We here at RockMNation have made a cottage industry out of identifying and discussing Johnathon Johnson’s chances at becoming Missouri’s all-time career receiving yards record holder.
But let’s move off of Johnson for a moment and talk about three of his 2019 teammates who could make record book marks of their own this season.
Mark: 1578 rushing yards
Set: Devin West, 1998
The Challenger: Larry Rountree
How Likely Is It?
Semi? Rountree gained 1216 yards on 225 carries in 13 games last year, or 93.5 yards a game and 5.4 yards a carry. West gained his 1578 yards on 283 carries in 11 games in 1998, or 143.5 yards a game and 5.6 yards a carry. One of the things working in Rountree’s favor is, obviously, he is guaranteed at least one more game. Bowl games didn’t count for official stats back in West’s time so, if the Tigers qualify for a bowl and the NCAA ban gets lifted, Rountree could conceivably have two more games to run up his stats. Or, with an SEC East championship, three. So over 12 games, Rountree would have to average 131.6 yards a game to break West’s record and, over 13, 121.5. Another thing working in Rountree’s favor this season is that Damarea Crockett decided to forgo his final year. Yes, Tyler Badie will get his carries, but Rountree comes into the season as the definite No. 1 back. He couldn’t say that last year. In the six games in which Rountree got the plurality of the Tigers’ running back snaps last year – Tennessee-Martin, Purdue, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma State – he averaged 22.7 carries and 122 yards, including a 100-yard trifecta to end the season. What was that magic number for 13 games again? Oh yeah, 121.5.
Mark: 362 tackles
Set: Barry Odom, 1996-99 (7th-highest total in Mizzou history)
The Challenger: Cale Garrett
How Likely Is It?
Very. Kentrell Brothers got oh so close with his spectacular 152-tackle season in 2015, but he wound up five tackles shy of besting his then-defensive coordinator for seventh on the Tigers’ all-time tackles list. Garrett started his pursuit the next year – Odom’s first as a head coach – and he’s got the man in the headset squarely in his crosshairs. Garrett comes into his final season with 264 career tackles, or 99 shy of topping Odom. Garrett has eclipsed that mark in each of the past two seasons, logging 105 stops in 2017 and 112 in 2018. And this year he’s got a less-proven outside linebacker playing alongside him than Terez Hall. That could work to his detriment, as teams may try to run away from the middle of the field and test the edges more. But Garrett is also such a big part of the Tigers’ run-stop gameplan going downhill, as well as an effective play reader and lateral mover, that I don’t anticipate it making much of a dent in his tackles mark. And he is remarkably consistent when it comes to avoiding injuries, so far. In 12 games, he’d have to average fewer than 8.1 tackles a game to fall short of Odom. In 13 games, fewer than 7.5. Garrett has registered at least eight tackles in 14 of 26 games over the past two seasons and hit double digits 10 times. So he’s in pretty good shape to topple the bossman.
Mark: 362 points
Set: Jeff Wolfert, 2006-08
The Challenger: Tucker McCann
How Likely Is it?
Again, very. Remember not too long ago when it was a question as to whether McCann could ever get out of his own head long enough to even hold down the starting placekicker job. Well, the past two years have erased those concerns. McCann has been true on 78 percent of his field goals, knocked through 102 extra points and averaged 109.5 points a season. He sits at 276 total entering his senior year, meaning he would need 87 to unseat Wolfert. McCann passed that during the Vanderbilt game last season, with a full three games to go. In order to come up short, McCann would have to average fewer than 7.08 points in a 12-game season and fewer than 6.54 in 13. McCann has scored 7 or more points in all but seven of the 25 games he’s played – he was benched against Idaho in 2018 – over the past two seasons. And, if McCann is only scoring 7 points a game, it probably means Missouri’s offense is in trouble. He has accounted for 24.4 percent of the Tigers’ scoring in games he’s played over the past two years, which would come out to 28.7 points per game if he’s limited to only 7 per game and the proportion stays the same. That would be a drop of 23 percent from the past two years. The more pertinent question may be if McCann can chase Wolfert’s single-season mark of 133 set in 2008. McCann did come up with 123 last year, after all. That’s probably a little farfetched, seeing as how Missouri’s scoring will probably dip a little this year and the Tigers could also very well improve on a pretty pedestrian 61.3 touchdown percentage in the red zone. That all means fewer chances for 3-pointers.