Abron and MU looking at records

Zack Abron will undoubtedly break MU's career rushing record Saturday against Iowa State, but how long will it be until someone else takes it from him?

If the Missouri career rushing record is whispering to Zack Abron like he says it is, there must be at least a faint whisper to quarterback Brad Smith.

With only 13 yards to go, Abron will most likely break Brock Olivo's record of 3,027 rushing yards Saturday against Iowa State. But Smith, only a sophomore, isn't that far behind.

After becoming the first player in Missouri history with consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons, Smith has 2,144 yards to go. Do the math, and it shows sometime next October or November, Smith will be taking the record right back from Abron.

"I'll probably be honoring him next year about the record," Abron said.

But this week is all about Abron, the little stout bowling ball back who could also get his first chance at 1,000. He needs only 18 yards for that, but the record comes first.

"I hopefully will get it in the first quarter," Abron said.

Abron might want to make sure he gets a picture of the plaque on the wall of records at Dan Devine Pavilion with the way Smith has been running. But Smith, who claimed to not even know the record, said he's happy to see Abron get some recognition.

"I'm excited for him," Smith said. "He deserves it and he's worked hard for it. To get him that, and get a win, that would be perfect."

When coach Gary Pinkel took the coaching job in December 2000, there were several spot he wanted to, he had to, change to rebuild the program. Despite some early grievances with Abron, Pinkel stuck with the incumbent running back, and he's happy to see Abron make it this far.

"Talk about a player that can turn a program," Pinkel said. "To see him mature in every way is really exciting. What he wants to do is he wants to win. That's very gratifying for a player that is so unselfish to have this opportunity to break a record."

Missouri has another record on its mind Saturday against the Cyclones, who are winless in conference play. The Tigers can go 6-0 at home. No team in Missouri history has won

A win against the Cyclones would also put Missouri to 8-4 and give it a better chance at one of the Big 12's better bowls, but Nebraska's win Friday against Colorado could force the Tigers to end up at the Independence Bowl, Dec. 31 in Shreveport, La.

"This is a critical game for our football program," Pinkel said. "I can't express that strong enough. To win eight games makes this a huge, huge football game.

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