, there’s little doubt the Tigers’ depth is starting to stretch to the limit right now.

But both Pinkel and co-offensive line coach Bruce Walker said Fisher and Britt will be healthy for the Sept. 1 opener against Southeastern Louisiana.

“He’ll be fine,” Walker said of Fisher. “We’ve got to make sure we get him to the dance, so we’ll control him a little bit, but he’s going to be fine. He’s a frickin’ warrior, we’ll get him there, trust me on that.”

Walker said Britt is probably seven to 10 days away from practicing at full speed.

“I’d be disappointed if he wasn’t ready to go by the first game,” Walker said. “He’s going to have to work and get his timing and get used to the contact again, but the good news is he has a year of experience he can draw on.”

Two more projected starters, center Mitch Morse and guard Jack Meiners, have been healthy all camp, meaning that for all the injuries, only left guard is in flux, though Pinkel and Walker are optimistic about the prospects there, too.

As of now, freshman Evan Boehm from Lee’s Summit West grad is battling junior walk-on Max Copeland for the starting position.

“He’s a really good young prospect,” Pinkel said of Boehm. “He’s probably going to be thrown in the fire here.”

But don’t sleep on Copeland, who missed some time earlier in camp due to a virus but is now back to full strength.

“Right now, Max Copeland is the starter there,” Walker said. “He’s definitely in the mix to play and he’s earned that, whether he’s got a scholarship or not. He gives great effort and he’s tough.”

MU reaches season-ticket goal

The athletic department announced Thursday that it has sold out of football season tickets for the 2012 season. The announcement comes just days after the school announced it had surpassed 45,000 season tickets, and the sellout, which encompasses approximately 46,500 seats, is the first on record.

Single-game tickets for the three non-conference home games are currently available, while Tiger Scholarship Fund members at designated levels may also purchase single-game tickets to SEC games, followed by Mizzou Football season ticket holders.

If tickets remain, single-game conference tickets will go on sale to the public on Aug. 24. Fans can visit mutigers.com for more details.

Day 8 observations

Gahn McGaffie Levi Copelin Brandon Durant Dorial Green-Beckham Cortland Browning Maty Mauk Morgan Steward John Gibson Russell Hansbrough Randy Ponder Ian Simon Kip Edwards E.J. Gaines

, the surefire starters, each sat out portions of practice with minor injuries.

Injury report

Sean Culkin Chad Moller

said.

Next up

Missouri moved up the time for its second practice today from 3:45 p.m. to 3:05 p.m. The Tigers will also practice Friday morning at 7:15 a.m., their final practice before Saturday’s scrimmage.

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send e-mail to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/TerezPaylor.
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