It’s a good time to be a Missouri Tiger right now — something that couldn’t be said after the team’s 1-5 start.
However, the Tigers sit at 5-5 and have legitimate bowl aspirations, with their final two regular-season games coming at Vanderbilt and at Arkansas.
The turnaround in Columbia has been massive, and it all starts with coach Barry Odom and star QB Drew Lock. But those two aren’t fully responsible for Mizzou’s dramatic change in fortunes.
Other players on both sides of the ball have stepped up in big ways to help Mizzou even its record. Here are five players who have been huge parts of the Tigers’ four-game winning streak:
WR Emanuel Hall
In the time it takes you to read this sentence, it’s likely that Hall has burned yet another defensive back for a long touchdown.
Since the Tigers’ bye week, Hall has emerged as one of the best deep threats in the SEC. On Saturday against Tennessee, he caught two impressive touchdown passes and turned in his second consecutive 100-yard game.
Hall is tied for first in the SEC with 30+ yard receptions (10), 40+ yard catches (7) and catches going for 50 or more (4).
Now that opposing defenses can’t key on J’Mon Moore, the Tigers’ offense is really opening up.
RB Ish Witter
Witter has quietly been a productive member of the backfield for a couple of years, but on Saturday, he had a game for the ages, running for 216 yards and a touchdown in the rout of the Vols.
As starter Damarea Crockett continues to miss time with an injury, Witter and Larry Rountree III have more than capably filled his shoes and have made the Tigers’ ground attack one to be reckoned with.
Even when Crockett returns, offensive coordinator Josh Heupel would be wise to continue to give Witter and Rountree plenty of touches.
DL Terry Beckner Jr.
Beckner, a former 5-star recruit, has been living up to his potential now that he’s healthy. He’s become a force on the Tigers’ defensive line and is one of the best NFL prospects in the SEC.
With Beckner creating so much pressure (he leads the Tigers with six sacks) from the interior, teams are finding it hard to get their offenses going against Mizzou in recent weeks.
DL Marcell Frazier
Frazier got off to a slow start this year, but has recorded an impressive four sacks in Mizzou’s past four games.
As the heir apparent to first-round NFL Draft pick Charles Harris, Frazier’s improved play has made life miserable for opposing quarterbacks. As he continues to draw more attention, other guys on the Tigers’ defensive line will have opportunities to step up.
DB Anthony Sherrils
Sherrils is really putting a stamp on his senior season. In his past two games, he’s recorded 12 tackles and has a pair of interceptions.
Heading into the year, it was unclear who would lead the Mizzou secondary after the departure of star corners Aarion Penton and John Gibson, but Sherrils has become the guy during the team’s four-game winning streak.
With tough games ahead against Vanderbilt QB Kyle Shurmur and Arkansas QB Austin Allen, Sherrils will need to be at his best to give the Tigers a chance to win.
Source: Saturday Down South