Big 12: Joe Schrick

Missouri spring wrap

May, 14, 2009
5/14/09
9:30
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Missouri Tigers
2008 overall record: 10-4

2008 conference record: 5-3

Returning starters

Offense: 5, defense: 4, kicker/punter: 1

Top returners

RB Derrick Washington, WR Jared Perry, G Kurtis Gregory, LB Sean Weatherspoon, NT Jaron Baston, CB Carl Gettis.

Key losses

QB Chase Daniel, TE Chase Coffman, WR-KR Jeremy Maclin, WR Tommy Saunders, DE Stryker Sulak, DT Evander "Ziggy" Hood, S William Moore, K Jeff Wolfert

2008 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Derrick Washington* (1,036 yards)
Passing: Chase Daniel (4,335 yards)
Receiving: Jeremy Maclin (1,260 yards)
Tackles: Sean Weatherspoon* (155)
Sacks: Stryker Sulak (10 1/2)
Interceptions: Sean Weatherspoon*, Brock Christopher (3)

Spring answers

2009 Schedule

Sept. 5 Illinois (at St. Louis)
Sept. 12 Bowling Green
Sept. 19 Furman
Sept. 25 at Nevada
Oct. 8 Nebraska
Oct. 17 at Oklahoma State
Oct. 24 Texas
Oct. 31 at Colorado
Nov. 7 Baylor
Nov. 14 at Kansas State
Nov. 21 Iowa State
Nov. 28 Kansas (at Kansas City)

1. De'Vion Moore: With Derrick Washington missing much of spring practice recovering from knee surgery, Moore did a good job of picking up the slack at the position. Look for Missouri to feature its running game more than in recent seasons. The combination of Moore and Washington will be important in powering the Tigers' offensive attack.

2. Depth at defensive end: Starters Jacquies Smith and Brian Coulter will face a lot of pressure to keep their starting jobs after the strong spring development of Aldon Smith and converted offensive lineman Brad Madison. It will make the position one of the deepest on the Tigers' defense.

3. Cornerbacks: Coach Gary Pinkel believes he has the best collection of athletes in his nine-season tenure here. Starter Carl Gettis returns along with redshirt freshmen Robert Steeples and Kip Edwards, junior Kevin Rutland, junior Trey Hobson and former Notre Dame transfer Munir Prince.

Fall questions

1. Quarterback: Blaine Gabbert showed some strong progress over much of the spring, despite his struggles in the spring game. But it sill will be a huge adjustment for the Tigers as they attempt to replace Chase Daniel, the heart and soul of the team that made back-to-back Big 12 title appearances.

2. Wide receivers: Not only are key producers like Jeremy Maclin and Tommy Saunders gone from last season, but top returning receivers Danario Alexander and Jared Perry both missed most spring practice as they recovered from injuries. It gave receivers Jerrell Jackson, Wes Kemp and Brandon Gerau plenty of opportunities, but the return of Alexander and Perry will be critical for the Tigers' success during the season.

3. Kicker: Jeff Wolfert left college as the most accurate kicker in college football history. Senior walk-on Tanner Mills will get the first opportunity to replace him, although heralded arriving freshman Joe Schrick could challenge later this summer.

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