MISSOURI (5-3, 1-3 Big 12)
SPECIAL TEAMS PREVIEW
Punter: Jake Harry IV is averaging 42.2 yard per punt and has boomed seven of 50 yards or more...Harry has 13 punts inside the 20 with a season-long of 69 yards...Missouri ranks seventh nationally in net punting with a 40.05-yard average...Sophomore backup Matt Grabner has one punt of 38 yards.
Returning Specialists: Junior Jasper Simmons and junior Carl Gettis handle the majority of the kick and punt return duties for Mizzou...Gettis is regarded Mizzou's top cover CB and is also a physical hitter...Has 17 punt returns for an average of 7.9 yards, including a long of 27...Simmons, a JuCo transfer, has a team-high 24 KOR for 492 yards (20.5 yards per return), including a long of 33.
Other: Forrest Shock is listed as Missouri's starting holder, while sophomore Beau Brinkley is slated to start as the deep snapper...Senior Tanner Mills is Mizzou's kickoff specialist...Mills had four touchbacks vs. Furman...Shock had his first career TD pass on a fake field goal at Colorado that went for 24 yards...Brinkley was Mizzou's Special Teams MVP in 2008.
MISSOURI (5-3, 1-3 Big 12)
D-Line: Senior DE Brian Coulter, senior NT Jaron Baston, sophomore DT Dominique Hamilton and redshirt freshman DE Aldon Smith clog the defensive line for the Missouri Tigers...Coulter has 22 tackles, one TFL and one sack in eight games...Baston has 18 tackles, 2.5 TFL and 1.5 sacks to his credit in eight starts, while Hamilton has 22 tackles and 2.0 TFL in seven starts...Smith is the top freshman in the NCAA in quarterback sacks with 8.0 (1.00 per game) and TFL with 13.0 (1.63 per game)...Baston is one of Missouri's four team captains.
Linebackers: Missouri's linebacking corp is led by one of the Big 12's best LBs, Sean Weatherspoon...The weak-side linebacker ranks fifth in Mizzou history with 375 tackles...Weatherspoon was listed on six preseason award watch lists, including the Lombardi, Walter Camp, Butkus, Lott, Bronko Nigurski and Bednarick Awards...The 2009 Preseason All-American has 73 tackles, 9.0 TFL, 2.5 sacks and one INT in eight starts...Weatherspoon has started 36 consecutive games at WLB for the Tigers...Joining Weatherspoon at LB are sophomore MLB Will Ebner and junior SLB Andrew Gachkar...Ebner recorded seven tackles vs. Texas - 12 days after undergoing knee surgery...Gachkar ranks fourth in the NCAA in fumble recoveries...Weatherspoon is one of Missouri's four team captains.
Secondary: Juniors flood Missouri's projected secondary starters...Free safety Jasper Simmons has started last seven games and ranks fifth on the team with 41 tackles...Strong safety Jarrell Harrison recorded a safety in last week's win at Colorado...Cornerback Carl Gettis ranks second on the team in pass break-ups (3) and sixth in tackles (37)...CB Kevin Rutland recorded first career QB sack and INT at Colorado last week.
Briles On Mizzou
The Bears face Missouri Saturday in Columbia (no television coverage, tune in to the Baylor-ISP Radio network for audio of the game). Coach Briles and selected Baylor players discussed the game with the media Tuesday afternoon - read the transcript of the presser here / watch video of Briles here.
Recent Feature Articles
Let us take a moment to give out some links to recent feature stories involving Baylor players:
Previewing the Opponent: Missouri Offense
MISSOURI (5-3, 1-3 Big 12)
Quarterback: Mizzou is led by 6-foot-5 sophomore Blaine Gabbert, who has thrown for 1,896 yards and 15 TDs in eight games...Gabbert ranks in the top five among Big 12 QBs in passing yards per game (237.0), passing yards (1,896), pass yards per completion (12.6), pass attempts (263), pass completions (151) and touchdowns (15)...Made first collegiate start in season opener vs. Illinois in St. Louis, throwing for three TDs...Named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for his work in season opener...Through eight games, Gabbert has completed 28 passes of 20 yards or more...Sophomore signal-caller has thrown for 300 yards in three games this season - 319 vs. Illinois, 414 at Nevada and 325 at Oklahoma State...Has three games with 3 TDs - Illinois, Furman and Nevada...Two underclassmen back up Gabbert - sophomore Jimmy Costello and freshman Ashton Glaser.
Running Back: Mizzou's backfield is anchored by junior tailback Derrick Washington, who leads the team with 550 rushing yards and four touchdowns...Missouri only has seven rushing TDs as a team - Gabbert has the other three scores...Washington is credited for more than half of Mizzou's rushing yards...Seven players have combined for remaining 439 yards...Washington ranks sixth in the Big 12 with 68.8 rushing yards per game...Washington broke 100-yard mark once this season - 120 yards at Bowling Green...Just missed second 100-yard game, rushing for 99 yards in win at Colorado...Washington has led Tigers in rushing in five games this season...Kendial Lawrence rushed for team-high 77 yards in win vs. Furman and 37 yards in loss to Texas...De'Vion Moore rushed for 42 yards in loss at Oklahoma State...Missouri is averaging 123.6 rushing yards per game (ninth in Big 12), while Baylor is averaging 122.1 (10th in Big 12).
Receivers: Gabbert's most productive (and biggest at 6-foot-5) target is Danario Alexander, who has a team-best 58 catches for 824 yards and seven touchdowns...Alexander ranks second among Big 12 receivers in receiving yards, yards per game and receiving touchdowns...He also ranks third in receptions and 10th in yards per catch...His 824 receiving yards are second to only Kansas' Dezmon Briscoe (841)...Has posted 100 yards or more receiving in four games - Illinois (132), Nevada (170), Oklahoma State (180) and Colorado (123)...Gabbert's second-favorite target is Jared Perry, who ranks second on the squad with 36 catches for 542 yards and six scores...Perry has one 100-yard game to his credit (161 vs. Furman), but caught a touchdown in Mizzou's first four games...Alexander has three receiving TDs in four Big 12 games...Derrick Washington leads all Mizzou running backs with 70 yards on 18 receptions, while Andrew Jones is the leading Mizzou tight end with seven catches for 39 yards.
O-Line: Three of Missouri's projected starting offensive linemen are sophomores...The left side of Missouri's O-Line consists of sophomores LT Elvis Fisher and LG Austin Wuebbels...Fisher has started 22 straight games (all 22 games of career) at left tackle for Mizzou, while Wuebbels made his first career start in season opener vs. Illinois...Junior Rimington Award candidate Tim Barnes started all 14 games for Mizzou at center in 2008...The right side features senior RG Kurtis Gregory and sophomore RT Dan Hoch...Gregory is an Outland and Campbell Trophy candidate and is a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award...Gregory has made 36 consecutive starts at RG...Hoch became the first true freshman OL to play under Gary Pinkel in 2008.
NEBRASKA (4-3, 1-2 Big 12)
SPECIAL TEAMS PREVIEW
Punter: Henery pulls double duty as he is also Nebraska's starting punter...Made his first career punts against Florida Atlantic in season opener...Henery is averaging 40.0 yards per punt, including a career-long 76-yard punt vs. Virginia Tech, which is tied for the fourth-longest in school history...Henery ranks seventh among Big 12 punters in yards per punt.
Return Specialists: Niles Paul is Nebraska's leading punt and kick returner...Paul leads all Huskers with 185 yards on 21 punt returns and 248 yards on 10 kick returns...Nebraska has not returned a kick or punt for a touchdown this season in 44 total chances.
Other: Redshirt freshman Brett Maher handles the holder duties on PAT and field goals...Junior Adi Kunalic handles kickoff duties...True freshman P.J. Mangieri and redshirt freshman Sam Meginnis are the long snappers...Nebraska's starting placekicker, punter, long snapper and holder all wear uni numbers in the 90s: PK/P Alex Henery wears No. 90, LS P.J. Mangieri No. 92 and holder Brett Maher No. 96...Kunalic wears No. 1.
NEBRASKA (4-3, 1-2 Big 12)
D-Line: Nebraska's blackshirts defense is anchored by senior defensive tackle and All-America candidate Ndamukong Suh...Suh leads NU with 44 tackles, while also setting team highs with 25 unassisted tackles, 10 TFL (42 yards lost), 4.0 sacks (30 yards lost), 12 QB hurries, seven Pass Break-ups and two blocked kicks...Suh is the only Husker to record at least 1.0 TFL in each of Nebraska's seven games...Suh ranks fifth all-time in NU history with 43 TFL and is tied for eighth with 16 career sacks...Anchoring Suh on the Nebraska D-Line is sophomore defensive tackle Jared Crick, junior defensive end Pierre Allen and senior defensive end Barry Turner...Crick ranks second among NU D-Linemen with 36 total tackles, while recording 3.5 sacks (26 yards lost) and 6.0 TFL (28 yards lost)...Allen has 29 total tackles, 3.0 sacks (23 yards lost) and 7.0 TFL (30 yards lost)...Turner, who received a medical hardship after a season-ending injury in 2008, has 25 tackles, 2.0 sacks and 6.0 TFL in seven games.
Linebackers: This position is the youngest portion of Nebraska's defense, featuring two redshirt freshmen and one senior...Senior WLB Phillip Dillard ranks fourth on the team with 35 total tackles, 6.0 TFL and 1.0 sack in five games...Dillard has made 10 career starts at LB...Redshirt freshman MLB Mike Compton has started six of Nebraska's seven games...Compton has recorded 31 tackles, 1.0 TFL and 0.5 sacks...Redshirt frosh BLB Sean Fisher has five starts to his credit, posting 29 total tackles and 1.0 TFL.
Secondary: The Huskers own the Big 12's total pass defense...NU has allowed 164.1 yards per game and a Big 12-low three passing touchdowns...Opponents have completed a Big 12-low 51.2 percent of their passes...Secondary has accounted for four of Nebraska's five interceptions...Junior Prince Amukamara is NU's starter at left cornerback and ranks second behind Suh with 37 total tackles...Starting at right corner will either be sophomore Alfonzo Dennard or junior Anthony West...West has started four games at RCB, posting seven tackles, while Dennard has made three starts, accumulating 15 total tackles and 3.0 TFL...A pair of seniors are featured at strong and free safety positions...6-foot-1 strong safety Larry Asante has 35 tackles, five PBU and an INT return for a TD...Free safety Matt O'Hanlon has 32 tackles, 1.0 TFL, 1.0 sacks, one PBU, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one interception to his credit through seven games.
Previewing the Opponent: Nebraska Offense
NEBRASKA (4-3, 1-2 Big 12)
Quarterback: Nebraska' offense is led by junior college transfer signal-caller Zac Lee, who spent the last two seasons at City College of San Francisco...The San Francisco native has thrown for 1,461 yards, while completing 59.9 percent of his passes (118-of-197)...Lee has thrown 10 touchdowns and his been picked off six times in seven games. Lee ranks in the middle of pack among the league's starting quarterbacks...His 12.4 yards per completion and 7.4 yards per attempt rank fourth and fifth in the Big 12, respectively...Aside from Lee, Dayton, Texas, freshman Cody Lee has seen limited action in four games - Florida Atlantic, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette and Texas Tech...Lee was 19-of-33 for 185 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in those games.
Running Back: While Lee handles the snaps, Nebraska' offense runs through junior I-back Roy Helu Jr., who ranks third in the Big 12 and 31st nationally in rushing (92.0 yards per game)...Helu has six rushing touchdowns this season, including a career-best three scores in season opener vs. Florida Atlantic...Helu's six scores account for half of Nebraska's rushing touchdowns...Through seven games, Helu has posted five career 100-yard rushing contests, including two this season...Helu moved into Nebraska' all-time top 30 career rushers this season with 644 yards, giving him 1,656 to rank 29th in school history...The 2009 Doak Walker candidate also has 45 career receptions for 437 yards...Last season in Lincoln (a 32-20 Nebraska win), Helu was limited to six yards on two carries - Marlon Lucky led all Husker rushers with 83 yards on 16 carries.
Receivers: Nebraska quarterbacks have completed a pass to 19 different receivers this season...Six of the 19 have more than 10 receptions each - Niles Paul (23), Curenski Gilleylen (16), Mike McNeill (16), Menelik Holt (15), Roy Helu Jr. (15) and Chris Brooks (13). Paul leads all NU receivers in receptions and receiving yards (359)...Paul and McNeill are tied for the team lead with three TDs each...Paul is the only NU receiver with a 100-yard game - 102 yards vs. Missouri and 143 yards vs. Iowa State...No NU receiver has more than six receptions in a game this season (Paul has three six-reception games)...Gilleylen ranks third in the Big 12 with 18.7 yards per reception.
O-Line: Nebraska' offensive line is bolstered by four upperclassmen - LT Mike Smith (Jr.), LG Keith Williams (Jr.), C Jacob Hickman (Sr.) and RG Ricky Henry (Jr.)...Sophomore RT Marcel Jones is Nebraska's lone underclassman on the O-Line...Huskers O-Line has helped the running game produce 100 or more yards in six games this season...Nebraska's offense has accumulated at least 350 yards of total offense in four games this season.
Briles On Nebraska / Kickoff Set For Mizzou (No TV)
Coach Briles spoke to the media Tuesday in his weekly luncheon prior to the Nebraska game. You can read a transcript of Briles and select player quotes here, you can view video stream of Briles presser here.
MISSOURI KICKOFF: The kickoff time for Baylor's Nov. 7 game vs. Missouri in Columbia has been set at 1 p.m. CST at Faurot Field and there will be no television coverage of any kind.
Bears On Midseason All-America/All-Big 12 Teams
Baylor has been represented on various midseason honors teams, most prominently All-America honors for punter Derek Epperson (CBSsports.com, first team), linebacker Joe Pawelek (Phil Steele, second team) and defensive tackle Phil Taylor (Phil Steele, second team). Below is a listing of Baylor student-athletes including on Phil Steele's midseason honors teams, CBSsports.com's Midseason All-America team and the Columbia Daily Tribune's Midseason All-Big 12 team...Derek Epperson
Midseason All-America, 1st team (CBSSports.com)
Midseason All-Big 12, 3rd team (Phil Steele)
Baylor launched a new community initiative this year called the "Baylor Spirit Program," and the response by local businesses was tremendous. A total of 527 Central Texas establishments joined the program and proudly displayed BU flags and signage [CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO GALLERY]. Coach Briles and the entire athletics department would like to thank the Greater Waco community for its support.