April 21, 2007

Five questions for the spring game

Are Chavis and Sulak the end of the line?

If there is a position of concern on this Tiger team, it is quite likely defensive end. Mizzou lost its all-time sack leader in Brian Smith and a player who is likely to hear his name called on the NFL draft's second day in Xzavie Jackson. Stryker Sulak battled Jackson for playing time much of his first year-and-a-half, but slipped slightly in the second part of last season. All reports are that Tommy Chavis has had a very good spring, but is he ready to do it on an every down basis. More than just about anyone on the first team, these two will have the spotlight on them this Saturday.

Is the running game a concern?

For the last two scrimmage days, Missouri's running game has been nearly non-existent. After the top four tailbacks combined for just 41 rushing yards on Saturday, not a single back reached double digits in rushing yards on Tuesday. If Missouri had an offensive weakness last year, it was a willingness to abandon the running game far too early. That must be righted if Missouri is going to compete for a conference championship this season. We won't know the answer Saturday, but it would set some minds at ease if the Tigers can move the ball on the ground.

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