Editor’s Note: Sarah Davis is joining us as “Sprot Jr” this football season. Her love for Mizzou translates well to football articles and we are excited to feature her here on SprotsTakes! Check out her bio under our affiliates!
After the University of Missouri joined the SEC in 2012, many people were skeptical that their programs wouldn’t keep up with powerhouse teams like Georgia, Alabama, and at the time, South Carolina. After finishing atop the SEC East in 2013 and 2014, the Tigers still have something to prove as the “New Kids in Town” but are far off from being the underdogs of the SEC East. With a few key players returning, Missouri will look to repeat as SEC East Champs.
On the offensive side of things, Junior Quarterback, Maty Mauk and Senior Running Back, Russell Hansbrough, are both set to have exceptional years. Coming into camp, Maty Mauk’s main competition was expected to be Eddie Printz and Freshman QB, Drew Lock. Mauk had a very inconsistent year in 2014, but still managed to throw 2,648 yards with twenty-five touchdown passes. 2015 will be his second full year at the helm of the offense.
Alongside Maty Mauk will be Senior Running Back, Russell Hansbrough. Hansbrough’s Freshman and Sophomore year were spent being mentored by Henry Josey, who missed the entire 2012 season after tearing his patellar tendon. In 2013, the two of them split time, when Hansbrough rushed for 685 yards that season. 2014 was the first full season in which he finally took control, and he ran for 1084 yards and ten touchdowns.
Missouri will also look for big years from OLB Kentrell Brothers, and center Evan Boehm. Those two guys started all fourteen games last year, and will both look to impress in their last year of college athletics.
If these key players step up like they’re supposed to, Missouri should have little problem repeating their two previous years. The main concern is the age, so it won’t be surprising if this Tigers team gets off to a shaky start.