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Injuries are creating a youth movement for Missouri's defense

Here are today's Mizzou Links.

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"There’s nothing you can do about it but try to get the next man up. We’re trying. Nobody wants more results and better play than me, but our young guys are trying. We’ve got a couple guys that we’re trying to step up – freshman-wise – that are going to try to step in and give us a little bit. We’ve got to bring some guys that we thought we would be able to redshirt up, and all we can do is just keep grinding, just try to stay focused on the task at hand, and that’s to play better football than what we’ve played. It’s going to be hard with those guys down, but I think if we rally together, simplify things more, we’ll have a chance."

-- Demontie Cross (via The Trib's Blake Toppmeyer)

I love Blake's long, weekly transcription from Tuesday's media availabilities. Lots of interesting stuff in here from Cross, Josh Heupel, Cornell Ford, etc. Obviously Cross' job just got even more difficult this week: Not only does he have to figure out how to fix an ongoing tackling issue, but he has to do it without his senior leader (Mike Scherer) and probably his most purely talented player (Terry Beckner Jr.).

Obviously the depth chart for the Kentucky game was outdated even when they posted it, but take another look at it, and replace Beckner's name with freshman Markell Utsey and Scherer's name with, say, freshman Trey Baldwin's*.

(* You could also put in upperclassman Eric Beisel, and I'm actually a little bit excited about the thought of him getting a few more reps, but go with me here.)

You're now looking at a two-deep that has freshmen and sophomores in six of 14 spots in the front seven (four of six at linebacker) and three of eight in the defensive backfield. I mentioned a while back that one of my biggest problems with the defense is that it wasn't young enough to get away with suggesting its problems were with youth. Well ... at the very least, there's kind of a forced youth movement at play now.

The offense, by the way, already had that youth movement well underway. Both quarterbacks, one of two running backs, four of eight receivers (five of 11 if you include tight ends), and seven of 11 linemen are freshmen or sophomores. This is going to be an exciting offense pretty soon. I guess one of the goals for the rest of 2016 is getting us excited about the defense, too.

Mizzou Tigers pennant 3 days to Kentucky

There was a honeymoon?

Post-Dispatch (BenFred): Honeymoon's over for Odom at Mizzou

ICYMI (and you didn't):

The Trib: Scherer, Beckner out with torn ACLs

Post-Dispatch: Mizzou's Scherer, Beckner both suffer torn ACLs

KC Star: Mizzou’s Michael Scherer, Terry Beckner Jr. suffer torn ACLs

The Missourian: Missouri's Scherer, Beckner Jr. out with torn ACLs

PowerMizzou: Tigers lose Scherer and Beckner

B&G Illustrated: Missouri Loses Michael Scherer, Terry Beckner Jr. to ACL Injuries

A couple of cool Adam Ploudre pieces

KC Star: Offensive lineman Adam Ploudre overcomes long odds to contribute at Mizzou football

PowerMizzou: Walk before you run: Adam Ploudre's long road back

Ploudre went to the hospital and diagnosed with a complete fracture of the tibia and fibula. He had to be given two doses of morphine to stop the pain because one dose wasn’t having any effect on his 6-foot-3, 275-pound frame.

He went into surgery later that evening and had a titanium rod that was almost a foot in length inserted into his leg. Because of his massive size, Ploudre had to have a fasciotomy the following day because the swelling was so bad. That entailed a 12-inch incision on one side of his leg, and a 9-inch incision on the other side. Ploudre had his third surgery a few weeks later.

His father thought his playing days were over.

Mizzou Tigers pennant In the pros #MizzouMade in the NFL: Week 7

Meanwhile, Pro Football Focus continues to believe that Charles Harris is a top-15 prospect for 2017.

11. Charles Harris, Edge, Missouri

Armed with a killer spin move and strong, quick hands, Harris can get after the quarterback while showing the block-shedding ability to play the run. His 85.6 pass rush grade ranks 10th among edge rushers and he needs a strong second half in order to separate himself in a loaded class of pass-rushers.

And speaking of #MizzouMade...

Mizzou Tigers pennant On the hardwood @MizzouHoops Meets the Media on Tuesday, Oct. 25

KC Star: No-layups-no-dunks rule brings toughness to Mizzou basketball practice

The Missourian: Missouri men's basketball set for Black and Gold scrimmage Friday night

Meanwhile, in recruiting...

That's five-star 2018er Carte'Are Gordon of Webster Groves confirming what most seemed to already assume: His recruitment will be a local one.

Mizzou Tigers pennant Another huge match for Mizzou Volleyball

Although I guess they're all huge when you're in a title race. A&M is 6-2 and fourth in the conference, Mizzou 9-0 and first. @MizzouVB Set For Midweek Matchup at Texas A&M

Mizzou Tigers pennant Plays of the week: