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December 20, 2008

Tigers face secondary shakeup

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Castine Bridges sat in a chair on the sidelines, watching practice with two crutches propped next to him. As the Missouri Tigers get ready for the Alamo Bowl, Bridges knows he has already played his final game. The senior cornerback suffered a knee injury against Kansas in the regular season finale and had surgery two days later.

With Bridges on the shelf, Tremane Vaughns steps in as Mizzou's starting cornerback.

"It's pretty exciting to get my first start," Vaughns said. "Not on account of my friend getting hurt, Castine, you know, but it's a good experience for me."

Vaughns says Bridges has stayed involved with the secondary, despite not being able to get on the field.

"He still comes in, watches video with us," Vaughns said. "He calls me, I watch film with him now. We see him a lot."

With Bridges already out, the Tigers are hopeful they will not be down another senior starter in the secondary. Safety William Moore did not practice on Friday, still dealing with the effects of a rib injury he aggravated prior to the Big 12 Championship game.

"I'm gonna have to come out in a wheelchair," Moore said of what would keep him out of the Alamo Bowl.

The injury, which Moore says he has played with since about the Nebraska game, kept him on the sidelines against Oklahoma. The Tigers are optimistic it won't do the same against Northwestern a week from Monday.

"I think he's going to be okay," Gary Pinkel said. "It's a really good period of time in between and we're being a little bit cautious. Rex (Sharp) is very good at what he does, so hopefully he'll be ready to go. I think by Sunday we'll see him start practicing a little bit more."

In other secondary news, Gilbert Moye was not at practice on Friday.

"He was suspended for this game for disciplinary reasons," Pinkel said. "Hopefully he'll return in January."

Moye plays regularly on special teams for Missouri.

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