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Citrus Bowl practice reports: Unfinished business for Shane Ray

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Shane Ray is three tackles for loss away from the Mizzou season record, Jimmie Hunt is doing too good a job of breaking open deep, and Mizzou has submitted four underclassmen for NFL evaluation.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Granted, bowl practice reports were hijacked by a sudden defensive coordinator search, but there have still been plenty of interesting non-Steckel articles from the last few days as Missouri prepares to take on Minnesota.

The Trib (Behind the Stripes): MU Notes: The "Surrounded by Great People" edition

* Sasser said Hunt has been working the scramble drill especially well over the past four games, when Hunt has 19 catches for 421 yards. Almost too well: "I hate it (he said with a laugh). We're breaking it down and I see Maty scrambling and I'm wanting to take off deep and Jimmie's gone already. I have to come up and not be selfish and mess it up for the both of us. He's doing a great job."

* Sasser said Keyon Dilosa, who redshirted his freshman season after rupturing his Achilles tendon over the summer, practiced Saturday: "He's still pretty good on the offensive side of knowing his assignment and whatnot, being able to read coverages. Now it's just getting his wind back. Now he's just got to get the monkey off his back."

The Trib (Behind the Stripes): MU Notes: The "Nobody Knows Nothing" edition
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Hunt, Hoch, McNulty nursing injuries at MU bowl practice
The Missourian: Missouri football looks loose leading up to Citrus Bowl

Pinkel said the team has submitted four underclassmen names to the NFL's College Advisory Committee but declined to give those names. The NFL committee's revised policy this year limits schools to submit up to five names for evaluation, though the policy does allow for a case-by-case exception for talent-loaded teams.

Along with that, the committee adjusted its evaluations to project players as first- or second-round picks. If players don't project as such, they are recommended to stay in school. The changes come after a record 98 underclassmen declared for the 2014 draft.

Pinkel spoke highly of the guideline adjustments.

"I think more guys will get drafted and more guys will graduate and they'll have opportunities the next year," he said. "I think it's a really good move for protecting kids."

PowerMizzou (PMTV): Bowl Practice 2
PowerMizzou (PMTV): J'Mon Moore

The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Markus Golden accepts invite to Senior Bowl
Saturday Down South: Ranking 2014 SEC position groups: Defensive ends

Post-Dispatch: Mizzou's Ray focused on unfinished business

"Getting kicked out of the Alabama game against some of the best athletes in the nation … of course it was very frustrating," he said Sunday, his first public comments since the SEC championship game. "I wanted to be out there with my team. Thinking about that, going into this bowl game I’ve got a lot I still want to show that I can do. … I’m past this Alabama thing."

For months, Ray has said he’ll decide whether he’ll enter the draft only until Mizzou’s season is complete. He’s got one game to add to his MU single-season record of 14 sacks. There’s another team record he hopes to break: Justin Smith’s 2000 mark of 24 tackles for loss. Ray enters the Citrus Bowl with 21.

"I’m not done yet," Ray said. "I’m going to focus on this bowl game, and when the time comes I’m going to be sure to let everybody know what I’m doing."

And if you're in a masochistic mood...
Film Study: Amari Cooper's Role in the Alabama Offense | Eleven Warriors