Unproven Missouri still confident in SEC football

2 years 4 months 2 weeks ago July 17, 2014 Jul 17, 2014 Thursday, July 17 2014 Thursday, July 17, 2014 1:40:00 PM CDT in Mizzou Xtra
By: The Associated Press

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."

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A trial has been scheduled for late next year for a Missouri man accused of sexually... More >>
54 minutes ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 1:00:46 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A man with a history of violent sex offenses dating back to the 1960s has been... More >>
2 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 11:35:57 AM CST in News
WARRENSBURG (AP) — At a time when reports of anti-Muslim sentiment are rising, members of a west-central Missouri Islamic Center... More >>
2 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 11:14:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Schurz and McDavid residence halls on the University of Missouri's campus could close indefinitely after the 2016-17 school... More >>
2 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 10:57:00 AM CST in News
CLAYTON (AP) — St. Louis County police are searching for a man who allegedly tried to run over officers with... More >>
3 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 10:16:00 AM CST in News
CRESTWOOD (AP) — Officials in St. Louis County's Rockwood School District are investigating after a school bus caught fire on... More >>
3 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 10:09:47 AM CST in News
CLAYTON (AP) A 24-year-old Missouri woman is accused of causing a wreck last weekend that killed a passenger in her... More >>
3 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 10:03:54 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A rock-loving orangutan named Rubih is suspected of going ape on the observation windows of her... More >>
4 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 9:16:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Residents in the Columbia area will be able to speak their minds Tuesday at a public hearing about... More >>
11 hours ago December 06, 2016 Dec 6, 2016 Tuesday, December 06 2016 Tuesday, December 06, 2016 2:35:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Two members of the Delta Upsilon fraternity, who wished to remain anonymous, told KOMU 8 News Monday night... More >>
14 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 11:33:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS - Governor-elect Eric Greitens' wife Sheena was robbed at gunpoint Monday night. According to KSDK, St. Louis Police... More >>
16 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 9:49:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri is seeing an increase in the number of state highway fatalities, and MoDOT is worried it's... More >>
18 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 7:19:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A group of University of Missouri students exceeded everybody's expectations in gift giving this holiday season, and the... More >>
19 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 6:49:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia is looking to cut down on traffic deaths and serious injuries, and is looking to join a... More >>
19 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 6:36:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council voted 5-2 in opposition to an ordinance that would have revised some licensing regulations... More >>
19 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 6:10:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Engineering crews kicked off three months of work on Nifong Blvd. on Monday as part of the road's... More >>
20 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 5:49:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The fourth annual CoMoGives Campaign has some lofty goals for the 2016 holiday season, hoping to raise more... More >>
23 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 2:19:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia police grew furry faces during a No Shave November fundraiser to benefit a local children's home. ... More >>
23 hours ago December 05, 2016 Dec 5, 2016 Monday, December 05 2016 Monday, December 05, 2016 1:59:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 39°
2pm 41°
3pm 41°
4pm 41°
5pm 37°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:00p
Days of Our Lives
2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
3:00p
Dr. Phil
1:00p
Maury
2:00p
Judge Alex
2:30p
Judge Alex

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
8:00p
This Is Us
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
No Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld