A series of injuries to Missouri's tailbacks has left Henry Josey as the "last man standing" in the backfield for the Tigers. Josey has risen to the occasion, and enters this week's tilt at Oklahoma leading the country in yards per carry (13.8 yards/carry), and leading the conference in rushing (133.3 yards /game). ShowMeMizzou.com spoke with Josey, and with Missouri Offensive Coordinator, David Yost, to get their thoughts on the talented sophomore's start to the season.
"We all know that we haven't played our best game yet," said Josey. "That's still to come."
Coach Yost was asked what stood out to him about Henry Josey last Saturday?
"That he was really fast," replied Coach Yost.
Really fast! While Josey was unable to run the 40-yard dash this spring, he was clocked in the 4.3s in high school. He said that he ran the 100 meters in 10.3 seconds in high school, but he's still waiting for the day when he can outrun his father, Henry Neal, who still owns a national high school record in the 100 meters, at 10.15 seconds. Josey said that his father later ran a 10.08 in the 100 meters.
"My (offensive) line did an amazing job of protecting me," said Josey, explaining why he came through the Western Illinois' game relatively unscathed. "There were holes everywhere. It was really just being patient that was a big key. Once I found a hole, I just hit it as hard as I could."
"His tempo in the backfield, taking the ball from the QB, it's a small, little thing," continued Coach Yost, describing another aspect of Josey's effectiveness. "But, he was in proper phase, when we pull the guard and tackle, or pull the center and tackle. Where he was at with the tackle is exactly the way we draw it up. Then, he was able to kind of use those schemes and everything. He did a phenomenal job of hitting everything. There were quite a few of his runs where I don't know if he was touched until he was into the secondary, or even into the end zone. His tempo, of the speed of the play, he didn't rush it. He used the line's blocking, and he set a lot of blocks up. Once he saw the hole, as he got into that second level, he just took off, and shot through it…………………………………… It really helps his confidence, and it helps the offensive line's confidence. Hey, if we give him a little hole, he'll make a big play. It helps the run game in a lot of ways."
"We prepare every week the same," explained Josey. "We're not worried about anything that they're trying to throw at us, or them circling us after last year. That doesn't matter anymore. This is a new team. They will see, once we get down there this Saturday."