WR/KR/PR Jeremy Maclin

2007 Statistics

Coach: Gary Pinkel
49-37, 7 years
2007 Record: 12-2
vs. Illinois WON 40-34
at Mississippi WON 38-25
at Oklahoma LOST 31-41
at Colorado WON 55-10
at Kansas State WON 49-32
vs. Kansas WON 36-28
vs. Oklahoma LOST 17-38
Arkansas WON 38-7

2007 Final Rankings
AP-4, Coaches-5, BCS-6


No one deserves a year like Missouri had in 2007 more than the guy who put it all together…Gary Pinkel. Since 2001, he hadn’t been able to avoid at least five losses per season until his Tigers won a school record 12 games, and they even earned their first-ever chance at playing to become the conference champs. Many in the world of college football are wondering whether last year’s Missouri was a flash-in-the-pan that may produce sizzle this time around, but no more flash…or whether they have another group that can rally around Chase Daniel and William Moore to make a serious run for the big time. The roster is decent, but not as deep as it is for powerhouses like Florida and USC, so only if the main parts of this machine can stay healthy and work together will there be more plateaus reached in 2008.

The thing we didn’t speak of enough in the unit breakdowns was leadership. That’s what takes potential and turns it into results…we saw vocal leaders lift MU during last year’s most needed times. Sure, the coaches are all strong motivators, but we mean the student-athletes themselves picking each other up, from those first practices throughout the build up to the bowls, and bonding to become more proficient at each task/play and playing as a group instead of as just individuals. That’s why Daniel, Moore, Witherspoon, Hood, Sulak, Saunders and other upperclassmen are the keys to winning more than 10 games. This is what brings the Tigers up to the levels of those perennial top programs. "I think we've got great leaders on this football team still," offensive coordinator Dave Christensen said, "I think this year's senior class has a chance to have a bunch of great leaders in it also.” Eleven motivated guys with a plan can really surprise.

Then there is the Oklahoma conundrum. Not only are they winless in the past ten years against the Sooners, but this was the only team last year that beat Mizzu, and they did it twice, the second time to ruin the Tigers’ BCS title hopes. It wasn’t like either game was a blowout or embarrassment; consistency, focus and destiny seemed to be the difference. But nothing ever comes easy, and if this team wants to emerge from the Big 12 as its champion, the Sooners are the mountain they have to climb. Just ask Texas…once you finally do it, beating Oklahoma has you ready for anything else the FBS can deliver, and a championship won’t be far from reach at that point. There is no magic trick for beating them, since they are not an untouchable team like in past decades. But they are not on the regular season slate this time, though, a game at Texas is. So is the opener in neutral St. Louis versus giant-killers Illinois, and the trip to Lincoln along with the closer in Kansas City with fellow-upstart Kansas means almost every big game is on the road. Farout Field has meant a 16-1 record over the past 35 total games, making the road aspect of the 2008 schedule a fact that has to be approached.

Missouri can win its division, and with some luck, face an opponent from the South half that isn’t infallible, as has seemed true for years when the North winner faces it’s counterpart from the South. Parity in the conference is great for giving a team like this their due, and this is the year for the Tigers to capitalize on what they have built and cash in for a big prize. Next year looks like it won’t be as strong, so now is the time in Columbia for something special to happen…

Projected 2008 record: 10-2
QB - 5 DL - 3.5
RB - 3 LB - 4.5
WR - 4 DB - 3.5
OL - 3.5 ..
2007 Statistical Rankings
Total Off:
Sacks Allow:
Total Def:

Passing: Chase Daniel, 384-563-11, 4306 yds., 33 TD

Rushing: Jeremy Maclin, 51 att., 375 yds., 4 TD

Receiving: Jeremy Maclin, 80 rec., 1055 yds., 9 TD

Scoring: Jeff Wolfert, 21-25 FG, 67-67 PAT, 130 pts.

Punting: None

Kicking: Jeff Wolfert, 21-25 FG, 67-67 PAT, 130 pts.

Tackles: Sean Weatherspoon, 130 tot., 77 solo

Sacks: Stryker Sulak, 6 sacks

Interceptions: William Moore, 8 for 61 yds., 1 TD

Kickoff Returns: Jeremy Maclin, 43 ret., 24.2 avg., 1 TD

Punt Returns: Jeremy Maclin, 25 ret., 12.3 avg., 2 TD


DB William Moore
OFFENSE: Tony Temple-TB, William Franklin-WR, Martin Rucker-TE, Tyler Luellen-OT, Adam Spieker-C
DEFENSE: Lorenzo Williams-NT, Darnell Terrell-CB, Cornelius Brown-SS, Adam Crossett-P

Here in Columbia, the reason for the recent rise (and the hopes of the upcoming season) rests in the name Chase. Sure, Brad Smith set individual records, but the former dual-threat, who is now a WR with the N.Y. Jets, never won more than eight games in one season, the same number of games Chase Daniel won in his initiation year (2006). Then expectations were exceeded last year when Chase managed to beat every team he faced but Oklahoma (lost twice to OU). That meant 12 wins, the most in program history. This kid from Southlake (TX) is the difference for eighth-year coordinator Dave Christensen, who seemed to suffer at times with the rollercoaster ride Smith delivered. He is steady in the pocket, yet knows how to throw it away or take off, whichever is needed. And when he runs, he is fast (4.5 in the 40 as an incoming frosh). Backup Chase Patton has patiently waited, arriving here before Daniel. If ever called upon, though, he has the pedigree and knowledge of the system to pick things right up wherever they may leave off.

Another guy who has rode the pine much of the time has been senior Jimmy Jackson, the next in line at tailback. He will have to hold off Derrick Washington, who is also capable of lining up effectively on the outside to keep him in for more plays. Washington, a Peculiar product who is a natural leader by example, is like Jackson in that both run as well between the tackles as they do when bumping it outside. RS frosh De’Vion Moore’s name could sneak into the depth chart, too, since he looked so good this spring.

Anyone who saw Mizzu in ’07 knows we have to introduce super sophomore Jeremy Maclin if we are breaking down the running game. He had the fourth-most carries on the team, yet finished with the second-most rushing yards as he is capable of getting the ball in many situations (including passing ones). Tommy Saunders is also capable of putting catching the rock (3-for-3 with 1 TD in ’07), but the Z-receiver prefers the underneath, providing Daniel a safety valve in times of trouble. Jared Perry needs to hold onto the ball if he wants to hold onto the X-slot…6’5 Danario Alexander, a long-/triple-jumper like Perry, backs up Maclin, but will likely/eventually start with his consistent efforts. There is not as much depth as needed in this corps to avoid any ill affects from a widespread injury rash.

The third Chase is tight end Chase Coffman, an All-Big 12 Honorable Mentionee who uses his huge frame to shield defenders nicely. Backup Gissinger will have to hold off soft-handed incoming frosh Andrew Jones. Still, you can be sure that if you ask coach Pinkel to “show me” formations and plays where more than one TE is used, it might take all night to cover them all. The tight ends remain the main targets, an effective way Christensen masks his guys’ intentions and what ultimately become the results. You can see how at least six players having 30+ receptions makes it tough for coverages to ever stop Mizzu for more than one play in a row.

One area of marginal concern is the front line, where the starting five looks good, but too much green exists behind the reserves’ ears (four freshmen and one soph) for them to provide no drop-off, if needed. Ryan Madison and Kurtis Gregory are the anchors at guard, and the promotion of athletic center Tim Barnes to the vacancy left by graduation should mean no drop off in the middle. Colin Brown will offer his leadership, but whether the senior remains on the left side or if backup Dain Wise stays here while Brown treks to the other side won’t be known until August. As stated, this starting five is solid. The volatility of the OL, besides a singular injury to Daniel, is all that can derail this juggernaut of production.

Stats like their superior third-down conversion rate (53%), scoring at least 38 points in 11 of last year’s 14 games, and Daniel throwing three or more TDs in half of those games signal to foes that, with so many starters back, this Tiger team will be near impossible to stop.


QB Chase Daniel


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Chase Daniel-Sr (6-0, 225) Chase Patton-Sr (6-5, 220)
TB Jimmy Jackson-Sr (5-9, 200) Derrick Washington-So (5-11, 215)
WR Jared Perry-Jr (6-1, 180) Danario Alexander-Jr (6-5, 210) (inj.)
Blake May-Jr (5-11, 190)
WR Jeremy Maclin-So (6-1, 200) La'Roderick Thomas-So (6-0, 195)
WR Tommy Saunders-Sr (6-0, 210) Earl Goldsmith-Sr (5-9, 200)
TE Chase Coffman-Sr (6-6, 245) Jon Gissinger-Jr (6-3, 240)
OT Kurtis Gregory-Jr (6-5, 305) Elvis Fisher-Fr (6-5, 290)
OG Ryan Madison-Sr (6-5, 305) Jayson Palmgren-Fr (6-3, 305)
C Tim Barnes-So (6-4, 305) J.T. Beasley-Fr (6-4, 285)
OG Dan Wise-Jr (6-5, 305) Austin Wuebbles-Fr (6-4, 285)
OT Colin Brown-Sr (6-8, 325) Mike Prince-So (6-4, 300)
K Jeff Wolfert-Sr (6-2, 185) Tanner Mills-Jr (6-2, 195)



Funny, how allowing more yardage actually meant that Missouri won more games. They gave up 320 yards per game in ’06 and then 379 ypg in ’07, with points per game at 19.5 for two years ago and a little over 23 for last season. How then did they improve their win total by four games? Maybe it was the opportunistic approach that caused 23 fumbles, 16 of which the Tigers recovered. Maybe it was William Moore’s NCAA-leading (tied with four others) eight interceptions…or maybe it was having eight players who had at least seven tackles-for-loss (six of them return). Having a better offense never hurts, either. Nevertheless, the momentum gained by last year’s boon effort will carry over for the nine returning starters.

Senior ends Stryker Sulak (four forced fumbles) and Tommy Chavis have great reaction to fakes and can clean up a play from anywhere they may be. They both move well for guys who are over 260lbs most of the time. Behind them, it’s Tyler Crane we look to have a breakout junior season (runs a 10.65-second 100m). Many top 10 teams can quickly reload when a guy like Lorenzo Williams leaves, but the Tigers are likely to feel his absence at first. That is not to say that the tackles left are lacking, though. Evander “Ziggy” Hood started every game next to Williams last year, and he has been unstoppable in many spring practices. Hood’s numbers show he will demand double-teams, or else. Jaron Baston has bulked up nicely, keeping his mobility as he earns the start through his extensive reserve experience. Then things get shady, for Jason Townson and Andy Maples represent quality depth, but none of it beyond Hood and Baston had any tackles in 2007. That’s why the inside may be volatile if the two starters go down.

The LBs are an experienced trio who all know each other and how to play as a unit. They’ve been exploited in underneath coverage more than an acceptable amount, leaving lots of room for improvement against the pass. MLB Brock Christopher played sporadically, great at times, but then out of position at others. He moved from SLB, where he started in place of Van Alexander for most of ’06. Van will have the big year in ’08 he didn’t quite get to have as he recovered last year from a nagging groin problem. But the biggest expectations are for all-conference Sean Witherspoon, an ex-high jumper who broke out to lead the team in tackles last year (special teams Player of the Year for the Tigers in 2006). Like his LB brethren, he weighs in at 235lbs and runs as fast as most DBs/WRs. This unit has some experience behind it – Lambert and Davis (tied for team lead in fumbles recovered with three) know the ropes well – but then it drops off immensely since Marquis Booker was dismissed and only a few LBs dot the roster, none with real game reps.

The situation at corner seems critical with the troubles here last year. JUCO-transfer Castine Bridges had more tackles than now-departed Darnell Terrell, but he has a bit to prove still as a starter. Justin Gettis has to watch his starting slot after being complicit in taking too many risks and then being out of position. Speedy Tremane Vaughns will again see lots of reps, and he or Hardy Ricks could be the starter if troubles persist for Gettis and/or Bridges. Then there is super safety William Moore, whom we mentioned above and is a First Team All-American for us this preseason. Moore, a Hayti product, is a difference maker, period. He is possibly the team’s hardest hitter on a play-by-play basis. In a Jack Tatum kind of approach, he intimidates and has receivers marking him; he can disrupt through distraction and fear. JUCO-transfer Justin Garrett is a critical piece of the puzzle since he didn’t produce in 13 games what predecessor Brown did in just eight. Moore cannot be everywhere, so it is up to the rest of this DB crew to find it in them to make up this slack and keep foes’ passing attacks in check when the strong run stopping is forcing lots of throws.

With depth issues across the board, this defense will be what Matt Eberflus wants until injuries start to pile up. Though strong on offense, the D couldn’t do its job when opponents were in third-down situations (allowing 42% to be converted ranked Mizzu 82nd; OU was 19-for-28 on third-downs in their two wins), a number to follow to see if this crew can learn to bend, but then not break at those critical times.


LB Sean Weatherspoon


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Tommy Chavis-Sr (6-2, 255) Michael Keck-Fr (6-5, 225)
DT Ziggy Hood-Sr (6-4, 295) Terrell Resonno-Fr (6-6, 285)
NT Jaron Baston-Jr (6-1, 300) Andy Maples-Jr (6-4, 300)
DE Stryker Sulak-Sr (6-5, 250) Chris Earnhardt-Fr (6-5, 240)
SLB Van Alexander-Sr (6-0, 235) Jeff Gettys-So (6-3, 225)
MLB Brock Christopher-Sr (6-2, 235) Luke Lambert-So (6-3, 225)
WLB Sean Weatherspoon-Jr (6-1, 235) Steve Redmond-Sr (6-0, 230)
CB Castine Bridges-Sr (6-2, 210) Tremane Vaughns-Sr (6-2, 210)
CB Carl Gettis-So (5-11, 200) Kevin Rutland-So (6-0, 190)
SS Justin Garrett-Sr (6-2, 200) Hardy Ricks-Jr (6-0, 190)
FS William Moore-Sr (6-1, 230) Del Howard-Jr (5-11, 200)
P Jake Harry-Jr (6-1, 190) Grant Ressel-Fr (6-1, 180)




Maclin as a kick and punt run-back guy, on top of everything else this true ‘slash’ player does already, is just sick…he brought three back to the house and will give the Tigers field position advantages all year. New punter Jake Harry has to do something to compensate for his horrendous net results, for defensive depth isn’t what it needs to be to assure improvements in this area. The field goal kicking of All-Big 12 Jeff Wolfert was flawless after he made only 4-of-9 in the first four games. A top diver for Missouri who walked-on after only kicking in one high school game prior to winning the starting spot, Wolfert then went on to set just about every school record in ’07, his first storybook year. You gotta love his story and root for Jeff every time he’s out there…ok?