September 7, 2006

Tigers ready to take first test

Missouri has said all the right things in the last two weeks. Gary Pinkel called Murray State "a very good football team." The Tigers made no inflammatory comments, took the game seriously and came out and did what they were supposed to do to a I-AA team looking for a paycheck. But make no mistake, last Saturday's pop quiz was nothing like this week's first test.

"It's always good to get the first game in there and get the confidence up," said starting quarterback Chase Daniel. "This will be our first real test and we'll see how well this team has gelled and how the chemistry has grown."

"It's gonna be really different," said junior tailback Tony Temple. "Especially for the guys who are not used to playing as much last year. It's going to kind of be a rude awakening at first, but I think we have some great athletes and they'll catch up to it."

That does present one point that could work in the Tigers' favor. There aren't many of those guys who didn't play much last year. Of the 22 players who will start on Saturday against Ole Miss, the vast majority saw plenty of game time last season.

The main difference, Missouri knows, will be the speed of the game. The jump from the Racers to the Rebels could be likened to trading in your used Volkswagen Beetle for a new Mustang.

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