Pinkel taking advantage of layoff

While the nation braces for a broad war against terrorism, Gary Pinkel's Tigers continue to perfect their new mentor's system.

The one positive that can be found through the horrible set of events that occurred on the east coast last week, is that the young Tiger football team has had more time to grow as playing units.

The shakeout process started after the first-week loss to Bowling Green. New starters were inserted into the lineup for the Southwest Texas game such as Rob Droege at weakside guard.

Additional depth chart moves occurred during the following week including the move of Tyrone Roberson to second-string tailback, Cliff Young to backup strongside tackle, and Nick Tarpoff as backup defensive end on both sides.

These freshmen and sophomores are learning both Pinkel's new system, but also the pace of the division one football game.

Pace is one of the critical things that Pinkel stresses in his practices and his game theory. The Tigers know that the road to sloppiness and turnovers is paved by sluggish practices and a lack of attention to details.

Yes, the Tigers will benefit from getting more repetitions with their respective offensive, defensive and special teams. But more than anything else, it will be continuing to improve their practice habits and the mental aspects of their game that will improve this Tiger football team.

This is pure speculation, but we suspect that Pinkel is happy to face Michigan State on December 1st at this point. He knows from experience that his team will be further along the learning curve by that point, and Mizzou will stand a much better chance of winning that contest late in the season up in East Lansing.

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