September 23, 2014

Mizzou overlooked Indiana with their sights set on USC. Losing back to back games will put the Tigers in a tough hole (Google Hangout)

Dylan Thompson throws a pass last week against Vandy (photo/

Dylan Thompson throws a pass last week against Vandy (photo/

The Gamecocks are looking for their fourth-straight win after a season-opening loss. After dropping the opener to No. 21/20 Texas A&M, the Gamecocks have rebounded with wins over East Carolina, No. 6/6 Georgia, and most recently, a 48-34 road win at Vanderbilt.

Tennessee is the only other SEC school besides Mizzou that has yet to play a conference game. Last year the Tigers played eight straight conference games in winning the  SEC Eastern Division title with a 7-1 record.  The lone loss came against USC.   Meanwhile, the Gamecocks will be halfway through their conference slate after this week and T.J. Fenske of KRCG-TV thinks that will be one advantage for USC.

While both of us agree that one loss in conference play won’t cook the Tigers chances of repeating, Fenske says if the team has to let two let losses in a row “marinate” over the bye week before Georgia, it could really be a blow to their confidence.

Tigers will have Golden back on defense, but offense loses Gatti for the season and WR White for an extended time (AUDIO)

The offensive line will be without Anthony Gatti on Saturday and for the rest of the season (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

The offensive line will be without Anthony Gatti on Saturday and for the rest of the season (photo/Mizzou Athletics)

The good news for Missouri is that defensive end Markus Golden will be back on the field when the Tigers open SEC play at South Carolina on Saturday at 6 p.m.  Golden missed the Indiana game after tweaking his hamstring in practice the Wednesday before.

However, the offense will be without a couple of pieces for an extended period of time.  As I mentioned after the game, offensive lineman Anthony Gatti will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL.

Brad McNulty will slide into the guard spot.  Connor McGovern will move from tackle to guard, replacing Mitch Hall who struggled.  At right tackle junior Taylor Chappell will make his first career start.

The wide receiver position, already thin past Jimmie Hunt and Bud Sasser, will now be without Darius White, who suffered a groin injury.  Gary Pinkel said it will be a few weeks until White returns.

Pinkel talks about Evan Boehm’s struggles at center and scouting themselves on the offensive line.

Outside of Hunt, Sasser and White, the Tigers have a total of two catches coming from their other wide receivers.  That’s when Wesley Leftwich caught two passes for ten yards in the South Dakota State game.  Tight end Sean Culkin has seven catches, running backs Marcus Murphy has eight, Russell Hansbrough has five.


For the first time since 1997, the Missouri State football team cracks the top 25 rankings. Bears off to 3-1 start

The Bears are back in the top 25. (photo/MSU Athletics)

The Bears are back in the top 25. (photo/MSU Athletics)

With its best start since 2007, the Missouri State University football team is starting to turn heads on a national level as the 3-1 Bears have cracked the FCS Coaches Top 25 Poll this week at No. 24.

It marks the first time since the team was No. 21 in the 1997 ESPN/USA Today preseason poll that MSU has been ranked in the top 25. The Bears also closed out the 1996 season ranked No. 23 in The Sports Network final poll.

“I’m pleased and happy for our players,” said head coach Terry Allen. “It puts them in a good position headed into league play. We have a very strong league, and you play a good team every week. We’re happy to be mentioned and hope we can build on it.”

Missouri State received 65 votes in the poll voted on by 26 national FCS coaches. A total of seven Missouri Valley Football Conference schools are ranked in the poll this week, including No. 12 Youngstown State, MSU’s next opponent for the game at Robert W. Plaster Stadium on Oct. 4. North Dakota State (1), South Dakota State (9), Northern Iowa (10), Southern Illinois (16) and Illinois State (22) are also ranked.

In the other widely-accepted FCS poll – The Sports Network Top 25 Poll – MSU is just outside the top 25 this week, receiving 116 votes which translates as the 31st-highest point total in the poll. YSU is No. 18 in The Sports Network rankings.

Missouri State is coming off a thrilling 33-31 road win at Central Arkansas on Saturday, a game decided on a 53-yard field goal by junior Marcelo Bonani as time expired. The victory was the second non-conference road win for the Bears this campaign, matching the club’s most since 1996.

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Adam Wainwright gets to 20 wins as the Cardinals inch closer to the Central title with a big win over the Cubs

Adam Wainwright joined the 20 win club Monday night at Wrigley Field. (photo/MLB)

Adam Wainwright joined the 20 win club Monday night at Wrigley Field. (photo/MLB)

Adam Wainwright hit the 20-win mark for the second time in his career, joining L.A.’s Clayton Kershaw as the only pitchers in the majors with 20 this season, as the Cardinals moved a step closer toward their second straight division title with an 8-0 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Pittsburgh won, so the Cardinals magic number to clinch the Central is four.  The Pirates magic number is two from clinching a playoff berth.

Wainwright went seven innings and allowed just three hits and a walk.  He gave up a double to Anthony Rizzo with two out in the first and did not allow anything else until back-to-back singles with two out in the seventh.  By then, the game was well in hand.

The Cardinals pounded Travis Wood for seven runs and eight hits over five innings, adding four in the fourth and three in the fifth on the way to their eighth win in 10 games.

Duffy shows up and shuts down the Indians in the scheduled game to pull to within one of Detroit

Danny Duffy returned to the mound as the Royals inch closer to post season (photo/MLB)

Danny Duffy returned to the mound as the Royals inch closer to post season (photo/MLB)

Danny Duffy pitched for the first time since throwing one pitch on September 6th and threw six shutout innings  as the Royals moved within one game of first-place Detroit and built a two game lead in the wild card race, beating the Indians 2-0 on Monday night.

The Royals grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first when Eric Hosmer singled in Nori Aoki.  Duffy got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first and held the Indians to just six hits. He gave up three hits in the first two innings but just three more over the next four. His previous start against Cleveland was the game that wound up being suspended.  The Royals lost that yesterday 4-3.

Kansas City took a 2-0 lead in the fifth on Alcides Escobar’s RBI single.  Brandon Finnegan pitched the seventh, Wade Davis the eighth and Greg Holland got save 44 as the trio allowed one hit, a walk and four strikeouts.  Davis’ ERA is 0.90.