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Thanks to a new defensive scheme, Missouri is proving once and for all that old cats can learn new tricks

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Here are today's Mizzou links.

Asked about the Missouri third-down defensive package that lines up four defensive ends across the line of scrimmage, Marcell Frazier took the clandestine approach, too.

"You’ll probably have to talk to Coach (Barry) Odom about that," the junior edge rusher said Monday.

Mizzou defensive end Charles Harris was more forthcoming — eventually.

"I don’t know if I should say it," he said. "So, I’m not just going to say anything. But not that it really matters because everyone has seen it on film. It’s called Cheetah. The cheetah is the fastest animal in the wild."

The Cheetah had become endangered through Missouri’s first two months of the season but has been uncaged since Odom re-installed last year’s defensive scheme, which shifts more focus on rushing the pocket on passing downs. The package replaces two defensive tackles with two lighter, faster ends in the middle. In Saturday’s 26-17 win over Vanderbilt, the Tigers (3-7, 1-5 Southeastern Conference) used the Cheetah on 14 of 73 plays. In that package, the Tigers allowed a net total of 6 yards.

-- Post-Dispatch: Mizzou pass-rushers trade stripes for spots

Q: They used some of the three- and four-defensive end fronts in previous years. What did you guys like about that last week, and how did that come about?

Cross: "We knew if we could get them in third-and-long situations, we really wanted to get our fastest guys … in a situation to really pin their ears back and go. We felt we could take advantage of their offensive line a little bit. It’s something that we worked on that actually came out and worked for us, so we were excited as a staff to see that work."

Q: That’s got to be something you use only when you’re pretty confident that they’re throwing, right?

Cross: "Yes, and it was. It was. We knew once we got up two scores and the game was in the fourth quarter, we felt a little bit more comfortable going to that situation. And really, our kids dictated it more than we did. Because they were able to get the pressure out of just the four-down, we had a lot of blitzes that we wanted to call up that we didn’t even have to go to. When your front four is playing like that, you can do a lot of things."

-- The Trib: Coaching Quotables: Cross applauds D-line's play; offensive coaches discuss building with young lineup

You can call it whatever you want, as long as it yields results. Though I would like to note that a Tiger would absolutely demolish a cheetah were it to come to blows between the two.

Mizzou Tigers pennant Football is good again! We get to read happy things!

Mizzou's linebackers are easy to root for

KC Star: Mizzou linebacker Cale Garrett makes an interesting pick for his hero

Missouri coach Barry Odom likes for his team to discuss more than just football, considering broader questions about life in some team meetings.

At one such meeting, Odom went around the room asking players who each considered his hero.

"We got the usual responses you’d expect, like LeBron James and guys like that," Odom said. "We get to Cale, and he said Michael Scherer — and he’s dead serious. That’s pretty cool, and that’s a good guy to look up to."


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/college/sec/university-of-missouri/article115022408.html#storylink=cpy

The Missourian: Toddlers to Tigers: Eric Beisel's persistence drove him from childhood

One day, a young Eric Beisel refused to eat the German dish his grandmother prepared. He boldly asked for something else for dinner. Surprisingly, his grandmother obliged.

That's when Cathy Beisel first noticed her son's view of the world.

"Nobody challenged his grandmother," Cathy Beisel said with a laugh. "It's just not something that was ever done. It's not a negative. That's just the way he is. He's always been persistent about what he wants."

If I ever tried anything like that with either of my grandmothers, I'm not sure things would have went as smoothly.

I think I might still have some eligibility left...

KC Star: Odom opens up audition for kicking job

"We’ll evaluate every kicker we have on the roster and see if we can get the right guy out there to kick an extra point or a field goal," Odom said, adding that the evaluation would unfold at practice from Tuesday through Thursday before a decision is reached.

Odom said Missouri will continue to kick extra points rather than go for 2-point conversions.

That last line makes me more meloncholy than it should.

Mizzou Tigers pennant Now that's what I call a heater, softball

MUTigers.com: Mizzou Athletics receives $3.1 Million Estate Gift

KC Star: Softball receives seven-figure gift, signs huge recruiting class

Missouri announced another major anonymous donation Tuesday as fundraising continues to pick up momentum under new athletic director Jim Sterk.

The Tigers have received a $3.1 million planned estate gift, which is directed equally toward the softball program and the Tiger Scholarship Fund.


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/college/sec/university-of-missouri/article114894373.html#storylink=cpy

Post-Dispatch: Mizzou softball signs 11 players, lands big donation

Meanwhile, once embattled softball coach Ehren Earleywine loaded up with 11 players for his latest recruiting class, the largest class he’s signed in 11 years at MU. The class includes five players from within the state border. The class is ranked No. 9 nationally by FloSoftball.com and includes seven players ranked among the site’s top 200 ranked players.

Gotta wonder how motivated Earlywine is to perform well this season.

Mizzou Tigers pennant Watch the basketball team stunt on a less-talented opponent

Get used to these highlights, you might be seeing a whole lot of them this season.

Mizzou Tigers pennant Rapid fire:

In the sports Mizzou's really good at...

Swimming & Diving

The Missourian: Two Missouri swimmers given Southeastern Conference honors

Lauren Reedy and Hannah Stevens were named women of the week in the Southeastern Conference for their performances at the University of Missouri’s meet against Georgia on Thursday.

Reedy, named Southeastern Conference Female Diver of the Week, broke her own records in the dual. In the 3-meter diving competition, she won first with a score of 387.23 points, 54 points ahead of the second-place score. She also received her fourth event title of the season in the 1-meter dive with 299.55 points.

Stevens was named Southeastern Conference Female Swimmer of the Week for being the fastest and third-fastest backstroke swimmer in the country when she competed in the Team USA 2016 College Challenge on Nov. 12-13.

Go team!