Two Tigers are Trying to Fill Some Very Big Shoes

9 years 5 months 2 weeks ago Sunday, April 10 2011 Apr 10, 2011 Sunday, April 10, 2011 9:02:00 PM CDT April 10, 2011 in Tiger Talk
By: Parker Leppien

COLUMBIA - You may have heard that there is a battle to replace an All-Big 12 selection on the Mizzou football team...and it's not the one you are thinking. However, this position battle is just as important as the quarterback one.

"Tim Barnes is a hard guy, big shoes to fill," center Travis Ruth said. "There wasn't many things I saw Tim do wrong. I mean I can count on one hand all the bad snaps I've ever seen him have in a game or a practice."

Arguably two of the most overlooked aspects in football could be the center and the importance of the center-quarterback exchange.

"You cannot have a play without the snap," center Mitch Morse said.

Early on, there have been struggles for the centers looking to replace Barnes, but they are struggles Ruth and quarterback James Franklin are not worried about at the moment.

"It's always a rough start, first spring practice, but you get better every day, you get to work on things and you keep improving," said Ruth.

"I think them working on the snaps, having a few bad ones here and there, really helps the offense as a whole because it sees how we will do under pressure situations because in a game even if you do have someone that maybe snaps it perfect every time, they are going to have a bad snap, and so it may not be realistic to just practice that," Franklin said.

For Morse though, he finds himself not just in a position battle but a new position all together. A tough situation he recognizes.

"It's going to be a tough competition. I really want to play, and we are always helping each other which is great and hopefully I will get some reps at center sometime in the coming future," Morse said.

And while he is at a new position, he's not using it as an excuse.

"We have to read the no excuses board if we have an excuse, so there is no excuses. It is going to take me a while, the coaches understand that, it's frustrating for me to understand that, but we will get there," Morse explained.

Then once he does, it will be Morse and Ruth battling to replace Barnes.

"It's really hard. I mean, it's not really hard but it's real difficult, it's going to be difficult, but it's a challenge you know, it's kind of exciting to accept," Morse said.  "So we will see what happens."

Morse and Ruth will continue their competition next weekend at MUs annual black and gold game.


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