Monday, during the Big 12 coaches teleconference, Mizzou head football coach Gary Pinkel told reporters that defensive end Brian Smith would not play in the Sun Bowl. He might have to eat those words if Smith improves.
Smith is listed as doubtful for the game after undergoing a CT scan Wednesday. The results showed that Smith would not be able to play if the game was this week, but it is still possible he could be healthy enough to play by the Dec. 29 bowl matchup.
“He has a chance,” said head trainer Rex Sharp. “But we want to do what’s right for the kid. He wants to play now. He feels good. But we won’t do anything to hurt him.”
The school’s career sack leader thought he saw his senior campaign come to an end when he suffered a freakish hip fracture against Kansas State.
Pinkel’s goal for Smith – if he can’t participate in the Sun Bowl – is to have him ready for the East –West Shrine Game. Smith was invited to play before his hip injury.
Wide receiver Will Franklin has almost no chance of playing in the Sun Bowl. Franklin, Mizzou’s leading receiver before suffering a shoulder injury against Iowa State, underwent surgery last week for a torn labrum in his right shoulder.