On the second play from scrimmage in Saturday’s season opener against Southeast Missouri State, Russell Hansbrough got his legs tangled up with a Redhawks defender after busting off a 20-yard run. Hansbrough’s ankle took the brunt of the mix-up and he carried the ball one more time for three yards two series later, then called it a game as he was seen wearing a boot on the sideline.
The Mizzou training staff will make the final determination on all injuries and if that means one or both players sit, at this point in the season its better to be safe than sorry, even though nobody needs Evan Boehm and Hansbrough more than Maty Mauk.
The Tigers center, Boehm, who has goals of becoming an All-SEC selection as well as an All-American, had his day cut short in the first quarter when he too suffered an ankle injury. His teammate Mauk says there is no doubt Boehm will be playing on Saturday when the Tigers travel to Arkansas State for a game with the Red Wolves. Mauk says he even expects Hansbrough to play as well.
With both players out of the lineup, the Tigers average fewer yards per carry than even the Redhawks. Mizzou averaged just three yards per carry, while SEMO was picked up 3.5 yards per attempt. If you take out Hansbrough’s 20 yard gain, the Tigers per attempt average drops to 2.4 yards per carry.
Gary Pinkel admits the foursome of Ish Witter, Tyler Hunt, Morgan Steward and Chase Abbington needs some work and more reps, he points out the importance of having a healthy Hansbrough. What we all saw on his first carry of the game is what they’ve seen from Russell all fall camp. Hansbrough is playing at a high level.