Best Missouri Offensive Player
QB Drew Lock, Sr.
Lock could’ve turned pro early and been taken around the Mason Rudolph third round range. But if he can prove he can handle the new offensive style, read through his progressions better, and move his completion percentage from 58% to the mid-60s – all while cutting down on his mistakes and turnovers – he might just be a top ten overall pick.
The 6-4, 225-pounder has the size, the arm, and the athleticism to get on the move from time to time. But it was his 44 touchdown passes and the 9.5 yards per attempt that turned Missouri’s season into something to remember. Now, 3,000 yards with 30 touchdowns, around eight picks, and again, more completed passes would be better with the slight philosophical tweak to the attack.
2. WR Emanuel Hall, Sr.
3. TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Jr.
4. RB Damarea Crockett, Jr.
5. OG Kevin Pendleton, Sr.
Best Missouri Defensive Player
LB Terez Hall, Sr.
There’s no argument if you want to put tackle Terry Beckner here, or Hall’s running mate, Cale Garrett. All three have All-SEC potential and all three will be the rocks in the interior of a good defense.
The 6-2, 230-pound Hall might work on the weakside, but he’s a pounder in the interior of the corps. He finished second on the team with 85 tackles with a sack and 12.5 tackles for loss, and now he’ll need to do even more to get behind the line until the green defensive ends can do their job.
2. LB Cale Garrett, Jr.
3. DT Terry Beckner, Sr.
4. DT Walter Palmore, Sr.
5. CB DeMarkus Acy, Jr.
Key Player To A Successful Season
S Cam Hilton, Sr.
There might be a whole lot of talk about the defensive ends and who’ll step up, but the situation will be more than fine after fall camp. The Tigers, as always, will have guys who can get behind the line. But the safety situation isn’t a lock.
There’s an outside chance that one of the decent-sized corners – DeMarcus Acy might do – could move to safety, but MU probably doesn’t want to mess with its okay situation on the outside.
Hilton is a veteran free safety who’s got the quickness and the experience, but he hasn’t quite been able to grow into a top playmaker. If he can hold down a starting job this year, the secondary could be one of the team’s biggest surprises.
Key Game To The Missouri Season
at Purdue, Sept. 15
Even with the 72-43 win, the opener against Missouri State was the uh-oh moment for a team that got off to a rocky start, but it was the 35-3 home loss to Purdue that sent off the panic sirens. The Boilermakers were fine, but they weren’t good enough to shut down a Tiger team with so much offensive talent.
This year, there won’t be any problems with UT Martin, and if the season is going to be even remotely interesting, beating Wyoming can’t be a problem. But with Georgia, at South Carolina, and at Memphis after coming back from West Lafayette, MU can be a whole lot better and still be 2-4 to start the season if it can’t get by Purdue.
With the Florida and Tennessee games on the road, there has to be a key road win or two somewhere. It might be a must to get one of them against the Boilermakers.
2017 Missouri Fun Stats
– Penalties: Missouri 96 for 774 yards – Opponents 77 for 648 yards
– Fumbles: Missouri 13 (lost 11) – Opponents 12 (lost 5)
– Time of Possession: Opponents 34:59 – Missouri 25:01