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Coaches’ revamps working

It wasn’t so long ago that Bill Snyder was in the same position as Gary Pinkel.

Both coaches started at their current jobs with designs on rebuilding programs. The coaches will be in the same position again Saturday, except this time there is no rebuilding to do, only a championship on the line.

The big 20

1 What is the key to Missouri’s season?

Getting off to a good start is vital for the Tigers. Last year, they stumbled early, going 6-5 against nonconference opponents. Despite going 9-7 in the Big 12 Conference, disappointing losses to Austin Peay, Southern Methodist and University of Louisiana-Lafayette early in the year played a big part in keeping the Tigers out of the NCAA Tournament. With the grueling Big 12 schedule looming in the second half of the season, Missouri must get off to a better start in its first 11 games.

Kewpies prepare for Dean

With a former quarterback as the coach, it’s no surprise Blue Springs has one of the top quarterbacks in the state.

Senior Stinson Dean and the Wildcats (11-0) play Hickman at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Hickman in the Class 6 semifinals. The winner advances to the final against the Lindbergh-Hazelwood Central winner Nov. 28 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

Boyd bolsters Missouri’s attack

The more she plays, the more confident Lisa Boyd, a sophomore reserve for Missouri, becomes.

Boyd started Wednesday in Missouri’s 30-9, 30-19, 30-16 victory against Iowa State at Hearnes Center and gained a new career high in kills.

Defense bails out MU

For the second straight exhibition game, Missouri’s shots weren’t falling early, but for the second straight time it didn’t matter thanks to the defense.

Despite allowing the Asheville Altitude to score on seven of its first eight shots, the Tigers’ defense came to life and paved the way for a 74-60 win Tuesday night at Hearnes Center.

Returners turning it on before MU drives

Marcus James and Shirdonya Mitchell don’t know who will break one first.

James and Mitchell, Missouri’s kick returners, have a preference on who will be the first Tiger this season to return a kick for a touchdown, though.

Godoi’s play, mouth talking

Juliana Godoi is loud.

“I am vocal,” Godoi said. “I am always talking to the girls, telling them they are doing good and what to do next.”

Offensive line sparks Kewpies

They might not elude defenders en route to the end zone. They might not intercept passes or throw touchdown passes.

They will, though, determine the success of the Hickman Kewpies in the playoffs.

Debut dud for Laurie

Spencer Laurie made his Missouri debut Tuesday in the Tigers’ exhibition win against the Asheville Altitude. It was a memorable evening for the Springfield, Mo., native, but not for all the right reasons.

Missouri coach Quin Snyder considered redshirting Laurie, a freshman point guard, but that became improbable when junior Randy Pulley was declared ineligible last week. Until his junior college transfer credits are resolved, Pulley is ineligible indefinitely. Pulling Laurie’s redshirt is an indication that the coaching staff might not expect Pulley back soon.

Tigers find room to run

On any given play, chances are more than favorable that Missouri will run the ball.

The Tigers gain 235 rushing yards per game, No. 6 in the country. Their pass offense is No. 95, averaging 174 yards.

Symons closing on record

Despite the hype around running quarterbacks in the Big 12 Conference, a passing quarterback will likely make history Saturday.

Texas Tech quarterback B.J. Symons is poised to fly past the NCAA record for passing yards in a season, and he will probably do it in the first half Saturday against No. 1 Oklahoma.

Tigers take on Altitude tonight

The No. 5 Missouri men’s basketball team plays its second and final exhibition game against the Asheville Altitude of the NBA’s developmental league at 7 tonight at Hearnes Center.

The Altitude roster primarily consists of players who have recently left college but did not progress to the NBA. Lavor Postell, of St. John’s University, was a second-round draft pick of the New York Knicks in 2000. He played sparingly during the next three seasons, but after the Utah Jazz cut him before the start of this season, Asheville drafted him third in the 2003 NBDL draft.

Wildcats playing big role in Tigers’ future

Sometime Saturday evening, the Missouri football team’s best friend suddenly became its worst enemy.

As soon as the Tigers (7-3, 3-3 Big 12 Conference) were done cheering the Kansas State Wildcats to victory against Nebraska, they had to get ready to play those Wildcats in the biggest game Missouri football has seen in a long time.

Tigers’ seniors prevail

The seniors came to the rescue for the Missouri women’s basketball team Sunday at Hearnes Center.

After squandering a significant halftime lead, Missouri coach Cindy Stein depended on her senior leaders in an 86-52 exhibition win against Sparta Praha, a club team based in Prague, Czech Republic.

Jayhawks bench Tigers

Depth was the key.

While Missouri struggled to overcome injuries, Kansas used its bench to defeat the Tigers 2-0 on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament at Audrey J. Walton Stadium.

First half irks Stein

Cindy Stein, Missouri women’s basketball coach, said the first half of Sunday’s game was like nothing else she had seen before. She wasn’t impressed, though.

“At halftime I told them I thought it was the ugliest game I’d ever been a part of,” Stein said. “I was not pleased with our shooting. I didn’t think we always took good shots.

Hurry-up offense

Texas A&M was in it until one small detail got in the way. The game started.

Missouri wasted no time in jumping ahead of the Aggies on its way to a 45-22 win Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Field position aids win

The box score would tell you Missouri’s game against Texas A&M on Saturday was at least relatively close.

The box score would be wrong.

Kewpies advance behind tough defense

O’FALLON — After watching the offense dominate games in district play, Hickman’s defense showed it could win games, too.

The Kewpies defeated the Fort Zumwalt West Jaguars 24-8 on Saturday at Hoekel Stadium in the quarterfinals of the Class 6 state playoffs.

Turnovers crucial

O’FALLON — Before the game, Hickman coach Gregg Nesbitt said the team that forced the most turnovers would have the advantage.

Hickman forced three turnovers and blocked a punt on its way to a 24-8 state quarterfinal win against Fort Zumwalt West on Saturday at Hoekel Stadium in O’Fallon.

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