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Missouri’s OL gets no love in preseason voting, and it deserves better

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

1. Slow weekend in Mizzou news, so here’s my soapbox — why no love for Missouri’s OL?

Missouri’s offensive line — a group that returns all five starters from 2017, a group that has 84 career starts — didn’t place any play on the first, second or third All-SEC preaseason team, announced on Friday.

Overall, Missouri had a strong showing, with six players earning preseason honors including three first-teamers in Drew Lock, Albert Okwuegbunam and Corey Fatoney. No beef from me on Terry Beckner, Jr., earning second-team honors at defensive line — it’s always a stacked group in this conference.

But it seems like a pretty glaring omission that no Missouri offensive linemen got a nod on any of the teams. Especially considering this is a Missouri line that has led the nation in fewest tackles-for-losses allowed in back-to-back years, and also led (or tied for the lead) in the conference for fewest sacks allowed the last two years.

I ask “Why no love?” but sarcastically. The excuses have already been written. Missouri ran an uptempo offense, slowing down a pass rush. Drew Lock got rid of the ball quickly, inhibiting sacks. But Missouri was also top-4 in the conference last year in runs over 10 yards.

There are more advanced metrics at play, I’m sure, but I guarantee you the majority of preseason voters aren’t even paying attention to those. Paul Adams or Kevin Pendleton deserved more votes, as multiyear starters entering their final seasons.

The Missouri media, as expected, seemed to be more aware of the talent of the offensive line. Dave Matter had Adams and Trevour Wallace-Sims on his second team; both Kansas City Star beat writers had Missouri linemen on their first and second-team ballots.

Hopefully this will be just another chip on the shoulder for this offense entering a year with a plethora of returning talent.

2. Anybody else think Albert O is going to have a record-setting year for Missouri?

With Albert Okuewgbunam and Kendall Blanton, Missouri offensive coordinator Derek Dooley is going to be able to run out some interesting packages this year on offense. After Okwuegbunam’s breakout freshman year (29 catches, 415 yards, 11 TDs), he’s on the Mackey Award Watch List. And with a lot of receptions unaccounted for at receiver, his numbers could take another big jump (although it may be hard to repeat what he did with touchdowns)

This weekend at Rock M

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