April 17, 2007

Man in the Middle

It is hardly a secret that the Missouri Tigers have to do something to shore up their run defense from a season ago.

The Tigers gave up 134 yards a game on the ground a season ago. Teams like Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and even Kansas State and Colorado, racked up some gaudy ground numbers against Mizzou. But the best thing for the Tiger run defense may simply have been time…as in the time it took to get Evander Hood back to full health.

"If you have somebody big in the middle like that, that just really helps, there's no question about it," Pinkel said. "Ziggy's an impact player."

Just take a look at the numbers from last season. In Mizzou's first two games, with a healthy Hood in the starting lineup, the Tigers allowed just 99 yards on 53 carries against Murray State and Ole Miss.

Hood went out with a broken foot in the opening stages of the New Mexico game and the problems began. The Lobos ran for 197 yards. For the rest of the regular season, only Ohio and Texas Tech would fail to run for at least 160 on the Tiger defense.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!