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Missouri’s season-opener comes into focus after its first media day

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

1. Now it officially feels like game week.

On Tuesday, Missouri players and coaches met with the media for their first in-season availability of 2018. released the first game notes and depth chart of the season.

And, above all, there weren’t many big surprises on the depth chart itself. The most news came regarding the freshmen that did make the two-deep. There were six of them:

  • RB Tyler Badie
  • WR Jalen Knox, Kam Scott, Dominic Gicinto and Khmari Thompson
  • LB Nick Bolton

The loftiest praise seems to be about Badie, at least at this stage. From Dave Matter’s media day wrap-up notebook, Drew Lock said this about Badie and early comparisons to Marcus Murphy:

“If there’s a guy wearing 6, can come in the backfield, go play the slot, get open for the two-minute drill, have no one really be able to cover him in space and do punt return and kick return, that kind of sounds a little like Marcus Murphy. … If Badie can be that guy, that speaks a lot to him as a player.”

It should be noted that Lock hedged on the Murph comparisons before saying that, but... still. I am here for Tyler Badie, or as I will now call the Tennessee native, Memphis Murphy.

More depth chart analysis

2. About those Skyhawks...

Yeah, UT-Martin is an FCS team that’s beat one FBS program before — Memphis, in 2012, when Barry Odom was the defensive coordinator there. But all the previews for the game Saturday will be put into the context of what happened and what ALMOST happened last year.

We all know about that Misery State Fiasco. The players especially do.

Linebacker Jamal Brooks told Alex Schiffer of the Kansas City Star:

“Especially defensively, we sat back and we said, ‘Man, we saw what we did last year. Do we want to go out there and take UT-Martin like we took Missouri State? Or do we want to come up and play big-boy SEC ball?’”

So, yeah. The ghosts of last year are still there, but this time, they’re being used to inspire instead of frighten.

More on UT-Martin and the Misery State Fiasco

3. After Saturday, we won’t have anymore preseason predictions, so enjoy them while you can.

Here’s a couple more that directly involve Missouri:

  • ESPN has its final preseason bowl predictions. One writer has Missouri vs. Minnesota in the Gator Bowl; the other has Missouri vs. N.C. State in the Music City Bowl. I think I’d be OK with both, although a second Missouri-Minnesota bowl game in Florida in four years might be a bit of a stretch.
  • analyst Mike Farrell makes his SEC predictions, and he has Missouri has the surprise team in the SEC. Farrell believes that if the defense improves, coupled with the office, Missouri “could make a run” at second-place in the SEC East.

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:

  • A potential Missouri upset of Georgia seems to be gaining a lot of steam, but if the Tigers can do that, why is no one picking them for more than eight regular season wins?