Trystan Castillo Anchors Offensive Line in Mizzou's Home Opener

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COLUMBIA- Mizzou center Trystan Castillo snapped all ten plays that resulted in touchdowns in the Tigers’ 72-43 home opener victory against Missouri State on Saturday.

Castillo won the starting center role over Columbia native Jonah Dubinski after a strong training camp and played in his first football game in nearly two years on Saturday. Castillo’s last taste of game action came in 2015 with Webb City High School. 

“I think it we did pretty well overall, but personally there’s some things I definitely want to fix,” Castillo said. “I got to get the first game jitters out, but overall it went pretty well.”

Castillo became the first redshirt freshman to open the season on Mizzou’s starting offensive line since the team’s transition to the Southeastern Conference in 2012. The Tigers returned seven offensive linemen from last season, including three starters from the 2016 unit in Tyler Howell, Kevin Pendleton and Paul Adams. 

The offensive line allowed only one sack in Saturday’s contest, helping Mizzou set a single-game school record with 815 all-purpose yards.

“It’s really fun, especially since I got to be a part of it,” Castillo said. It’s a really exciting thing for the team.”

Castillo said his linemates have helped him regain tempo and adjust in front of a college atmosphere.

“The biggest crowd I’ve played in front of in high school was 3,000 people, so it was definitely a different thing here, and they got me ready for that” Castillo said. “They told me like keep all that out, and at the end of the day it’s football, it’s 11-on-11.”

Missouri football coach Barry Odom said Castillo and sophomore Tre’Vour Simms made significant contributions in their first college starts. 

“Both of those guys seemed to handle it pretty well,” Odom said. “I’m excited about what they did offensively and the consistency that they had.”

Castillo hopes to build on this consistency in schedule challenges coming up. Four of the Tigers’ next five games come against conference opponents, starting with another home contest against South Carolina next Saturday at 6 p.m. 

““I wasn’t fortunate enough to travel last year when they went to South Carolina, but some of the guys told me how crazy and fun it is,” Castillo said. “It’s the first conference game, but now that I got a game atmosphere out of the way, I think I’m going to be more ready for that than I was this week.”