Mizzou Links, 10-8-13: Teams don't score 50 points on the road, and Georgia's still really good

Frederick Breedon

Georgia's still got an explosive offense and a fantastic quarterback, (Missouri does, too), and Michael Sam is relentless. And hey, hey! Somebody noticed the volleyball team!

1. Media Day

MUtigers.com: Mizzou Heads to Athens For Top-25 Matchup
MUtigers.com: Mizzou Football Media Day Quotes - Oct. 7

On defensive lineman Michael Sam's development throughout the years...
"I think right now he is not only playing steady, but he is playing at a very high level. That is the difference now. I think he has had three sacks in back-to-back games, which is very difficult to do. It doesn't matter who you are playing against. It is kind of interesting how kids mature and then all of a sudden change, and go to a different level. He is playing at that different level right now. He is a very good athlete, who runs well and is very athletic. I think he is doing so well because of his energy level. He is playing at a different level than he has ever accomplished before. I could not be more pleased with his progress. It helps the whole team and makes the defense play harder."

On the depth and competition within the defensive line...
"I think what happens is that it gives you the opportunity to stay fresh. That is the most important thing. When those guys get tired, they want a break at times, but certainly they would also like to get back in there. We try to get our top guys back in there on third downs, but it is also dependent on the field position and other factors. We are playing quite a few players, as you know, and they been really doing a good job."

On the team's chemistry and determination so far...
"I said that in the spring. There is chemistry and determination on this team. A combination of both of those, and high leadership skills effects the whole team. This team wants to win. We are willing to pay the price to do that, and I felt that these guys had it in them. They have taken that goal really personal, especially the seniors. Most of the seniors have been here for five years and they went to bowls every year except last year, and they want to get back. I really want them to do well too. I am around them all the time. I see the determination, leadership and excitement that they have every day."

The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Gary Pinkel Speaks: Week 6
The Trib: Off win at Vandy, MU has chance to shake up race in East
Post-Dispatch: Pinkel impressed with Mizzou's focus, resolve
PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Monday Media, 10/7
We Are Mizzou: PHOTOS: Mizzou Media Days

Yeah, Georgia's still really good
The Trib (Beyond the Box Score): The Scouting Report: Georgia
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Missouri Notes: Even with a M*A*S*H* unit of a roster, Georgia's still good

"Georgia's the type of talented team where they just have a fishing pole they cast, and the next guy comes in," Steckel said. "My heart goes out to them, especially to the Marshall kid, where I happened to see that injury. Gurley's banged up and hurt. But then the fun part is" freshman J.J. Green "comes in, and it's like they don't even miss a step.

"They're just a very talented, skilled team. Then when you have a kid like" senior quarterback Aaron "Murray pulling the trigger, it causes a lot of sleepless nights. I guess you could say it that way." […]

Coach Gary Pinkel went through comparable injury trouble last season, so he definitely feels the pain of Georgia Coach Mark Richt and his team.

But he also knows how capable the Bulldogs are of continuing to play at a high level.

"Their young players are very good. They recruit well. I wouldn't feel real sorry for them. I wouldn't go that far," Pinkel said. "I'm kidding because I know Mark. Very respectful of him, known him a long, long time. No one likes to go through injuries."

Post-Dispatch: Tigers prepare for injury-riddled Georgia
Mizzou Network: 1 on 1: Pinkel Previews Georgia

Top 25, baby
Fox Sports MW: Breaking down the Tigers' appearance in the national rankings

What others are saying
CBS Sports: How good is Missouri?
Anchor of Gold: The Commodore Review: How Vanderbilt Really Looked in Their 28-51 Loss to Missouri

Next week
Post-Dispatch: Mizzou-Florida gets early kickoff

Georgia-Vandy gets on CBS ... and Mizzou-Florida gets SEC Network. Makes perfect sense.

2. Saturday was fun

Sam wins again
MUtigers.com: Sam Again Named SEC Defensive Lineman Player of the Week
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Michael Sam repeats as SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week
KC Star: MU’s Michael Sam is repeat winner of SEC’s defensive lineman of the week award

The Notebook
Post-Dispatch: Emptying the Notebook: Pinkel back to the grind

There have been 265 SEC conference games since the start of the 2008 season. Only 11 times has the road team scored 50 points, with Missouri being the latest. […] Those eight teams that scored 50 on the road from 2008-12 averaged 11.1 wins during those seasons, including three that won the national championship: Auburn in 2010 and Alabama in 2011-12.

It was just the fifth time Missouri’s scored 50 points in a road conference game under Pinkel: 55-10 at Colorado in 2007; 52-17 at Nebraska and 52-20 at Iowa State in 2008; and 51-48 at Tennessee in 2012, a four-overtime victory.

QB No. 1
KC Star: MU’s Franklin is having a rebound season

"He matured," Pinkel said. "Anytime you go through adversity, you get mentally tougher. Either it’s going to devour you as a quarterback — and it happens sometimes and you never see a guy play well again; he can never get it back — or you see a guy who’s a competitor, and a guy who can be more resilient."

Teammates have noticed a difference in Franklin this season, and their confidence is soaring right along with the Tigers quarterback’s.

"We feed off him," junior running back Henry Josey said. "He’s our quarterback and he’s the leader of the team. Every quarterback is, but he’s embraced that role and taken it to a higher level. I’m very proud of him. I love the way he’s playing and I love his confidence. It’s a big difference. We love who he is right now." […]

"James has been playing outstanding," Pinkel said. "It doesn’t surprise me at all. His leadership’s been great, and he’s kind of what I thought he’d be. If you’d have asked me three years ago, this doesn’t surprise me at all."

Hey, Kony
Mizzou Network: Regions Bank Post-Game: Kony Ealy Vanderbilt Post-Game Interview

3. It's sometimes accurate, too!

The Missourian: Andrew Baggett has nation's most powerful leg

4. Future Tigers

PowerMizzou: Following the Future: 10/7

5. Oh hey, somebody noticed the volleyball team...

MUtigers.com: Mizzou Volleyball Ranked No. 25 in AVCA Coaches Poll
MUtigers.com: Henning Named SEC Offensive Player of the Week
MUtigers.com: No. 25 Mizzou Hosts Austin Peay
The Missourian: Missouri volleyball poised to match a longstanding record

6. Smart tennis players

MUtigers.com: Three Tigers Named ITA Scholar-Athletes

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