As we put a wrap on the roller coaster ride of a rebuilding season in 2009, I've decided to ask for the community's help in fashioning the 2009 Mizzou All-Season Team. Just like I did in 2007 before the Cotton Bowl, putting together the All-Season Team will help recognize the top performances of the season at each position this past year.
Today, we tip our hats to Mizzou's new single season sack leader: Aldon Smith. After examination of his season, there are two VERY solid options that stand out above all the rest. Nominees after the jump.
NOMINEES (in chronological order):
- Aldon Smith vs. Texas: If your voting is adjusted according to opponent strength, then Aldon's output against the Horns should easily align with your thought process. Against the best offense Missouri saw all season on a night where the defense offered little in the way of resistance, Smith put up one of the signature games of his young career. Sure, one of the sacks came late in the game in throwaway time with Garrett Gilbert behind center. But Smith's numbers against the Big 12 Champs' first teamers (8 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack) can speak for themselves. Just for comparison, in one less quarter, Aldon had only two less solo tackles than Ndamukong Suh against the UT first team (I'll quietly ignore Suh's 6 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks). On an all too forgettable night, maybe it's time we remember just how damn good Aldon was in this game.
THE LINE: 11 tackles (ALL unassisted), 2 sacks, 4 tackles for loss (11 yards)
- Aldon Smith vs. Colorado: If it wasn't his best game of the season, it was certainly the most memorable. In the third quarter, MU opened up a Colorado drive with a personal foul that pushed the Buffs near midfield. There, Smith came up with his first sack of the day, costing CU 13 yards. After a 5-yard completion, Smith came up with a Tyler Hansen fumble. And that sequence didn't touch what he did on CU's final drive of the game, when he sacked Hansen on 2nd and 10 for a nine yard loss and drove the dagger with a sack of Hansen on 4th and 8. Four Missouri rushes later, the clocks showed all zeros and Missouri's losing streak was snapped. The tackle numbers weren't huge, but if it's quality over quantity when it comes to tackles for loss, the CU game gets your vote.
THE LINE: 5 tackles (all unassisted), 3 sacks, 4 tackles for loss (35 yards), fumble recovery
2009 Missouri Tigers All-Season Team
- Quarterback: Blaine Gabbert vs. Illinois
- Running Back: Derrick Washington vs. Kansas
- Wide Receiver: Danario Alexander vs. Kansas
- Wide Receiver: Jared Perry vs. Furman
- Wide Receiver: Jerrell Jackson vs. Iowa State
- WR/RB: Wes Kemp vs. Illinois
- Offensive Line: Offensive line vs. Kansas
- Defensive End: Aldon Smith (Vote now!)