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MV3: Mizzou’s defense worthy of celebrating in another disappointing loss

Seven different defenders popped up on staff ballots after the loss to Kentucky.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Missouri William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Did you need any extra proof that Missouri’s defense is incredible? Take a look at the ballots below.

Despite the fact that a playmaker grabbed the third spot of this week’s MV3, seven different defenders showed up on our staff ballots, including both starting linebackers, four defensive lineman and a safety. You could have even made an argument for some other defenders... I know I certainly thought about Kris Abrams-Draine.

Despite not being able to hold Kentucky in the final minutes, another sterling effort from Blake Baker’s defense highlighted the day, and we saw fit to celebrate the defense by naming as many stand out players as we could.

1. Darius Robinson

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Missouri William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

A monster day for Mizzou’s monster interior lineman. Robinson continued to make his case for NFL contention by tearing through the Wildcats’ offensive line with ease. Robinson was a constant presence in the backfield, totaling two and a half TFLs and one and a half sacks. Chris Rodriguez had to fight for every one of his 112 yards with Robinson always caving in the interior of the OL, and Will Levis rarely looked comfortable. After a season’s worth of “close but no cigar” games, Robinson led the charge in the defensive line’s second straight dominant showing.

2. DJ Coleman

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Missouri William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Who said DJ Coleman couldn’t compete at this level? After a season of plugging in as a solid contributor, Coleman exploded against the Wildcats, racking up a team-high nine tackles, including a half sack and two TFLs. Coleman was also the feistiest player on the defense, actively jawing with Wildcat opponents and bringing an extra boost of energy that the defense often needed.

3. Luther Burden III

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Missouri William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Not the flashiest of days for LB3, but one that maybe shows the steps he’s taking in his development. While Burden has relied on mostly for his athleticism around the end zone, Saturday’s game saw him get the bulk of targets with Dominic Lovett continuing to deal with an injury. Burden pulled in six catches, tied for his season high, and led the team with 60 receiving yards. Like the rest of the offense, Burden had a tough road to trod against the Wildcats, but the Tigers looked at their best when he was involved.

Others receiving votes: Chad Bailey, Joseph Charleston, Realus George Jr., Ty’Ron Hopper, Trajan Jeffcoat

Now it’s your turn! Tell us who your MV3 are in the comments or on Twitter!