With Andrew Wilson suspended for the first half of the Indiana game thanks to the auto-suspension targeting rule, Michael Scherer will get the first start of his career Saturday evening in Bloomington. It will be interesting to see how much he plays considering Mizzou will be spending a lot of time in the nickel -- he might or might not be the second linebacker in the nickel look, I guess -- but regardless, Magic Mike's name will be called when the starting lineups are introduced.
That is the most noteworthy change in the current depth chart that was released as part of Mizzou's Indiana game notes (PDF). Here are some other random observations:
- Despite getting dinged up against Toledo, Max Copeland is still the starter at LG, with Mitch Hall (the scholarship one) as the backup.
- Sean Culkin and Eric Waters are still "OR" starters at tight end, as are DEs Michael Sam and Shane Ray and DTs Lucas Vincent and Harold Brantley. We'll see who gets the start at DT -- Gary Pinkel mentioned that Brantley had pulled ahead last week, but it currently looks like a draw. Of course, who starts doesn't really matter; they'll probably get relatively equal snaps.
- John Gibson's back up to second-string at cornerback after losing ground while injured. Meanwhile, David Johnson's back to third string despite Ernest Payton's continued absence; freshman Aarion Penton is now alongside Gibson as primary backup. Johnson is an all-or-nothing guy who looked pretty good (to my eyes) against Toledo, but he's apparently a little too "nothing" in practice to stay in position for solid playing time. And against Indiana, the backup CBs should get quite a few snaps.
From game notes:
- "Historically, reaching a pristine 3-0 mark has signaled good things to come for Mizzou, as three of the last four seasons in which the Tigers started 3-0 ended in conference divisional titles…" So there you go. Beat Indiana, win the SEC East. It's that easy.
- Mizzou's starting offensive line has now compiled 66 career stats (24 from Justin Britt, 14 from Evan Boehm, 13 from Max Copeland and Mitch Morse, two from Conner McGovern), with five more coming off of the bench from Brad McNulty. Obviously that total is supposed to rise as the season progressed, but … it didn't exactly rise much last season.
- Mizzou is 7-2 versus Big Ten opponents in Gary Pinkel's tenure. Granted, that's 6-0 versus Illinois and 1-2 versus everybody else, but still.
- Mizzou picked off three passes in a game 10 times between 2002-12. The Tigers have already done so twice this year.
- Jeff Handy only had three career 300-yard passing games. How in the hell is that possible?