Missouri's defensive tackles take pride in power

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 | 8:34 p.m. CDT; updated 9:05 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Defensive linemen Dominique Hamilton, right, and Jacquies Smith walk down the sideline at practice Tuesday. Hamilton, the only returning starter among the defensive tackles, says he has made the bull rush his signature move. “Of course, swimming and ripping is going to come in handy, but the bull rush, that’s just my thing."

COLUMBIA — One word best describes the Missouri football team's defensive tackles: powerful.

Both are 6-foot-5, 300-pound athletes that look more like the Terminator than the sumo wrestlers many teams use to clog running lanes.

Sure they’re agile enough to perform spin moves and quick enough to swim over offensive lineman, but Terrell Resonno and Dominique Hamilton both favor the same move. The bull rush.

It’s rather simple. They explode into the offensive lineman in front of them and try to get their inside hand on the opponent’s chest. From there, it’s no more than a pushing game.

“I want to overpower the guy,” Hamilton said. “Of course, swimming and ripping is going to come in handy, but the bull rush, that’s just my thing. I’ve been doing that since middle school.”

Despite his experience with the move, Hamilton is constantly working to improve his bull rush.

“I work it every day in practice,” he said. “I’m trying to get better at it. If I can perfect it out here on the practice field, I can perform it in the game definitely.”

While improved technique makes an impact, for Resonno, it all still boils down to power.

“The most physical person is going to win,” Resonno said. “It’s like war. It’s you and me. Who’s gonna win? I want to win. If he wins, that means the next play you ain’t going to win because I’m going to beat you.”

It’s that sort of mentality that Resonno and Hamilton must take into the trenches on every snap. Without a mental edge, it’s tough for them to succeed on the field.

“It’s something I take a lot of pride in,” Hamilton said. “If I’m put up one-on-one with a guy, I feel like I should be able to beat him every time. I want it to be that way. If they going to double team me, that’s fine, but if it’s a one-on-one matchup, I’m going to be able to overpower the guy.”

Hamilton, the sole returning starter among the defensive tackles, said he was the first to claim the bull rush as his defining move, but he’s happy to share tips with Resonno.

“He loves to rip, he can spin, he likes to swim, he can do all that stuff. Me? The one signature move that sticks out is the bull rush. He’s trying to work on his bull rush now, too. He’s basically copying me,” Hamilton joked. "Anyways, we’re both getting it done.”

While Hamilton’s been plowing guys over since middle school, there’s one particular bull rush moment that he will never forget.

“There was this one time in high school, we were down by seven and we needed a stop,” Hamilton said. “As soon as the ball was hiked I basically just tossed the guy and he went flying. As soon they handed the ball off I was there to hit ‘em. He flipped over. That was cool.”

As one of the guys who goes against Hamilton and Resonno every day in practice, senior center Tim Barnes knows what it's like to be the victim of a bull rush.

“If they’ve got their hands on your chest and your going backwards, it’s just like ‘I’m trying hard, but I can’t stop it,’” Barnes said. “When it’s like that, you’re just thinking ‘Gosh darn it, I hate this feeling.’”

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