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Missouri depth chart: Tigers release 2-deep (with 4 new starters) for South Carolina

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Wesley Leftwich, Taylor Chappell, and Kenya Dennis will all earn their first career starts for Missouri on Saturday after injuries and poor play caused a shakeup on the depth chart.

Ed Zurga

Despite the result of this past Saturday, when Missouri looked bad and lost to Indiana while South Carolina looked almost as bad and flirted with losing to Vanderbilt, ESPN's College Gameday is coming to town for Mizzou-SC regardless. Today, Missouri released its depth chart for Saturday.

Offense

QB
Maty Mauk (6'0, 195, So.) (77-for-125, 978 yards, 14 TD, 4 INT, 5 sacks, 7.2 yards/attempt; 31 carries, 151 yards, 1 TD)
Eddie Printz (6'2, 215, RSFr.) (0-for-1)
Corbin Berkstresser (6'3, 220, Jr.)

No changes here, obviously. But this is almost the only unit about which we can say that.

RB
Russell Hansbrough (5'9, 190, Jr.) (57 carries, 377 yards, 3 TD; 5 catches, 11 yards) -OR-
Marcus Murphy (5'9, 190, Sr.) (48 carries, 215 yards; 8 catches, 81 yards, 1 TD)
Ish Witter (5'10, 190, Fr.) (11 carries, 18 yards)
Tyler Hunt (5'11, 215, Jr.) (2 carries, 9 yards)

Hansbrough moves back ahead of Murphy in the OR starter order. He's coming off of one of the most statistically strange performances of his career. Ten carries for 119 yards? Awesome! Six carries of one or fewer yards? Less awesome!

(And yes, Morgan Steward is still out as well.)

WR-X
Bud Sasser (6'2, 220, Sr.) (24 catches, 368 yards, 4 TD)
Nate Brown (6'3, 205, Fr.)

WR-H
Jimmie Hunt (6'0, 205, Sr.) (16 catches, 198 yards, 5 TD)
Gavin Otte (5'10, 200, Sr.)
Lawrence Lee (5'10, 180, Fr.)

WR-Z
Wesley Leftwich (6'1, 200, Jr.) (2 catches, 10 yards)
J'Mon Moore (6'3, 190, RSFr.)

TE
Sean Culkin (6'6, 245, So.) (7 catches, 86 yards, 1 TD)
Clayton Echard (6'5, 260, Jr.)
Jason Reese (6'5, 240, RSFr.)

So here's where things begin to get funky. Darius White, who had some success on curl routes against Indiana (five catches, 51 yards), injured his hamstring and is out for Saturday. That means Wesley Leftwich, who has three fewer career catches than White had on Saturday, gets his first start. He's long been regarded as someone with high-caliber speed, but he doesn't bring nearly as much size to the table. Odds are pretty good that Bud Sasser and Jimmie Hunt will be asked to carry an even heavier load than they saw on Saturday, when they caught 17 passes for 228 yards.

LT
Mitch Morse (6'6, 305, Sr.) (29 career starts)
Stephen Carberry (6'5, 300, Sr.)

LG
Brad McNulty (6'4, 305, Jr.) (5 career starts)
Jordan Williams (6'3, 295, So.)

C
Evan Boehm (6'3, 320, Jr.) (30 career starts)
Alec Abeln (6'3, 290, RSFr.)

RG
Connor McGovern (6'4, 300, Jr.) (18 career starts)
Mitch Hall (6'5, 310, Jr.) (4 career starts)
Nate Crawford (6'5, 290, RSFr.)

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

And now things get really funky. Left guard Anthony Gatti is out for the season, which means Connor McGovern moves back to right guard, where he started for all of 2013. That part was a little predictable. Less predictable: Starting right guard Mitch Hall doesn't move to the left side; he moves to second-string RG. Brad McNulty, who filled in for Gatti most of the game on Saturday, will start. With Taylor Chappell moving up to first-string right tackle, that means Mizzou will have two new starters on Saturday instead of just one.

I don't love this move, mostly because a) you almost only notice linemen when they're doing something bad, and b) I've noticed McNulty a lot through the years. Then again, he was the culprit of only one of Mizzou's five false starts on Saturday, and if the coaches are starting him, it's probably because he's better than the alternatives, no matter what my eyes have seen. Chappell, I have no problem with. He's been well-regarded for quite a while, and with Gatti out for the season (and, therefore, the rest of his career), he has a chance to seize the starting role for not only 2014, but 2015, with high-caliber play.

The interior line had its worst game in a very long time on Saturday, struggling with bad snaps and false starts and failing to account for Indiana loading up on pressure there; it's probably not surprising, then, that there's been a pretty significant shakeup there, and not just because of the injury to Gatti. We'll see if the new alignment works out better than the last one did.

Defense

DE
Markus Golden (6'3, 260, Sr.) (15.5 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 4.0 sacks, 1 PBU, 1 QB hurry)

Marcus Loud (6'4, 260, RSFr.) (3.5 tackles, 1 QB hurry)

DT
Harold Brantley (6'3, 280, So.) (9.0 tackles, 1 PBU, 2 QB hurries) -OR-
Matt Hoch (6'5, 295, Sr.) (4.0 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PBU, 1 QB hurry)

NG
Lucas Vincent (6'2, 300, Sr.) (6.0 tackles, 2 TFL, 1.5 sacks)
Josh Augusta (6'4, 335, So.) (4.0 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 INT, 1 FF)
Rickey Hatley (6'4, 285, So.) (3.5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack)

DE
Shane Ray (6'3, 245, Jr.) (20.0 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 6 sacks, 1 FF)
Charles Harris (6'3, 255, RSFr.) (6.0 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 PBU, 2 QB hurries)

There's nothing like facing an awesome offense and finding out right before the game that your best defensive player, Markus Golden, isn't going to be able to go. Mizzou needed one more defensive play on Saturday, and you'd like to think Golden would have made it. Regardless, it appears he'll be considered good to go by the weekend. Assuming Matt Hoch also continues to get healthier, that means Mizzou's defensive line will be full strength, or close to it, on its trip east. That's very good news because South Carolina's line is enormous, and the Gamecocks will run as much as Mizzou allows them to.

By the way...

Ross professes a Pig Brown-level love for somebody, and that somebody immediately gets hurt. Don't think I didn't notice that, Ross.

WLB
Kentrell Brothers (6'1, 240, Jr.) (20.0 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 1 PBU)
Darvin Ruise (6'1, 235, Sr.) (8.5 tackles, 1 PBU)

MLB
Michael Scherer (6'3, 230, So.) (30.0 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 1 PBU, 1 FR, 2 QB hurries)
Eric Beisel (6'3, 225, RSFr.) (4.5 tackles, 0.5 TFL)

SLB
Clarence Green (6'0, 225, Jr.) (3.0 tackles) -OR-
Donavin Newsom (6'2, 230, So.) (3.5 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 1 QB hurry)

No changes here. I figure the SLB will be on the field more on Saturday than it has been of late; Green and Newsom have played very little role against teams like Toledo and Indiana, while nickel back Duron Singleton has gotten a lot of playing time.

Beisel, by the way, saw some action in the second quarter on Saturday, and he looked pretty awesome, making a solo tackle and two assists in seven snaps. I'll be interested to watch the snap counts for him and Scherer moving forward.)

CB
Kenya Dennis (6'0, 195, Jr.) (9.0 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 0.5 sacks, 1 PBU)
John Gibson (6'0, 190, So.) (5.0 tackles, 3 PBU)

CB
Aarion Penton (5'10, 185, So.) (11.5 tackles, 2 INT, 3 PBU)
David Johnson (5'11, 195, Jr.) (5.0 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FF)
Logan Cheadle (5'10, 170, Fr.)

Another new starter! Kenya Dennis is now above John Gibson. You could kind of see this coming, but the timing is interesting. South Carolina doesn't have a lot of size in its receiving corps, but it has all the speed in the world. To my eye, Gibson appears quite a bit faster (and less consistent) than Dennis. Gotta figure Gibson's fourth-down pass interference penalty didn't really help his case here.

SS
Braylon Webb (6'0, 200, Sr.) (15.5 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 1 FR)
Duron Singleton (6'1, 210, Sr.) (13.5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT, 1 FR)
Anthony Sherrils (6'0, 190, RSFr.) (3.5 tackles)

FS
Ian Simon (6'0, 195, Jr.) (13.5 tackles, 1 FF)
Cortland Browning (6'1, 205, Jr.) (1.0 tackles, 1 PBU)
Thomas Wilson (5'10, 190, Fr.) (4.0 tackles, 1 PBU)

No changes here.

Special Teams

K
Andrew Baggett (6'1, 215, Jr.) (17-17 PAT, 2-3 FG <40, 2-3 FG >40)
Nick Coffman (5'11, 175, So.)

Still Baggett.

P
Christian Brinser (6'2, 195, Sr.) (19 punts, 41.7 average, 9 FC, 9 I20)
Andrew Baggett (6'1, 215, Jr.)

Still Brinser.

KR
Marcus Murphy (5'9, 190, Sr.) (4 KR, 39.0 average, 1 TD)
John Gibson (6'0, 190, So.)

PR
Marcus Murphy (5'9, 190, Sr.) (6 PR, 10.3 average)
Aarion Penton (5'10, 185, So.)

Still Murphy.