Mizzou freshman standout DT Terry Beckner is out with a knee injury.
Rickey Hatley joins Josh Augusta, Charles Harris and Walter Brady along the starting front line.
A winning season and bowl game is on the line in the Tigers final home game and senior day this Saturday against Tennessee.
When Mizzou takes the field on Saturday vs. Tennessee, not only will it be the final home game for Mizzou’s 19 seniors, it will also be the final home game for Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel, who announced that he would resign following the season due to health concerns on Nov. 13.
Pinkel, 63, transformed Mizzou into a national program after taking over on Nov. 30, 2000, and will conclude his career as the winningest coach in school history. He’s amassed a 118-71 record at Mizzou in 14 seasons so far, and his 191 career wins stand as the 19th-most all-time in NCAA FBS history. Under his guidance, Mizzou won five conference divisional titles (2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014), reached 10 bowl games (winning six) and had five teams post a final top-20 national ranking (including two top-five finishes). His Tigers posted winning seasons in 10-of-15 years, following a stretch where Mizzou had only two winning seasons in the 17 seasons (1984-2000) prior to his arrival. He was named the National Coach of the Year in 2007 by FieldTurf, and won conference coach of the year honors in 2007 (Big 12) and 2014 (SEC)
• The seniors being honored on Saturday will include: PK Andrew Baggett (Lee’s Summit, Mo.), QB Corbin Berkstresser (Lee’s Summit, Mo.), C Evan Boehm (Captain from Lee’s Summit, Mo.), LB Kentrell Brothers (Guthrie, Okla.), FS Cortland Browning (Tyler, Texas), OL Taylor Chappell (Canadian, Texas), CB Kenya Dennis (Captain from Leland, Miss.), TE Clayton Echard (Eureka, Mo.), LB Clarence Green (Clute, Texas), OL Mitch Hall (Russellville, Ark.), TB Russell Hansbrough (Captain from Arlington, Texas), OL Jordan Hill (Lee’s Summit, Mo.), TB Tyler Hunt (Huntsville, Mo.), WR Wesley Leftwich (Columbia, Mo.), OL Connor McGovern (Fargo, N.D.), CB DeAndre McKenzie (Lee’s Summit, Mo.), OL Brad McNulty (Allen, Texas), OL Nick Monaghan (Darien, Ill.), FS Ian Simon (Captain from Mansfield, Texas), TB Andrew Stevens (St. Louis, Mo.), DB Trei Walton (Northville, Mich.).
A win would...
• Make Mizzou bowl eligible for the 11th time in 15 seasons under head coach Gary Pinkel.
• Improve Mizzou to 4-0 all-time against Tennessee and 2-0 all-time vs. the Vols in Columbia.
• Improve the Tigers to 14-10 all-time against SEC East foes since joining the SEC.
• Be Mizzou’s 12th senior day win in 15 seasons under head coach Gary Pinkel. Mizzou is 9-1 in its last 10 senior day games (only loss came in 2012)
While the Tigers offense has severely struggled, the defense has been among the best in the nation. With even a modest increase in production from the offense, the Tigers would have already secured a winning season and bowl spot. This has to be the most frustrating part of the season on the field.
Mizzou has allowed the fourth-fewest TDs nationally with just 17, tied with Alabama, Florida and Ohio State - a trio that has been mentioned among the top unites defensively in the nation. That is a key reason why Mizzou ranks fifth nationally in scoring defense this season.
Though Mizzou has lost five games this season, the defense has been outstanding in four of those losses. In fact, Mizzou is allowing an average of just 18.4 points per game in those five losses. That is the third-best mark (second among teams w/ multiple losses) among defenses nationally in games lost. Mizzou’s first loss came at Kentucky when it allowed 21 points and Florida, ranked 11th at the time, also hung 21 on the Mizzou defense. But in each of the next two losses - at Georgia and at Vanderbilt - Mizzou has allowed just 19 total points and just five scores. MSU was the only team to hang more than 21 points on Mizzou this year.
UT comes into Saturday’s game averaging 34 points per game while allowing 21.8.
The Vols are coming off of a 24-0 win over North Texas last week, their third straight win.
In fact, UT has won four of five with the only loss being a tough, 19-14 loss at Alabama.
UT has a balanced offense, averaging 210 yards both on the ground and through the air.