Posted: Jul 17, 2014 1:40 PM by The Associated Press
Updated: Jul 18, 2014 8:22 AM
HOOVER, Alabama (AP) - Missouri made a surprising run to the top of the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division in just its second year in the league.
Staying on top might be even more of a challenge.
The Tigers lost a huge chunk of their team after finishing 12-2 last season, including 7-1 in the SEC. Only nine starters return, including just four on offense.
But new starting quarterback Maty Mauk was confident during Missouri's appearance at SEC Media Days on Wednesday. In his mind, this is no rebuilding year for the Tigers.
"People can say and do what they want, but we know what we have," Mauk said. "We have playmakers. We have an offensive line that is healthy coming back. We have a quarterback with experience and we have a defense that - people think we lost Kony (Ealy) and (Michael Sam) - but they obviously haven't watched Shane (Ray) and Markus Golden and Charles Harris."
Mauk earned quite a bit of experience last season as a redshirt freshman when starter James Franklin went down with an injury, making four starts and throwing for 1,071 yards, 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He also rushed for 229 yards and a touchdown.
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said he wasn't surprised Mauk played so well in difficult SEC environments last season and expects rapid improvement this fall. He'll have three experienced lineman blocking for him, which should help.
"(Mauk's) a winner. Players know it," Pinkel said. "He's a remarkable competitor. They know it. They respect the way he leads because he leads in a very, very positive way."
There are some questions about who will be Mauk's primary targets this season in the passing game. The team's top returning receiver - junior Dorial Green-Beckham - was dismissed from the team in April.
Bud Sasser is the most experienced receiver returning. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior caught 26 passes for 361 yards and a touchdown last season.
But even with the question marks, Missouri enters the season with nearly universal respect across the league after they made their impressive run through the Eastern Division. The Tigers lost to Auburn in the SEC championship game.
Pinkel said recruiting has improved and the experience was "tremendously positive."
"But this is a new year," Pinkel said. "It's a great challenge. We want to continue to compete at a high level. That's our challenge this year as we go into year number three."
Posted 4:49 PM 11/5/2015 by Megan Kelly, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA – Within the last month there have been many initiatives by the city government to combat homelessness in Columbia. City staff has plans for a new homeless shelter downtown, and the city council has budgeted for a new shelter for homeless veterans.
Steve Jacobs with St. (More)
Posted 4:37 PM 11/24/2015 by Steve Dawson, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - The holidays are a time when phone scammers take advantage of people who look to donate to a worthy cause.
The United Way of Central Missouri said it received a complaint from a local company, which said an unknown person called them claiming to represent the Randolph (More)
Posted 5:09 PM 11/24/2015 by Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - A Wisconsin federal appeals court has ruled it is unconstitutional to require abortion providers to get hospital admitting privileges in order to perform abortions. One University of Missouri law professor said the ruling should not affect Missouri statute.
"It really shouldn't (More)
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Posted 4:34 PM 11/24/2015 by Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Reporter and The Associated Press
COLUMBIA (AP) — The Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia has stopped performing medically-induced abortions.
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri confirmed the clinic ceased offering the abortions Monday. The organization also confirmed Nov. 19 was the last (More)
Posted 4:07 PM 11/24/2015 by Megan Kelly, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA – Downtown Columbia is a highly sought after in terms of space, according to a recent survey by Plaza Commercial Realty.
The survey found only two percent of commercial space is vacant out of the three million square feet downtown.
"Right now there's a pretty deep (More)
Posted 4:00 PM 11/24/2015 by Eric Yount, KOMU 8 Reporter
JEFFERSON CITY - Thanksgiving travelers this weekend will face increased traffic and the safety risks that come with it, and mid-Missouri agencies are getting ready.
AAA estimates 42 million Americans will travel by car this holiday weekend. 872,000 of those will be Missourians.
Posted 1:34 PM 11/24/2015 by Taylor Stevens, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that 91 percent of college campuses across the nation did not report any incidents of rape on campus in 2014. Both Stephens College and the Columbia College campus in Columbia fall into this category. The University of Missouri's archive (More)
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Posted 2:57 PM 11/24/2015 by The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned the first-degree murder convictions and the death sentence for one of four men convicted of raping two sisters and throwing them to their death from an abandoned Mississippi River bridge in St. Louis 24 (More)