Mizzou Links, 11-5-12

Sam Greenwood

Brandon Holifield goes from "raw tight end with potential" to "Former Mizzou tight end with potential," Stefan Jankovic looks really, really interesting against Missouri Southern, and Mizzou Soccer learns its tourney fate today.

Mizzou Football Links

  • Florida
    MUtigers.com: Missouri vs. Florida Football Quotes

    Junior QB James Franklin

    On what led to offensive breakdowns:
    "We just couldn't get any completions, and that's about it."

    On defense taking the blame:
    "I know they are trying to have my back, but we can't turn the ball over four times."

    The Trib (Dave Matter): Emptying the Notebook: Gator Bait

    3. Saturday's game was the first time this season Dorial Green-Beckham looked like a college wide receiver. On his game-high six catches for a game-high 73 yards, Green-Beckham consistently beat his man downfield, got open and made good catches. These weren't manufactured plays designed to get him touches. He was flying downfield, beating coverage and snatching the ball. While T.J. Moe and Marcus Lucas have seen their production fall off in recent weeks, it's not out of the question that when the season ends, either in three weeks or next month, that Green-Beckham will be the team's best receiver.

    4. Marcus Murphy might have earned himself more touches. Throughout spring practices and preseason camp, Kendial Lawrence was clearly Missouri's best tailback. Until Saturday, he was quietly having a strong season, on pace for nearly 1,000 yards if Missouri were to qualify for a bowl game. But Lawrence couldn't get it going against Florida, gaining just 34 yards on 18 carries. For the first time all year, Murphy was the more decisive and effective runner, picking up 32 yards on just four carries and catching three balls for another 20 yards. Lawrence has earned the right to be MU's top back, but Murphy impressed me against the Gators. Tennessee has the SEC's worst rush defense. Both backs should get ample touches on Saturday.

    5. Speaking of those Vols … The Tigers are going to visit the old days in the Big 12 against a Tennessee team that chucks the ball over the field and doesn't play a lick of defense. Saturdays 55-48 shootout victory over Troy was another example. But Tennessee's shoddy defense is partially responsible for the prolific passing numbers. Heading into yesterday's game, 54 percent of the Vols' passing attempts came when they trailed, compared to just 25 percent when the Vols had the lead. Still, Tennessee's strength is the wide receiver position. Cordarrelle Patterson (9 catches, 219 yards) and Justin Hunter (9 catches, 181 yards) were explosive as usual on Saturday and should give cornerbacks Gaines and Kip Edwards their toughest test of the season. As much as the Vols throw the ball, they do a good job of protecting quarterback Tyler Bray, who as of last week was sacked fewer times than any quarterback in the SEC. For the Tigers to win in Knoxville, it's no stretch to say they have to play their best defensive game of the season. If the Tigers can ground Tennessee's passing attack, then maybe Richardson's "best defense ever" bluster will be open for discussion.

    KC Star: Sunday rewind | Offense blamed in Mizzou's loss to Gators

    The sad thing is that his mistakes — and he did miss a number of open receivers Saturday — will overshadow the fact the offense moved the ball better than it had when he was out of the lineup, and it wasn't even close. With Franklin - who was making his first start since the Tigers' 19-15 loss to Vanderbilt on Oct. 6 - at the helm, Missouri actually outgained Florida 335-276 overall and had more than twice as many first downs (23) as the Gators did (11).

    What's more, while Franklin clearly needs to shake off some of the rust in the passing game, he looked terrific running the ball. He looked decisive and strong while breaking off a pair of 20-plus yard runs, just like last year, when he ran for almost 1,000 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns, and his teammates noticed.

    "We try not to run James just because he's been beat up," said senior left tackle Elvis Fisher, "but he ran the ball well today."

    We Are Mizzou: FLICKR: Mizzou vs. Florida
  • Nice Knowing You, Brandon Holifield
    The Trib: MU tight end dismissed from team, arrested
    The Missourian: Former Missouri player Holifield arrested for marijuana possession
    KC Star: Former MU football player arrested for marijuana possession
    KBIA Sports: Former Missouri tight end Brandon Holifield kicked off football team
  • Interesting Piece From Friday
    The Trib: Pinkel prefers to make big decisions during calm coaches' meetings

Other Football Links

  • I Watched This Play About 25 Times Yesterday And Giggled Each Time
    Smart Football: Cincinnati's Post-Handoff Jump Pass

Mizzou Basketball Links

Mizzou Diamond Sports Links

  • Fall World Series
    MUtigers.com: Fast Start Gives Black 2-0 Fall World Series Lead
  • SEC
    SimmonsField.com: SEC Fan's Guide to Mizzou Baseball: kU Sucks

Other Mizzou Links

Mizzou Soccer will find out its tourney fate today at 3:30 p.m. on NCAA.com. Check out Ross Dellenger's excellent "Tournament possibilities" piece below for what to expect.

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