Five headlines from last season
Bounce back year — Missouri ended its 2012 inaugural Southeastern Conference season with a miserable record of 5-7. The Tigers proved many critics wrong, coming back the next season with a 12-2 record. Despite losing to Auburn in the SEC title game, the Tigers won the 2014 Cotton Bowl 41-31 against Oklahoma State.
Feel-good stories — After replacing injured quarterback James Franklin,redshirt freshman quarterback Maty Mauk started the next four games in Franklin's absence. He passed for 11 touchdowns and 1,071 yards in 13 games this past year. Running back Henry Joseyalso stepped up after suffering a knee injury in 2011, which caused him to miss the entire 2012 season. He came back in 2013 and led the team with 1,166 rushing yards and scored 16 touchdowns.
Missed opportunity — Missouri began its sophomore season in the SEC undefeated through seven games. That ended when it faced South Carolina. In double overtime, South Carolina took a 27-24 lead. Placekicker Andrew Baggett attempted to tie the game with a 24-yard field goal but it went left. The Tigers lost 27-24. Missouri's loss to South Carolina ended up being their only loss of the regular season.
Dorial Green-Beckham — Wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham had a team-high 59 receptions and scored 12 touchdowns this past season. Against Kentucky, he made a school record by scoring four touchdowns in a single game. But he had trouble off the field. He was arrested in a Springfield marijuana incident on Jan. 10. That was his second drug-related arrest since joining the team. His first was in 2012. He was suspended in April after violating team policies. This led the school to dismiss him from the football team. Green-Beckham joined the Oklahoma Sooners in early July.
Michael Sam — 2013 Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year excelled on the field with 48 tackles and an SEC high of 11.5 sacks. His announcement in February 2013 of his sexual orientation made national headlines. After being drafted in the seventh round, Sam became the first openly gay player in the National Football League.