Oct 5, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Missouri Tigers running back Russell Hansbrough (32) runs with the ball against Vanderbilt Commodores linebacker Ja

Missouri Tigers Football - Developing Situations

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Replacing DT Sheldon Richardson seemed impossible when Missouri opened the season. DE Michael Sam is doing his best to make up for Richardson’s production – and is off to a great start. The senior leads the conference with 1.2 sacks per game (6 total) and 10 TFLs. He has been arguably the most disruptive presence in the SEC so far this season. Just ask Vanderbilt. Sam has earned back-to-back SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors by producing consecutive 3-sack performances. So far, Sam has been the biggest surprise in the SEC in 2013…

Only Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel ranks ahead of Missouri QB James Franklin in total offense. The senior is one of three SEC players – Manziel and Georgia QB Aaron Murray being the others – to average 300-plus yards per game. Franklin’s dual-threat ability has kept defenses – albeit none the caliber of Florida’s – off balance. More importantly, Franklin has done a great job getting numerous weapons involved in the offense. Three receivers have caught 20-plus passes…

It’s about time SEC fans got to know RB Russell Hansbrough – a sophomore from Arlington, Texas. Hansbrough played sparingly as a freshman but has taken on a far larger role this season. He has perhaps even surpassed RB Henry Josey as the team’s primary back. Josey has gotten more attempts, but Hansbrough has accumulated more yards and a greater yards-per-carry average. With both players excelling and Franklin adding to the mix, it’s easy to see why the Tigers lead the league in rushing offense…

Look for Georgia QB Aaron Murray to test the Missouri secondary early and often on Saturday. The Tigers, even with star CB E.J. Gaines, rank dead last in the league in pass defense, allowing nearly 300 yards per game.

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