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Missouri releases depth chart for 2014 SEC Championship game

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Missouri released its two-deep for the 2014 SEC title game against Alabama. You won't believe this, but ... there are no changes!

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The lineup Missouri trots out against Alabama in Atlanta on Saturday is going to look basically like the lineup that hasn't lost since October 11.

Offense

QB
Maty Mauk (6'0, 195, So.) (193-for-361, 2,279 yards, 22 TD, 11 INT, 20 sacks, 5.6 yards/attempt; 75 rushes, 495 yards, 1 TD)
Eddie Printz (6'2, 215, RSFr.) (0-for-1)
Corbin Berkstresser (6'3, 220, Jr.)

Aesthetically, Maty Mauk's numbers really haven't improved in recent weeks. His QB rating has still only been above 120.0 twice since the Indiana game, and once was against Vanderbilt. In Missouri's last three games, when the offense really seemed to take a nice step forward, he still completed only 56 percent of his passes at 12.5 yards per completion. But considering the pass rush he faced against Tennessee and Arkansas, and considering the drops he has weathered, especially early in the Tennessee and Arkansas games, it certainly seems to the eye that he has matured nicely, especially late in the year.

RB
Marcus Murphy (5'9, 190, Sr.) (158 carries, 747 yards, 4 TD; 25 catches, 185 yards, 1 TD) -OR-
Russell Hansbrough (5'9, 190, Jr.) (177 carries, 949 yards, 9 TD; 11 catches, 58 yards)
Ish Witter (5'10, 190, Fr.) (24 carries, 88 yards, 1 TD)
Tyler Hunt (5'11, 215, Jr.) (2 carries, 9 yards)

There were at least a couple of questions to answer when this depth chart came out. The first: is Russell Hansbrough okay? Gary Pinkel told reporters yesterday that he had a sprained ankle, and that they expected him to be practicing by mid-week. Obviously inclusion on a depth chart only means so much (hello, "Darius White on the depth chart almost every damn week but missing half the season"), but this at least tells you that they're expecting him to play and be alright for now. We'll see if that changes in a few days.

WR-X
Bud Sasser (6'2, 220, Sr.) (65 catches, 904 yards, 9 TD)
J'Mon Moore (6'3, 190, RSFr.) (2 catches, 33 yards)

WR-H
Jimmie Hunt (6'0, 205, Sr.) (34 catches, 529 yards, 7 TD)
Gavin Otte (5'10, 200, Sr.) (1 catch, -3 yards)

WR-Z
Darius White (6'3, 205, Sr.) (26 catches, 318 yards, 4 TD)
Wesley Leftwich (6'1, 200, Jr.) (3 catches, 36 yards)
Nate Brown (6'3, 205, Fr.) (4 catches, 31 yards)

TE
Sean Culkin (6'6, 245, So.) (18 catches, 168 yards, 1 TD)
Jason Reese (6'5, 240, RSFr.) (1 catch, 12 yards)
Clayton Echard (6'5, 260, Jr.)

I have many times expressed my love and admiration for David Morrison's Snap Decisions series. This week's edition tells us about a few trends, including this one we already saw forming: there's not much of a rotation in the receiving corps. Sasser, White, and Hunt were on the field for a combined 235 snaps. Moore, Otte, Leftwich, and Brown were on the field for a combined eight. At tight end, Culkin played 79 snaps, Reese played four (all lined up wide), and Echard played six (all lined up as an actual tight end). So yeah, Mizzou will worry about that nagging "Who the hell is going to be in the 2015 receiving corps?" question in bowl practices and in the spring. Ride or die with the seniors (and Culkins) at this point.

LT
Mitch Morse (6'6, 305, Sr.) (37 career starts)
Nate Crawford (6'5, 290, RSFr.)

LG
Brad McNulty (6'4, 305, Jr.) (13 career starts)
Jordan Williams (6'3, 295, So.)

C
Evan Boehm (6'3, 320, Jr.) (38 career starts)
Alec Abeln (6'3, 290, RSFr.)
Stephen Carberry (6'5, 300, Sr.)

RG
Connor McGovern (6'4, 300, Jr.) (26 career starts)
Mitch Hall (6'5, 310, Jr.) (4 career starts)

RT
Taylor Chappell (6'5, 300, Jr.) (8 career starts)
Clay Rhodes (6'5, 290, RSFr.)

Chappell left the Arkansas game for a while with an elbow injury, and Mizzou re-established its old OL lineup: Morse-McNulty-Boehm-Hall-McGovern. It did so well in the second half that you had to maybe wonder if Mizzou was thinking about moving back to that look moving forward. According to the depth chart, at least, that's a big no. The staff obviously assumed Missouri's fourth-quarter man-handling of the Hogs was due more to scheme, fatigue, and overall execution than something Chappell was doing wrong.

And because there's always one eye on the future, it's exciting to note that this line is up to 122 career starts and that, if this line indeed starts the final two games of the year, it will return 95 career starts heading into next season. Losing Anthony Gatti was a mid-season blow, but [insert my typical "injuries hurt in the present tense and help in the future tense" comment here].

Defense

DE
Markus Golden (6'3, 260, Sr.) (44.0 tackles, 16 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 2 FF, 3 FR, 2 PBU, 9 QB hurries)

Marcus Loud (6'4, 260, RSFr.) (8.0 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 1 PBU, 1 QB hurry)
Rickey Hatley (6'4, 285, So.) (5.5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 FF)

DT
Matt Hoch (6'5, 295, Sr.) (21.5 tackles, 8 TFL, 3 sacks, 2 PBU, 2 QB hurries) -OR-
Lucas Vincent (6'2, 300, Sr.) (21.5 tackles, 6 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 1 FR, 1 QB hurry)

NG
Harold Brantley (6'3, 280, So.) (31.5 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 2 PBU, 7 QB hurries)
Josh Augusta (6'4, 335, So.) (13.5 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 sack, 2 FF, 1 INT, 2 QB hurries)

DE
Shane Ray (6'3, 245, Jr.) (51.5 tackles, 20.5 TFL, 13.5 sacks, 2 FF, 1 PBU, 5 QB hurries)
Charles Harris (6'3, 255, RSFr.) (16.0 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 FF, 2 PBU, 3 QB hurries)

Damn, this line's nasty.

That's all I've got. I love this line.

WLB
Kentrell Brothers (6'1, 240, Jr.) (76.5 tackles, 5 TFL, 1 sack, 3 FF, 4 PBU, 2 QB hurries)
Darvin Ruise (6'1, 235, Sr.) (19.5 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU)

MLB
Michael Scherer (6'3, 230, So.) (71.5 tackles, 3 TFL, 0.5 sacks, 2 FR, 1 PBU, 2 QB hurries)
Eric Beisel (6'3, 225, RSFr.) (11.0 tackles, 0.5 TFL)

SLB
Donavin Newsom (6'2, 230, So.) (15.0 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 FF, 1 FR, 1 PBU, 3 QB hurries) -OR-
Clarence Green (6'0, 225, Jr.) (11.5 tackles, 1 QB hurry)

As expected based on Arkansas' offensive style, Newsom and Green played a ton more than they had been as Mizzou favored a 4-3 to a 4-2-5. Newsom played 26 snaps, Green added nine, and nickelback extraordinaire Duron Singleton played only 24. And Newsom made the most of the extra time. He forced and recovered a fumble in the second quarter, and he burst into the backfield to force a runner to adjust a couple other times. Nice game from the sophomore, who I assume will get a lot of time (though maybe not quite as much) again on Saturday in Atlanta.

CB
Kenya Dennis (6'0, 195, Jr.) (41.5 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 0.5 sacks, 1 INT, 9 PBU, 1 FF, 1 QB hurry)
David Johnson (5'11, 195, Jr.) (5.0 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FF)
Logan Cheadle (5'10, 170, Fr.) (0.5 tackles)

CB
Aarion Penton (5'10, 185, So.) (26.0 tackles, 2 TFL, 3 INT, 7 PBU, 1 FF)
John Gibson (6'0, 190, So.) (22.0 tackles, 1 TFL, 4 PBU)

At this point, it's fair to say that Kenya Dennis is Mizzou's No. 1 corner. He played 55 snaps to 33 for Gibson and 27 for Penton. It will be interesting to see what Mizzou chooses to attempt against Amari Cooper on Saturday. The Tigers want to double-team as little as possible, but I'm curious whether they try to slow him down with the physical Dennis or simply try to match speed for speed with the faster Penton/Gibson. I'm leaning former, though I assume everybody will get a shot at him.

SS
Braylon Webb (6'0, 200, Sr.) (46.0 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 4 INT, 3 PBU, 1 FR)
Duron Singleton (6'1, 210, Sr.) (36.0 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT, 1 FR)
Anthony Sherrils (6'0, 190, RSFr.) (9.5 tackles)

FS
Ian Simon (6'0, 195, Jr.) (31.0 tackles, 1 TFL, 0.5 sacks, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 1 FF)
Cortland Browning (6'1, 205, Jr.) (3.0 tackles, 1 PBU)
Thomas Wilson (5'10, 190, Fr.) (12.0 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PBU)

No snaps for anybody but Webb, Simon, and Singleton on Saturday. As Morrison mentioned in Snap Decisions, part of that is probably because Arkansas' slow pace meant Mizzou didn't have to dip into the second string as much overall. Browning and Wilson didn't play, but neither did Eric Beisel or Marcus Loud. It was a pared-down rotation, to be sure, and I'm curious how much of it was because of pace and how much was because of the importance of the game and the desire for the first string to be out there as much as possible. We'll get a bit of an answer to that on Saturday, as Alabama plays at a much higher pace than Arkansas. Lane Kiffin has raised the tempo a bit since arriving in Tuscaloosa.

Special Teams

K
Andrew Baggett (6'1, 215, Jr.) (39-41 PAT, 8-10 FG under 40, 6-11 FG over 40)
Nick Coffman (5'11, 175, So.)

Still Baggett.

P
Christian Brinser (6'2, 195, Sr.) (64 punts, 40.9 average, 24 fair caught, 20 inside 20)
Andrew Baggett (6'1, 215, Jr.)

Still Brinser.

KR
Marcus Murphy (5'9, 190, Sr.) (13 KR, 31.9 average, 2 TD)
John Gibson (6'0, 190, So.) (1 KR, 22 yards)

PR
Marcus Murphy (5'9, 190, Sr.) (24 PR, 11.4 average, 1 TD)
Aarion Penton (5'10, 185, So.)

Still Murphy.