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2013 Mizzou Walkthrough: Randy Ponder's strengths and weaknesses are pretty clear

Bill Carter

Randy Ponder

#7 | 5'10, 195, Sr. | Edmond, OK

2011: 13 games, 31.0 tackles, 1 INT, 4 PBU, 1 FF
2012: 12 games, 37.0 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 1 QB hurry

MizzouRugby: Bring the wood, Rowdy Randy! Might not have starting corner speed, but is a perfect nickel back.

The Beef: Ponder is a fan favorite, and he has certainly made some plays which stick out, but he is someone who I hope is overtaken in the coming weeks. I feel like there were a number of times where he did not hold up against his receiver. Some of that certainly could have been some missed safety help, but I think there were also times where his coverage skills may have been exposed.

Bill C.: I felt better about Ponder when I went back and watched the Syracuse game again and saw how many times Alec Lemon got open, not because of Ponder, but because either a) Ponder was blitzing (because Mizzou had no pass rush in that game) and safety help did not get to Lemon soon enough, or b) someone else was covering Ponder.

For so many players, we enter 2013 not knowing what they're capable of or what they'll show in the coming weeks. With Randy Ponder, we basically know exactly what he's capable of. He is a physical defensive back, a scrapper who will hit you in the mouth and occasionally make a nice play on the ball; he's also limited in terms of athletic upside, and he can be victimized in certain situations. As The Beef mentioned, the best news would be for a young corner, be it John Gibson or somebody else, to eventually overtake Ponder on the depth chart; it would make Mizzou's overall upside a little higher, and it would relegate Ponder to a nickel role in which he could thrive.

countrycal: Ya gotta like Randy Ponder, even if you end up holding your breath every time you see the play going toward him. I am much more impressed with his tackling skills than his ability to cover, and am not sure how much help he will get from the safeties or defensive line this year. A lot of quarterback time could really hurt us in the defensive backfield this year, but Randy may surprise me and learn how to substitute experience and determination for quickness and speed.