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Missouri defenders couldn’t stop talking about how good it is to have AJ Logan back

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Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

A common theme came up in Missouri’s postgame comments following the Tigers’ win over UConn, especially among defenders: It’s really good to have A.J. Logan back from academic suspension.

There was another ingredient to MU’s dominant play along the line of scrimmage: nose tackle A.J. Logan. The fifth-year senior returned last week after serving a six-game suspension. From Odom to defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. to defensive end Marcell Frazier, all three insisted the 330-pound Logan was the difference-maker in the trenches.

“Now I’ve got someone in there with me and I don’t have double teams any more,” said Beckner, who had 2.5 tackles for loss, including a sack.

Logan wasn’t credited with a single tackle on Saturday, but his teammates couldn’t stop talking about him.

Logan’s return to the defensive lineup was the first thing defensive end Marcell Frazier brought up when asked about what’s changed about Missouri’s defense over the last two weeks. The question was hardly even out by the time he’d made up his mind.

“AJ Logan’s back,” he said matter-of-factly. “He takes up double teams. He knows his assignment, he’s a fifth-year guy. He knows his assignment every time. ... It helps. Terry” Beckner Jr. “had two big games in a row. His two biggest games of the year, I think.”

He’s making up for lost time.

He urged Tigers coach Barry Odom to put him on special teams, even the kickoff return unit — not the place you find a 330-pound human being.

“He wants to play as many snaps as he can play,” Odom said, “because he knows he doesn’t have much time left.”

I maintain that the pass defense was pretty lucky in East Hartford — UConn dropped a lot of passes it probably shouldn’t have. That deprived us of some 72-31 shootout or something. But the Huskies’ run game didn’t have a chance, just as Idaho’s didn’t a week earlier. Mizzou’s run defense has passed the tests given it. And if it keeps it up, Mizzou’s going to have a legitimate shot at reaching six wins.

It’s a lovely thought, anyway. The recruiting news keeps getting worse.

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