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SEC Hopes Turn Sour For Mizzou

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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 12:15 pm

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A season that began with the promise of sharing the stage with college football royalty is threatening to turn sour for Missouri as the Tigers confront the realities of life in the unforgiving Southeastern Conference.

A 19-15 home loss to perennial conference also-ran Vanderbilt kept Missouri (3-3, 0-3) winless in league games in its first season in the SEC after leaving the Big 12.

Missouri is one of five conference teams still seeking its first SEC victory. In Missouri’s case, that means its first SEC victory, ever.

Few expect Missouri to get it when No. 1 Alabama (5-0, 2-0) visits Faurot Field Saturday in a coaching matchup pitting former Kent State teammates Gary Pinkel, Missouri’s coach, and the Tide’s Nick Saban.

“This year, there’s so much hype being in the SEC, and you’ve got all the outside voices telling you that you (stink) and you’re not worthy,” senior offensive tackle Elvis Fisher said. “We know what we do here. We work our butts off. And then it’s devastating to go out there and not put on your best performance.”

Missouri started the 2011 season even worse, stumbling to a 2-3 mark before winning its final three regular-season games to finish 7-5 and reach a bowl game for the seventh consecutive year.

That streak is in jeopardy, as the Tigers face a ‘Bama team coming off an extra week’s rest and trips to Gainesville, Knoxville and College Station looming in November.

Missouri should be favored in its remaining home games against Kentucky and Syracuse, but will need to beat the Crimson Tide or pull at least one road upset to reach the six wins required for bowl eligibility.

The Tigers will again be without starting quarterback James Franklin, who is expected to be out several weeks after straining a knee ligament against Vandy on a first-quarter scramble.

Franklin also missed the season’s third game, a home win over Arizona State after hurting his shoulder a week earlier against Georgia.

His replacement, redshirt freshman Corbin Berkstresser, completed just 9 of 30 passes for 189 yards against Vanderbilt, with 85 of those yards coming on a scoring toss to Bud Sasser on an overthrown pass meant for a teammate.

Against the Sun Devils, Berkstresser was 21 of 41 for 198 yards with one interception and a rushing touchdown.

Missouri also will be without starting center Mitch Morse, who like Franklin injured a medial collateral ligament in his knee.

The Tigers’ already battered offensive line — which relies on three sophomores, three redshirt freshmen and a true freshman among its first- and second-teamers — took another blow Monday as senior guard/tackle Jack Meiners underwent arthroscopic knee surgery. Pinkel said he could return later this season.

A head coach who has had the luxury of grooming future NFL quarterbacks Brad Smith, Chase Daniel and Blaine Gabbert at Missouri said he is confident in Berkstresser.

But Pinkel did not rule out playing freshman Maty Mauk, who was expected to sit out this season as a redshirt.

“He’ll do fine,” Pinkel said of Berkstresser. “He’s very capable. ... He’s not the first quarterback who’s had a tough day.”

The Tigers also get back receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, one of five Missouri freshmen suspended for the Vanderbilt game after a campus drug bust. Green-Beckham and two teammates face misdemeanor marijuana possession charges after a campus police officer reportedly caught them smoking pot in Green-Beckham’s SUV in a parking lot near Memorial Stadium.

Fan excitement about the inaugural SEC campaign helped Missouri set a school record for season-ticket sales, and sellout crowds packed 71,004-seat Memorial Stadium for the Arizona State game as well as the SEC home opener against Georgia.

The Vanderbilt game drew a crowd of 66, 250, but thousands of fans left Memorial Stadium at halftime, and a smattering of boos rang out from the student section as Missouri walked off the field trailing 9-6.

Pinkel said his coaching staff has no plans to panic as it prepares to host the 14-time national champion Crimson Tide.

“We don’t make a lot of drastic changes,” he said. “That would be the worst thing to do. We just have to work through it. I don’t have anything magical here.”

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Area Scoreboard

Football

Friday, Sept. 19

*Ft. Zumwalt S at Washington    7 p.m.

Cardinal Ritter at Borgia    7 p.m.

*St. Clair at Union    7 p.m.

*Pacific at Sullivan    7 p.m.

*Hermann at Owensville    7 p.m.

Ash Grove at St. James    7 p.m.

Cuba at Brentwood    7 p.m.

*St. Charles West at Warrenton    7 p.m.

South Callaway at Wright City     7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 12

*Ft. Zumwalt North 49, Washington 0

*Borgia 35, St. Dominic 0

*Union 27, Pacific 19

*Sullivan 47, St. Clair 21

Hermann 65, Wentzville Liberty 7

*Owensville 29, St. James 28 (OT)

Cuba 22, Windsor 6

*Warrenton 14, St. Charles 6

*Bowling Green 55, Wright City 0

Friday, Sept. 5

Warrenton 14, Washington 6

Borgia 13, Maplewood-Richmond Heights 0 (forfeit)

*Union 32, Sullivan 19

*Pacific 20, St. Clair 18

*Hermann 52, St. James 20

Owensville 35, Cuba 8

*Wright City 36, Montgomery Co. 0

Friday, Aug. 29

Sullivan 30, Washington 8

Borgia 56, Union 13

Ozark 41, St. Clair 0

Potosi 34, Pacific 13

Hermann 54, Cuba 12

Blair Oaks 42, Owensville 0

St. James 36, Houston 18

Warrenton 28, Troy 0

Orchard Farm 36, Wright City 18

Friday, Aug. 22

Washington 26, St. Clair 21

Borgia 48, Owensville 12

Parkway West 49, Union 39

Pacific 28, De Soto 20

Park Hills Central 34, Sullivan 27

St. James 12, Cuba 6

Hermann 61, Montgomery Co 12

Warrenton 26, St. Dominic 23

Trinity 28, Wright City 24

Softball

Tuesday, Sept. 16

*Borgia at Notre Dame    4:30 p.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt N    4:30 p.m.

*Union at Owensville    4:30 p.m.

*Pacific at New Haven    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Hermann at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

Washington at Warrenton    4:30 p.m.

Sullivan at Northwest    4:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 18

*St. Dominic at Borgia    3:45 p.m.

*Union at Hermann    4:30 p.m.

*St. Clair at New Haven    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at Pacific    4:30 p.m.

*Owensville at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 19

Union at Ft. Zumwalt N Tny    TBA

South Callaway at New Haven    5 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 20

Union at Ft. Zumwalt N Tny    TBA

St. James Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 22

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt S    4:30 p.m.

Union at North County    4:30 p.m.

Warrenton at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

Principia at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Hermann at Cuba    4:30 p.m.

Owensville at Cuba    4:30 p.m.

St. James at Bourbon    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 23

*Borgia at Duchesne    4:30 p.m.

*Holt at Washington    4:30 p.m.

*Pacific at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Owensville at New Haven    4:30 p.m.

*Hermann at St. James    4:30 p.m.

Volleyball

Tuesday, Sept. 16

*Sullivan at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E    5 p.m.

*New Haven at Union    5:30 p.m.

*Pacific at Hermann    5:30 p.m.

*Owensville at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

Washington at Duchesne    5 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 18

*St. Clair at Owensville    5 p.m.

*Union at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

*Hermann at New Haven    5:30 p.m.

*St. James at Sullivan    5:30 p.m.

O’Fallon Christian at Borgia    6:30 p.m.

Washington at Gateway Match Up    TBA

Friday, Sept. 19

Eagle Ridge at Crosspoint    5:15 p.m.

Providence at Crosspoint    7:15 p.m.

Washington at Gateway Match Up    TBA

Saturday, Sept. 20

New Haven Round Robin    9 a.m.

ECC at Wentworth    1 p.m.

ECC vs. Graceland JV (Wentworth)    3 p.m.

Washington at Gateway Match Up    TBA

St. Clair at Seckman Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 22

St. Clair at Salem    5 p.m.

Bourbon at Sullivan    5:30 p.m.

Dixon at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Hermann Tournament    TBA

Tuesday, Sept. 23

Cuba at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Crosspoint at Bethel    5:30 p.m.

Crosspoint vs. Thomas Jefferson    6:30 p.m.

Hermann Tournament    TBA

Boys Soccer

Tuesday, Sept. 16

Crosspoint at Fulton St. Albans    4:30 p.m.

Tolton Catholic at Borgia    5:30 p.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E    6 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

*St. Louis at ECC    4:30 p.m.

Union at Affton    5 p.m.

St. Clair at De Soto    5 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 18

*St. Clair at St. James    5 p.m.

Dixon at Sullivan    5 p.m.

Borgia at Trinity    6:15 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 19

Eagle Ridge at Crosspoint    4:30 p.m.

Tolton at Fulton SA    5 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 20

*Ft. Zumwalt S at Washington    10 a.m.

Crowder at ECC    2 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 22

Hillsboro at Union    5 p.m.

CYC Tny    TBA

Tuesday, Sept. 23

*Fulton SA at Thomas Jefferson    4:30 p.m.

North County at Union    5 p.m.

*St. James at Pacific    5 p.m.

*Borgia at St. Dominic    6:15 p.m.

CYC Tny    TBA

Cross Country

Thursday, Sept. 18

St. Clair at Lutheran North    4 p.m.

New Haven, St. James at Steelville Inv    4 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 20

Festus Inv.    9 a.m.

Hermann at Fulton Inv    9 a.m.

Thursday, Sept. 25

Washington at Rolla Inv    4 p.m.

Union, Owensville, St. James at Belle Inv    4 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 27

Hancock Inv    8:30 a.m.

Pacific at Viburnum Inv    10:30 a.m.

Monday, Sept. 29

St. Clair at Elsberry Inv    4 p.m.

St. James at Dixon    4 p.m.

Girls Golf

Tuesday, Sept. 16

*Borgia at St. Dominic    3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

Duchesne at Borgia    3:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 18

Ft. Zumwalt S at Washington    3:30 p.m.

Borgia at AAA Meet, Lutheran SC    TBA

Wednesday, Sept. 24

Washington at GAC Central Meet    TBA

Thursday, Sept. 25

*Duchesne at Borgia    3:30 p.m.

Boys Swimming

Saturday, Sept. 20

Borgia at Ft. Zumwalt W    8:30 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 29

Washington at Ft. Zumwalt South    3:30 p.m.

*Conference Games

Racing News