There’s a very good chance that the run of the Missouri Tigers as the Big 12 North Champions will come to an end in 2009. The Kansas Jayhawks are returning 15 starters and should take over as the frontrunners in the north. That means the pressure is off the Tigers as they enter a rebuilding year in which they are replacing 6 starters on offense and 7 on defense from last season’s north division championship team. It isn’t just attrition that could plague
Among the players the Tigers are replacing on offense are Chase Daniel who was the school’s all-time passing leader and All Americans Chase Coffman and Jeremy Maclin. The good news for the Tigers offense is that they return three of last year’s starting offensive linemen and running back Derrick Washington.
42.2 6 153.8 52 330.4 4 411.5 8
Gabbert played some garbage time minutes last year as a true freshman but only completed 5 passes in just 13 attempts. Not only will he be working with a new offensive coordinator in `09 but also a trio of receivers that not much more experienced than he is. With the departures of Coffman and Maclin the Tigers also lost the bulk of their receiving yards from last season. Jared Perry and Danario Alexander are both senior receivers but have played a backseat role in the offense the past three seasons and now must step up as leaders on the offense.
The chemistry between Gabbert and his receivers (as well as new offensive coordinator, David Yost) developing quickly is going to be crucial. Yost has been with the Tigers for 9 years as the quarterbacks coach but taking as far as him taking complete control of the offense he’s still unproven. If I were an opposing defensive coordinator I would play
The defensive unit is what has truly been the crutch of the Tigers. Last season they were ranked 98th in the nation in total defense which I believe had just as much to do with the explosive Big 12 offenses as it did the personnel the Tigers had on the field.
`08 Defense 27.2 69 124.9 31 286.6 117 411.5 98
|Passing||Blaine Gabbert, 5/13, 43|
|Rushing||Derrick Washington, 177/1,036, 17 TDs|
|Receiving||Jared Perry, 41/567, 4 TDs|
|Tackles||Sean Weatherspoon, 155|
|Sacks||Sean Weatherspoon, 5|
30-23 OT win over Northwestern in the Alamo Bowl
62-29 loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship