With Missouri releasing its first official depth chart of the regular season Tuesday, Rock M Nation breaks down how the Tigers’ lineup is shaping up heading into the first game against Wyoming on Saturday.
Starter: Tucker McCann
Potential options: Sean Koetting
Once again, Tucker McCann will be Missouri’s kicker in 2019.
Ranking fourth in school history in scoring, McCann sits just 86 points behind the record of 362 set by Jeff Wolfert. McCann has a good chance to break that record, but he might have to improve upon his 24-for-33 mark in field goal attempts from 2018 to do so.
While McCann hasn’t always been the most highly-regarded kicker for Tiger fans, he’s proven to be pretty consistent in clutch situations, lest we forget the 57-yard field goal at South Carolina last season that nearly won Missouri the game.
The depth chart has nobody listed behind McCann, but if something were to go wrong this season, there’s a strong possibility that Sean Koetting — who hit a 33-yard field goal against UT-Martin last year — will take up the kicking job.
Starter: Tucker McCann
Potential options: Sean Koetting, Aaron Rodriguez
Yup, McCann is pulling double duty here, being named the team’s punter ahead of Saturday.
It definitely isn’t the best-case scenario for Missouri, but with the Tigers needing someone to replace Corey Fatony, there just weren’t any better options. McCann has never punted at the college level, but he did punt in high school so there’s at least some experience there.
Behind McCann there’s nobody listed, though Koetting is once again a possibility, having punted multiple times during the Black and Gold game in the spring. But don’t take your eye off of Aaron Rodriguez, a preferred walk-on who got very positive reviews throughout fall camp for his boot.
Starter: Tyler Badie
Backups: Larry Rountree III, Kam Scott, Jalen Knox
Tyler Badie only returned 11 kicks in place of Richaud Floyd in 2018, but he gained 242 yards for a 22-yard average and ran one back for 38 yards.
Missouri’s return game was consistently suspect last season, rarely giving Drew Lock and the offense good field position to work with. With Badie’s speed and shiftiness, though, there’s a good chance that the return unit gets a boost in 2019.
Adding Larry Rountree III, Kam Scott and Jalen Knox to the list is probably more head coach Barry Odom deciding to leave the spot open to challengers rather than a guaranteed rotation. Rountree has experience returning kicks— he was the top return man in 2017 when he recorded 538 yards on 25 returns— but as the No. 1 running back, he likely won’t see any time with the return team.
Neither Scott nor Knox spent any time returning kicks in 2018, but their speed could get them on the field with the special teams this season.
Starter: Richaud Floyd
Primary backup: Johnathon Johnson
With Badie becoming the top option to return kicks, Richaud Floyd is locked into the punt return spot.
Slowed by injuries in a punt return unit that was already pretty bad last season, Floyd only returned three punts for -4 yards. However, he was a much better option in 2017 when he returned two touchdowns and totaled 218 return yards. If Missouri wants to do anything with its punt returns, it’ll come down to what Floyd can do with the ball.
Johnathon Johnson, meanwhile, has returned 28 punts for 228 yards and a touchdown over his career. Most of his production, though, came in 2016, when he returned 14 punts for 196 yards and a TD. Since then, Johnson has averaged just 2.9 yards-per-return on 14 punts. If the Tigers can’t get much production out of Floyd, they’ll have to hope Johnson can step in and perform.
Odom also name-dropped the players listed as kick returners as possible options for the punt return job as well.