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Missouri Tigers 2010-2011 Season Preview

2009 Total Offense Rank (yards per game): 32
2009 Total Defense Rank (yards per game): 64

The Missouri Tigers sure know how to air it out. Last season, the passing game exploded and was one of the best in nation. Some important pieces have left the team, but they have a chance to compete with Nebraska for the Big 12 North title.

Junior quarterback Blaine Gabbert returns after throwing for 3,593 yards and 24 touchdowns. He has one of the strongest arms in all of college football and can make all the throws. Unfortunately for him, his top two receiving threats from last year are gone. The bigger loss is Danario Alexander, who caught 113 passes for an NCAA best 1,781 yards. The Tigers need to find some other receivers to keep this high powered offense moving. The most likely candidate as the new number one is Jerrell Jackson who had 37 catches as a sophomore.

Running back Derrick Washington has looked great this spring, with a quickness and burst reminiscent of 2008 when he ran for over 1,000 yards and 17 touchdowns. He still managed to gain 865 yards on the ground in 2009, and should have another strong season coming up. The offensive line returns four starters, anchored by center Tim Barnes.

Missouri Tigers College Football Cheerleaders

Mizzou’s pass defense was weak last season, giving up over 250 yards a game. The loss of three time All-Big 12 linebacker Sean Weatherspoon won’t make things any better. 2009 Defensive newcomer of the year defense end Aldon Smith returns after recording 11.5 sacks. The team has good depth at linebacker, with Will Ebner, Andrew Gachkar and Zaviar Gooden starting. Free safety Jasper Simons leads a much maligned secondary, with cornerbacks Carl Gettis and Kevin Rutland returning as starters. The team will have to do a better job at forcing turnovers after intercepting only 11 passes all year.

The Tigers will have a hard time recapturing the big play ability they had in 2009 after the loss of Alexander. But if the defense can improve and a young receiver can step up, Missouri will be in the thick of the Big 12 North race until the end.

Missouri’s odds to win the Big 12: + 1200

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