Monday, September 14, 2015

Report: Missouri top RB may not play against UConn

Based on reports coming from the Missouri media, the Tigers' standout running back Russell Hansbrough is out for this week's game against UConn.

Hansbrough ran for 1,084 yards as a junior but he is dealing with a sprained right ankle and is not listed on the depth chart in this week's game notes.

Sophomore Ish Witter is listed as the starting tailback. He will get a chance to run behind a senior-laden offensive line as right tackle Nate Crawford, a sophomore, is the only non-senior listed as a starter on the depth chart. The line is led by center Evan Boehm and left tackle Connor McGovern. Boehm has started 42 career games, matching the number of starts for the UConn offensive line (15 for OG Tyler Samra, 14 for OT Richard Levy, 9 for OT Andreas Knappe, 2 each for OG Tommy Hopkins and C Brendan Vechery). The individual matchup between Boehm and UConn nose guard Julian Campenni (who has started 27 career games) should be worth the price of admission.

Missouri's offensive numbers are nothing to write home about but it's a different story on the defensive side of the ball. The Tigers lead all FBS teams with an average of 12 1/2 tackles for loss per game while UConn is tied for 115th among 127 FBS teams in tackles for loss allowed. There have been some communication issues in each of the first two games. Army's Andrew King and two of them came when he came late on a blitz after each of the offensive linemen were engaged with a defender and the backs went out for a pass pattern rather than staying in for blocking purposes.

Missouri has an interesting (some UConn fans might call it frightening) note which said that the Tigers rank fifth among FBS teams in sacks during the start of the 2013 season.

1. Utah - 96 (39 in 2013, 55 in 2014, 2 in 2015)
2. Washington - 95 (41 in 2013, 51 in 2014, 3 in 2015)
Ohio State - 95 (42 in 2013, 45 in 2014, 8 in 2015)
4. Stanford - 92 (44 in 2013, 46 in 2014, 2 in 2015)
4. Virginia Tech - 90 (39 in 2013, 48 in 2014, 3 in 2015)
5. Mizzou - 89.5 (41.5 in 2013, 44 in 2014, 4 in 2015)
Also, Missouri senior linebacker is first nationally with an average of 16 total tackles per game while sophomore defensive lineman Charles Harris is tied for second with an average of 6 tackles for loss per game.

The game will air on ESPN on Saturday at noon with Adam Amin, former NFL quarterback Kelly Stouffer and Olivia Harlan the announce team. Also, the Sept. 26 Navy game will start at either noon or 3:30 p.m.


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