“I’m BAAACKK. I’m BAACKK in the saddle again.” Steven Tyler’s words never sounded so glorious. College football season is upon us and not a moment to soon!I got to feel the rush last weekend when I spent my Saturday evening calling McKendree University’s 34-27 final seconds, come-from-behind win over the University of the Cumberlands in Dyersburg, TN. Oh, and there was an inaugural Lambert’s stop on the way down. LOVED IT!!!!
Okay, this is a Missouri Football blog and I am more than happy to be back on the beat. I ‘lucked’ into covering the 2007 and 2008 squads while working as an on-air talent at 1380 AM in St. Louis. Two wonderful years of football for me because I got to see the swing of emotions of this program. The high of being ranked #1 in early December after taking out Kansas in 2007, to the lows of a disappointing 8-4 season that graduated one of the most successful recruiting classes in the Gary Pinkel era in 2008. I believe the University of Missouri Football program had arrived, contrary to what Mike Alden told me in a radio interview back in 2008. That, is for another time….
So what lies ahead in 2010? Well, a lot of questions. Some of which will be answered this Saturday afternoon in St. Louis when the Tigers clash with Illinois in what will be the final State Farm Arch Rivalry Game for some time. For Mizzou they head into this game missing two key players in running back Derrick Washington and linebacker Will Ebner. Since most of you saw posts on here in the past few days you probably already know happened in both cases. While they were suspended for infractions off the field, it is Washington’s status that could be in doubt for the 2010 season. This was a Tigers team that would need to lean on the upperclassmen this year in any and every capacity, but now it seems as if youth maybe served.
On offense enter sophomore running back Kendial Lawrence. Averaging over 4 yards per carry in limited work in 2009, he figures to see the bulk of the workload with junior De’Vion Moore as his back-up. I can’t help but think that these two are going be a major key to this offense this year. With quarterback Blaine Gabbert poised to take another HUGE step forward, the running game needs to carry its load.
On defense the Tigers have some quality depth at defensive end – you have to like Aldon Smith and Jacquies Smith (no relation). The hope is that linebacker Luke Lambert can have a solid year to off-set the loss of fellow backer, and NFL #1 draft pick Sean Witherspoon. I always worry about their defensive backs and safeties, so if the Tigers can rush the passer it will make life a little easier for Carl Gettys and a pretty experienced group in the secondary. Special teams can be judged as we get through the first few weeks.
I am not sure what to make of the Tigers just yet, but check back on Friday for my prediction of the Tigers complete schedule. Also, let’s incorporate some side notes for fun as well. Those that know me are aware of my various tastes in music. So I am asking you for your top two or three albums of 2010 thus far. Here are mine:
3) ‘Broken Bells’ – Broken Bells
2) ‘Before Today’ - Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
1) ‘High Violet’ – The National
About the Author
Written by Joe Zydlo
I have broadcast, covered and worked in sports for over 12 years. Being on both sides of the media (working for a team and working as a reporter covering a team) gives you a unique perspective. I continue to handle freelance PR projects, and college football and basketball broadcasts. I have a passion for writing/blogging, and LOVE college sports.